Trips and Itineraries for Vagator
Top Places To Visit in Vagator 10 Spots
Located in Bardez, his fort rises above the Chapora River. This was a red laterite fort built by the Portuguese in place of an earlier Muslim structure in the 1th Century. It was then captured and again lost by a number of Hindu rulers before the Portuguese finally abandoned it in the year 1892. The main enemies of this fort were the Bahmani Sultans who were successful in capturing it and again later it was captured by the Marathas in the beginning of the 18th Cdentury. It was recaptured by the Portuguese to be taken back again by the Marathas. This battle went on for a long time after which the fort was absolutely deserted. At present, what we can see here are simply ruins of the fort and the heads of two tunnels. Regular buses from Anjuna and Mapusa can bring and take you back from here.
Its a must visit place in GOA. I did the first thing in the evening after reaching Goa. You will also get a Trekking Experience. This fort has also been shown in DIL CHAHTA HAI and from that day onwards people started calling it as “DIL CHAHTA HAI POINT”. From here you will get awesome view of Vagator Beach. Just sit here calmly and wait for sun to set. Its an amazing place. Entry fee: NIL How to Reach: Just 2 km from Vagator Beach Recommended Length of Visit: 1 hr Tips: Go in the Evening to witness the sunset; Breathtaking view of Vagator Beach. Facts: This fort is also known as “DIL CHAHTA HAI POINT”
History : Chapora Fort, located in Bardez, Goa, rises high above the Chapora River. Before the Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510, this location was the site of another fort. The fort changed hand several times after Portuguese acquired Bardez. Trying to end the Portuguese rule in Goa, Prince Akbar joined his father’s enemies, the Marathas in 1683 and made this place his base camp. It became the northern outpost of the Old Conquests. After the Portuguese recovered from an encounter with the Marathas, they strengthened their northern defences and provided shelter to the people there. The present fort was built in 1717, replacing the older fortifications. Across the Chapora river, the Hindu ruler of Pernem, the Maharaja of Sawantwadi who was an old enemy of the Portuguese held the fort for two years after it fell to the Marathas in 1739 in its first test. When Goa's border moved northwards with the acquisition of Pernem as part of the New Conquests, the fort lost its military significance towards the end of the century. It is a pleasant place to wander that offers fantastic views north across the Chapora river to Pernem, south over Vagator and also far out to the Arabian Sea in the West. The fort sits on a prominent position which commands views in all directions. It also has steep slopes on all sides. The fort follows the outline of the higher slopes. This forms an irregular outer wall that uses the natural form to add defensive height to the fortifications. This offers an advantage over dry ditches being dug. At the top of the steep approach track, the main gate is small and unpretentious, but narrow and deep. Depending on defence requirements, the positions of bastions are irregularly spaced with enormous embrasures for cannon. Each bastion has a cylindrical turret offering a special character to the fort. Vagator Beach with Fort Chapora in the background Inside the fort, the church, once dedicated to St. Anthony, has disappeared and inside only a few signs exist of the barracks and housing that once filled this vast area. The wide expanse of open space is only a tumble of stones, where a few herds of goats graze and cashew bushes grow. A natural valley to the beach protected by rocky promontories provides an excellent natural access to the sea. State : Goa (Source : Wikipedia)
Chapora fort is a beautiful place and you can explore scenic beauty along with your passion for adventure. You can climb up mountain for a wonderful trek and thrilling experience. Visiting Chapora Fort is a memorable experience for me and my friends and is one of the most beautiful attractions in Goa.
I read about this place somewhere online. Although Aguada is more famous, this one must not be missed. This is an awesome place as its visited by fewer people and looks stunning in the rains. Everything was so green and it rained on and off here. The fort walls were covered with moss and i loved the panoramic views that this place offered.
CHAPORA FORT – one for history buffs Remember the Bollywood movie- Dil Chahta Hai? Many of you might have longed to sit on the wall just like the actors. Well!! Fret not. It is the Chapora Fort. Despite being a major tourist attraction, the fort holds a historical significance as well. Dating back to 1717 and the Portuguese rule in Goa, this fort was built in place of an older fort on the same location after the Maratha-Portuguese war. Lying in ruins now, the fort was an attempt by the Portuguese to reinforce their stronghold over the Goan territory and prevent further conflicts. Surrounded by steep slopes and breath taking vistas of Pernem, Chapora River and the Vagator beach, Chapora Fort can leave one bewitched with its splendour.
