Guest post by Devarshi Patel.
If you are a beach bum, like me, I am sure you can never have enough of beaches in your life, right? Goa, the beach paradise of India is the most favored vacation spot among the beach lovers. Besides beaches, there are plenty of other beautiful places to visit most importantly churches, water fall and forts.
As the taxis are surprisingly expensive, the best option is to hire a two wheeler. It will cost 250-300 Rs. per day.
It was 1st may, the sky was blue, the air was crisp and the sun was shining gloriously, when I stepped out from the bus. The first day in Goa, We stayed at “SARAYA”. One of the rare place, that brings you very close to nature. Indeed, One sleeps here under a tree, Can have dinner sitting on a wood prank and Can have a pizza made in mudoven. The owners have used natural wood / organic substances to furnish the place, and the surrounding adds more to this harmonious atmosphere. Staying off the beach is, in fact, a far better way to get a taste of traditional Goan hospitality.
On the same day we went to the Divar Island situated in Old Goa. Portuguese influence is every where here in the architecture and religion. Along the road behind the coconut trees, there are villas painted with bright primary colors. The Church of Our Lady of Compassion is located in Piedade, which is one of the Divar’s largest village, that has great panoramic views. The church designed by a Goan priest is known to be the first Christian structure erected here and is a charismatic building dating from the early 17th century.
After this, we went to a place, where I experienced the eternal feeling of spiritualty, The “Bom Jesus Basilica Church” (UNESCO World Heritage Site) . Construction of this massive structure was commenced in 1594 and was completed in 1605. The moment you step into the church, the feeling of tranquility flows in your body. Inside the church, on the right side, there is the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, that are kept in the casket. The casket is kept at a good height and the amazing thing is that one cannot get clear snapshots of the Saint’s body.
Just across the road are St Catherine’s Chapel, Archeological Museum and St Francis of Assissi Church.
On the Second day, we planned for the north Goa. We started our day with the Miramar beach, here we did a boat ride in which sighting the Dolphin , the aguada fort, the central jail, House where “haseena man jayegi ” (Bollywood) movie was shot etc were included. It cost us 300 Rs. per head.
Then we went to the Dona Paula. Dona Paula is on the mouth of River Zuari. So large, that one can easily mistake it for a sea! The place where many of the Bollywood movies are shot like Singham and Murder 3. A viewing point on the cliff offers an excellent view.
We headed for the Fort Aguada, but on the way we went to the Sinquerim beach. The view here is wonderful and it has the water rides same as the famous beaches like Baga and Calanguate, But here the cost is comparatively less.
The Fort Aguada, it is the Portuguese fort now maintained by the archaeological survey of India. It served as a chamber for storing fresh water and also was a guard against the Dutch and the Maratha’s. A scene in the famous Bollywood movie ” Dil Chata Hain ” was shot here. The fort is locked up after 5.30, make sure you reach before it.
The light house is situated near by the Fort Aguada. The view from the top of light house is really incredible, The cool breeze and the sound of waves !! I was completely hypnotized by the beauty that I witnessed. Don’t miss the experience.
Then, the Baga beach (Most popular and crowded beach of North Goa). The main road that connects the Baga and Calanguate beach is lined up with cheap mini mall-style architecture.
Anjuna Beach, just near by the Baga beach. This beach is the most silent beach of north Goa. I felt completely mesmerized by the water here. I witnessed the best sun set and evening of my life, Astonishing beach very silent and peaceful. Don’t miss a walk here. This is the ultimate one, for the people, who love to hear to the sound of waves without any hinderance.
Next day we started for south Goa. The best way to reach there, is to take a Government bus or it will be very expensive by taxi or auto. On reaching there, we rented a two wheeler. Our hotel was near to the Colva beach, Something similar to the Baga beach.
We en routed for the Palolem beach !!! I had included this place in my list after being enamored by its description and pics on google. The way to the beach is lined up both the sides, by trees and hills on either sides, astounding view. The numerous small islands visible from the beach, adorning it.
We took a ride on a boat from here. The helmsman will take you to the butterfly island. This ride was the most thrilling ride of my life, fascinating experience. The moment you reach butterfly beach, it has the high hill on one side and on the other side an incessant sea !! Visit this place in evening to experience its best part.
The Cabo de rama fort is near by. It was dark, when we left from the Palolem so, we missed this place. On the way to Palolem, we went to Mobor beach, a silent one.
For the next day, we planned for the “Dudhsagar Falls ”. It is quite far from south Goa. We started early in morning around 7.30 AM and reached there by 10.30 AM. Falls are not directly accessible. An easy way to reach Dudhsagar is to hire a jeep from Castle Rock or the nearby village, which will guide you through the forests to the falls, Personal vehicles are not allowed here.
It took an hour to reach falls in Jeep, through the forest. The moment I came out from Jeep, the sound of water fall was apparently audible. I could not wait to see the beautiful place, that I had seen only in Pics. Finally after a walk of 15 mins, the fascinating scene, most appealing one, was there in front of my eyes. The water of it was so pure and clear, the feeling of pleasure was unimaginable, when I touched it. Unfortunately, due to my lack of swimming skills, I could not go near the falls. This is the place, that you ought not to miss, if you visit Goa.
The optimal time to visit Goa is in october. Goan’s best attitude of live-and-let-live, is what I admired the most. The places which I will surely recommend are : the Basilica church, Anjuna Beach, The light house, Saraya and the Dudhsagar falls.