Trips and Itineraries for South Goa
Top Places To Visit in South Goa 352 Spots
It is beach located in Canacona, Goa and is quite untouched by tourists, it is inhabited by foreign tourists and local fishermen and is about 1.60kms in length and was also showcased in the movie The Bourne Supremacy.
Silent Noise is an amazing night out spot on Palolem Beach. Blips of red, green and blue bob about like excited fireflies amid the rocky tumble of boulders as party animals beat the 10pm noise ban with a pair of headphones. ‘India’s original headphone party’ makes for an electrifying night of electronic and alternative music with high-tension performances involving fire and trapeze artists. It looks strange as DJs mix at the three turn tables and the 600-strong crowd dances along in the surrounding silence – the beads of coloured LEDs on their headphones matching the channel they’re listening to. The experience is definitely a memory to keep revisiting.
Justifiably tagged as the ‘ Paradise Beach', Palolem is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Goa. Because the beach is not extravagant in terms of size, it is easy to explore on foot. However, mopeds and bicycles are available for hire on the main street. It offers both relaxation and adventure. Palolem also has a market just behind the beach that sells jewelry, clothes, and souvenirs. For my entire south Goa trip, I stayed at The Fern Gardenia Resort at Palolem Beach.
Almost towards the southernmost tip of Goa. This is probably one of the most scenic beaches in India. Palolem has got quite a few shacks around on the beach which is really narrow with the sea coming upto the shacks. There are shack accommodations available (incase people want to stay right ON the beach). This is probably the only beach in Goa that offers kayaking experience. Later in the evening, when the sun is down and it is dark, the candle lights in the shacks and the soothing music, the sound of the waves splashing and the totally inexpensive beer - makes it a traveller's paradise.
Go-to Place: Sun Beach Residency Resort. After 2 days at Gokarna, I switched to an impromptu plan made to Goa. The Madgaon Passenger Express takes you to Canacona station in an hour and costs about 40/- INR only! Warm and friendly owners and very resourceful in terms of making the stay comfortable and providing options to meet a customer's needs. My off season travel gave me the advantage to stay at 1/6th the price of a season time here. I paid 1000/- per day and the rooms are very comfortable and clean. A property just about 400 mtrs away from Palolem beach, toward the southern tip almost closing into Neptune Point, Goa. The owners helped me rent a bike and made me feel secure. They'd even arrange for bicycles on rent, autos for fares etc.
Unarguably Palolem is one of the least crowded beaches in Goa. The beach is clean and pretty picturesque thanks to little hills on either side of the beach. The golden sands, tranquil water, happening shacks, jet-ski and the local goan market in the short distance makes it the best beach to spend some pretty awesome time with your partner without much of the noise.
Right next to the Basilica, is the World Wax Museum. The statues of different personalities and cultures depict the diversity in India. Grab a quick bite at any of the place nearby start riding south. Next Stop – Palolem Beach in South Goa. By 4 PM, you should be in Palolem. Sort out accommodation. Palolem is a good place to stay. One can find a decent accommodation within Rs 1000/-. Relax for sometime. Visit the beach at the time of sunset. Palolem beach is famous for its nightlife and parties. The beach featured as the Goa Residence of Matt Damon (Jason Bourne) in the 2004 film The Bourne Supremacy. If you want to spend some time partying, Palolem is the place to be. One can party at the Silent Noise which provides headphones to each partying individual so as to cut the noise disturbing locals after 10 PM. The party goes on for hours under the twinkling stars and moonlight. Enjoy the beach for the night and do not forget to take a good sleep before we start the next day which is going to be hectic.
The next day was our last in Goa. Thus we decided to spend the whole day on Palolem, just to soak in the feeling of satisfaction, for one last time. Soon it was sunset and after having a game of football with the local kids, I walked down the beach admiring the golden glow of the setting sun. A fisherman approached me, identified himself as Guru and asked me whether I would have a backwater ride. To my surprise the backwater ride in Palolem turned out to be amazing. The backwater gives you a clear view of the cliff over the beach and you could also witness seagull and eagle feedings. From Guru I learned the daily chores of fishermen and how they struggle each day to meet their ends. I bid farewell to Guru, and stood enthralled watching the sunset over the horizon. I promised myself that I will visit Goa again.
I have a beautiful relationship with South Goa and Palolem is my muse. I visit her almost thrice a year. Well, let me correct myself, I visit Palolem thrice in 6 months coz it's seasonal - mind you, t's active only from October/November to March.
The beach is a paradise in the evening. Small lanterns lit on the tables with relaxing chairs in front of the cafes and shacks make the perfect mood for having a drink , listening to light music and talking to people around you. Dont worry if you are alone, you will definitely get a company. Everyone at palolem is so cheerful and happy. Unlike other places in Goa , tourists here love to interact because the population is so less and everyone wants to meet new people.
The planning for the Goa trip occurred accidentally. Three friends discussing about busy work life over tea, suddenly comes up with planning a much needed vacation. Within five minutes the plan was fixed and we were scheduled to leave next month. On 11th of August we reached Dabolim airport around 8.00 pm, and in a hurry booked a taxi to Palolem, south Goa. We reached Palolem beach around 10 pm. As soon as I stepped into the beach, I felt a feeling of satisfaction. After a short walk down the beach amidst complete silence,we checked in Cupid's Castle dropped our bags and headed to the beach for dinner. It was a tiring day and we dozed off.The next morning I woke up early, and took a stroll along the beach. The waves lapping on the shore, the strong breeze, birds chirping together seemed to play a tune of their own. Far from the madding city crowd I stood on a place so calm and tranquil. The fishing boats were visible in the distance returning with their catch.
The hotel is almost one hour plus drive away from the airport. But the drive is simply beautiful with greenery throughout. The roads are smooth with no potholes (such a relief after incessant travel on Mumbai roads). Our package included pick up and drop. They had provided refreshments (water and juice) in the car. They have hit bulls eye on the location front. Spread across acres of lush green lands, it immediately refreshes you. They have their own private beach (about 1 km stretch). Palolem beach is 3 kms drive away. Definitely, they deserve extra brownie points just for the location.Rooms:They offer private villas, sea-view room and garden view rooms. We booked the garden view room. The view we got was not just of the maze garden but the pool too. We could also hear the sound of the sea in the balcony. The rooms are spacious and well lit. The décor is decent. The only drawback was our room was very far from the reception area.Activities:There is table tennis, squash, pool, badminton, carom, kid’s activities area, ATV ride, salsa classes, steam room, Jacuzzi, gym, salon. Actually they have a book of 101 things to do in the resort. Some activities are charged (salsa one-hour session for 500 rs) and others are free. Few water activities were closed due to monsoon. Yet, 2.5 days were not enough to enjoy all of it.Spa:The Rejuve Spa is one of the best spas I visited. The rates are definitely as per the five-star status of the resort. Our package offered 500 rs on any therapy. I chose reflexology which they offer only for 30 mins, but on request and 500 rs extra they made it for 45 mins. We got an excellent spa done in 3k .The ginger tea they provide after the spa is simply wow.Food and Beverages:Our package included all 3 meals in Canacona restaurant. The buffet spread for lunch and dinner is not great neither is the taste. However, the manager Sagar asked us what would we like from the kitchen every time and served us the same. Surprisingly, the food he got from the kitchen was delicious. The breakfast buffet spread is good and the taste is way better than the lunch n dinner. They boast of using ingredients grown in their own farm. One of the nights, there was a live performance.Veri Feni Bar: The sports bar with karaoke. We were the only ones there and so the music was just about ok.Golf: One of the main reason I chose this resort was because of the golf course it has. I have never played golf before and wanted to try it. They have 1 hour session for beginners (50 balls and 1 game) for 1300 Rs(inclusive of taxes).Must must do. They teach well too considering my husband played some lovely shots. As for me, I faired quite ok. It was raining and they don’t generally play during rains. On our request they agreed to teach us. And our session went past 1 hour .Max brownie points just for the golfStaff: Bunch of amazing, courteous people. Our guest relation manager, the concierge manager, activities manager, restaurant manager, spa therapist. They helped us in every way possible. Extra brownie points for the well-mannered and trained staff.What we saw in Goa:Since we had half day Goa tour included, I coaxed my husband to venture out a bit. We covered only 2 places both recommended by the concierge manager
Day 1 - I started my morning, strolling at the Palolem Beach situated in Canacona a city in southern Goa. Since this beach is unexplored one can see very few people unlike the North Goa beaches which are always bustling with tourists and numerous shacks.The most beautiful morning I had ever witnessed!As the day progressed the shacks opened up making the beach a little lively still less crowded.My breakfast for the day was the Goan specialty called Ros Omelette a delicious egg omelette drowned in a rich chicken curry served with Pav (Indian bread). A must try delicacy of Goa known as its best street food and the most recommended place would be at the main gate of the Palolem Beach.The best mode of transport here is Bikes, you can either rent a bike or if you don’t know to ride a bike you can hire a Pilot Bike who can take you to your desired destination at minimal cost on a bike, the safest and easiest way to roam through the narrow lanes of southern Goa village. I spent a lovely day at the local market of Palolem and then took a bus from Palolem to Chaudi.
After spending some time there, I went to 2-3 nearby beaches as well before embarking on the most awaited destination - Palolem!Now when you plan a Goa trip, the most important decision you've to make is - South Goa or North Goa. Each has its own pros and cons and finally we zeroed in on going to Palolem after plenty of discussions. They had told me about Palolem being a wonderful beach but no one told me that the Road to it would be equally exciting! Palolem lies in Canacona region of South Goa and is around 70 kms from Madgaon. Our actual Road Trip began here and the amazing voyage is still etched in my mind as if it happened yesterday! A highway with magnificent coconut trees on both sides followed by some small turns and roads in between with a puddle of water and a cool breeze constantly blowing. Ah! Delightful! One thing to keep in mind though is that on the highway, helmets are compulsory otherwise the Goan police would issue a fine.
Now when you plan a Goa trip, the most important decision you've to make is - South Goa or North Goa. Each has its own pros and cons and finally we zeroed in on going to Palolem after plenty of discussions. They had told me about Palolem being a wonderful beach but no one told me that the Road to it would be equally exciting! Palolem lies in Canacona region of South Goa and is around 70 kms from Madgaon. Our actual Road Trip began here and the amazing voyage is still etched in my mind as if it happened yesterday! A highway with magnificent coconut trees on both sides followed by some small turns and roads in between with a puddle of water and a cool breeze constantly blowing. Ah! Delightful! One thing to keep in mind though is that on the highway, helmets are compulsory otherwise the Goan police would issue a fine.
You will have to wait for bus to arrive , but as I have mentioned that between money and time that day , I had no money and a lot of time ! Tip : the buses are those mini buses . If they do not stop , use a hand to hail them . They usually do not stop at the point themselves. So from the main bus stop I was lucky to quickly find a bus to Palolem beach directly (Rs. 30). You may have to take one to Canacona and take an auto from there to the beach (Rs 30 - 50). I decided to sleep through the 'most amazingly beautiful' way . So when I reached Palolem and opened my eyes. My Reaction was 'OMG' ! Where am I ? I mean no one told me Palolem was supposed to this beautiful . I mean good holiday spot YES. Amazing village in a corner of goa where you wan to get lost and never go back to the reality !!!After the bus drops you. Everyone goes to the beach through way 1. If you want to live cheaper , take way 2 . There is a small , non commercialized village side walk upto a turning point (do not turn right) . There ask some one for the way to the beach, they will guide you through the huts and cows and hens and cats and pigs. You will arrive at Dreamcatcher . Now this is a great place to live . A 'Gerad' offered me a room for Rs 800 (common bath) . I still wanted inexpensive one , so moved further into the zig zag what they kept calling 'towards the beach' (By the way it was good for the Christmas time !). So anyhow I finally took a hut (Rs 500 for 22 and 23 Dec each ) at a place called Sai Ganesh . It was not directly on the beach , but just 20 steps away and definitely one of the cheapest at the time on the beach (and here I talk only about palolem , not patnem, its 'sister' beach). So took the place.These were just four huts. The owners were very nice people (the female's name was Wish) and also had a utility shop at the beach. They were very warm and nice people. The man talked about the life when he was just a fisherman, when having the fish he and his father had caught was the biggest pleasure in life ! Now , yes he was earning good , but the beautiful simple life was lost. You could feel from his talking How he longed for that true and un-superficial life.Ya but the cons were , not very effectively working bathrooms (Jugaad it was !) , no doors at the bahtroom too. But this was enough to make me irritated !Anyways the beach was beautiful . And I was seeing waves after a looooong time. I observed How the waves are made ... had never done it before. Thanx for making me observe . So when rupu decided to reach the other day ,(BTW She liked the hut and loved loved the beach !) Now these few days before the Christmas Palolem was appropriately populated. Just the right amount of crowd. Have dinner at those candle lit tables,outside the shacks, facing the beach.
