December 28th, 2012 by admin
Apart from the pristine beaches of Goa, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most visited destination. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Construction started in 1594 and was Completed in 1605 during Portuguese rule. Located in old Goa, it contains the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in well decorated box. The architecture of this church is very refreshing as it does not look like a typical church. It is made of brick and has elaborate on stone, metal and wood. In the middle of the building there is a square space which allows sunlight in. Here on one side of the corridor people plant candles.
On the other side is another cathedral and museum. The museum closes by 4 pm. In between Bom Basilica and the other cathedral there is a park which is inhabited by little white Crane birds. There are a lot of relics in Bom basilica and its antique bell caught my eyes specially. In front of the basilica there is a small grassland where on can sit at leisure.
Following this we walked to the other side. Here the cathedral is completely whitewashed. The interior of the church is in Gothic style which is typical of older churches. Outside the cathedral is a white statue of Jesus. Once we started walking towards the exit from this side we saw three canons. It is a very neatly maintained place and makes for some good photographs.
Entry fees: No entry fees
Shoes: Allowed entry with shoes
Timings: 6 am to 6.30 pm
Location: 10 km from Panjim
November 19th, 2012 by admin
Colva beach is one of the most flattest beach I have ever seen. It is around 24 km long. It located around 8 km from Margao. In village, one has to walk little bit off the circle to reach the beach. I did not see any shack or resting place on the beach. Though there was one typically used by foreigners little way from the main activity area. This long white sand beach is amazing for sports activity. And no wonder there was motor boat, speed boat and para-sailing. But they were over charging by asking Rs 500 for one round of para-sailing. Walked around little bit and took a few pictures. The sun was blazing hot and better avoided if you are not bathing. This place well be awesome to take a walk in late afternoon and evening.
The food at the beach restaurants are awesome. We had food at Jefferso. I loved their king fish. After food we left for Palolem.
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November 12th, 2012 by admin
Anjuna beach is located near to Mapusa town. One can just board a bus for less than Rs 10 to reach Anjuna. We reached Anjuna during afternoon and it was very hot. We soothed our self little bit by having lime soda (Rs 20 per glass) from one of the vendors there. Ask for Masala sweet for good taste.
To reach the beach one has to descend through the steps. The beach is rocky and with lots of iron deposit. Some part of the sea water were brown in color due to erosion of iron deposits. There is not much of sand beach here and bathing may be hazardous.
Anjuna is popular for the flea market which held on every Wednesday. Also, I understand from various sources that Anjuna is also popular for parties. One of the best night club of Goa, Paradiso is located here. One can have food at Oasis, Zuri, Shore bar or LaFranza.
November 1st, 2012 by admin
Regular vacationing is the latest trend which is slowly catching up throughout urban India. Have you ever wondered why we need vacation? Typical answers here would be like “I would like a break from monotonous job, break from my regular things and as such”. But have you ever thought deep beneath this? What happens when you are along with nature? It basically lets us rediscover ourself. It lets us see things in a new perspective. Well it tells us we are still alive! And being Alive is Awesome!
Such was the experience during my latest vacation in Goa. After traveling around 3 hours in the country side of Goa and a stop at Colva beach, we were heading towards Palolem beach. Until we reached near the village it was like a typical nondescript village in the western ghats of India. Near the beach it was timing with activity – shops, tourists, vehicles. After un-boarding from the vehicle quickly we walked on to the beach. It was late afternoon and the sun had mellowed down. Palolem beach is very popular with foreigners and I saw many of them sun bathing throughout the beach. It is a crescent shaped beach and at the extreme right hand the hills provide good shadow in the later part of afternoon.
We walked onto this site keeping in mind a peaceful and gratifying bathing experience. This is also a natural estuary where a small river flows into the Arabian sea by the hill side. The sea here has a very flat bed and the gradient decreases very slowly. This allows people to walk a long distance into the sea. The sight of the sun setting behind the hills, the rocks drenching itself with sea water and clean sea water along the estuary was enchanting. It was difficult to hold ourself anymore. We walked into the welcoming hands of Arabian sea and reached a coral rock. I tried to sit over it but it had sharp edges and is best avoided. Sea water was very cool here and that was a welcome break. Around here we sat in the lap of Arabian sea and the water was in the shoulder or neck level.
Little later went canoeing starting from the river and then moving into the shallow waters of Arabian sea. It was an awesome experience as one has to balance the canoe boat using his own body! Following which walked towards the gap in the hill to witness the sunset on the other side. The crepuscular light was a sight to behold. A few interested people come here to witness the phenomenon. With the sunset playing back in the mind came back and sat near the rock. No sooner, the sea was at work! The waves massaged our back and pushed us towards the shore. The half floating experience and the service of Arabian sea to reach the shore was Awesome! Palolem beach I will be back!
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October 29th, 2012 by admin
Vagator beach is located in Bardez taluk of Goa. This clean and less crowded beach is located in the northern end of Goa.
