GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações

Tripoto
21st Jan 2020
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

The endless trip plans for a place, starting from the college days till it becomes successful, it's no less than a Trip to Goa. Ever thought of waking up with chirps of birds and some hymns and music from early morning Church prayers? Cherishing the Portuguese culture and delicacy of spicy Goan food... the gasping madness of having there-is-no-tomorrow happened with the trip. The evoking admiration throughout the drive in Goa, is far exceptional. With zero pollution and less traffic, this place is a must visit every year.

Day 1

We had our evening flight and reached Dabolim Airport, Goa at 9 PM. We had booked a cab from Airport to the hotel (in Siolim). We booked a hotel (mentioned below) from where the nearest and famous beaches are not too far.

Here, people speak in English, Konkani and Portuguese. And while we were on our way to hotel, we saw the amazing view of Mandovi Bridge!

Mandovi Bridge, Goa

Photo of Mandovi Bridge, Alto Porvorim, Penha de França, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The hotel was about 1 hr from the airport. Time flew amidst the smooth drive to our hotel whilst enjoying pleasant weather and watching spectacular Portuguese houses. We were chauffeured to our hotel by our cab driver where we reached at 11 PM. The rooms provided to us were very spacious and wood-paneled ceiling. We really had an amazing stay in North Goa.

The front view of Hotel

Photo of Villa de Goa, Marra, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The hotel entrance

Photo of Villa de Goa, Marra, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The spacious room

Photo of Villa de Goa, Marra, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Our stay was near to St. Anthony's Church.

Photo of Villa de Goa, Marra, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Villa de Goa, Marra, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Like always dream off the night sky, the peaceful ambiance, I was in complete awe of this new place. I could just inhale all the good, fresh air around till I dose off.

Day 2

Next day...

The early morning church bells sound woke me up around 6.30 AM, and I pulled myself for the beautiful view from my room towards greenery, fresh air, no noise and air pollution...

Check out the early morning view...

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Lawn

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

The eating area

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

At around 8.30, we had our breakfast where we discussed about rental bikes for the coming days. It's quite easy to rent bikes/scooty here. At 10.30 AM we left for the day.

Breakfast...day 1

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Breakfast...day 2

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Breakfast...day 3

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Few Important points before you drive in Goa -

1. Bike/Scooty rent vary in North Goa and South Goa. In North, scooty rent/day - 350Rs. South scooty rent/day - 400Rs.

2. There is barely any traffic lights / reflectors and sign-boards, so make sure of the vehicle's headlights before renting. See the pictures below to get a better idea when you need to drive though the roads of Goa.

3. Helmets are as important as your Driving License. Police is strict with wearing helmets, else you would be fined. Helmet is necessary for the driver, not for the person sitting backside (on scooty/bike).

4. You need to use the google maps all the time to find your way from one destination to another. Direction boards are not available almost the whole Goa, except Panjim.

5. Better to leave for the day with a heavy 'Brunch - Breakfast + Lunch' because all road-side and accessible restaurants / cafes / shops, etc are closed from 2.00 PM IST - 4.00 PM IST. The reason behind is people in Goa believe in afternoon naps and they restart everything after 4.00 PM.

On our way to beach we experienced boulevard everywhere. The paved roads, tree-shaded rural drive to Vagator, was amazing! It took us around 20 minutes to reach Vagator which is quite, calm and less crowded beach.

Beautiful boulevard everywhere...

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Vagator view from the roadside

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Less crowded Vagator Beach

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

The rocky pavement of Anjuna beach

Photo of Anjuna Beach, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia

Anjuna (and Baga too) is very crowded and one of the most visited beach for water sport activity. These activities fare sheet is given below -

We had our Speed-boat ride, which would cover 6 points.

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Beach side shacks and restaurants serving vivid culinary cuisines

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

There are a number of restaurants, increasingly catering to both Western and Indian tourists. Some of these are only open in the tourist season. These restaurants are open all the time. Also, there are beach-side resorts were people can relax the whole time enjoying sunrise and sunset with an experience to beach access anytime.

Resorts and Cottages are designed in this way. You can relax and experience better quality time.

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Note : Washrooms are too stinky and avoid going to public washrooms. Instead use the restaurant washrooms, which are better than the public ones.

Then we headed towards Baga, which is around 15 minutes far from Anjuna. After a hour long-late afternoon lunch by the beach-side restaurant, we had our first moment of sunset... The charismatic view sun when it is exactly at the point to meet the sky...and the sun shade flows though the sea water waves...

The sun, where it's about to touch the sea...

Photo of Baga Beach, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia

By evening, the shacks are modified to candle-lit dining.