So in search of a new place to live, we hired a 'dio' and went off. We looked in palolem and we did find some options but by the time I really wanted to go to patnem, a smaller beach to the south of palolem. We found a good cheap accommodation here. A house right on the beach, amid the tourist huts.It was owned by a lady called Vineeta. It had a nice small room, attached kitchen, with utensils and a burner to cook on AND a porch to sit and ponder :) (So much for just Rs 550 during christmas).The lady was very nice and on asking once about the home made fish curry, made it for rupu for two days (I am a vegetarian). Now the cons of the place. The rooms are not separated from the main house i.e. these rooms are a part of big house where the rest of Vineeta's family lives. So you can hear them talk clearly and you might be afraid that you are too loud . Thats it , otherwise I loved the place. (and it had concrete unshared bathroom!).
Please, Please, i beg you do not miss out on South Goa, especially the beaches i have mentioned. Palolem beach is a very clean beach, full of ferries, and cheap shacks and beautiful cottages and the gateway to the hidden butterfly beach. You don't find many Indian tourists or travelers in South Goa as it is less explored and known among Indian people. The beach is filled with foreigners and the local people. The people are really chilled out and sweet in this part of Goa.Take the god damn ferry to Butterfly island or beach- the price is around 1500 INR for a ferry of 6 people we bargained and got a deal for 1200 INR. He showed us Dolphins, monkey island, honeymoon island and the beautiful butterfly island. The sea here is cleaner than most of the Indian coastline.
This gorgeous beach witnesses one of the most surreal sunsets in Goa. It exemplifies long stretch of white sand coast that is surrounded by lush palm groves. Silent night parties are often hosted on the beach, maintaining its tranquility.
A secluded beach with stretches of white sand rocks, and a few shacks - Polem is the southernmost beach of Goa. It is often a retreat to few migratory birds and dolphins.
Our taxi dropped us off in Palolem after a very rainy ride from Goa airport. The second we'd left the terminal building the heavens had opened and drenched us with a deluge of warm rain. This continued for the entire hour long journey, showing no signs of letting up! We'd pre-booked four nights in Palolem Beach Resort. It probably wasn't necessary to book anywhere, but we didn't want to leave it to chace. It was the end of the Ganesh Festival (Ganesh Chathurthi) and we'd heard on the grapevine that the limited accomodation was getting booked up.. The resort was okay although a little run down, mainly beause of the off season maintenence going on, I think. Everywhere was green and lush and the usual high season throng of tourists was now depleted with just a handful of westerners, outnumbered by a slightly larger number of Indian's visiting to celebrate Ganesh Chathurthi. This meant uncrowded beaches, less traffic and lower prices etc. It also of course meant there was less accomodation and restaurants, but this didn't ruin it for us at all. It turned out to be just what we needed after a very busy few months and hectic three days in Mumbai. We were ready to relax and take it easy for a few days.
The town itself is a typical beach town consisting of a couple of streets filled with stalls and shops selling clothes, handicrafts and other souveniers, along with a few restaurants, a bookshop and a couple of internet cafes. There are also some places you can go for yoga classes or an ayurvedic massage, we didn't partake in these though as it's not really up my street, I don't like being mauled about and don't have the patience for yoga.
One of the most picture-perfect beaches in south Goa, Palolem is where you'll get those great "Goa clicks". Palm trees line the sand and classy timber huts offer food and accommodation. It makes for a great family destination, as the beach is guarded and thus super safe for swimming and kayaking. Many kinds of recreational classes such as yoga and cooking are also held nearby; ask locals for more information.
We reached Palolem around 9.30Pm and the owner of the stay accompanied to the sea view cottage.We have planned a surprise to our friend Dheeraj whose birthday was on next day.I have arranged a cake to our voyager . He was really surprised and never expected as we have never cut a cake since last nine years .You may think what best friends we are, not even cut a single cake since nine years ,may be we feel awkward singing birthday song and feeding a cake because we never used to. But this was the first time a birthday of a voyager and a trip coincide that too in Goa.
After breakfast at Agonda we took an auto to Palolem where we checked into the beach huts that I stay at every time I go there. We went on to the beach for lunch and and spent an idle afternoon taking dips and getting drunk. The evening was spent at the Palolem market shopping for trinkets before heading to the beach for a candlelit dinner and live music.
Located far away from the crowded north, South Goa beaches are serene. Walk by the Palolem beach in the evening to watch the sunset, with a sky full of shades of beautiful pink, and a cold and calm sea
Day 3:The next day we bid adieu to north Goa and rented a cab to head towards Palolem beach.Cabs in Goa are absolutely ruthlessly costly and it costed me as much as 2200 Rs to reach Palolem. Another way to reach Palolem from Candolim is to use local bus of the following route -Candolim-->Panjim-->Madgaon-->Palolem .And what can I say about the beach :) :) .........it's perhaps the best beach in Goa in terms of serenity and beauty.We booked our hotel in Neptune Point beach Resort which is right in the centre of Palolem beach and on the sea coast.The best part about staying at a beach shack is you eat,swim,relax,booze repeat.
Palolem beach is very less crowded compared to the standard north Goa beaches.Hence,the peace, the serenity,blue waters,blue sky...everything is mesmerizing. We had spent last 2 days just at the beach doing swimming,roaming around,boozing,relaxing.The beach is too lazy to motivate you to go out of the beach area.The beach is ideal for kayaking and many people were indulged in that activity.There are plenty of places on the beach where silent parties are held. Unfortunately, due to elections everything was closed.
Palolem Beach, Butterfly beach, Honeymoon beach.We woke up with the sound of beach and opening our eyes we saw infinity view of beach. You will feel like heaven for sure. This is why I am insisting on staying in a sea facing shack. After a small walk along the beach we went to Palolem beach for breakfast. There are may options there but we tried at Carins. It is a good choice for breakfast. After breakfast we sat on a sea shack and then got ready for boat ride to Honeymoon beaach and butterfly beach. This is best for sunset. After this we again went to Agonda beach and had dinner. For dinner you can also try some options at Palolem.
After visiting most of the famous beaches of Goa, and then moving further to Chorla Ghats, we knew we wanted to discover some mystical yet legendary spot. A secluded beach that offered a peep into the wildlife was going to be just the ideal thing, and we decided to leave for Butterfly beach(an undiscovered beach) but when we were about 10 kms away, we got to know that the difficulty in the way would prevent us to get there on time, and hence we decided to visit the Palolem beach which was beautiful too.The beer shop outside the beach just came handy, and the shacks were too peaceful to enjoy the tides hitting the shores.Goa has a whole different world to offer you, if you get there and respect each and every intricate detail of the spot and the local residents along with building a connect that would enable you to explore the best sand and best delicacies of the state. GO AND GET IMMERSED INTO THE BOHEMIAN SPIRIT OF GOA.
2 pm : I left for Palolem beach , out of 50 shacks on that beach, only 2 were open during this monsoon season , leaving me not much choice but to go to either of them , and due to monopoly these shacks will burn a hole in your pocket.But .... you know what made up for this , a beautiful clean beach with only about 20-30 people walking on the shoreline .4 pm : I made my way to the sea , enjoying a clear sky, lovely sea , no crowd , and swaying coconut trees in far distance, I was sure falling in love all over again with this new Goa . But wait, it is India !! suddenly I find 5 young men , trying to follow me wherever I moved to in the sea . Can you believe it ? Not even the sea is safe for women or what ? Well I tried to ignore them , after 30 minutes of them trying hard to get my attention , I decided to head out to complain against them to the life guards , to my surprise as I was heading out the sea, a police man was heading towards me , and without me saying anything he said " Are they disturbing you? " , And i responded "yes" , he said " We were noticing from the life guard booth , that's why I came now " . He immediately asked all 5 perverts to get out of the sea and leave the beach immediately, but he didn't let them go without a good thrashing !!! Later I thanked life-guards and police guy with some chocolates . My faith in Goa Police was restored ! 6 pm - time to head back to the house . Dinner at home ( since not much option to party in Goa in this season ) So tip for party animals : Don't come to Goa in monsoons . Nature lovers , you have to go to Goa during this time . It is as raw and fresh as it can get .Day 2 : I was told about various huge waterfalls in the South Goa region which are on their full roar during monsoon .
At 8:30 pm i happened to check my phone for weather and tides ,and I saw them mentioning a high tide at 10:45 pm . Now that was something I didn't want to miss. So I waited ! By 10 pm I could see the tides rising and covering almost entire beach reaching up to steps of the shack , I knew I was in for a treat . The dogs on the beach were running for a safer higher place , and about 10 of them seated near my spot thinking I might be their Messiah and will rescue you them . Well at 10:45 , as predicted , I saw the highest tide at Palolem beach ever , It washed even the steps of the shack, I knew it was now time to head back before I am left with no walking space back to my car.
It is a waterfall located on the Mandovani river and is one of the tallest waterfalls in India (about 310mts) and is about 60ksm from Panaji and forms the border between Karnataka and Goa and has a rich variety of flora and fauna.
One of the most exquisite waterfalls, the Dudhsagar waterfalls is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa in the Western Ghats. The site is very popular for trekking and hiking, the fall overlooks a steep, crescent-shaped edge of a valley covered with beautiful tropical forest.
Dudhsagar waterfalls- 10/10 on the adventure and the effort to get to this waterfall. We rode about 60km from south to Dudhsagar and once you reach the parking lot, there is still another one hour to reach the waterfall, and for your info, they do not let you take your bike/car, there are guys who are hired to take people on pillions in their bikes towards the waterfall, since there are no roads constructed for vehicles, its almost tarmac/crazy sandy area by the side of the railway track and through the forest. After an hour of riding through the forests, there is another 15 minutes of trekking towards the waterfall. Throughout this journey I was only hoping that the waterfalls better be ‘worth’ all this effort in caps lock. But let me break the ice and tell you that when you finally reach Dudhsagar, you are /walking through/standing on a railway track wherein one side you can see the falls and the other you can see with 100s of locals from Karnataka and Goa. The falls it ain’t that pretty a scene, although from an helicopter shot, the view might be splendid ( If you want to see for yourself, watch the Indian movie ‘Chennai Express’ shot here). If Goa gets too dry for you with only beaches and beaches, this place is a must-go atleast for its adventure. P.S: Make sure you have spaced out an entire day for this waterfall .Drink enough water, cos after you reach the parking lot, you will find refreshments only once you reach the waterfall arena and also you do not want to wait till you reach there to have lunch cos you really don’t want to eat from there. Period!
Dudhsagar falls is situated in Collem National Park i.e.. 24 kms away from Ponda. After reaching Collem, we hired bikes along with the riders that take you to the Dudhsagar Falls. Yes, the same location where the film Chennai Express was shot. The road towards Dudhsagar was rocky, muddy, narrow and slippery but my rider and Yamaha FZ made it safe for me. Also, my past off-road experience helped me a lot. It was a thorough adrenaline rush. The cold breeze brushing past our cheeks; the sky frowning with the dark clouds; the drizzle made the ride more adventurous. The lush green paddy fields, the river bulging with water flowing under the bridge, the wet long winding roads, the beautiful birds, wild insects, frogs and crickets making sounds, seems they were singing a welcome song for the rains. The clouds emerging like a smoke from the mountains seemed so romantic. After seeing the breath-taking view of Dudhsagar Falls, I felt accomplished. The riders were locals who stayed in Collem village. My rider was Jayesh aka Prince Knight (his facebook name). They were innocent, honest people and took utmost care about our safety. They guided us properly through the rough terrain of the sanctuary.
There was a buzz of activity. I made it to the Dudhsagar falls in good time. 15kms in 4 hours! There was a flood of people who had alighted at the Dudhsagar railway station which is just about a kilometer from the falls. It’s usually, preferred by people who want to view the monstrous falls with their families, friends and kids without having to endure the walk from Castle Rock. [ But I do have a general request to the folks visiting the place. It's all great that you go and visit the place but please refrain from polluting the place. Please do understand that it's not a garbage yard that you can throw empty plastic bottles and containers and wrappers there as you go for a nice little picnic. mist sprayed into the atmosphere. The milky white waterfall roared and gushed down the rocky face. The green carpet encompassed the entire falls. And there I stood on the railway tracks made just a few feet away from the lavishing falls. It was majestic. It mighty. It was humongous. It just reminded me of the nature’s beauty and her sheer power. I am out of words at this juncture describing the awe that I experienced as I stood so tiny so powerless in front of the might and glory of the falls. Usually, hikers camp by the falls overnight, before they set out the next day on their return walk. Families walk back to the Dudhsagar Railway station to catch a return train. Hitch-hikers hop onto goods locomotives to carry them to the next closest major railway station. I had chalked out a different set of plans. I stayed put by the falls for an hour before I picked up my soaking boots and bags as I started walking towards the Goan side. A little ahead about half a kilometer into the walk is the view that people talk about when they hear Dudhsagar. Its an incredible view of the fizzing falls taking the plunge at an incredible force into unfathomable depths. If you are lucky you could witness a locomotive dredge slowly along the track with the falls in the background. It was pouring again and I had to cover another 11kms. This part of the trail is a lot quieter, through lesser number of tunnels and lesser number of enterprising walking stretches but the wind blew and the rains poured as I slowly made my way to Sonaulim Railway station. The walk- on the tracks, in the rains had started taking its toll on my calf muscles. Dredging along I made it to Kullem just as the dusk was creeping in. And so I there I was sitting on the bench, waiting for my train to carry me back to Bangalore with thoughts running wild in my head.
