Goa

Dreaming of a relaxing holiday experience… with long days spent on sandy beaches? Then Goa is the place to be. Love for seafood would be an added bonus, since that can be enjoyed here in plenty. It is warm and humid in Goa almost throughout the year. Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. Goa is well connected by national highways, rail and air. This tiny state is also a biodiversity hotspot owing to its location on the Western Ghats (Konkan region).
Tourism is generally focussed on the coastal region of Goa as it has excellent beaches such as Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Majorda and Colva. It also has many famous National Parks like Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary .
Those who wish to know Goa better could visit the Fort Aguada, Goa State Museum, Naval Aviation Museum, the Wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage and the Goa Science Centre (in Panjim).
Options for getting around in the state are privately operated buses, unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws, ferry boats for river crossings and the unique motorcycle taxis that transport a single pillion rider. Konkani is the spoken language in Goa. October to March would be a great time to explore this beautiful coastal paradise. Goa is alive with celebrations during Christmas and New Year where one can totally get immersed in its joyous and vibrant culture.

Goaing – from Goa to Delhi

By

After the mandatory getting-lost-and-going-round-in-circles-before-finding-the-destination that we seem to do in most new cities, we reach our destination after 2 solid hours of wandering the drowning streets of Ghatkopar in a downpour worthy of …. Mumbai! The thing to note is that more time was spent in negotiating the traffic (read: stuck in traffic) than driving!

Read More

नव वर्ष और गोवा

By

यहाँ मैं ये अवश्य बताना चाहूँगा की यूथ हॉस्टल द्वारा आयोजित ये कार्यक्रम इतना सुनियोजित सुसंगठित एवं व्यवस्थित होता है की इसमें आप किसी तरह की कमी नहीं निकाल सकते..स्वादिष्ट नाश्ता शुद्ध शाकाहारी भोजन…इतने न्यून राशि में नव वर्ष को गोवा जैसी अत्यंत महँगी जगह पे आना साधारण मध्य वर्गीय के लिए बहुत मुश्किल के किन्तु इस आयोजन में ये खर्च न्यून से भी न्यूनतम है..इसके लिए आयोजनकर्ता यूथ हॉस्टल वन्दनीय है जिसमे सभी कार्यकर्त्ता वोलेंटियर होते है जो अपने कार्यस्थल से छुट्टी ले के इस 20/25 दिन के आयोजन को सफल बनाते है.

Read More

North Goa beaches and more in monsoon on a shoe-string budget !

By

From Mira Mar I went to the Town bus-stand, and then I left by bus to a place called Calangute, about 20 kms distant, supposedly Goa’s most beautiful beach. There a Goa Govt. Hotel had dorm beds for ₹ 280 (how sweet !), and aghast with Govt. efficiency, I first strayed north towards Baga beach, but soon retraced my way and set off southwards along the beach to Aguada (where the Taj Resort has, may be ? 5000 dorm beds!) It is a good 10 kms walk on the beach, and on the way I saw a grounded ship, palm thatched resting places of fisher folk, fisher folk cleaning their nylon nets, and in an isolated stretch was brow-beaten by lashing sea winds, when a sudden storm caught up with me, drenching me to the bone. I passed beaches with picturesque names like Candolim and Sinquerim, really fishing villages. By 5pm I was in Panjim Town Bus-stop, and after keeping my bag at the Udupi dorm, I set off again with my camera for Old Goa, where the old Goan Portuguese churches are. However I got to see them only from the outside that too in failing light, and to top it off I ran out of film! Beholding these old edifices before me, I felt for the first time, that it was probably only divine glory that propels men to build such lasting edifices. I decided to attend the Sunday Mass at two of the churches, the next day at 8 in the morning. Back, at the Udupi dorm, I supped on a “sea food” thhali, with pomfret pakoras and oyster curry! The oyster was much too spicy and rubbery like an old boot! Then I chatted with the dorm inmates for an hour and went to sleep with the bloodthirsty bugs!

Read More

Goa calling… Again

By

Finally the Gods rescued us and we found a (good) restaurant right on the beach, a perfect ambience and the sea-breeze in our hairs. We ordered quite a number of dishes- mainly chicken as I am unable to ingest the typical seafood like Mr. H or his friends or my friends.

Read More

Trek to DudhSagar Falls: Trek along the Railway Track

By

We hired a place to sleep at night near the beach only, 600 rs per day and then left to explore the night life of GOA. We left for the Anjuna beach where there is a secret pub called Curley’s. You can not reach there on car. You will have to park it around a km before the actual place. The ambiance at the place was just ecstatic, with a mixed Indian and foreigner crowd, the place was too good for the prices quoted. We had another pint of beer, checked about the dance party every night there. It was scheduled to start by 10 30, so we thought we won’t join it, as we wanted to start early morning next day towards Dudhsagar. Came back to the baga beach grabbed a bite and then went off to sleep.

Next morning we started towards Castle rock station, around 80 km from Panaji. To reach dudhsagar falls, one has to do trekking atleast for 2 km. There are 4 routes to reach the place, of which the Castle rock railway track trek is the longest 14 km and the best one too. We opted for the best. Reaching Castle rock by 9 30. We got ready for the trek, by giving away the extra luggage at a food shop on the station. Took idli from the shop, and started our trek. It was difficult to walk on the track and there was no parallel way to walk on. The enthralling views and the desire to reach the destination kept us moving.

