Walk Heritage @ IFFI 2015

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By Chiraag Sukerkar

IFFI delegates and invitees are familiar with the Old GMC building and the Maquinez Palace, two splendid Latinate buildings from Panjim’s colonial past. But despite the  the International Film Festival of India’s  annual return to the same location, very few visitors ever get to learn about the rest of the marvellous, multi-layered heritage of Goa’s pocket-sized capital, or to explore its beguiling 19th century neighborhoods which unfold like living museums.
All that has changed in 2015, as IFFI has joined hands with ‘Make It Happen’ a tour operator specializing in “experiental tourism” that has begun organizing regular heritage walks in picturesque parts of the state in collaboration with the activist Goa Heritage Action Group (GHAG). Every day, two walks are led to gorgeous locations that play a significant role in understanding the Goan way of life. The first is through the Latin quarter of Panjim: twice daily at 8:30 am-10 am and 4:30pm- 6pm. The second is on the island of Divar, accessed by a river ferry from Ribandar. This one is a unique view Goan village life and an opportunity to experience some of Goa’s natural beauty, daily at 4 pm and led by an island native, Romeo Fernandes.
‘Make it Happen’ was started in 2011 by Maria Victor from Panjim, an accountant who gave up a corporate job to follow her enthusiasm for travel. She told The Peacock, “my love for travel, and passion for curating it for others led me to do this.” Her company focuses on preserving and promoting local heritage and culture in India by giving the traveller a taste of local lifestyles, via immersive experiences like interactive audiences with puppeteers of Rajasthan and the toddy tappers of Goa.

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