The Dudhsagar Waterfalls, located high up on the Mandovi River’s watershed, remain quiet for most part of the year and spring to life during the rainy season. Beholding the gushing water leap from the edge of towering cliffs and cascade down the slippery worn out slope is a sobering experience. If one is lucky one can witness a train crawl on the viaduct framed against the rising spray of water emanating from the waterfall. A camping site sits a few yards from the viaduct; at night the pitter patter of rain and the thudding of the trains are a lullaby to the tired trekkers.
Apart from being a useful mode of transportation the Ghat section of the railway line also harks back to olden times. Buildings in varied states of disrepair are all that remains of the government apparatus that once stood here on the border of British India and Portuguese Goa. Moss and lichen have taken over lonely dilapidated structures along the railway track. The ruins at Castle Rock reminisce the days when weary travelers crossing the border lined up in the offices for immigration checks.
Night stay at the resort after an exhausting trek. The resort has options to stay in tents and rooms. We selected tents. That was a mistake. The tents had very dim lights. No doors to the toilet. The toilet was separated by a curtain from rest of the room. Please for the rooms if you chose to stay here. Food not so great.
We left our bikes at Kadumane and took a jeep to Castlerock railway station and then took a train till Dudhsagar railway station. We trekked to reach the falls which was at its full might. I will recommend you go here only during the monsoon season. We had packed lunch on the sidelines of the railway track with rains giving us company through out.
The multi-tiered Dudhsagar falls are a sight to see and the encompassing forests have this mystical air about them. The 600 metre long waterfall looks more a cascading stream of milk and like a dozen other geographical beauties in India, there are several intriguing legends associated with it. Monsoons are the best time to visit. Swim for as long as you can and make merry!
All trains stop at this now-defunct railway station for a few minutes to prepare for the uphill climb forward. We took this opportunity to get off here along with many other people. There is no platform at this station so we had to jump off from the train. From here we started walking on the railway track. The Doodhsagar waterfall is a 1 km walk from here.
Finally after passing through a few tunnels we saw the first view of the falls. There is a bridge and a viewing platform at the waterfall with water both above and below.
The waterfall is so massive that one cannot get the whole thing in one frame from this bridge. We had to walk another 1 km towards Kulem to get the view of the entire waterfall. We took loads of pictures here and then continued walking on the railway track.
We continued our 12 km trek on the railway track. At some places we wandered off to the adjecent forest and found mini streams, waterfalls and river. We took snack breaks and ate the packed food that we had. Near Caranzol we also found a shop where we had tea and chips and asked for boiled water to have our Cuppa Noodles.
Soon, the morning sun rays moved the fog gently away to give us a clearer view of the falls. Photographs of the waterfalls, do not do justice to the experience of standing in front of Dudhsagar Falls. The spray from the falls drenched me instantly. We were standing on the railway bridge in front of the falls, where the iconic photo of Dudhsagar waterfalls is taken. I could not take my eyes off the falls even for a moment. Monsoon is the best time to visit the falls. The milky white water gushes down the rocks with a terrifying force. The mist that rises up from the falls, creates a rainbow in the shining sun.
Sometimes, life gives us sudden surprises. It depends on how we react to those situations and how calmly we try to handle something which has gone wide of the mark. We can either make the most of it or waste time cribbing and throwing tantrums. Something similar happened when we started for the most awaited trek of the year, “The Dudhsagar Waterfall and Jungle Trek”.
We headed to visit Dudhsagar falls some 54 kms from Benaulim, a place known for a majestic waterfall and a railway route that passes dissecting it, somewhat an abode for the photographers and the insta doers.Word of advice - Looking for breakfast before you head there, advisable have it in your hotel or near your place of stay since not many good joints would fall on the way.The route is equally scenic, wouldn’t disappoint at any moment. You would need to leave your car behind when you are 10kms from the waterfall since then onwards there are other cars and special drivers who take you forward amidst dense forest.Dudhsagar falls, provides you with an avenue where you can take a dip in the water just at the foot of the falls, hence in case interested please do not forget to carry a set of extra clothes.Post our visit there, one of many famous restaurants of Goa i.e. The Martin’s Corner was our next stop. The restaurant is located at Belbatim, Goa (South Goa) and the same boasts of amazing food, live music and some good alcohol.
We trekked to Dudhsagar camp and awaited for the next morning to head towards the spectacular Dudhsagar waterfall. Dudhsagar camp had a stream nearby where all of us went for a refreshing bath and played to our heart's content. Water so fresh and clean that we didn't feel the need for any lotions to soothe our skin.
However, we could see the majestic Dushsagar waterfall in the moonlit night from the train. It was absolutely mesmerizing. It is just not called Dudhsagar (Ocean of Milk). There is a reason behind that. The waterfall really appeared milky white against the backdrop of the full moon light. And it took our breaths away. :)We had our tickets till Kulem so rest of us got down at Kulem station.Now, with Plan A not been able to make the grade, we waited for the unexpected. Shilpa, Sandesh and Sanket were continuously co-ordinating with Manoj and trying to figure out what could be done next. There was not much time left to go backwards because of the distance (14 x 2 kms to and fro). There were many first timers and hence, we could not have completed the trek within the calculated time if started from Kulem.After having tea and coffee, we came up with Plan B. An unexplored Jungle trek to Tamdi Surla Waterfall.That’s it. The best unplanned surprise of life awaited us at a distance of 22 kms from Kulem. (Early morning JUGAADS helped)Vehicles arranged. Engines came to life. We started off to explore the unknown. With monsoon at it’s peak, it was happy green everywhere. We reached Tamdi Surla in 30 mins.The gates of the Mahadev temple were closed. It was supposed to open for public after 8:00. We decided to head towards the waterfall instead.The trek is entirely through a dense forest. Several water streams on the way. Some small and some with strong water current. We could hear the roar of the water from far. The trail was simply breathtaking. We located many colourful mormons and millipedes.Crossing streams, Walking through the dark under the green tunnels, walking on the bamboo bunches spread across. Experiencing the sting of thorny leaves and branches. The thorns penetrating deep into the skin. Blood oozing in attempt of removing the thorns which were too small to locate.
The rail trek is full of stones from the start till the end, So my suggestion would be to wear a good trekking shoe if you are going for this trek. We reached Dudhsagar Waterfalls at around 4:00 PM. It's about 14 KM from Castle Rock to Dudhsagar, but you will never feel tired if the weather is good and It was good for us. After reaching to the waterfall you have to trek around a kilometre to reach the view-point.We continued our trek even after the view-point instead of returning to Dudhsagar. We trekked till the Sonaulim Station and then boarded another train and reached Kulem. That's another interesting story how we boarded the train in Sonaulim. We had booking in Dudhsagar Spa Resort which is around 6 KM from Kulem. Then, we booked a cab from Kulem Station and reached there.It's a nice place to stay. We stayed in tents. Tents were good & well maintained. Food was good, they had a dancing floor as well along with the bar/restaurant. Overall our stay was good at the resort. They had Spa and other activities as well but, with extra charges. We didn't had much time to check them out.
I was not done though. The cherry on the cake was the huge expanse of Dudhsagar waterfalls that I saw from my train to Pune. And a train bogie that had been over turned and slipped from the rail routes decades ago all rusted, where the vines and shrubs had accommodated themselves in the compartments. Adaptability is the key to survival and this was a living example of it. This tour had taught me a lot. I started seeing the urge to live right from the Signature Spider to the Gray Pansy that had just been caught in its web. I started respecting life. As the train speeded through taking me back to the urban life, I was lost in the memories of the past week; silently making a promise to myself. The promise of coming back to this paradise soon! - SUSHRUT KARMARKAR The author is a Mechanical Engg student; An amateur photographer and a nerd in love with nature and wildlife. He is associated with MidEarth as a wildlife expert. All the pictures in this article are clicked by Sushrut Karmarkar.
Trip to Dudhsagar Goa It is said that destiny has its own way of fulfilling our wishes;at the outset we may not findpattern in events but after some time we get to know that there is a plan.Reason to remember this quote because friends have their own way of doing and planning things which we cannot comprehend.same is true for this exciting trip to Dudhsagar Waterfall.We planned this trip with help extensive research done by my friend Mahesh Thombare.We had no idea of what this trek[not actually trek but walk] was,but we agreed to this adventure. So First things first lets get to know about Dudhsagar Waterfall it is located at
Dudhsagar waterfall is one of the highest waterfall in India. It has a total height of 306 meters and a width of 30 meters. The waterfall lies in the southern part of Goa at Mollem, towards the border with Karnataka state. It forms a part of Mandovi river, Goa. Dudhsagar means 'Sea of milk' in konkani(regional language of Goa). It gets this name because when you look at it, it like an overflowing sea of milk.There is an interesting legend attached behind to this name. Here it goes- Once upon a time there was a Princess, daughter of a wealthy and powerful king of western ghats, who used to enjoy bathing at a lake nearby. After bath, it was her habit to drink to drink jugful of sweetened milk. The jug made up of pure gold. One day while enjoying her jug of milk she found herself being watched by a Prince. Embarrassed by her inadequate attire she poured the sweetened milk to from an improvised curtain to hide her body, while one of her maids rushed to cover her with a dress. The sweetened milk cascades down the mountain slope to this day as tribute to the virtue and modesty of the Princess.
Goa’s iconic Dudhsagar falls is in its full glory during the rains which is one of the most amazing monsoon activities in Goa. Its powerful gush becomes almost dizzying! Stand close too close to it could get you completely drenched. You can reach the falls either by train or by road through Panaji or Madgaon. And if your young bones are screaming out for more you could also trek up the falls.Make sure to get a rented scooter to ride in the rains at just 175/-Goa is the first state in India were in one can register car, bike or other vehicle on line from the dealers directly which started in June'06 and one needs not go to R.T.O. for registration.Goa is the only place where one can hire a two wheeler taxi called “pilots”.
• The Dudhsagar Fall :- The Dudhsagar Falls, located in the Mollem National Park is a must-visit during the monsoon when the waters are in full flow• Spice Plantations :- Not something one immediately associates with Goa, but the spice plantations at Savoi-Verem are a popular attraction in the state. The main spices grown here are Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Ginger and Pepper. Recommended highly by the locals, the Savoi Plantations come alive beautifully during the monsoon and this is one of the best times to visit them
“No one will be allowed to go to the falls or alight at the Doodhsagar station. The train will stop only at Kulem (the first station after the waterfall) once it starts from here.“, said the RPF Jawan through the PAS.Access to the Doodhsagar falls has been banned, I learn after some asking around. Even though this meant that my entire trek was now in jeopardy, I was not surprised by this to be honest. With the kind of reckless activities that have been going on in and around the falls since some time now, leading to multiple deaths due to drowning, a ban here was just a matter of time. Sadly.The quaint station of Castlerock hardly sees a handful of people at a time so with hundreds of people at once, the place looked very much out of capacity. Staying there was not something me and my travel-mates wanted to do. Neither did we want to go back, not that there was any option anyway. So we decided to take our chances and began our walk without any further ado.Minutes after we had started it was calm all around. Most of the crowd seemingly did not like the idea of walking for hours and stayed behind, much to our joy. You see, fewer people means you can take-in the beauty around you without the shrieks and shouting of the over-excited ‘tourists’. Very soon walking along the tracks which snaked away into the greenery started calling for more attention. The trails on both sides of the track became narrower as we moved ahead and coupled with the slippery surface, we were just one slip away from falling in the jungle below most of the time.As we trudged along mostly balancing ourselves on the tracks and rarely off it, the rains kept playing hide & seek with us. No sooner had we put-on our rain coats to save us from the unexpected heavy showers, the bright sun would come right up. Then, as soon as the perspired us were done with the painful process of unloading the back-pack, taking-off the rain-wear and putting it back in the bag, the rain gods once again used to smile mischievously. This kept on repeating until we finally decided to walk with our rain coats on, whether it rained or not.Walking through the lush greenery on both sides, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the beauty of the these deep forests. The monsoon clouds kept us company as we walked past numerous milky white streams flowing below the tracks at random intervals.Except for the occasional trains which showed up from one side of the deep forests and got lost in the other in no time, the only things that broke the monotony of our walk were the age-old tunnels and bridges. They always made us excited. Their rustic nature and rickety look was like a glimpse of the olden time and we always spent sometime to take-in their beauty at such places.Crossing the dark tunnels were fun and scary at the same time as well. Even more so, when a train came along while you are just half way through a 200 meter long tunnel. This is what happened to me.I was almost 100 meters or so inside one of the tunnels when I heard the loud blare of a train entering as it entered the tunnel. Not sure about what to do and being sure about the fact that trying to race the train was not a great idea, I decided to turn around facing the wall and stick to it. Standing on whatever narrow space that existed between the wall and the track I waited until the train passed.We were not allowed to walk beyond the nondescript station of Caranzol, a station where hardly any trains stopped. As we re-traced our steps back to Castlerock, I couldn’t help but notice how different the same forests which we crossed just few hours back looked under different colored clouds and even more over-cast sky. A darker shade of green with hovering gray clouds above.This trip was originally published in Rajiv Verma's Travel and Lifestyle Blog on October 29, 2015.