Befor you realize 4 days are already gone by and its definately not a good feeling. Take some rest and in the evening do visit the famous forts of Goa, the Chapora fort(the dil chahta hai fort) will bring you to a different side of Goa with is raw untouched and away from the busy streets of Goa. Do watch the sun sink down in the sea waters . Its an amazing site. Well its now time to be back to business.
The next day, we were set to travel to north Goa. Tulsi Das ji was waiting for us and we left. Travelling with Tulsi Das ji, was a pleasure. The man in his mid forties, kept us entertaining with stories of Goa. We left Palolem and headed towards Chapora fort. It was a long ride and we reached Chapora fort by 11am. To my dislike I found the fort to be a bit crowded, but nevertheless the view was mesmerizing. The fort stood still surrounded by greenery and overlooking the Vagator beach.
The famous Chapora Fort is uphill Vagator. Leave your bike at the bottom and climb the hill to the fort. You get a 360 degree view from here. This place is most suited for the people who want some time alone. You can spend hours sitting here and wondering. Spend some quality time here and start moving again. Our next stop will be Anjuna. By the time we reach Anjuna, the Sun would have started its disappearance into the ocean. Watch the Sunset sitting on the deck of Curlies, this will be one of the most beautiful sights you ever witnessed.
On my check in at the hostel, I was greeted with more than happy smiles by foriegn travelers staying at the hostel, who were going to be my family for next 3 days. It was the beginning of a happy trip . For the next 3 days we all ate together , cooked together , washed dishes and clothes , explored hidden areas of vagator, swimming at the sunset, hill climbing to "Chapora fort" (((( See the pic below- The "Dil Chahta Hai" Fort , all Bollywood fans must be aware of this ))) to watch sunset , going to a psy trance party as a result of insomnia due to so much of sharing and travel stories !
After resting for a couple of hours we headed to Chapora Fort or more commonly known as the ‘Dil Chahta Hain’ fort. It was just 11 kms from our hotel and after parking at the base of the fort it was a 10 mins walk to the top. (Tip: Wear good sneakers, for guys and gals, with formidable grip as the path is full of small stones that make it slippery and slightly perilous).
Today we headed to Chapora fort the Famous Dil Chahta hai Fort, Chapora fort overlooking the sea make for an endearing sight. Now the fortress lies in ruins; however, the main incentive to climbing up here is the splendid view of nearby Anjuna and Vagator beaches. We spent some time there clicking few pics and enjoying the pleasant breeze and amazing view around the Fort.
There’s something truly magical about Goa during the monsoon. The rainy season means that Goa is taking a break from the busy tourist season and this is a perfect opportunity for you to put your feet up along with the locals as well. Take a lengthy siesta, or a rainy walk along the beach. If there's adventure on your mind then hike up to Fort Chapora (of Dil Chahta Hai Fame) and watch raindrops crashing into the ocean. If it’s relaxation on your mind, then sit in your balcony and enjoy the rainfall along with a hot cup of coffee and a book.Do a cartwheel at the beach and slump on your face because there wouldn’t be anyone to see you!
There’s something truly magical about Goa during the monsoon. The rainy season means that Goa is taking a break from the busy tourist season and this is a perfect opportunity for you to put your feet up along with the locals as well. Take a lengthy siesta, or a rainy walk along the beach. If there's adventure on your mind then hike up to Fort Chapora (of Dil Chahta Hai Fame) and watch raindrops crashing into the ocean. If it’s relaxation on your mind, then sit in your balcony and enjoy the rainfall along with a hot cup of coffee or beer and a book.
After spending a considerable amount of time, we moved to Chapora fort which was visible from the beach. Chapora fort is famous for one Bollywood movie's shooting: Dil Chahta Hai. The view was spectacular from the top of the fort and at one point there was a rough trail from fort to the beach.
