MAPUSA, the capital of Bardez Taluka, is the largest town of the north and an important supply centre for visitors staying at the beaches of Anjuna and Vagator. North and west of the town are small hills on which suburbs have been built and the commercial area is on flat land to the south. There is little of interest in the town and the only reason for staying here would be to take the bus to Bombay. The railway station at Mapusa Road near Tivim (7km), part of the new Konkan Railway (opened in 1996), links Mapusa to towns up and down the coast. The market beside the bus station is the largest and most colourful of Goa and on Fridays (market day) the town comes almost to a standstill. Xavier’s Restaurant, on the east side of the bazaar, is one of the few places that sells draught beer and is a popular meeting place. Opposite the bus station and the statue of Mahatma Gandhi is the Tourist Hostel and the Tourist Office. The Post Office is across from the Police Station, 200m from the Municipal Garden and the main roundabout. Beside the Post Office is a new shopping development which stretches down to a rubbish-strewn field that is used as a camp site for market traders.