Witness the forces of nature at The Dudhsagar Falls. An interesting fact about India is that some of the most underrated spots here make the best site for exploration. The Dudhsagar Falls attain their greatest might during the monsoon season and it makes for a sight that is sure to amaze you with its beauty.
Dudhsagar Falls:Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the border of the Indian state of Goa and Karnataka.And If you are going from Chennai or Bangalore via train then you will witness some stunning views of the waterfalls from the train itself.If you are attracted to stories then this is a place.There is an old legend that centers around the name of the falls. The tale goes that there was once a princess who was the daughter of the King of the Ghats. This young lady was as modest as she was beautiful and believed in the purity of heart, mind and body. The legend goes on that she used to bathe in the lake near her father's castle every day. After her bath, she and her handmaidens would congregate on the shores of the lake whilst the princess consumed a jug of milk. The jug, it is said was wrought of pure gold and inlaid with sparkling diamonds. One day, as the princess was drinking her milk, a young and handsome prince was making his way through the nearby woods. On hearing the laughter and chatter of the ladies, he stopped to have a look. The princess was much abashed by her scanty bathing attire and her handmaidens poured the milk in a cascade in front of her, thus creating a curtain behind which she could don her clothes. This cascade of milk, which preserved the modesty of the princess, is the namesake of the Dudhsagar falls. You can reach this falls by taking a train from Vasco or Madagon to Dudhsagar station and take a 1km trek to the base of the falls or you can Hire a cab.
Remember that gorgeous waterfall from the film Chennai Express!? Of course you do! It's name is Dudh sagar Waterfall and it is located in the goa state of India.Dudh Sagar Waterfall is one of the highest water falls in India, and among the hundred highest waterfalls in the world. It lies in the southern part of Goa at Mollem, towards the border with Karnataka state. Dudh Sagar, literally means a Sea of Milk in the local Konkanni language, and gets its name as it appears like an overflowing sea of milk. It has a total height of 306 meters and a width of 30 meters. The water fall is at its peak flow during the monsoon months from June to September and wanes out towards the summers from March to june.
The real trek however doesn’t start until you reach Dudhsagar Falls. The waterfall that is usually a thick plunging stream during the tourist season becomes a raging monster and comes true to its name. The waterfall crosses all the boundaries and floods the entire region. It is as scary as hell to complete the final 15 minutes of the trek. They asked me to grab a thin but sturdy steel rope and cross over towards the fall. I was scared to death and almost refused. Imagine if I had refused and wouldn’t have come across this beautiful view.
Can we really make it to the Doodhsagar Waterfall? Even after reading a lot of negative comments on the Internet, me and my cousin Saurabh Mehra (Little Child we call him ;-)) decided to discover this magnificent place (also featured in the popular film Chennai Express) come what may. We took a chance, did some basic research by gathering online information and headed straight to Pune on 24-June-2017, our first pit stop. BOOM!!After reaching Pune at around 10:30 PM, we rushed to buy tickets to Kulem, Goa. Our train was scheduled at 4:30 PM and we decided to utilize our time by wandering in the vicinity of the city. The Beer Lover inside me whispered that Pune has a well-known craft brewery named “Independence Brewery”. Why not utilize the time to drink some fresh craft beer and kickstart our second phase with a colder belly? I had 2-3 varieties, the taste of beer was one of the best I’ve ever had (this type of quality beer I haven’t even come across in Mumbai so far), the ambience was good and after the mild drinking program, some gyaan from the master brewer about brewing, we headed back to the station for the train journey.The train took around 13-14 hrs and reached Kulem at about 6 AM. After enquiring the locals about the route towards the waterfall, they gave us a cold shoulder saying that “Waterfall ka raasta bandh hai, ghar jao”. But, we were determined to go there and some other people in groups also joined us as our destination and route was the same. Then, the walk towards the waterfall for 14 Kms on railway track was started after some hot tea and we enjoyed nature’s beauty, clicked some photographs, witnessed mild rainfall and passed scary tunnels en route, and finally reached a point from where we could clearly see the Doodhsagar Falls in full swing. It was a 3-4-hrs journey.Our first words were: B, yeh dekh. Aaisa lag rahahai k doodh aasmaan se gir raha hai (It seems that milk is flowing straight from the sky).” Our eyes were stunned after our first look and we wanted to see it from close. After walking a few steps, we were stopped by the GRP guards and they forced us to return back and repeatedly kept saying that “Doodhsagar dekhne ka season October se May tak ka hai, tum andar gaye toh 1 person k upar 2,000 ka fine lagega”.We all then started pleading them saying that,Itne door se aaye hain aur itna pass aakar aaplog wapas bhej rahe ho? After some heated argument and promising that we will make both of them happy with a return gift, they allowed us for 15-20 minutes over there, and our risky step got converted into closely seeing the 4th largest waterfalls in India and the 100th largest in the world. We took a lot of pictures out of excitement, thanked the guards and started our journey back to Kulem.…Abhi picture baaki haiWe started to walk back to Kulem station after spending about 15-20 minutes at the falls and to our surprise a goods train stopped to give us lift (this was what we thought). The inspectors inside the train grilled both of us that “Tum fall pe gaye the? Kahaan se aaye ho tum?” We were yelled at by them for waking on the railway track, which is prohibited, and they angrily told us to get down from the train at Sanaulim station. We got down from the left side of the train and as the goods train was too long, we didn’t want to wait for the whole train to pass and we leaned down from one bogie and came to the right side of it. The train started and to our surprise we were called by the same GRP guards stationed at the falls (as they were returning from their duty) and they told us to board the train. We thanked them for allowing us to get in and ran towards the bridge of Kulem station (as soon as it reached) out of fear that the police personnel who yelled at us, was watching us closely and might take some action on us.Then we took a bus to Madgaon (which tested our patience for about an hour) and reached by about 4:15 PM to Madgaon Station. We were surprised to know that reservation counters are closed on Sundays everywhere! So we had to make do with general tickets. We also got shocked that the information regarding Kokan-Kanya train by M-Indicator (mobile app for trains) was incorrect and the train was scheduled to leave Madgaon by 4:45 PM instead of 6 PM (as reported by M-Indicator). We boarded the general compartment and found a seat where we could barely fit in. We reached Thane station by about 5 AM the next day.But ultimately, our trip, with all its inconveniences and hurdles, turned out to be more exciting than we had expected, full of fun and surprises. It was a really beautiful experience and I surely want to visit this majestic waterfall again.Thank you everyone for reading patiently about my experience on this trip. I’ll try to keep posting about my journeys like this one and hope to be of some help to those who are looking to make such trips.Wanderer, Pratik.
Colva is a village in south goa and the beach stretches about for about 2.4kms of white sand and coconut palms, it is a famous tourist destination with budget hotels, shacks, pubs etc. It was a popular getaway for the Portugese when they were in India, this place has alot of migrants from Portugal, Brazil, Angola etc.
As a result of my interaction with the locals I got to know that in the colonial days Colva beach used to be the resting area for Margao's high society, who would visit Colva for their "Mundanca" or change of air. Colva's nightlife is livelier and vibrant than anywhere else in south Goa. The beachfront is a collection of concrete hotels, souvenir stalls and fly blown snack bars strewn around a central roundabout. You can hire jet skis, indulge in beach sports, swimming and sunbathing in the specified zones.
We hit the Colva beach which was empty, no people, no crows, hardly any shacks by the beach except for one. So the first impression when we landed there was quite obnoxious cos of the attitude and service but we dealt with them anyways. As the sunset, the weather and the heat started calming,and music, all pretty much compensated for our dull two-minded entry.
After reaching Dabolim airport, we got our car-on-hire (a yellow-nameplate WagonR) dropped off at the airport. We had booked our hotel/resort at Colva beach, so we started driving and not surprisingly, it was a pleasant drive. Acacia palms resort right on Colva beach is a good option if you are looking for a nice stay, big comfortable room, a nice pool etc. It is ~100m from the main colva beach. Colva beach is a white-sand beach. Not too many shacks. This place is probably the only beach towards the south where you'll find all sorts of water sports. Of course, it doesn't get crowded like Baga or Calangute not is as happening. There are quite a few good eating options available around the beach.
Colva is again one of many very beautiful beaches of South Goa, offers many water sports options and has a good amount of shops and shacks per commercial need. Nice beach to spend a lot of time at, other than the conventional North Goa ones.Our trip, ended with Colva being the last stop the later part just involved returning the car, catching the blood (super) moon and boarding the bus to Mumbai.Hope this helps, let me know what I missed in the comments below..
I decided to explore the nearby beaches by my own.Google Maps started searching and it found Colva Beach which is where my epic journey and love for Goan beaches started!The first thing I observed once I reached there was that it was CLEAN! This may sound bizarre to some but I had visited a few Mumbai beaches (Juhu, Girgaon, Dadar). Every beach in Mumbai has 2 layers. One layer is of the people, and other layer after that is the Garbage which is thrown by the people and after that you'll see the sand followed by water. Thankfully, that wasn't the case here. There was peace which was broken only by the sound of waves.
After reaching Madgaon, the first important thing I did was renting a 2-wheeler which cost me around INR 300 per day.Since my cousin was to arrive a few hours later, I had ample time before we started our holiday. I decided to explore the nearby beaches by my own.Google Maps started searching and it found Colva Beach which is where my epic journey and love for Goan beaches started!The first thing I observed once I reached there was that it was CLEAN! This may sound bizarre to some but I had visited a few Mumbai beaches (Juhu, Girgaon, Dadar). Every beach in Mumbai has 2 layers. One layer is of the people, and other layer after that is the Garbage which is thrown by the people and after that you'll see the sand followed by water. Thankfully, that wasn't the case here. There was peace which was broken only by the sound of waves.After spending some time there, I went to 2-3 nearby beaches as well before embarking on the most awaited destination - Palolem!
One of the best beaches of Goa, this marvelous seafront boasts of romantic evenings, exquisite seafood, and amazing nightlife. Rightly called as The most happening beach in the region, Colva beach is not far from Our Lady of Mercy Church.
#Party BeachAround 3:30 pm I visited here, full of crowd mostly Indians and local.Perfect beach for water sports, make sure everything included in a package and yes bargain exist. many shacks serving seafood displaying their menus and free wi-fi(best thing, you can't survive without check-in).
Now you come back, get onto your bike and head North of Palolem, first being Agonda which is the longest beach in the South. It's as less crowded and peaceful as Palolem where people come and stay in beach huts, practice different art forms, send out sky lanterns in the evening during sunsets and have a good swim.
By the time we left the fort it started to rain heavily, and the journey turned out to be more exciting. We traveled across south Goa, in and around of Palolem and visited Agonda beach, Candolim beach, Turtle beach. The monsoons seemed to magically add to the charm and elegance of the blue and brown contrast of the sea and sand. The greenery and cliffs surrounding the beaches were a much needed treat to my tired eyes and mind.
Our next halt was Agonda Beach situated around 10 kms from Palolem. This is much less popular beach but if you ask me, I thought it was at par in splendor as Palolem. It was equally long and adding to that it was less crowded resulted in it being cleaner and much more peaceful. Also for some reason the waves there looked much bigger. We spent plenty of time there clicking random pictures and overall this beach must be added to the itinerary of a person planning a South Goa trip.
There's always been a debate on whether the mountains are a better vacation spot or the beaches. I can't honestly say which side I'm on. But going to Agonda Beach, Goa, tilted the scales a little to beaches. The day we landed in Goa, the plan was to get a car and head straight to Palolem. The last time I was there, the place seemed pretty peaceful and something that I was looking for. The guy we rented the car from suggested we head down towards Agonda, which is few kms beyond Palolem and we figured, what the heck, let's give this a go. Getting There: Since I'd saved up for this we wanted to be a little extravagant. We booked a car for the week we were there and it was pretty good decision. Reaching the airport, we picked the i20 and, on the suggestion of the car dude, headed straight for Agonda. It's around 45kms away from the airport and you'll cross Mudgaon and Palolem to get there and the way is pretty decent. Took us somewhat an hour or so to get there. Not sure about other modes of travel, but we filled up the tank when we got there and it lasted us till the end of the trip. This included heading all the way to Curlies, North Goa. And, random travelling here and there. Staying There: This was the fun part. We had no idea where we will stay since we didn't make any bookings. Wifey opened up a hotel search website and we started looking around for places. Note that the budget was not really an issue. (Bragging rights – It was the first birthday my wifey was celebrating with me and I had to go all out). We looked around for a few places and finalised on White Sand Beach Resort. Man, was that a good pick! The stay was around 3,500 INR per night but the place was beyond beautiful. Beach houses, super comfortable beds and a shower that left wifey mesmerised – that's actually what made us stay there, she saw the shower and was sold! The staff was nice is an understatement. They made us feel just at home, there was no constant bugging or disturbances. They were there whenever you needed them and can stir up some pretty tasty treats. The funniest thing that happened was that they needed to shift our room due to some confusion and my phone was not reachable. When we came back and were told that the rooms have been shifted, everything was exactly the way it was in our old room. Pretty accurately captured and replicated, I have to say. Food:There are millions of places to eat. Our resort had some pretty food fish curry and some awesome sausage breakfast scenes. We tried a place next to our hotel but didn't really find the food good. Goan sausages – I'm drooling as I'm writing this. Baba's Little Italy had the most amazing Goan Sausage and I hogged on them like a mad man. Wifey, not being too keen about seafood stuck to Italian and other stuff.