Food is not an issue here as everywhere you go you will find some excellent food joints. The same day could be clubbed to visit the Dil Chahta hai Fame Fort. The road to the place is very smooth and you can reach here without any one's help. The beauty of the place is in its location situate at the edge of cliff overlooking the arabian sea the place is neatly maintained and has a great view of the places all around. While coming down saw a beautiful building with a huge statue of Lion at the passageway. Assuming to be the a view point as we moved towards it, a tall serious looking guy told us to elsewhere as it turns out it was the prized possession of kingfisher baron Mr. Mallya. These are the moments that makes me realise we are the peanuts in the world of riches. If you follow the Google Map you can detour and also visit the Jail at the end of the road which is guarded by Sea and cliff from three sides making any escape attempt really futile. Ironical if at all Mr Mallya is sent to serve his sentence here.
Forts. Goa is also famous for its Forts.These military buildings are remains of time.The scenic beauty they offer from it is astounding.1- Chapora Fort -This one is famous for its appearance in Dil Chata Hai movie 2-Aguada Fort 3-Cabo da Rama Fort - This one is in South Goa.
13) Man behind the lens
With a perfect kickstart to our morning, we headed back to our place to get ready and going for the day ahead. Firstly we decided to visit the famous Chapora Fort (a.k.a. "Dil Chahta Hai") fort, as it was also quite nearby to our place. The fort which was once the biggest fort of North Goa, is now only left with a few remains, but the views are indeed breathtaking!The fort is situated on a hilltop and one needs to climb a steep trail to reach the top. If you're adventurous enough, you can also access the fort from the Vagator/Chapora beach below, by hiking your way up the hills.
We had a limited time constraint so we returned back to resort for check out packed our bags and moved to Chapora Fort- Dil Chahta Hai !! Site :) Clicked so many pics here on the top of the rock hills .It was almost a dream for a simple girl from the City of Prayag where I had seen only the holy Ganges and Sangam of Ganga -Yamuna-Saraswati. The different culture ,food and fun elements here but on the top of it the essence of GOAN culture to be there means to come back again !!
The Portuguese left us more than 200 years ago, but parts of their legacy still remain, one of which is Chapora fort, built in 1717.The Fort lies high above the Chapora river overlooking the Vagator beach and the Morjim beach. It lost military significance towards the end of the 18th century once Goa's borders moved northwards. Most of the fort, along with all the barracks and a church now lies in ruins. Nevertheless, it is a majestic and enduring historical monument with spectacular views of the Arabian sea and the sunset vistas. That itself makes it worth climbing to the top.
A small beach in North- Goa, this is a flat beach and perfect for swimming. It is not as popular or crowded compared to many other beaches of the state and especially northern Goa, but is still a favourite of many tourists. There are also water activity options available here but these are not that good compared to the ones at the Sinquerim Beach in the same region. This is often a beach which misses the eye when you are busy visiting the busier beaches of Baga, Calangute and such others.
Already famous at the Saturday Night Market in Anjuna, the Boutique Bar is now also at the intimate but vivacious hotel in Vagator. The cosy bar features new cocktails and high-energy parties that are complemented by mouth-watering grilled snacks at Salaam, the Living Room’s Indo-Arabic restaurant. Set just off the pool where you can enjoy the crisp sunshine before heading off for an evening of fun and entertainment. The Boutique House Bar also has live music and DJs that spin some interesting tracks through the night.
A rocky beach... After you finish having your fun at this beach, don't leave. Trust me, there's is a heaven next to it which you must see. Walk some hundreds of meters through the beach and you will reach another beach known as Ozra/Chhota Vagator beach. Beautiful resorts at the beachside... the least crowded, cleanest beach of goa with rocks of different kind... i reached here the last evening of my trip and regretted a lot about not coming there before. A must go for couples and solo people. Nothing like this beach. Atleast for me and my love... This was the most romantic and exotic place. I would love to go there again and again.
