This is a very well preserved fort which was built in the 17th Century by the Portuguese. The fort was made as the most important building of the Portuguese colonials and they always wanted to save it against the Dutch and the Maratha rulers. It is in the Candolin area on the Sinquerim Beach. The location of the fort on the banks of the Mandovi River makes it look even more beautiful. The fort covers a large area and almost covers the whole tip land of the Bardez Peninsula. At present there is also a holiday resort built here by the tatas and is a beautiful place to stay for a peaceful vacation. It is also close to the Candolim Beach and the shopping and eating areas around. This was at one time the most important port where most of the ferries and boats landed and left from and thus the name Aguada meaning 'water'.
Known as the 'Queen of Beaches', this is regarded as the most popular tourist destination of Goa. The beach is located at about 15 kilometres from the capital city of Panjim and is in the northern part of Goa. There are also a number of very good holiday resorts out here and this makes the place even more popular. Besides, the Calangute Beach has to offer to its guests and visitors the golden sands, opportunities for water sports, awesome Goan cuisine and some lovely views too. The beach is steep and is thus not very apt for swimming but it can be done still if you do not go far off.
The main Candolim Beach goes along and then takes a turn to form the smaller beach known as the Sinquerim Beach. This is just adjacent to the Taj Vivanta Hotel and Inn which is also the nearest attraction from the Aguada Fort here. One of the most beautiful beaches here, the two main reasons for this being so are that it is not very crowded and secondly the crowd is good here. This is because this beach almost seems to be a private property of the Taj Hotel and so most of the people here are guests at the hotel. There are also massuers who will try to convince you to take their service but you have to keep them away with your own skills. There are food shacks also over here.
The smaller beach situated where the Candolim Beach ends by taking a turn is known as the Sinquerium Beach. This is also the location of the famous Aguada Fort and also the TAJ Vivanta Hotel. The location on the banks of the River Mandovi makes it even more scenic. People who are staying at this hotel find this an all- time favourite and the crowd here mostly include the guests of the TAJ Hotel.
Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi in northern Karnataka, India. It is situated within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city. Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is 353 km from Bangalore. The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings. The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines and some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi tourism has special importance for the Hanuman devotees, as mythical Kishkinda, the monkey kingdom was located here. You can see plenty of motifs and carvings of Hanuman all around the sites of which some are brilliantly colourful.
Kolhapur, in Maharashtra, is a land of temples and regal palaces. The most revered of them is the Mahalaxmi Temple, which has a simple yet fascinating structure. Other temples here are the Temlabai temple, Jyotiba temple and the Bimkhambi Ganesh temple. The Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Museum, which was once the residence of the first Maharaja of the Maratha Empire, is a vivid display of artefacts representing the ancient history of the city. Take a walk through history at the Panhala Fort, which is an imposing fortification believed to have housed Chhatrapati Shivaji himself. Kolhapur is known for its spicy array of Maharashtrian food. Try some of the local delicacies at Padma Guest House, Waman Guest House and Parakh. Being a bustling tourist destination, Kolhapur has a lot to offer when it comes to lodging for all types of budget travellers. Don't forget to take back the local Kolhapuri Chappals, that make for lovely traditional footwear.
A lovely city in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Ratnagiri is a port city surrounded by the beautiful Sahyadri Hills. If this is your first time here, you'll be spoilt for choice. Ganapatipule Beach makes for a great visit and is perfect for a leisurely afternoon. There is a Ganesh temple right next to the beach that is also worth a visit. The Ratnadurg or Bhagwati Fort, which is a beautiful structure constructed in a horseshoe shape, surrounded by the Arabian Sea, is also a beautiful place to check out. Thebaw Palace is another lovely touristy spot where the Burma King Thebaw was imprisoned. The palace is built in Pagoda style and is a must see. Bhatyachi Khadi is where the river meets the sea; the village near this place is Bhatye known as Bhatyachi Khadi. If you're here from March to June, do pick up some juicy Alphonso mangoes that the city is famous for. There are a lot of other scenic cities around Ratnagiri and depending on your mood, you can choose any of the cities to spend your vacations.
Of panoramic views, perennial waterfalls and picturesque landscapes, Mahabaleshwar stands out as the largest and most popular hill station in the Western Ghats. Owing to comfortable temperatures, Mahabaleshwar is thronged by tourists throughout the year, except during the four months of heavy monsoons from June to September. Being the erstwhile summer capital of the Bombay presidency during the British Raj, this place has a lot to offer — spectacular sunrise and sunset viewpoints, popular one-day treks to go on, and boating at the Venna Lake. Additionally, tourists can retrospect history at the centuries-old Pratapgad Fort and savour some toothsome jams and marmalades at the Mapro Garden. One must not miss out on the famous corn patties and strawberry cream when in Mahabaleshwar. Should you visit in March, you will be lucky to witness the gastronomically delightful Strawberry Festival that takes place every year. Plan a weekend getaway to this hill station and you will be impressed.
The seven hills surrounding Satara give this picturesque district its name. Home to the popular Panchgani and Mahableshwar, Satara in Maharashtra is perfect for a rejuvenation holiday. If you are here for a holiday, do visit the scenic Kaas Plateau overlooking the Kaas Lake. Though it is a popular spot, you may be disappointed with the lack of good eating places. It's best to head here after breakfast. Another wonderful tourist spot is the Thoseghar Waterfalls. Located about 25 km from Satara, these lovely waterfalls offer the most stunning views during monsoon. Also the highest waterfall in Maharashtra, Thoseghar should definitely be on your itinerary. If you have more time, then head to the village of Bamnoli, located 50 km away, where you can enjoy boating in the Shivsagar Lake. There are tons of places to visit in Satara district so do choose your destinations in accordance to the kind of holiday you'd like to take.
It was during this time of the month that there was a festival in Canacona town that had a 2 km long procession of people on the road blocking the only highway to Bangalore. Our bus left at 6 PM, and at 1 AM the next day, we were still in Goa, stuck on the highway.My friend and I got out, saw that 12 other buses and other vehicles were stranded on the road with no access to a washroom or restaurant. Someone had allowed the people to let their procession onto the road illegally. Since I had worked previously at RedFM and NDTV, I managed to get the ACP of Goa on the phone. He blabbered something about his superior giving the go-ahead and I gave him a mouthful and a peace of my mind. It was my friend and I who drove the police to move the people out of the way so that the buses could continue.Finally, at around 2:15 AM, we managed to get the buses moving with every driver thanking me along the way. I had verbally yelled at the ACP enough for him to turn off his phone for the entire night. We got onto the bus, told the driver that he needed to drive his best. Because of how tired we were, we dozed off instantly. The next morning at 7 AM, we were miraculously in Bangalore! This is one of those few moments in a lifetime that I am immensely proud of. As a journalist, I felt I'd done my duty. I had even sat in one of the police cars and told them I wouldn't leave until they cleared the road for us. Believe it or not, that's what finally worked!As much as we didn't touch the usual in Goa, it felt complete. I'd spent years looking at beaches in Goa, but never had a chance to explore the underrated. And this time, I did it. It felt absolutely complete. But, a few days after reaching back, I realized that there's a whole lot more I hadn't discovered. And that's something I did on my next trip to Goa, but more on that next time!Here's a short compilation of one of my trips to Goa! Please like, share, and subscribe!