Our next halt was Agonda Beach situated around 10 kms from Palolem. This is much less popular beach but if you ask me, I thought it was at par in splendor as Palolem. It was equally long and adding to that it was less crowded resulted in it being cleaner and much more peaceful. Also for some reason the waves there looked much bigger. We spent plenty of time there clicking random pictures and overall this beach must be added to the itinerary of a person planning a South Goa trip.
A secluded beach that is not much hurdled by tourists. Commonly known as one of the best beaches in Goa, Agonda beach offers a peaceful ambiance with calm shore complementing its serene surroundings.
This beach is really very beautiful and very nice crowd is there mostly foreign,You can stay in cottages and enjoy every hour here from sunrise to sunset, you can enjoy horse ride and shutterbugs will just love this place, various shacks inside serving food and booze, ask rate in two to three shacks for beer, card payment available.the street taking you to the beach is full of pubs, open bars and shopping.To enjoy nightlife head to this beach in south Goa.- upvote and more : https://www.tripadvisor.in/members/ghumakkad_bandi
Other nearby beaches are Agonda and Butterfly beach which you can reach by trekking through the beach from Agonda. I really wanted to do this but the weather was just too bad and it would have been dangerous. Word on the street has it though that Butterfly beach is beautiful and well worth the jungle walk, Monkey Island
Agonda Beach isn't as off-the-radar as other beaches in south Goa, but it's popularity (read: crowds) is nowhere close to Baga and Calangute. You'll find all kinds of beach pubs and eateries here. The choppy waves makes the sea a tad uncomfortable for a swim, but the romantic setting makes it lovely for walks and time on the sand. If you're here from October to May, you might even see Olive-Ridley turtles nesting in the sand.
Way to South Goa, Martins Corner, Agonda beach, beach fun, Jardim E Mar Dinner. After breakfast we packed our bags and checked out of hotel and got ready for journey to South Goa. The way from Candolim to South Goa was very beautiful. In mid way we stopped at Sachin Tendulkar’s favourite restaurent Martin’s Corner. On the way to South one can enjoy Miramar beach, Dauna Pola, Colva, Benaulim , Varca beach. But we did not stopped anywhere in between because it was too hot and we also want to sepnd evening at South Goa. For south we decided to stay at Agonda beach. Palolem is also an option but Agonda is more quiter, neater beach then Palolem. After reaching Agonda we got into our sea facing hut. There are numerous options of huts at Agonda – Rama Resort, Jardim E Mar, Jojolapa, saxony beach resort. Where ever you decide to stay but please go for sea facing hut only for maximum experience. Rates for hut starts from Rs 1500-5000 depending upon your choice. A decent hut can be done at Rs 1800-2200. After checking in we relaxed for some time and then around 5 evening changed into our swimwear and jumed into the beach. As our hut was in front only so there was no worry. After beach swim we went straight to our hut and had shower. For dinner we went to Jordim E Mar situated at agonda beach only – amazing food, very quiet, sea facing, candle light extremely romantic. It was far better place than in any part of north goa. We loved our dinner especially jhol momos, aglio olio pasta. Around Midnight we had our tables set outside our huts listening to buzzling sound of sea. We enjoyed there with our drinks and snacks till 3.
Cabo de Rama Fort
Took a ferry, because the bridge the LP said would be finished by 2012, isn't finished.Managed to find the Portuguese fort, Cabo de Rama, without any u-turns! Made of laterite bricks, too, and much more larger though we didn’t linger here long.
Cabo De Rama Fort was built before the Portugese even settled in Goa. It isn't a very large fort and most of it is now in ruins. A small church still stands and I believe they still hold mass there once a week. Even though there isn't too much of the fort left to see, the views from there are spectacular. The fort is a little out of the way and thankfully not very crowded so you will get your peace and quiet. We reached there in time for sunset and after walking for around half an hour, found a perfect spot to watch the sunset. The north-eastern side of the fort is more easily accessible from the entry, but walk around a bit and find the western facing wall. Then enjoy the sunset, because it is beautiful.
1)Caba Da Rama Fort:I wanted to do the Palolem beach, but the manager suggested the fort. And I’m glad I heeded his advice. The view from the fort is simply WOW. The entry to fort is free and it closes by 6 pm. As you come out of the fort, there are fields and in midst of the field you will find a beautiful spot to view the ocean.
Our first destination was Cabo De Rama Fort. The fort once claimed by the Portuguese and witnessed many battles now stand with a rickety structure and rusted canons. The view from the fort was simply breathtaking. The overcast sky and the endless sea with the quietness seemed cast a spell and I was left spellbound.
Cabo-de-rama (3-5pm): We rode down from Madgao further south to Cabo-de-rama via Varca, Carmona and Velin. On my last visit, I found this to be a “must-visit-again” place. Stopped by a small beer shop just before the fort to grab a quick bite and a pint of beer, Gazed at the sea from the top of the fort, an isolated place, very few people turn up here, mainly locals.
Inside the Cabo de Rama Fort, there is the church of Santo Antonio which is in excellent condition and is still used by devotees. The white church and the black fort provide a photographic picture of stark contrast. The fort provides majestic views of the entire length of Colva beach and the Canacona stretch. The view from the ramparts of the fort is truly breathtaking!
After having our lunch at a nearby restaurant, we continued going northwards to a distant Fort Cabo De Rama around 15 kms from Agonda. Again after a pleasant and scenic journey, we reached the Fort. The fort looked like it was built by the Portuguese to keep a watch as the fort compound was pretty small consisting of a small church and a tower. It could have been considered a decent location but once we reached the top of the tower, we were again pleasantly surprised as the view from the top of Cabo de Rama formed another marvelous picture! That view was simply breathtaking which we couldn't find anywhere else in Goa during the whole trip and its difficult to describe that so I'll just post a picture of it below.
After having our lunch at a nearby restaurant, we continued going northwards to a distant Fort Cabo De Rama around 15 kms from Agonda. Again after a pleasant and scenic journey, we reached the Fort. The fort looked like it was built by the Portuguese to keep a watch as the fort compound was pretty small consisting of a small church and a tower. It could have been considered a decent location but once we reached the top of the tower, we were again pleasantly surprised as the view from the top of Cabo de Rama formed another marvelous picture! That view was simply breathtaking which we couldn't find anywhere else in Goa during the whole trip and its difficult to describe that so I'll just post a picture of it below.
The beach consists of about 25kms of the fine powdered white sand and is bounded along its coast by coconut palms that stretch from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south along south Goa's coastline.Its a standard, gorgeous South Goa beach. Sandy beach, life-guard is on duty, there are dangerous rip-tides to watch out for, good clean warm waters, spectacular sunsets, Working fishermen and their boats on the north end of the beach...Plenty of shops around...We reached Colva beach at around 6.00pm..Luckily we could see sun hiding in the ocean..Just like our mind where within couple of hours we gona say goodbye to this lively Goa..We walked a little along the sea side..Our heart was weeping inside..Oh yaar...we are going back from this place..from this city where party never ends...Back to our schedules..Tensions and Stress...We bought some sweets for our friends and family...The shopkeeper told 'Bebinca' is the most famous sweet in Goa..and we all bought 3-4 packets...Finally We reached Madagaon station and waved goodbye to Madagaon and entered the train...After having dinner, we all slept and once we wake up in the morning, we reached Kerala..Once we returned back to our office, many people got inspired by our trip and they all were excited once we told the stories to them..We got many feedbacks from our friends like we really motivate them and proved that 'Nothing is Impossible if we have passion to the thing we do'..If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader..ow...GO...GOA...GONE....Finally, Goa is a flood of memories, of thrills and of images.Even after returning from Goa, I can still taste the salt on my lips... feel the sand between my toes...smell the Goan spices...hear the waves as they crash....see the footprints left behind and know the joy of living....The whisper of the wind...waves that froth as they collapse at your feet...nights under the stars......seashells that carry the sound of the ocean...the glorious colours of light as the sun sets into the sea...the warmth of waters that envelop you...horizons that stretch forever...Come to Goa...and get in touch with yourself again...Feel Lively....In the end..it's not the years in your life that count, Its the life in your years.!Follow Your Dreams...Be Happy..Do Good and Stay Healthy...
Spend an afternoon exploring the Cabo De Rama Fort
Next up is Patnem, a world renowned beach. Hire a bike and start your beach hopping from here. It's a smaller version of Palolem but as beautiful with beach huts and shacks which provide you amazing food.
Prefer isolation? Agonda or Patnem might be the beach for you. With so many things to do and see, you'll be spoilt for choice.In my limited stay I chose to visit the places recommended by my Goan friend. I went to Vagator beach, Chapora Fort, Aguada Fort, Anjuna beach, Arambol beach , Old Goa, Valpoi,Dona Paula and explored the small but vibrant market of Panaji and of course the The Baroque Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church located in the heart of Goa. I was lucky to have a Goan friend guiding me to explore the places guides don't tell you to visit. Everyone rushes to beaches and has a stereotypical image of Goa in their minds. But it is a native dweller of a place that knows the special places apart from the usual attractions where everyone goes invariably.
As the night moves on the tides keep on increasing , the waves get higher and higher . And the same table where the waves were a bit distant at 8 o'clock, by the time you end your dinner the waves are almost splashing on your feet ... No words for it . Two days afterwards on 24th Dec 2010 , the rent increased and we moved to south of Palolem, 'Patnem' , in search of cheaper accommodation and also to evade the increasing tourist (not traveler , mind you !) crowd day by day . Some more facts: - further you move away from beach , cheaper options you have , food and accommodation - a lot of home have per day renting facility, just ask around - The most Northern and the most Southern ends of the beach are comparatively cheaper. We were at the northern most point - Scooty/ Dio rates generally remain Rs 250-300 per day. May be cheaper off season. Petrol is approx Rs 56 per liter - On the southern most point is Patnem . Smaller and quieter and more peaceful . - buy the 5 liter bottle directly . Rs 55 out of which 20 is deposit. Then afterwards you get it refilled from any shop for 35 - Canoe for Rs 250-300 for an hour(northern most end) (trust me you cant do it more than an hour!). Until of course you are some sort of athlete !
13th Feb , the trip from North Goa to South Goa is about 120 km and takes almost 1.5 hours . When you reach there, it's a paradise. It's clean, blue and quiet. You sit with your book, with your partner, listen to Guns n Roses, order some english breakfast and a beer. You can soak in the saline water and then the sun. There are beautiful shades for you to laze and get lots of Vitamin D. Before you realize, the sun is setting and you can just watch the sun go down by the beach.This can go on forever.Hence, as planned we catch the flight from Goa to Mumbai and the trip ends with a bag full of good memories.PS - Brittos and South Goa cannot be missed.centre of Mapusa. good accessibility to the North GoaIt's right on the beach ! Beautifully put up with a good playlist and yum food !
Patnem was quieter, less crowded . I liked it here. This was the kind of place which provokes you to sit on the beach, stare at the horizon, feel how powerful the nature can be, think about how superficial life is and that nothing is forever. You feel like calling up your closed ones and telling that them how much they mean to you. We came in search of cheaper accommodation, we found a lot more. So, what more to do now that you have done all the 'podering over' , right ? Hmmm... this is what we did. We did yoga on the beach, tried some kick boxing, lit candles and ate home cooked maggie :) So ya the Christmas arrives!! The shacks at the beach are lighted up and nice music is in the air. Around this time you find more families than backpackers and friends. They are here to celebrate Christmas! So ya on the day we had a nice candle light dinner at the beach. Saw some really nice fireworks, saw young kids chasing each other,heard an indian family say a small prayer...Pssstttt, on the southern end of Patnem , there is The Intercontinental.Just our luck that a party was going on while we were there !So we decided to sneak in, we kept on following the music and the lights i.e. keep on walking along the beach and the rocks at the end and boom you end up in the private trance party of The Intercontinental. Our luck no one saw us sneaking in , but if they do ... well just say something nice in hindi to the guards, they let you in (a tip from the fellow 'sneaked ins'). Ya so by the time you want to return to your beach, its around midnight, you are exhausted,the beach looks beautiful, waves are all violent, the tide is higher and when you reach the end of the beach ... the way you came by gets sort of disappeared...Oh Higher tides ! Not exactly rocket science ... so had to pass a water passage sort of thing where a person was fishing ! (that WAS very funny even then too). I was like why is he busy fishing at night and WHy doesn't he help us cross this river thing !!!! Anyways then we had to climb the coral rocks at the end, where I could see crabs too, but somehow they were scared of us TOO. So ya reached back safely (just had to let go off my slipper on the way ! You see thats why I sometimes miss a guy traveling with us , at least he could have saved my slipper! rupu can never do this ! Me ? You have to be kidding, If I was so smart why would I let the slipper go ?! ) Ya so Patnem was much more than the cheaper accommodation !