Moving back from Arambol towards Vagator, make a stop at Morjim. Known as “Little Russia” Morjim has a large concentration of Russian Immigrants.The beach is amazing and is a nesting and hatching habitat of the preserved Olive Ridley Sea Turtle. If you are a turtle enthusiast, Morjim will offer you something special in form of Olive Ridley. Grab couple of Beer and chill on the beach or Hill top, you would not want to leave the peace this place will offer. Moving south, our next destination is Vagator. Famous for the hill top parties and the World Famous “Sunburn“, Vagator host some of the best EDM parties in India. The view from the Hill top is amazing and the beach is less crowded unless there is a party nearby.
Vagator is for the peace lovers! Walk along the rocky beach , climb up the fort , or just get confused at the roads, you sure will love the sanity the place offers . ...
Solo backpacking in Vagator turned out to be my best travel so far, and the day of departure from the hostel to other side of Goa where I had planned to spent rest of the days , made me sad ! So I guess it would be now apt for me to say that - It's not the number of days you spend as a traveler ,it's the number of memories you make and how much you grow as a traveler , that make's you a different person !! I made memories I can't do justice to by expressing , I made friends for life, I learnt about cultures that no book would have taught, I reckoned the power of simplicity and nature... So pack you rugsacks, wear your boots, pick up some cash and a book , and get started with the journey of exploration ! For world has more than what you can ever take !!!!! INFO TIME :Tariff at Jungle Hostel: Rs. 500 / night in mixed bed dorm room ( 4 to 6 beds) . Jungle Hostel bookingInclusions : Bed ( obviously) , Attached Bathroom ( Hot water supply) , Spacious room , Personal Luggage lockers, Breakfast , Kitchen ( To kill mid night hunger pangs) , A stocked refrigerator in the common room ( Tons of beers !!! ) , wifi connectivity, and not to forget - THE VIEW and the COMPANY of fellow travelers .... Was it Worth it ??? HELL YES !!!!!!!!
At the parking lot continue to head north towards the direction of Vagator and ask for the water tank. You will cross a newly opened club which is located bang at the parking lot. This club is spelled 'Nyce'. You will see some small trees and then the trail again leads you to the top of a small hill. Walk up the trail till you reach the hilltop. This hilltop offers the first view of the Chopara Fort in the distance. There is a clear mud trail here and walk along it till you cross 'Bliss Beach Resort' and 'Thalasa'. From this point just ask anyone how you can reach the beach or consult Google maps and it will show you the route to the Vagator beach. Get to the beach and continue north till you reach the lifeguard station. A short walk further you have arrived at the foothills of the fort. There is no marked trail. You can just start walking up the cliff. It is not too steep. Once you are up the cliff you will see the walls of the fort. This is the destination. Awesome views of beaches on both sides. And you are not too far away from a shack to get some chilled beer.......Enjoy the hike.One of the busiest beaches in North Goa, this is the starting point of the hike.The first major beach/village that one reaches upon starting the hike.Second beach on the trail from where it is an easy access to the fort.The destination.
j) Drove to Vagator beach for a good strollk) Drinks at Nine bar amidst good trans music and dinner at restaurant (don't remember the name) right next to Nine Barl) Drove to Sinq club (Opp. Taj Holiday Village), Candolim, for a pool party Day 3(Saturday) a) Morning at Baga beach. Breakfast at one of the shacks at the beachb) Lunch at Zuperb restaurant, Calangute. Nice food. c) Drove to Assagao/Siolim and checked church and the beach. d) Drove to Penha De France to see the churche) Drove to "Paper Boat Collective" for nice collections to buy. Shop is at Sangolda at Penha De Franca, Chogm Road. We couldn't locate the shop easily. Skip it if you do not have enough timef) Back to Baga for evening beach strollg) Dinner at Chef Soumyen's Kitchen at Calangute then moved to Saturday Night Market at Arpora. This market is a must visit if you are in Goa on Saturday night.h) Drove to Club Cabbana for staurday night Day 4a) Morning stroll at Baga beachb) Checked out of the hotel at around 10 amc) Drove to old Goa ferry terminal and took a ferry to Divar Island. Nice walk amidst portuguese era buildingsd) Lunch at Old Goae) Saw Viceroy's Arch, St. Cajetan church, Se Cathedral, St. Francis of Assisi church and Basilica of Bom Jesuse) Drove to Pilar f) Back to Panjim. Returned the car. g) Took a night bus to Bangalore