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

And the much awaited sunset

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

After sunset, we headed towards our hotel. Had some mouth-watering chicken dish at a roadside restaurant after where we went to our home-stay to gear ourselves up for another unfolding day.

Driving through Anjuna flea market.

Photo of Anjuna Flea Market, Gumal Vaddo, Anjuna, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Day 3

Way to Old Goa

Photo of Panjim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The day we planned to visit the ancient-Portuguese-structured picturesque city - Panjim, or Panaji. The city has terraced hills, concrete buildings with balconies and red-tiled roofs, churches, and a riverside promenade. Do you know, Panjim has been selected as one of hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission. Check out the famous places I got to visit in Panjim.

The Mandovi Bridge

Photo of Old Goa Road, Goa Velha, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The Old Goa Church is as mesmerizing as the fact known! The church possesses the exotic Portuguese structural designs. The Basilica is open every day of the year.

P.S. Avoid wearing beachwear when visiting.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa

Photo of Basilica Of Bom Jesus Church, Manguerial Road, Fort Area, Moti Daman, Daman, Daman and Diu, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Interestingly as the fact says, the body of St. Xavier is still visible which is kept in a glass coffin. This church is still operational, and if you got to visit here, do join in their morning/evening masses.

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Every year on December 3 they have a feast in St Francis Xavier's honor which is preceded by a 9-day Novena. And once every 10 years, they have an exposition wherein his body is on display in Old Goa and attended by thousands of pilgrims from across the world. The last one was in 2014 so the next exposition will be in 2024. They have a mass in Konkani most days, but do check online for days and timings.

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

The extended area have few galleries, which has the history of the founder of church - St. Francis Xavier.

An open gallery inside Church' campus, displaying birth of Jesus Christ in a stable

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

To reach the colonial Portuguese Baroque style church, Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception Church, you have to climb 78 stairs. It has an ancient bell, derived from the Augustinian ruins of the ‘Church of Our Lady of Grace’. It is considered to be the second-largest bell tower of its kind in Goa and the first place is the bell tower named ‘Golden Bell’ located in the ‘Se Cathedral‘.

Masses are conducted every day in English, Konkani, and Portuguese.

Photo of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Rua Emídio Garcia, Altinho, Panaji, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Although this church is a must-visit during the day, but the most pilgrims believe in seeing its beauty at night when this white building, painted white is adorned with light!

The Church looks amazing at Night!

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

We had hunger pangs for the famous delicacy of Goan food so, we checked out this amazing restaurant.

The platter consists of rice, papad, prawn curry, fish fry, clam curry (basically sea shells curry), dal, kokum drink (a bit sour taste), and payasam (kheer). Also, chicken xacuti and chicken vindaloo (both are bit spicy) are famous among Goan food.

The Goan-thali...

Photo of Ritz Classic Panjim, 18th June Road, Ozari, Panaji, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The famous 'Cocum' drink

Photo of Ritz Classic Panjim, 18th June Road, Ozari, Panaji, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The next destination we had, to visit Dona Paula beach. Interestingly, the bollywood films like Golmaal, Singham and few more have been shot here.

Dona Paula View Point

Photo of Dona Paula View Point, Dona Paula Jetty, Road, Dona Paula, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Unfortunately, during that time due to some construction process, the public couldn't access the beach.

Next... Aguada Fort. Aguada fort has quite an interesting history. Check out the link for the details - https://itsgoa.com/fort-aguada/. It was used as a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time, back in 1600's.

PS : The Fort is open for visitors everyday. The last timing to enter the premises is 5.00 PM. It closes at 6.00 PM.

History of Aguada Fort

Photo of Aguada Fort, Fort Aguada Road, Aguada Fort Area, Candolim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

People visit here to experience beautiful sunset view.

Photo of Aguada Fort Area, Candolim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The Aguada Beach view from the fort.

Photo of Aguada Fort Area, Candolim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

On our way back to the hotel...

We started our day with some relaxation on beach, exploring new dishes and drinks. We reached Arambol around 11AM.

Please do explore the Goa special wine - Port Wine.

Photo of Big Daddy Jetty| Casino in Goa, Captain of Ports Jetty, Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Patto Colony, Panaji, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Cheers for another day!

Photo of Big Daddy Jetty| Casino in Goa, Captain of Ports Jetty, Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Patto Colony, Panaji, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Day 4

The day started off with some relaxation on beach. Do try the famous wine - Port wine. We relaxed till late afternoon hours enjoying the flamboyant beach waves, little kids playing with sand, and couples enjoying the sunny afternoon sea-bath...

Relaxation starts with Port Wine

Photo of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia

Arambol Beach is also famous for the sweet water lagoon or lake. It is accessible only on foot and its shallow waters are wonderfully calm to swim in. The sand here is also known to have healing properties.