If the much peaceful Palolem beach does not entice you to its tranquility, I'm sure Patnem Beach is where you need to be. An ethereal beach and a much quieter alternative.
Once you've had your fill of beachcombing and pottering around the shops you can always jump in an auto-riskshaw to one of the other beaches nearby such as Patnem beach, which we discovered one day in hammering rain. Within seconds of leaving the auto-rickshaw we both looked like drowned rats and briefly considered going back, then thought sod it we're wet now we may as well carry on with our little exploration. Patnem almost looks like Palolem in reverse, but almost completely deserted. We found one restaurant open where we escaped from the rain for a short time and had a soft drink.
Patnem Beach is located only 10 minutes away from Palolem, but has a more chilled out vibe. The best thing to do here is laze in the sand, sip on a drink and occasionally flex your muscles and go paddle-board on the water. Go here to get away from beach shacks and people.
How to reach Patnem: Pre-paid taxis are available from Dabolim Airport to Patnem that stands at an hour's distance from the airport. To reach Patnem from the Madgaon Railway Station, you can hire an auto rickshaw to Kadamba Bus Stand and catch a direct bus to Patnem from there.Best time to visit: Late November and early December is the best time to visit Patnem when the weather is pleasant and the beach is still not crowded by the partying tourists.Here are a few of our experiences at Patnem that will convince you to plan your Goa trip around this beach.Experience live music performances by travelling artistsIf you're lucky enough to be at Patnem on a Saturday night, be ready to bury your toes in the sand and experience the best of live music by one of the many travelling artists on the beach. Usually the Lotus Oasis Beach hut is the venue for these weekly performances.Enjoy a movie screening by the beach side every SaturdayAt Lotus Oasis Beach Huts in Patnem, we attended a screening of the movie Inglorious Bastards during our impromptu visit on a Saturday night. If you detest loud partying by the beach side, join a quiet audience inside this shack at Patnem and spend the night watching a movie while listening to the big swells of the waves crashing on the beachside somewhere behind you.
Hotels and Homestays in South Goa 486 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from South Goa
54 Kms from South Goa
This is the capital of the state of Goa and is probably the smallest state capital. Panaji is also the headquarters of the North Goa District and is situated on the banks of the Mandovi River Estuary is the Tiswada Region. The more popular name is Panaji but Panjim is also a commonly used term. This was the name by which the Portuguese used to address this city. When the whole of India got independence, Goa was still under the colonial rule of the Portuguese who freed it a number of years later. The Portuguese effect is what you will get in each and every thing of Goa and Panjim too. The attractions here are the lovely white church, the food that you will get here and of course the different types of building lined on the sides of the narrow streets. These houses are the remains of the various clans who have ruled here including the Latins and the Portuguese. The houses look beautiful and brightly coloured and many of them have simple yet pretty wrought iron balconies too. Many of these are now either resorts for budget concious travellers or restaurants for the ones who love to taste Portuguese and Goan cuisine.Read More
As soon as we woke up on our bus ride, rain greeted us and the weather suddenly became humid, but the views we encountered on our way and the excitement of the journey ahead made us ignore the uncomfortable weather.
Finally the day came. Valentine's day, we woke up early in the morning and left to Panjim for the carnival. After 30-45 minutes we reached Panjim and joined the carnival. Many groups were performing at that carnival, it was something that I can't forget in my life. Well planned, well coordinated. Awesome performance was given by the groups and members who participated in that Carnival . We spent our whole day in that carnival and we enjoyed to the maximum.
We then headed towards panjim, the quaint capital city of this cute state of goa. I had made my list of places to go much before the trip started and hence was searching for a boutique shop called Barefoot. It is difficult to locate but worth your time. The shop has great collection of eclectic home decor products and also pretty everyday wear jewels. The shop is located at 31st Janeiro Road or as the locals say 31st January Road, just near the subway,in a bylane.
A day I was looking forward to, today I took the ride from North Goa to South Goa. I had one beach in mind, very less known, secluded and amazingly scenic. Hollant Beach is a secluded beach close to the airport and very less people know about it. The ride is also awesome, this is one good place to pack a lunch, chill and spend a day. The major attraction is that this beach offers one km of shore line with pool like water and nominal waves. This is the place to come and play a game of water polo with your friends.I had booked a flight next day early morning, this gave me 4 full days in Goa.
63 Kms from South Goa
We reached our stay late afternoon, a cosy homestay managed by an extremely warm and helpful elderly couple. Dumped our bags and headed to the streets for a nice Goan lunch to soak in the vibe.Walked to the beach post lunch and this is where I realised there was a side to Goa that nobody talks about, the infamous dark side.The approach road all the way to the beach, swarming with tonnes of people. But, this was not the problem; their mentality was.I was absolutely disgusted and dismayed by the absolute lack of character amongst such a large number of men. Men commenting and either trying not to keep their hands to themselves or walk straight into the girls around.The beach was equally crowded but we decided to ignore the scenario and spend the rest of the evening swimming and playing football.After sunset we decided to change and head to Baga for new years eve.No surprises here- the crowd had only gotten worse. Tonnes of drunk, unruly men; no room to enter any party places; bouncers loosing their mind. Walking down Baga hearing men pass lewd comments all along thinking to myself whatever happened to respect? Goa on new year's was supposed to be an electrifying atmosphere with a bit of romance of course but it was everything but that. •note to self and all of you guys reading this: plan the new year's night properly and well in advance•Read More
We reached our stay late afternoon, a cosy homestay managed by an extremely warm and helpful elderly couple. Dumped our bags and headed to the streets for a nice Goan lunch to soak in the vibe.Walked to the beach post lunch and this is where I realised there was a side to Goa that nobody talks about, the infamous dark side.The approach road all the way to the beach, swarming with tonnes of people. But, this was not the problem; their mentality was.I was absolutely disgusted and dismayed by the absolute lack of character amongst such a large number of men. Men commenting and either trying not to keep their hands to themselves or walk straight into the girls around.The beach was equally crowded but we decided to ignore the scenario and spend the rest of the evening swimming and playing football.After sunset we decided to change and head to Baga for new years eve.No surprises here- the crowd had only gotten worse. Tonnes of drunk, unruly men; no room to enter any party places; bouncers loosing their mind. Walking down Baga hearing men pass lewd comments all along thinking to myself whatever happened to respect? Goa on new year's was supposed to be an electrifying atmosphere with a bit of romance of course but it was everything but that. •note to self and all of you guys reading this: plan the new year's night properly and well in advance•
Today was only about getting the feel of Goa and it was not disappointing definitely. An evening walk near the resort on Calangute beach was the perfect end of the day. Few shacks were open with lesser customers but same excitement. The tranquility of seashore with clouds all over the sky was soothing.
On reaching our guest house, we freshen up and went to beach . It was around 4 a.m in the morning but the aura of the place made us forget all our tiredness. In the morning , Ankit received a call and we got to know that one of our friend is already in Goa with his family.After a peaceful snooze , we took shower and went outside , hired a car and started our local sightseeing while heading towards Panjim . We decided to join the carnival that was supposed to be held on Valentine's day there. After a long fun-filled day, we went back to guest house and took some rest. Spending night on Calangute beach with friends while enjoying the music of water waves ,beer in hands, and cold breeze, gave an awesome feeling!!
7) Calm Sunset at Calangute Beach
We had booked 2 tier sleeper bus tickets and reached Panjim at 8 in the morning. From there, we took a bus to Calangute which took around 40 minutes to reach. We booked two rooms at a hotel near the beach for 1200 a day. It had two big beds, a nice and clean bathroom and a balcony! We anyway needed the room just to crash at night! We spent that day chilling at the beach, drinking beer and eating goan food at one of the beach shacks.
We reached the bus stop at around 8 am, took a bus to Calangute beach and in between saw the lanes of Old Goa with Portuguese houses all around us. We reached our hotel and the rest of the people joined us in the afternoon. Directly we headed to Baga beach, some of us saw the beach for first time and they were captivated by its beauty. The tossing waves of Baga and people jumping into it for a good amount of time really held us.
260 Kms from South Goa
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Known as the gateway to Karnataka, the picturesque city of Mangalore is famous for its golden beaches, revered temples and delicious coffee. This port city lies nestled between the blue waters of the Arabian Sea and the towering hills of the Western Ghats. The pristine beach of Panambur is a popular tourist destination and also plays host to the colourful kite festival of Mangalore. Adorned with ancient murals, the Kudroli Gorakhnath Temple is frequented by many devotees. The Ullal Beach of Mangalore is a great place to enjoy water sports. Easily comparable to the Marine Drive of Mumbai, the New Mangalore Port is an ideal place to relax and unwind. Mangalore is famous for its Udupi style dishes and staple seafood preparations. The Neer Dosa, Mangalorean fish curry, Cashew Upkari and Rasam are great introductions to this cuisine. Pallkhi, Gajalee, Cochin Bakery and Naivedyam are popular eateries here. There are multiple hotel options for tourists, extending from high-end resorts to budget hotels and even beach resorts. With its easygoing air and calm countenance, Mangalore is the perfect destination to relax and unwind. Read More
MANGALORE is one of the most important cities of Karnataka. It is the nearest airport to Manipal. If you are missing the city vibes and feel like shopping or want to be stuck in traffic for a while, Mangalore is the place to go. Mangalore offers a number of options for shopping ranging from Levi's to Calvin Klein. It also offers a good range of food joints and restaurants.
Flight journey from Mangalore to DehradunHoping for safer, smoother and shorter yatra , we left for Dehradun from Mangalore on June 18th 2016 early morning. To travel to the Chardham circuit, we hired a mini-bus from Haridwar since it was the only mode of transport that could carry 13 people across the terrains. Helicopter service has become popularity , if pilgrimage is the only objective, one can choose this mode of transport.Day 2 and 3
We decided to travel by train up to Mangalore and then hire a bus for the road journey. “Matsyagandha express” dropped us at Mangalore central station at 9.30 a.m. sharp. We hired a bus for our road journey up till Kodagu, but we decided to refuel ourselves with some breakfast. Our driver (Mr. Shivaji) took us to a nearby restaurant which served simple, yet elegant South Indian breakfast.
Bekal is a small village situated in the northernmost district of Kerala, Kasargod. This place happens to be my native too. We visit here to attend the functions at our family temple every year. Bekal is famous for the Bekal fort, which is the largest fort in Kerala. There is also a famous Shiva temple on the way to the fort.Getting here: One can visit Bekal by train or by road. The train Mangalore–Coimbatore passenger departs from Mangalore Central at 7:35 AM. The journey is of 45-50 minutes. But we usually travel by our car. It is around 75 KM ride from Mangalore city.We started at around 7 AM from Mangalore by our car. The NH66 road is in excellent condition now.Our first stop was the Anantapur Lake Temple. This temple is built in the middle of the lake in Ananthapura Village. Legend has it that the cave near the temple is connected to the Ananta Padmanabha temple of Thiruvananthapuram. Unforunately, I had not clicked any pictures of the temple during my visit there ( as our phones were switched off)
This trip with the family was long due. Since all of us were in Mangalore(my hometown) to attend a family function, we decided to go to Coorg/Kodagu for two days. We were 7 of us (my family and my cousin’s family) and we booked an SUV for the trip. The distance from Mangalore to Coorg is around 150 KM ie approximately 3 and a half hour drive. The roads were great and the weather was very pleasant.As we had gone with our parents, we did not include any adventure stuff on this tour.
Sometime back, I was travelling to Goa from Karnataka. We were going back from a friend's wedding and since we had a few days to spare, we decided to go by road. It was a crisp 8 hour drive, the best part being most of it being along the coast.
You can spend your rest of the day by visiting few others temples and churches like Kadri Temple, Gokarnanatheshwara temple, St. Aloysius Chapel etc. or you can end the day by visiting Tannirbhavi beach and Panambur beach. You can also enjoy boating and jet-skiing at Panambur. Don’t forget to taste the best ice cream of Mangaluru at Pabbas Ice Creams, Lalbagh. If you are a foodie you cannot miss on this. Also, try Kori Rotti for lunch or dinner, Korri Rotti is the authentic Mangalorean dish. Crispy Roti with chicken curry!