It is better you reach early at the venue so that you can find parking easily at the appropriate location Sunburn finishes by 12-1 AM, post which you can go to any of the after-parties which are happening at different locations/beaches. In 2014, venue was Vagator Beach. As soon as sunburn finishes, there will be hell loads of traffic outside. It took us almost 2.5 hours to reach our hotel on Candolim beach from Vagator. And since almost everyone present in Sunburn is completely sloshed, people prefer reaching here by cars with drivers. Therefore, roads are completely blocked. It is advisable to either hire a 2-wheeler but only if the person driving it will be sober enough or try to exit the venue few minutes before the climax (but best performances are saved for end of the day only!) Drinks of sponsored brands will only be served. So very limited options in terms of booze are available. In 2014, it was only Vodka of Smirnoff and Beer of Kingfisher premium. Food is generally good but costly Don’t even think of carrying your own booze, food items, cigarettes, water bottles or any illegal stuff while entering as you will be thoroughly scanned (I am not aware of any backdoor entries!) And yes whether you love it or not you will get to hear only and only trance music! But when you are high on booze, partying along your friends and everyone else around you seems to enjoying it then it won’t really matter what kind of music is getting into your ears! It’s a general notion that Sunburn is swarming with people and you don’t even have space to step your foot, leave alone the dancing! Well, believe me it is not true at all. It’s a huge venue to accommodate hordes of party people so you will have enough space to dance, sit, lie down and roam around. It is advisable to stay close with your group and decide a common meeting point amongst yourself in case of any kind of unfortunate situations like phone got switched off or lost, etc. All in all it was an awesome experience. 3 days of complete partying and relaxing. Partying through the night, sleeping till noon, then lazing in the shacks on beaches, roaming around and back to partying! That’s what our routine was for those 3 days! Whole Goa is in party mood during that time. I have been to Goa before many times but during Sunburn it has completely different vibes! I highly recommend experiencing it once in a lifetime if you love partying in Goa!
Once you reach the top, it is a barren land with most of the walls of the forts filled with people admiring the Vagator beach on the left and the much secluded Morjim beach on the right. Sun gave us the skip that day much to our disappointment as we were looking forward to becoming philosophical and to see the sun go down on the horizon.
Vagator beach adjoining Anjuna is secluded, crescent shaped and situated on the Caisua bay along the Chapora river basin, in the shadow of Chapora fort, one of a favourite venue for mid night parties. We have spent some time there and went to one of the club in Vagator. Thalasa Restaurant , Greek style restaurant in Vagator is a upscale place and a perfect place to have few drinks while sunset, Ambiance is very simple yet beautiful, be ready to shell-out few more as it’s a little expensive place but a must visit. * Sinquerim Beach is located 13 km north of Panaji *Calangute is located 15 kms from Panjim and 2 km from Baga.* At times this Calangute–Baga road is Goa’s worst traffic jam. * Vagator is located 21 km north of Panaji near Anjuna* Thaslasa is Close during Monsoon* Vagator has lot of good Pubs and lounges like Waters, Hill top, Nyex etc most of them are upscale, crowd here is also upscale as most of them are expensive places Day 5
Vagator beach is another one of the calm and peaceful, yet enticing, beaches of North Goa. Beautifully hemmed-in between the cliffs and white sand all over the beach with coconut trees stretching vast, Vagator beach is a refuge to the tranquility.
We already booked our scooties the first day, so all the transportation was done through bikes only. Next spot was vagator beach. The beach had clearer water than baga and calangute beach. The waves were in their full mood and bathing in that sea was no less than a bumpy ride. We walked the sandy bottom till the water reached to our height, it felt so good and the cold water gave us chills.
We landed in Goa, Dabolin airport around 5 pm on january 2nd 2017. We booked a cab for 1200 INR for our hotel located vagator beach, which is approx. 42 km from the airport and it took 1 hours 20 min exact by car.We checked into aryan's resort, there were several other places around we choose aryan's for its splendid view of the vagator beach from room and also because it shares walls with the most famous night club in goa THALASSA (must visit place).
