Having been the place of my ancestral roots, I have visited Goa more times than I can count. The beaches are now exhausted, the restaurants and cuisine now commercialized and there is no empty place left for time by yourself with the tourist explosion in this hippie state. Do not get me wrong, I love Goa and I keep coming back to this place in moments to find myself or when I just want to let loose. However, I am beyond beaches, churches, food and nightlife; or so it seems.
In my recent visits to Goa, reading books, interacting with locals and merely zipping around with my bike to lesser known destinations make up for most of my time. It is in one of these trips that I found an interesting Miraculous Cross in Anjuna, Goa. Quite frankly, this is my 3rd miraculous cross in this tiny state and I am confident I will find many more if I wander further. Of course, the most popular cross is the one in Bambolim, just off the highway on the way to Goa International Airport or Margao. It’s called the Bambolim Miraculous Cross and on any given day it can be easily spotted with hundreds of garlands and flickering candles adorning the place.
The thing about a miraculous cross is that someone prays to it; their wish comes true and then by word of mouth the cross becomes popular. Tens of people turn into hundreds and hundreds become thousands and they all flock the place to offer prayers in the hope that their wishes will be granted too. And then there are some others (like me) who are more bothered about exploring new places and eager to hear their interesting tales.
In that quest, I happened to find this Miraculous Cross in Anjuna, more popular for its beach and night market. It is located on a hill and the climb is a good 400 steps which is great exercise and test of stamina. But you can be assured the view atop will be great since you are compensating by giving it a climb; Consider it your reward or your devotion. Atop, there is a setting for a mass congregation with an altar, the miraculous cross and an open air seating in a circular manner much like an Amphitheatre.
The place is eventful during the season of Lent, particularly Good Friday and Easter. In fact, your climb to the cross is marked by the 14 Stations of the Cross, with each Station pillared at regular intervals.
The popularity of this cross seems to be in its infancy stage as it is visited by a handful religious followers and some ardent believers in miracles. There is also another breed of people who flock the place sometimes – the Couples. Often you will find a few couples having conversations and overall just looking for some lone time for which they seem to find the place apt.
The lighting is limited and the place can get secluded so avoid the darks. Also avoid the sun during noons since you have to climb 400 steps and once atop there is no shade.
Bear in mind, this visit is a mere filler for a lively place like Goa. If you are like me – Bored or in for some quiet time then probably you should give this a try.
And don’t forget to make a wish; after all it is known to be a Miraculous Cross. Faith did no harm!
The Cross is located in Anjuna (North Goa). Your landmark is the Anjuna crossroad, from where it is at another 5 minute distance. Ask any local around the corner (if you find one) and they will guide you.