Visited Deepak travels, paid their bill and had roti with Undhiyo for lunch. Boarded evening flight at 3.30 P.M ,reached Mangaluru at 7.30 P.m.Its trip with colorful memories of kites, flying dwaj of Mandir, birds, blue sea, creek , green fields,white/pink temple and white desert.
262 Kms from South Goa
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Before the tropical air hits you here, an uncanny sense of time travel does, as you scan the historic Vijayanagar's devastatingly beautiful ruins and temples spread across the boulder-strewn landscape. The ancient capital of the Vijayanagara Empire (1343-1565), which has now become a favourite hipster holiday destination, is best explored on foot or bicycle. It has a lot of famous attractions such as the Hemakuta Hill, home to the ancient scattered ruins and a monolithic sculpture of Hindu God Vishnu, along with Hampi Bazaar, once an ancient trading spot for horses, silk, cows, precious stones and now a hub of handicraft shops and little restaurants, with the 15th century Virupaksha temple at its western end and the 16th century Vittala temple at its eastern end. Sule Bazaar and the Achyutaraya temple is also a must visit. This historic expedition can get tiresome and overwhelming for many, and the village in contrast maintains a very laid back atmosphere, with innumerable guest houses spread around, some even with a fascinating spartan setting, costing no more than 300 rupees. Just like its ruins, an ancient festival called the Hampi Utsav has also been kept alive since the Vijayanagar reign and is celebrated annually in November, with light and sound shows, music and dance performances, all boasting of the Kannadigas' rich culture, set against the backdrop of Hampi's ruins. The Mango Tree restaurant is a quaint place reached via passing through a banana plantation. Other good places to eat include Prince Restaurant, Goan Corner Restaurant and Laughing Buddha, popular for South Indian, Chinese, Israeli, Tibetan, and usual vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, enjoyed by the riverside. Read More
Hampi can be visited any time of the year, but if you want to be bedazzled with colours of the culture, visit Hampi during January, because you can be a part of the celebrations at Hampi Utsav, a festival of bonhomie – a congregation of various events to highlight the glorious past of this empire. The cultural extravaganza is a spectacle to behold. It’s a three-day long carnival. Festivities include classical & traditional dance performances, skits and dramas, fireworks, puppet shows, and spectacular parades. Book your tickets accordingly.How to Reach Hampi:Hampi is 353 KMs from Bangalore and 74 KMs from Ballari in Karnataka. The nearest commercial Airport is Hubli/Bangalore. The nearest Railway Station is at Hospet which is 13 KMs away. Hampi has a number of resorts and home stays. There are direct trains and buses to Hospet from Goa, Hubli, Ballari, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Once you land in Hospet, you can check in at any Hotel there. Hospet is dotted with numerous Hotels, Star, Economy and budget.Hampi is at a distance of 13 KMs from Hospet and you have hourly buses which ply from Hospet Bus Station. Or you can hire three wheeler Autos. Equip yourself with a good quality camera, because what you see remains etched in your mind, but what you see should also be immortalized in pictures so that others, who cannot make it to Hampi, can at least enjoy it through your pictures.When in Hampi, don’t miss to see the following:Achyutaraya Temple,BadaviLingaElephant StableHazara rama Temple ComplexJain TempleLotus MahalVittala TempleVirupaksha TempleZanana EnclosureArchaeological Museum at KamalapuraTungabhadra Dam and Nandanavana GardenJapanese Garden at MunirabadHaving soaked yourself in the magic of the Hampi rocks, its time to meet the flowers and say hello to them. Tungabhadra Dam welcomes you with flowers at its Nandanavana Garden built on the lines of Brindavan Garden and on the other side of Tungabhadra Dam you have Munirabad with a Japanese Garden. Don’t miss it.
To explore only Hampi 2 days are enough.The hotel staff arranged auto for us we reached Hampi in 10min . After getting there we saw tourists riding mopeds and bicycles,we enquired about the rental they said only one shop is renting and unfortunately by the time we reached all bicycles and mopeds are hired out(be early for vehicles by 7a.m) shop is near virupakshi temple.It's about to be off season there and the weather was too sunny. Mostly 80 percent of the tourists were foreigners and the other side we find many restaurants and shops in narrow lanes and its called Hampi Bazaar. The food points are themed differently and the food is outstanding, the other side of tungabhadra river also we got plenty of eating out options.
For adventure lovers who think climbing the boulders of Hampi during the monsoons will be pleasant, should be ready for a surprise. Karnataka receives a huge amount of rainfall from the south-west monsoon and most of its touristy destinations see a wave of humidity. Imagine going for a hike up to the ruins of Hampi and coming back in a state that makes it seem like you went for an outdoor steam and sauna bath instead!Visit Hampi in January, when it is extremely pleasant and you won't sweat too much.
Day five the train travels to Hospet, the station you de-board at to visit Hampi. Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a place to truly understand and appreciate the ancient architecture and art of the Southern Indian rulers. The capital of Vijaywada Dynasty, Hampi currently is one of the most popular destinations to visit. It is identified by a humongous stone chariot, in the verandah of Vijaya Vittala temple complex. This is also the stone chariot after which the train was named.Sights Covered: Hampi sightseeing - Hema Kuta Hill, Virupaksha temple, Queens Bath, elephant stables, royal enclosure, Hazara Rama Temple, Vijaya Vittala temple complex, and Tungabhadra river.Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board.Timings: 8.30am for Hampi sightseeing, 3.30 pm for Vijaya Vittala temple complex and 5pm at Tungabhadra river.
As we started nearing Hampi, Centuries looked down upon us. Being amidst Centuries of stories, of ideas, of people that weren’t but their work that was still around. This was overwhelming. The rickshaw-wala dropped us at the town, on the banks of the beautiful Tungabhadra river, where we had to lug our backpacks into the ferry and go across the river.Both the times in Hampi, we stayed at Mowgli Guest House in a small hut overlooking the beautiful paddy fields. Many a sunsets were seen lounging here, drinking ‘lemon ginger honey’ and soaking the sunset sky in.
The easiest and cheapest way to visit Hampi is to book a bus from Bangalore (use redbus.in).Its only an overnight journey and you will reach Hampi quite fresh and active. On reaching Hampi, the only means of transportation up to your home stay would be an auto.
My first coracle ride was at 2 am in the middle of a chilling night from Sanapur to Hampi ,crossing the tranquil Tungabhadra. Me along with my five friends had gone to Sanapur from Hampi by taking a motor boat early in the day for spending some time there, as Sanapur was one of the most happening places around. So by completing all the so called 'To do check list' in Sanapur we came back to the banks of Tungabhadra hoping for a boat to take us over to Hampi as our hotel rooms were there. But there was no boat and only a coracle laid there in the dark welcoming us and and a small boy was on board with an oar in his hand.The coracle thing was not in our checklist and we had to improvise it, if we had to make it to the other side of the river and get to sleep. We hopped into the coracle after negotiating the night rates. Yeah! you know it, nights are costly.The coracle thing was made out of interlaced bamboo strips from side to the bottom. Obviously I coudn't see whether it was made of bamboo or plastic or whatever in the middle of a dark night . But you know what ,I figured it out the next day, and the day after as it turned out , I had never waited for a motor boat again in that trip, because that coracle ride in the middle of the night was pure bliss. It was not much far from floating in Tungabhadra .
Hampi in Karnataka, which is a group of ruins and monuments, used to originally be the go to place for wall climbers. But this pretty much changed when bouldering enthusiasts were overtaken by the crowds who decided to give 'revisiting history' a chance. So many Israeli cafes have opened up here, and intoxication is quite common. Hampi isn't completely done and dusted. There's still time to save this beautiful heritage site from the wrath of unwanted, careless tourists.
177 Kms from South Goa
Best time to visit - February,March,April,May,June,July
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. Read More
Now the D Day arrived it was 1st of Dec and I was sitting in my office preparing powerpoint presentation for the client instead of our roadtrip and celebrating our anniversary with my wife . My wife availed the leave as she had informed all her colleagues that we are going for the roadtrip and if she will go offc everyone will ask what happened. She was angry too and we didn’t talked in the morningMe : Hello, Happy AnniversaryWife : So ??? Do your offc work ( I can feel the Angriness on the other side of phone )Me : Lets continue our tripWife : How ????Me : Will travel in Night , pack the bags and be ready . We will start the journey once I reach home from OffcWife : Is it possible ?Me: Yes we will start today and cut short the journeyWife: YipppieMe: Ok, I will reach home by 4 will start soonSomehow pleaded to my manager that I will leave a bit early and he agreed. Now the wait was killing. Once the clock strike 3 30 PM I left office and was at home. When reached home found that the luggage is full ( Thanks to my wife who travels very heavy ) .Now there is no time to repack bags so we started from Pune by 5 PM with a good pace in chilling winter reached Kolhapur by 11 PM. Time to take rest in a pre-booked hotelNow another jolt of hammer, we informed the hotel earlier that we will be doing card payment, thanks to demonetisation we had only INR 6000 of hard cash. He agreed upon that but once we reached Kolhapur found that his swiping machine was not working as the internet is down ( Thanks to NHAI fellow who cut the broadband line while digging) and also he didn’t had any Paytm account. We tried for Online Transfer also but we failed. Now with no option left, we paid 2k to him in hard cash.Now the biggest question “Shall we return to Pune as we have only INR 4000 left”. Wife said will decide tomorrow morning as it’s already too late
It is a historical place and has great temples too
The closest central place, to cover the spots, in Kolhapur one can visit Mahalakshmi Mandir, Binkhambi Ganesh Mandir, Shahu Place, Rankala Lake. Also you can visit famous Jyotiba temple which is hardly 26 Km from the place all places can be covered in 2 days span
From Kolhapur to Malvan it takes 5 hours. There are two routes to reach Malvan- via Gaganbawada ghat or via Radhanagri. We took the route via Radhanagri village. The road condition is good. But the route has lots of turns and swirls. We left from Kolhapur at 7.30am and reached Malvan at 1.30pm. On the way we stopped at Radhanagri for breakfast and at backwaters, a little ahead from Radhanagri near Anuradha village.