The satisfaction of waking up in a far-off land, away from the monotony of everyday life, is a priceless feeling. I wouldn't trade it for anything. With that thought in mind,the morning on the second day of my trip started surprisingly early! We decided to hit the beach (thanks to its proximity to our place), early in the morning at around 7, to enjoy the vibe at that time, which was indeed beautiful and one not to be missed. We had intended to catch the sunrise but were unable to do so. Nonetheless, what we experienced instead was equally beautiful in its own way, the quiet, calm sea, hardly any people except for the joggers and the yoga-fanatics sprawled here and there on the beach, and the slight chill in the air was better than any morning cup of tea or coffee that we generally require to start our day back in the city.
Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone's throw of the sea. We were the only embracers (probably because it was 11:30 in the night) witnessing the stillness being disrupted by the roaring of waves. And somehow, while immersed in our deep thoughts we realize that it’s time for us to depart as we had an early morning flight to catch for Bangalore.Came back to our resort, used the short period of time left for a brisk nap and then took the cab ride back to the Dabolim Airport. A soothing journey marked its end with gentle drizzling and made us feel nostalgic instantly.I'll end this note by a very famous saying close to my heart, "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware".
We had our flight back to Delhi late in the evening that day, but the airport was a 2 hour journey from our place, hence we had close to just 4-5 hours to spend on the last day of our trip. So, we decided to dedicate this entire day to quench our adrenaline thirsts and bring out the adventure-sporty in us! Though, I am not a big fan of WATER sports (being hydrophobic), I still mustered up my courage and just went for it.Water sports can be found on almost every beach of North Goa, the most popular ones being the Baga and Calangute, as they see the maximum crowd therefore, the cheapest rates. If you're willing to spend just a tad bit more, then Vagator Beach is the best for water sports. Neither is it too extremely expensive, nor is there too much crowd, that you have to wait hours for your turn. If you go around 11 AM, you would find the minimum crowd and can enjoy the sports nicely as there wouldn't be too many people waiting in line.There are various packages available, which are customisable as well according to your requirements. Though bargaining with the locals is a tricky affair, you can still try your luck, but honestly it won't really matter after you're through with the exhilarating experience!(Utmost Important Getting Ready tip:Slather yourself with loads of sunscreen, as you're going to spend too much time out there under the scorching Sun for you're own good!)I went in for the four-sport package, which costed around INR 1500, and included :1. Jet-Ski ride (lasts close to 3 minutes),
Vagator beach is one of the most scenic beaches in Goa that is situated immediately north of the Anjuna beach overlooked by steep laterite hills. On the way beach you can find many street sellers with stone armaments, bags and with other stuff. We played with kids sometime in the beach. First time in this trip, my small kid also started playing in the beach. He played some time in the water, then go back to beach started running as his wish. My other two keep on played with sea shores.
Mainly known for the historical Chapora Fort, this is a popular beach which is about 10 kilometres from Mapusa. The other reason for the popularity of this beach is the fact that this is well accessible from other popular beaches such as Anjuna and Candolim too. There are opportunities for swimming, shopping and eating too but it is better not to spend the night here. This is because this beach area is a marked one for the people who are involved in drugs and there are other people who are involved in illegal activities during the night time as well.
A peaceful shore, calm sea, few water sports, and good food - this beach has everything you look for in an unruffled getaway. The beach makes for an irresistible sight with white sand dotted with black lava rocks and Chapora fort overlooking the sea. Excited much?
Chapora beach is one of the most beautiful beach in Goa. The green mountains, the golden sand and the cold water is mesmerising. It's a good place to have fun from your busy mundane life. The hut restaurants are something which is admired by all. You can jump, swim, play, do whatever you want in the water.
One of the perfect places to visit in Goa in the blazing hot sun is the famous Chapora Beach known for its serenity. It is a very clean and picturesque beach having coconut palms all along its stretch known as the Chapora Fort. Present nearby are also some of the best restaurants which serve delicious gourmet food and drinks.