Read More

Go Goa Gone !

By

Places to eat:
Viva Panjim: The best Goan food ever. Period
Brittos: Amazing desserts.
Nick’s Place: Baga
Curlies: Anjuna: Sea food wood fired pizza, Hookah’s and Grilled Fish.
Suaza Loboz: Calangute: Good sea and Goan food.
Infantaria: Baga: For breakfast. Sandwitches and Pan cakes are worth the money spent.
A small desi joint just before Baga beach: For breakfast of stuffed paratha’s, masala omellete and tea/coffee.
Food court near calangute: For 24*7 Multicuisine food. Not bad, not good.

Places to Visit/Things to do:
Beaches:
Baga for a touristy feel, and watersports. Watersports are quite affordable here, and you can get a package deal of Parasailing, Jet ski, bumper, banana rides for rougly Rs 12-1500 per person.
Mandrem: For calm, quite and relaxation.
Curlies: Tip, go post lunch as by evening theres a lot of rush which everyone might not like.
Arambol/Ashwem: For a firang goan feel.

Places:
Old Goa: Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old portuguese colonies.
Chapora/Dil Chahta hai Fort.
Any of the casinos in Panjim.
LPK @Candolim or Club Cubana @Arpora for discs.
Manchester United Cafe @Baga if you are into sports and follow the team.

Read More

A Goan Monsoon

By

We were driving down to Goa one more time, our fifth holiday in Goa since December 2001. I had booked in Club Mahindra’s Varca Beach resort almost two months ahead. We got the booking easily because it is the end of blue season (slack season) at this time in Goa. Only die-hard Goa lovers go at this time because of the monsoon rains.

Read More

Goa Carnival Chronicles!

By

In the height of the Hippie culture of Goa in the 60’s, 70’s and the early 80’s, the exhibitionist Hippies would sprawl around the beaches and then get up and join the Carnival parade in their barely there costumes. Some would even dress up as the much sought after Samba dancers. Goa has certainly toned it down in recent years to a more wholesome, family kind of entertainment and celebration.
In fact, the Department of tourism has made great efforts this year to advertise and popularise this festival with many novel ideas. There is a Samba Square in the heart of Panjim which has attracted the local families and youth with the foot tapping Samba music and a variety of food stalls.

The Food and Cultural festival, inaugurated on the 28th of Feb to kick start the Carnival celebrations highlights the cuisine and rich cultural legacy of Goa. There is an all Goa cooking competition with sponsored prizes that are being judged by a celebrity chef. The cooking competition promotes local cuisine and showcases the same to visiting tourists. The winning recipe will be displayed on Goa Tourism’s website and other social media.

Agnee, an Indian rock band, and other artists like Kailash Kher, Rabbi Shergill, Raghu Dixit Project and Sona Mahapatra are performing at the festival. A grand fashion show and a fire display is also included. This year’s edition also features street performances by musicians at various vantage points across Panjim city, a King Momo contest, and an increase in prize money from Rs 3.7 lakh to Rs 5 lakh for the best float.

Read More
Monsoon Goa

Monsoon Goa

By

Upon reaching the hotel, we realized that it would be a disaster to stay at kenilworth and pay money to ruin our holidays so we demanded the hotel to arrange for a room in similar property in Goa. Unfortunately, the weekend being a long weekend, Goa was completely sold out (or atleast, none of the 5 star deluxe hotels/resorts seem to be willing to offer rooms to us)
To add to the grief, while we were on the lookout in the cab, it didn’t stop raining. I wondered if I loved the rain or not ?

Read More

Bonderam – The flag festival of Divar Island, Goa

By

A little background on this ‘one of its kind’ festival. The “Bonderam” festival is celebrated on the Island of Divar on the fourth Saturday of August every year. The word “Bonderam” originated from the involvement of flags. “Bandeira” is the Portuguese word for flag. It is stated that during the Portuguese rule in Goa there were frequent disputes between two sections of the Divar village, namely Sao Mathias and Piedade over property issues. These often led to violence and fights in the village. Subsequently, the Portuguese introduced a system of demarcation of boundaries with flags.

Read More

Wanderings in South Goa.

By

You are really spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in Goa. Besides the beach shacks, where you can sit on the sands and gaze out at the sea, sipping on a drink, while waiting an hour or two for your meal to arrive, there are many restaurants inland which also serve excellent food at very reasonable rates. There is a fusion of East and West, Portugese and Indian, meat and vegetables, which makes Goan cuisine unique. Coconut is used liberally, along with other Indian spices in the cooking. ‘Fish curry rice’ is the most common food and available virtually in every restaurant. The different types of seafood on offer in Goa includes pomfret, kingfish, ladyfish, mackerel, tuna, shark, crab, prawn, lobster, squid and mussels. Chicken, pork, mutton and beef dishes are also on offer at all the restaurants, cooked in the popular Goan flavours such as vindaloo, balchao, recheado, xhacuti and caldin.
We had already planned that we would include at least one meal out at a shack or restaurant in our daily sight-seeing itinerary. One precaution we always took was to carry our own drinking water if we did not want to order a drink, or pay for a bottle of branded mineral water.

Read More