The sweet water lagoon-Arambol Lake

Photo of Arambol Sweet Water Lake, Paliyem, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Arambol Sweet Water Lake, Paliyem, Goa by Arundhati Bhunia

Lunch @Random Restaurant...

We had to satisfy our hunger pangs with some spicy Goan food, so we stopped by a random road-side cafe. Here, cafes are well decorated and quite fancy. Soothing music and cool breeze with delicious food - all mixed well.

The front view of cafe

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

We had to satisfy our hunger pangs with some spicy Goan food, so we stopped by a random road-side cafe. Here, cafes are well decorated and quite fancy. Soothing music and cool breeze with delicious food - all mixed well.

Inside view. Mostly cafes are this fancy and cute

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

We had a long discussion-filled-lunch till the time awake us for the Night!

The last night in North Goa was one my favorite, as we thought of exploring the beach-side dining experience in one the famous night-life beach. Although all the beaches are open for bar-and-restaurant services till late night, but few places are beyond words...

As I entered the place, the dim-lights decorated open-restaurant amused me with the kind of mushy-fanciful-serene ambiance where diners can enjoy live music by an European... We grabbed a table nearby to beach waves. Couples adoring a quality time, families cheering up for a delightful holiday with little kids playing all around, friends celebrating another bachelorette night, and the groovy night with sounds of waves behind... all admires the time spent.

At Tomatos, a lady singing and playing guitar

Photo of Tomatos, Morjim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Tomatos, Morjim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

We grabbed a bottle of bear and walked towards the sea. The cool weather at night, little alcohol hit with the sounds of sea waves and the romantic song behind, gave us chills quite often. We enjoyed till late until we really felt to gear up for next day.

Beach-side dining

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

The table for us

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Day 5

Heading for South Goa, we made a 2-day plan to cherish this part too.

The day started with shifting from North to South which is basically a 2 hr long road-journey. On our way we had the advantage to visit The Chapora Fort. Other than reviving locations of bollywood film shooting of Dil Chahta Hai, this fort is completely crumbled. Broken footpaths and stairs, Chapora has ruins of the past ruler of Bardez, Goa though Chapora falls under North Goa.

Chapora Fort entrance

Photo of Chapora Fort, Chapora, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

The ruins of the Church dedicated to St. Anthony

Photo of Chapora Fort, Chapora, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Inside the fort, the church, once dedicated to St. Anthony, has disappeared and inside only a few signs exist of the barracks and housing that once filled this vast area. The wide expanse of open space is only a tumble of stones, where a few herds of goats graze and cashew bushes grow. A natural valley to the beach protected by rocky promontories provides an excellent natural access to the sea.

Sea View from Chapora

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

If you visit Goa, do plan to explore South! Its mesmerizing, soothing, calm and has more foreign tourists. The South Goa is known for peace. It is basically less crowded compared to North. People tend to stay towards North for Goa party life, but the real tranquility is in South.

We checked-in to the Hotel, which was good enough for all types of stay-Couple friendly, friends, family...

The room allotted

Photo of Treehouse Silken Sands Resort, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Photo of Treehouse Silken Sands Resort, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Outside (front)view from the room

Photo of Treehouse Silken Sands Resort, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Back-view of the hotel

Photo of Treehouse Silken Sands Resort, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

Visitors have access to pool

Photo of Treehouse Silken Sands Resort, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

After having some rest, we drove for Agonda Beach. Towards Agonda, you will experience bunch of cliffs and mountainous elevations and the lush greenery all the way will blow senses and won't stop the admiration of South Goa grace.

Watching the last sunset in Goa @Agonda

Photo of Agonda, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia

PS : You need to use the google map all the time and make sure you have offline map so that you don't loose direction in case network is weak. Also, there is too much network issues in South Goa.

We enjoyed till the twilight, and returned back to hotel through the lush greenery lane through ridge which felt too scary after sunset. Since there is no light on the way down to Benaulim (where our hotel was), it's more of scary because of mountainous roads although the roads are paved and well maintained.

PS : There is no traffic lights or any reflectors, so make sure of the vehicle's headlights before renting.

On reaching hotel, we relaxed with few bottles of beer and some exotic Chicken dish.

The last night cheers!

Photo of Benaulim Beach Road, Pulvaddo, Benaulim, Goa, India by Arundhati Bhunia
Day 6

The day was our "pool-day".

We relaxed in the pool with the memories poised in those last few days, till the clock alarmed us for the return from Goa.

My way of relaxing (*wink)

Photo of GOA - imarcescível viagem recordações by Arundhati Bhunia

Since it was my first visit, I felt so amazing exploring Goa, and I must say the trip was worth every expense. People reading out the blog, do let me know if you have any queries...

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