Ozran Beach Road
Also known as the Vagator Beach Road, this is along which the bus will take you to get down at the Vagator Beach. More peaceful than the other main beaches, this is also not a very popular one. You will however find a number of options for eating as well shopping here. The massuers here are very good at giving you some relaxation and you certainly need to be aware of some leachourous people who come here to disturb others. There are always policemen here to whom you can confide at anytime. Also, this is a flat beach and perfect for swimming. There is also a beautiful, black statue of Lord Shiva nearby and almost on the shores which makes it clear that there are Hindu influences too out here.
Another name of the Vagator Beach, this is not a very known part of the Vagator Beach. The main attraction here apart from the beach itself is the 6ft tall idol of Lord Shiva with a backdrop of greenery and of course the waters of the river. There are a number of shopping stalls but bargaining is a must here. The food stalls are decent too. The only drawback here is that there are at times a bad crowd especially in this beach and to get rid of their nuisance you can just go and approach the police who are present here all time at your service.
This trip came along as the much-needed leisurely break from the monotony and mayhem of life. A spontaneous but well-planned trip had me and the special someone heading off to celebrate the beauty of the monsoons in the lap of the beautiful rocky Ozran Beach, also known as the Little Vagator.
After Thalassa, we went to this private beach which has the stair down which is right parallel to Antares (antares is right next to Thalassa). This beach is also known as small vagator beach and not the one to miss at all! Do do do visit this beach if you happen to be by Thalassa! The sunset and the evening time is best. Nothing less than paradise with neon lit umbrellas, candle light, far from chaos and soothing breeze!
Vagator is a quiet little place in the district of Bardez, hidden away in the lush greenery of the glorious monsoons, serene and enchantingly beautiful. Ozran Beach, also called the Little Vagator, at a walkable distance from the hotel, provided an amazing landscape. A rocky beach, with coconut trees swaying in the wind, and the clear foamy waters, the rippling waves breaking at the shore and retreating only to rush forth again with unparalleled vigour. Be it the cool breeze or the mighty winds, you cannot help but sit on the rocks for hours together, staring far ahead into the sea, losing yourself in a chain of thoughts, taking in the view, enjoying the calm surroundings; the rush you feel when you see something so beautiful and magnificent, the joys that the simplicity of nature brings that one usually overlooks when you're so engrossed with a busy life all come rushing to you with a suddenly unleashed force. A beautiful place to soothe your tired nerves and rejuvenate yourself, Vagator is just the place to be in North Goa.
Hotels and Homestays in Vagator 230 Hotels
Weekend Getaways from Vagator
305 Kms from Vagator
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Hampi (Hampe) is a village and temple town recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi in northern Karnataka, India. It is situated within the ruins of the city of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, Hampi continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple and several other monuments belonging to the old city. Hampi is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. It is 353 km from Bangalore. The extant monuments of Vijayanagara or Hampi can be divided into Religious, Civil & Military buildings. The Jain temples on Hemakuta hill, the two Devi shrines and some other structures in the Virupaksha temple complex predate the Vijayanagara Empire. Hampi tourism has special importance for the Hanuman devotees, as mythical Kishkinda, the monkey kingdom was located here. You can see plenty of motifs and carvings of Hanuman all around the sites of which some are brilliantly colourful.Read More
And Hampi is not too far away from Badami, so why give it a miss, if you have the time. Hopping from the Chalukyan dynasty to the Vijayanagara Empire completes you journey into this time machine. Here every rock has a story to narrate. History comes alive at every nook and corner of Karnataka.Badami can be reached from Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mangalore and Mumbai by flight to Belagavi (IXG) and from there you can hire a cab. There are trains to Badami from Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. And buses you will find plenty.The landscape on the way to Badami is all spruced up and beautiful, if you vroom on your bikes/car from both Hyderabad or Bangalore. Give the wind an opportunity to play with your hair.Go, click some selfies on some filmy locations and make some memories to flaunt!"If You don't know History, then you don't know anything. You are a Leaf that doesn't know it is part of a Tree" - Micheal CrichtonCover Picture Credits: Wikipedia
Hampi town and the group of monuments at hampi as recognised by the UNESCO is spread over a very large area. We rented an auto for a day to visit these attractions covering monuments like Lotus Mahal, Elephant Stable, underground shiva temple, sasive kalu ganesha temple and many others. The auto drivers here could communicate comfortably in english and hindi (helps when you don't know the local language) and gave a brief history of each of the monuments.
