Goa is dream destination for most of the Indians. I decided to visit the smallest state of India on my honeymoon. It was purely for relaxing and unwinding after having a long and stressful Indian marriage. I had heard so much about it, that I just wanted to enjoy it as an experience. I was in for a surprise.
Sunset in Goa
The entire state is a tourist attraction and attracts tourists from all over the world. For ease of exploration, divide the state into north and south goa. North goa is famous for beaches, parties, shopping markets. This is THE destination for the party animals as it hosts some of the most exciting parties. South Goa is more of calm and peacfeul area. You can relax and unwind while enjoying the beautiful beaches and scenic beauty here. We decided to do a bit of both.
Although goa has numerous hotels to stay and villas for rent, me and my husband, being the hard core rock and roll fans decided to stay at Hard rock hotel. Even though goa has a rocking nightlife, the hotel hosts private parties, events and shows for the guests. We would wake up to rock music every morning. We attended one or the other event every night in the hotel and the hotel made our stay more memorable. The easiest and best way of transport in goa is by bikes. You can rent a bike or a car and set out to explore Goa in your own way.
Some of the popular beaches in goa are baga beach, vagator beach, anjuna beach, chapora beach, colva beach, palolem beach, Agonda beach and Bogmalo beach, butterfly beach. I found Sinquerim beach and candolim beach to be the best beaches by far. Both the beaches have clear water, lesser crowd and a fantastic view. You can try several water sports like water skiing, paragliding, surfing, snorkeling in these beaches. The Aguada fort right next to the Sinquerim beach is an awesome sunset point. It has Portuguese architecture and has a well preserved lighthouse which is a tourist attraction. The restaurants along side the beaches have wide variety of delicacies which can be enjoyed along with drinks. There are various resorts like taj vivanta nearby.
View from Aguada Fort
Goa has strong roots in Portuguese culture. The state was a major Portuguese colony and its influence can be seen in their architecture. It is famous for temples, churches and convents. The architecture and history of goa is so rich that it is a part of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. Even though Konkani, Marathi and Portuguese are the most comman languages spokon here one can easily communicate in English and hindi.
View from Chapora fort
Chapora fort dates back to pre-Portuguese era. The fort in itself is in ruins and does not have much architectural beauty. The scenic view although is excellent. It has chapora beach on one side and vagator beach on the other side. The beauty of the beach, the ocean and the nature is captivating in itself. Vagator is a quiet beach and is glorious in itself where as chapora beach has black soil and isn’t as clean or quiet as the vagator beach.
Basilica of BOM JESUS
Relics of St. Francis Xavier
During our stay we started our day by exploring Goa during the day time and would wind up at beaches in the evening. One of my favorites heritage site is the Basilica of BOM JESUS. It is one of the oldest churches of Goa and India. It is very beautiful and famous for placement of the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is huge tourist destination. St. Xavier was believed to possess miraculous healing powers. It is said that his body is still in the same condition as it was when he was buried. It is kept open for public display once every ten years.
Dudh sagar is another one of the famous destination spot of Goa. It is one of India’s tallest waterfalls and has a beauty of its own. The easiest way to travel is through a thick forest using the cab service provided by the locals. The rail road to the waterfall has been closed by the government. The journey to dudhsagar was more memorable than the actual waterfall. The biggest drawback was the unavailability of clean restrooms and scarcity of drinking water in the entire area. A classic liquor of goa called Feni is sold be locals here [we bought a cashew feni]. It is expensive but at the same time it is said that it cure ailments. It is normally mixed with ice.
The food in goa mimics the lifestyle here and hence different types of cuisines are available here. Goa is fun as well as culturally rich place. As it is influenced by western culture to a high degree you will find that both Indian and western festivals are celebrated here with the same zeal. And if you feel lucky you can even try your luck at the local casinos. The nightlife and parties are out of the world. It is the most preferred destination for New Year celebration across the country. Goa is a mixture of fun and culture. And the most beautiful part of the trip to goa is it always makes you crave for more.