228 Kms from South Goa
Best time to visit - January,February,June,July,August,September,November,December
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. Read More
According to the inscriptions on clay tablets that were found during initial excavations at Ratnagiri in 1960s,this was a great center of learning for Tantric Buddhism and especially Vajrayana school.The clay tablets also mention it's name as 'Shri Ratnagiri Mahavihariya Arya Bhikshu Samaghya'.It was active between 5 th and 13 th century AD.Amid the scattered ruins at the hilltop are various votive stupas but it's the main monastery complex at the center which is miraculously preserved till date.The entrance gate to the main compound is made up of green chlorite stone with some intricate carvings which makes it distinct from other stones in the compound .As we stepped inside once again,stories ran in my head about monks and their activities that would have kept the place busy many centuries ago. The various sized Buddha heads were aglow with the direct moonlight falling over them.What could the various head sizes signify? May be they were designed as various steps towards attaining the greatest wisdom,of becoming the perfect Buddha head. Ratnagiri has two large monasteries and right in the middle of it stands a large statue of Buddha which is flanked by the statues of Vajrapani and Padmapani,two Boddhisatvas. As you walk the periphery of the main compound,the highly advanced and intricate drainage system of the facility stuns you. The large monastic complex houses around twenty four cells for residence made up of bricks.At a given time,more than five hundred monks could have lived and studied at this center.The center also housed three copies each of major scriptural works of Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism. The Lama never talked,as if he had come only to quench my curiosity.But talking was not necessary,and I learned to appreciate the soothing beauty of quietness and silence.As I saw the diverse stone artefacts strewn all over the place I was reminded of what Tagore had told of the Konark Temple,that "here the language of stones had surpassed the language of man".Here too the stone works made the human need of language redundant. Me: But when one speaks of Buddhist history or heritage,no one speaks in same breath about Odisha as they do about other sites like Bodh Gaya or Nalanda. Lama: As per texts and Buddhist chronicles found in Tibet,China and Ceylon,a place called 'Odiyyana' is mentioned where the roots of Vajrayana Buddhism took shape.This place in all probability could be the present day Odisha and the great learning centers of Tantric Buddhism they refer to could almost certainly be the Puspagiri University that we are currently standing at.The entire sect of Vajrayana Buddhism seems to have originated from these scholastic centers at Lalitgiri-Ratnagiri-Udaygiri complex if we take the available archeological and literary evidence into consideration. The old Buddhist Pali canons and Pas-Sam-Jon-Zang a Tibetan Buddhist text mention the land of Odiyyana where many great Tantric Buddhist preachers lived. The canons mention many secret places called 'Beyuls' where a seeker could go and find enlightenment and knowledge.Such Beyuls were hidden valleys and retreats often found in the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and India.The locations of these secret valleys were kept in scrolls which were placed in important monasteries and stupas.Sambhala is a well known beyul. Me: Just like James Hilton described the valley of Shangri-la in his book 'The Lost Horizon'? Lama: Hilton's story of Shangri-la was actually inspired from the myth of Sambhala itself.If you look closely the name Shangri-la is a modified form of Sambhala only. Me: Ah! Yes .....I never thought about it before,strange! And what role does Sambhala play in Tantric Buddhism? Lama: According to legends,the Tantric rituals of Kalachakratantra was taught to the Kings of Sambhala by Buddha himself.The kings of Sambhala wanted to follow the path of enlightenment without renouncing the world so they requested the Sakyamuni to teach them a less austere method of reaching Dharma and Truth,Buddha gave the first initiation of the Kalachakra rituals.Further a Tibetan text called 'The Blue Annals' credits Acharya Cheluka of bringing the teachings of Kalachakratantra to India from the mythical land of Sambhala. The philosophy that guides the school of Vajrayana Buddhism states that though the goal of all living beings is same i.e attaining knowledge and Nirvana,there are other methods of reaching there apart from the old methods of austere meditations. The tantric rituals can provide that path to salvation. Me: So Vajrayana created a short-cut path to salvation,because the older methods of meditations were hard and time taking? Lama: Let's not be quick to judge the ways and methods people adopt in their lives.As each person is unique so is their path to salvation. As I mentioned before,our current lack of knowledge on Tantric Buddhist practices in these parts of Odisha comes to a road block due to the secretive doctrines of the people who followed the school of Vajrayana. The stroll in the lonely night had got us very far from Ratnagiri now.Perhaps the Lama was aware of it but I was far from realizing that we had stumbled upon the foothills of the grand ruins of Udaygiri.I was astonished because the journey in the daytime had taken a much longer .So far so good.Like Ratnagiri, the excavations at Udaygiri stand on a hill top which is spread over a much larger area and even during the day the hillside looks beautiful.As if someone has sprinkled those stone artifacts over the lush green rolling hills. I could see the moon's reflection in the deep well that stands at the foot of the hills.Stone staircases lead down to the well which was sparkling in the moon light. In the same time as the monasteries at Ratnagiri,the facilities at Udaygiri had their peak time from 7 th century to 12 th century AD.The inscriptions found at the site refer to the name of the place being Madhavapura Mahavihara.Udaygiri has a large monastic complex amid it's ruins and among it's many relics the most interesting are the unearthed images of 'Dhyani Buddhas'. Not to miss out on details,the Lama showed me a stone carving on the entrance wall of the compound.Even in the moonlight,I could make out the figure.It was a human figure swinging on a rope with his eyes closed,in a prefect state of happiness.Nobody perhaps knows who or what the figure means,but may be it means exactly what the viewer feels by watching it,a sense of calm and bliss.A single piece of stone can speak to you across the length of ages. On the hills of Udaygiri there exists a huge Mahastupa where four cardinal Buddhas sit facing each direction.Akshobya facing East,Amitabha facing West,Amoghasiddhi facing North and Ratnasambhava facing South. I returned to the conversation at hand. Me: We were speaking of the Kalachakra tantra. And Kalachakra Tantra is one of the ritualistic practices of Vajrayana Buddhism? I saw the initiation ceremony last summer at Leh by the Dalai Lama. Lama: The Kalachakra Tantra is the most evolved and complicated form of Vajrayana school.Even today it is considered as one of the highest form of Tantric philosophy.Apart from the sect of Vajrayana itself,the Kalachakra Tantra may have it's roots in Odisha. 'Kala' means time,'chakra' means wheel and 'tantra' means a system.This tantric practice in Buddhism is based on the concept of Time and how we perceive it.Almost all religions and schools of philosophy consider time to be cyclic in nature,so does Tantric Buddhism but it differentiates the time cycles into three parts.The internal cycle,the external cycle and the alternative cycle. Internal and external cycles are passage of time as we perceive it.Just like modern science,Buddhism considers time to be a measurement of rate of change of things around us. Me: This is very interesting indeed.What are these internal,external and alternative time cycles according to Kalachakratantra? Lama: As I said before the external and internal cycles are time as we human beings perceive it. For example the change of moon's shape and location in sky denote the monthly lunar cycle which can be considered as external time perception.Similarly the menstrual cycle of a woman's body is an example of internal time perception.The alternative time cycle is a way taught by the teachers of Kalachakra to gain harmony over the internal and external time cycles. So this summer in Leh,when you saw the Dalai Lama initiate the Kalachakra rituals,he was paving the way for gaining harmony over the influence of time. Me: The Buddha himself never came to the land of Kalinga to teach or give sermons? Lama: Though there is no direct evidence of Buddha coming to Kalinga or preaching here,but places and their names have been a shifting entity on the pages of history. The 1st Khandaka of Mahavagga text in Buddhism confirms that two honey traders from Odisha named Tapassu and Bhallika were the first lay disciples of Buddha after he achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.They offered honey cakes to Buddha after receiving teachings from him. Me: Not only the tantric sects but the entire Hindu pantheon seems to have assimilated Buddhism in current times.I have seen Buddhist images like Avalokotisvara,Tara,Yaksas etc in many Hindu temples especially in Odisha. Lama: Later during awakenings of Vaishnavite and Bhakti sects in medieval India,the all encompassing arm of Hinduism took Buddhism into it's fold and many considered Buddha as 9th incarnation of Bishnu.This happened in complete paradox of the fact that Buddhism became famous in ancient India when people revolted to some degree to the Brahmanical-Vedic orthodoxy in society.In current age,images of Dhyani Buddha has been found in the de-plastered walls of Puri's Jagannath Temple. The Asokan rock edicts and the stone carved elephant at Dhauli are the earliest evidence of Buddhism's presence in Odisha.A very similar rock cut elephant has been found in the excavations of relics near Kaima in Jajpur district.As per records ,even a stupa existed near the rock edicts at Dhauli until 19 th century which was lost to time later on. A Prakrit inscription in Nagarjunakonda confirms that 'Puspagiri' in Odisha along with Nalanda ,Tosali and Palur were great centers of Buddhist learning and scholastic traditions.There are even speculations that the Buddhist preacher Padmasambhava else known as Guru Rinpoche spent some time studying and contemplating in these hills of Odisha.Guru Rinpoche is credited with taking Buddhism to many Himalayan kingdoms as Tibet,Sikkim and Bhutan. The figures of Buddhist iconography such as Boddhisatvas,mandalas,images of Tara,fourteen forms of the Avalokotiswara,many Yakshas and Yakshinis that are spread through coastal Odisha and some western parts just goes to confirm that Buddhism had a stronghold in the land and helped in the propagation of the sect to far off lands beyond India. Me: I had never pondered on the idea that Odisha had such a substantial contribution to the rise and propagation of Buddhism in India and elsewhere.When I used to visit those monasteries and lamaseries in remote Himalayan valleys of Ladakh and Himachal,I never thought my home state would have played such a grand role in the epic narrative of Buddhism. Lama: I will once again go back to Tagore to illustrate my point....he once said that "though I traveled great many countries and visited far off lands from my home,I forgot to see the beautiful dew drop outside my window". I suppose you understand what he meant by that. Me: Yes dear Teacher,I most surely do.I always have it in mind that though I am out to explore the world I shall know my home land up close and thoroughly.Only when resident Odias have knowledge of their rich cultural heritage and past,rest of the world will slowly know too.I suppose I realize that. Lama: A Teacher is only as good as the pupil he is teaching....the more thirsty a student is,the better a teacher becomes.Now that you have accepted me as a teacher,will you do a small favor to these old bones? Me: What may I ask? Lama: Nothing,just a ride along the road till we get to the oldest of the three sites in the Diamond Triangle. So with the chilly winter wind against us.A young man and an old lama were riding on through deserted roads to Lalitgiri which is 8-9 kms down the road from the sites of Ratnagiri and Udaygiri.While on the road, we found an old couple whose vehicle had broken down and we stopped to help them out.The desperate old faces heaved a sigh of relief when the lama and me got down to give a hand to the broken down car.While the lama took the wheel,I was at the engine part.A small battery problem which was sorted out quickly and we bid farewell to the old man and woman who were repeating 'thank you's' till we got embarrassed. It must have been the last quarter of the long moonlit night,when we arrived at Lalitgiri. It was at this site,that tooth relics and bone relics were found in a stone casket.The bones and tooth were in a charred or half burnt condition and many consider them to belong to Buddha himself,but nobody can be sure.The Buddhist iconography and sculptures found scattered in these parts are highly esoteric in nature.More than fourteen forms of Avalokotisvaras have been found in Odisha and many have been unearthed here.No other place in India displays such variety in artifacts. Lalitgiri was the place where Tantric Buddhism was prevalent from around 300 BC to 13 th century AD.And hence it is considered as the oldest of the sites at Langudi hills. The terracotta inscriptions found here mention this place as 'Sri Chandraditya Vihara Samagra Arya Bhiksu Sanghasa'. Images of Buddha in various poses,images of Tara and other beings, sculptures of Avalokotisvara and many forms of Boddhisatvas,all strewn over the places and excavation is still going on. The old lama once again takes my hand to show something particular, an image of a woman breastfeeding a child. Me: Who is she? Lama: Her name is Hariti and she used to be a child lifter before Buddha persuaded her to become the protector of children.To be a mother to all those who do not have that privilege. Apart from four large monasteries at Lalitgiri,the major attraction is an apsidal ChaityaGruha or stupa completely made of bricks. After circulating the large stupa and prayer hall I walked over the slope to watch a glorious sight that people in today's age take for granted.I watched the sun climb slowly over the horizon and change the color of the sky.The sun has been doing this for ages,but still we find the sight ethereal.May be because our lives depend on it.May be because we know our time on this earth is limited and it would be a sin to miss out on such splendid and yet so simple views. I expected the lama to say something about that divine view,but as I turned around, he was not to be found.Morning always brings a change but this was something I had not expected.I searched all over the place and called him out but to no avail.My teacher had disappeared just as easily as he had appeared back in Ratnagiri hill top.I climbed down the slopes near the ruins to see if the old man would be waiting near the bike.But nothing.The last I saw him was when he sat down on the big rock under the huge tree. Perhaps more than surprised,I was disappointed,may be even a tad angry. There were no proper goodbyes and no parting words. This was the end of the line.The long night where we both contemplated on the ruins of the Diamond Triangle had come to a passé.As fog clutched the countryside I rode my bike alone back on the road to Ratnagiri in faint hope of finding the old lama somewhere waiting for me.Has he landed in some trouble?I was agitated and raced back. While on the road,the night flashed before me and all those images of the past swarmed past me.The ruins on these hills nearby had taken a shape in my mind.A heritage of the rich past of this land and a promise for the future times.My mind swam at the disappearance of the old lama.I was in distress because I knew I was too realistic a person to believe in phantom lamas who came and went as they pleased. Atleast someone I knew appeared on the foot of Ratnagiri hilltop.The old couple sipping tea at the road side tea stall smiled at me when I stopped my bike.They quickly offered me a hot cup of tea and only then I realized how bitterly cold the morning air was. Trying very hard to hide my anxiety, I just asked-"Have you seen the old man who was with me last night? I am afraid I lost him somewhere". The old lady looked at me and then at her husband. "The poor old man.He must be having trouble trying to find me....he was all alone", I added. Between the old woman changing her face from being aghast to a funny smile on her lips,the old man said,"Which old man?You were all alone last night when you stopped to help us". Taking the cup in my hands, I looked away.I tried very hard to recall the last words of the old lama. Soumya D Jena 10th March 2017This post was originally published on The Lost Hermit.
In my quest to travel and experience new destinations and places I decided to travel towards the Konkan highway this time. Being a Delhite the lure of the mountains is so much that you seldom make plans doing random trips towards Maharashtra. So here I was on my journey again with a few tips on the internet – stay, weather and travel distances was all that I was armored with. My SLR slung on my shoulders to take on yet another journey of its own.My destination – Romancing the Konkan highway with no real agenda – Just to experience it the way it is! The cities that draped the highway. The beautiful coastline. Lush green paddy fields and much more. I got on to a hired car from Mumbai and set off towards Ratnagiri – a commercial town by the seaside. 7 -8 drive from Mumbai and you land up in at a beautiful destination – The journey had its own experience –Driving through Ghats and quaint little villages. The coastline villages and the homes are so very different from the ones you see in the north – Lush green and brightly colored. The cuisine on the way was interesting from Poha breakfast to fish Thalis at the local eating joints.
The most scenic leg of the journey. Sea on one side Green mountains on the other. Located on the same MH SH 4, Ganpatipule stretch is something i will remember my whole life. It was like the movie perfect scene. All along the route I could see the virgin beaches where one could spend countless hours relaxing. Unfortunately we were running short of sunlight so we have to rush through this stretch and hence didn't get chance to click many pics.
Ratnagiri is just another town situated along the beautiful Goa-Bombay road. Goa-Bombay road is one of the best roads I've been to. All the green on both side and the awesome monsoon weather is just superb. Riding on MH SH 4 from Ratnagiri to Jaigad is a different experience alltogether. The scenic beauty is simply mesmerizing. Be careful while riding on this route though there wold not be any traffic but there will be numerous green snakes crossing the road.