Distance from other places to Vagator is as follows:
Calalgute to Vagator: 14 km
Anjuna to Vagator: 4 km
Siolim to Vagator: 9 km
Mapusa to Vagator: 10 km
Tivim to Vagator: 19 km
Panaji to Vagator: 22 km
Vagator beach is divided into two beaches by a headland. At the foot of the headland on the rocky stones there is a lighthouse. On the right hand side of the landmass is the Big Vagator (North Vagator) beach and on the left hand side is the Little Vagator beach. This landmass has the parking lot and some stalls selling snacks, cloths etc. The beach is little rocky which adds to its beauty. After little bit of photography, we descended down to North Vagator beach. The pristine white sand beach are flanked by rising cliff and hills one side and Arabian sea on the other side.
We walked to the other end near the rock to avoid crowd. I was told Vagator beach and the nearby areas are mainly preferred by Russian tourists. There were few foreign tourist who were enjoying bath there. With cool blue sea water calling, we got in bathing gear and ran into the sea. During day time sea water is typically cold which adds to the enjoyment of sea bathing. The water here is less salty too. With friends around and abundance of natural beauty we turned hysteric splashing water on each other. One of my friend conjectured that sea sand contains silica and it is good for skin. So we were rubbing wet sand on our skin and then letting the waves wash it. Then got in the frenzy of giving forced sand bath to others by throwing bolus of sand.
The sea bed is little flat here and lets one walk little further in the sea. Now the awesome adventure starts! We started walking in the line of waves towards the rocks at the extreme end. As I reached near the rock, I felt a little pull of water and stepped back. I realized that area is little deep and has current. Soon the life guard was signalling us to come back. But we had already made our way on the rock by then. We sat for sometime on the rock. What a awesome feeling enjoying the sight and sound of waves! On the other side of the rock one can walk little further to reach a nice secluded beach. Typically, used by foreigners. After a while we walked back into the water again. The waves here are pretty strong and gives a nice massage effect.
After this nice bath we hiked on the hill backside towards Chapora fort. It is the same place where super hit bollywood movie Dil Chahta Hai was shot. In a particular scene Amir Khan, Akshaye Khanna and Saif Ali Khan was sitting on the wall of Chapora fort facing the Arabian sea. As we hiked further towards the edge of the hill we got a 270 degree view of the surrounding. The hidden beach which I talked about can be viewed from here. One has to hike little further to reach Chapora fort from this side. There is another way to reach Chapora fort by taking the metal route going towards Chapora village. As we had vehicle we took the road way. Vehicle dropped us at the base of the hill and we hiked a pretty steep, little pebble meshed way. While climbing the hill, on the right hand side is the river Chapora and on the left hand side is Arabian sea. The fort is just a boundary wall on this hill. Inside it is mostly grassland and awesome 360 degree view from all edges. I believe sunrise or sunset capture will be awesome from here.
Keep enough water/liquid with you or else you might get dehydrated. There is a guy who sells cool drinks inside the gate of Chapora fort but at a premium. Also, there is no accommodation facility at Vagator beach or near Chapora fort.
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October 24th, 2012 by admin
On the second day of our Goa trip, the first destination was Baga beach. We were there before 9 am when the crowed was thin. There were mainly morning joggers and people had just started to arrive. The sea was just waking up to welcome people for another day of fun. I always dreamed of bathing at one of such beach. Baga beach is special as not every beach is a natural estuary. Here the Baga river empties itself into the Arabian sea. While reaching here we saw Baga river flowing through paddy field and coconut groves. It makes an awesome sight to view the dark green river Baga meeting the light blue Arabian sea.
The white sand Baga beach is also very apt for bathing. I liked it more than Calangute beach where we were staying. The flat beach allow you to venture into the sea and is not dusty. I first ventured in river Baga which is on the right hand side. Near the river shore I could see the river bed. Typically at an estuary the flow of river is almost zero but the other end of river Baga had good current. My first thought was to just plunge in the water and swim in the river. I dreamed of walking on the river shore towards the mouth of the sea. There were few boats anchored on the river shore. I wished I could hire them for a river boating in the estuary. Baga beach is a nature lover’s paradise. As I was getting more indulgent in its beauty, I heard call from my friends that we should leave as we have to cover other places. Being in a group we have to sometime give up individual wishes. But I left with a word that, we will be back tomorrow morning (which did not happen).
I took a walk along the sea shore and watched people sitting leisurely with waves by their side. I saw a kid running mad with joy on seeing the sea for the first time. An old couple enjoying their romantic outing. For a moment it zipped through my mind, this is the moment. First I can take bath in the sea and then get a soap (Cinthol Lime) to cleanse myself in the fresh water of river Baga. But with a heavy heart and smile I said to myself, I will be back with enough time to enjoy what you have to offer. Not to say that an Alive is awesome experience is missed for now. As I walked back towards the road through the coconut trees, I noticed a temple in typical Goan style. Did a little bit of photography there. While I sat on our vehicle, Baga was still at the back of my mind – as it is now. Baga is one of the reason I will visit Goa again.
Note: I was later told by the owner of our home stay that it is not safe to venture deep in river Baga and one has to look for high tide. During low tide one can cross the river by walk.