Located at Land’s End in Bandra, this area kissing Mahim Bay and overlooking the Bandra-Worli Sea Link is a favorite spot among young Mumbaikaars, families and tourists. Further from the rocky shore, it was really fun playing with the strong waves of Mahim Bay, praying that we don’t get washed away! (ah, memories!) At the end of the kilometer-long Bandstand Promenade, you will find Bandra Fort (also known as Castella de Aguada or Fort of the Waterpoint). While the remains of the castle/fort no longer serves the purpose it was built for by the Portuguese before, it still serves as a viewpoint for the entire Mahim Bay and the Arabian Sea. From here, you can see the towering glory of the 5.6km-long Bandra-Worli Sea Link. Constructed to ease traffic congestion, the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (official name) connects Bandra in the Western Suburbs and Worli in South Mumbai.
A Portuguese aristocrat girl falling madly in love with a local Goa fisherman (a love story), then choosing to take her own life by jumping from a cliff when their relationship was forbidden (a tragedy), and centuries after mesmerizing, or haunting, tourists or locals as she emerges from the sea amidst the moonlit waves, wearing nothing but a pearl necklace (a myth) — this is the story of Dona Paula. Well, at least the version that adds a romantic flair to its namesake scenic tourist destination in the suburban district of the capital city Panaji (or Panjim) in Goa, West India. I never really saw the statue of Dona Paula when I arrived at Ashwin and Aki’s place along the Dona Paula Bay with my VSO co-vol/CS buddy Rajie and our Goan CS host Warren, nor did I hear the tale about the statues watching over the Mandori and Zuari Rivers as they unite with the Arabian Sea. However, even when there is already a proven historical account of the life and existence of Dona Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior, I don’t fault the townsfolk or the tour guides if they choose to tell the romantic story instead. While the Dona Paula Bay and its natural beauty can’t be denied, a love story and a little mystery add to its charm, right? 🙂