The next day, we planned on checking out early, and crossing back to the mainland. As we waited for our boat to cross over, I bough some colourful and cute anklets for myself from the stalls that lined the road. One of my friends decided to buy himself some flowery and flowing shirts to appear more "hippy".When we crossed over to the other side, we got ourselves an auto who said he would show us around Hampi and take us to all the famous places. Our train back to Bangalore was only in the night, so we realized that this was the best plan for us.We went past famous land marks, some of which were being renovated.
The next day, we woke up, and headed to Gopi's cafe for breakfast. After a salad-y breakfast, we found someone who let us rent some mopeds to get around. We instantly mapped out a few places we could get around to. We found the route connecting us to the mainland from the island without having to go across the river.The first destination I had in mind was this place called the White Elephant. It was supposed to be a good cafe and a good 15-20 km away. The route leading to this cafe was beautiful to say the least. We stopped at several locations along the way to take some fun photos!
We stayed in a cottage right next to a paddy field. The setting sun always cast its last rays on the paddy fields giving it a warm glow. We had booked two rooms for 5 of us and the hosts warned us about wild animals roaming around at nights, especially sloth bears. The moment we reached, we were extremely hungry and we had spotted a nice cafe to eat, Gopi Island, on our way to our stay. We unpacked, freshened up quickly and walked back to Gopi Island to eat.The menu items in all the cafes in Hampi are almost the same. Organic salads, pastas, burgers, and sometimes pizza. The key word is organic. They are meant to be healthy and non-fatty.
Standing throughout the night, exhausted I was and so booked a cheap place at 03:00 AM adding a note that I'll be checking in by 08:00 AM. I didn't quite expect the keeper to be there waiting for me because I had booked at the Witching Hour! I took a quick nap to juice myself up after the tiresome journey and then headed to explore Hampi.I know there'll tons of people who'll say I could've taken a bus to Hospet and with a reserved seat that would have been much much better. Well, I know, and I didn't.I walked around the town, explored all the places, learnt a lot about the fascinating history of the place full of ruins and monuments that is spread across around 25 sqkm. Wait! Whaaaat! Amazing, right?
I took a bus from Bangalore to Hospet on the night of 4th August, around 11 p.m., and reached Hospet at 7 in the morning. I was swarmed by Auto drivers who offered to take me to Hampi for anything between 200-400 rupees (which is a short 8 km drive). I decided to walk down to the local bus stop and get a bus to Hampi from there. Buses deploy from Hospet to Hampi every half an hour, so I had to wait for 15 minutes to catch the 7:30 bus. It was just 13 rupees for the ticket.I got down at the Hampi bus stop, and could immediately see the overdose of culture and heritage this UNESCO World Heritage site had, and decided not to stay on here. Instead, I walked towards the Virupaksha temple, towards the Tungabhadra river site, and got on a ferry (which is 30 rupees per ride per person) and made it to the other side of the river to an island called the Virupapura Gadde (though it is famously known as Hippie Island).When you get on this island, people swarm you with offers to stay at their guest house or to rent a bike, but I walked through them to a small quiet guest house called 'Nargila' (a friend of mine who shares common travel goals with me suggested this place) and it was beautiful. I got a nice clean room for one night for 600 rupees, attached bath, and a hammock outside the room.I hadn't slept a lot from the bus ride in the night, so I decided to get some coffee and some food in me. Ganga (the caretaker at Nargila) got me some coffee and breakfast in the Nargila cafe which was right next to my room. They don't have the concept of chairs and tables in the cafe. Instead, you remove your shoes outside the cafe and there are mattresses on the floor on which you can sit.
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.
134 Kms from Vagator
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.
163 Kms from Vagator
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.
259 Kms from Vagator
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
Of panoramic views, perennial waterfalls and picturesque landscapes, Mahabaleshwar stands out as the largest and most popular hill station in the Western Ghats. Owing to comfortable temperatures, Mahabaleshwar is thronged by tourists throughout the year, except during the four months of heavy monsoons from June to September. Being the erstwhile summer capital of the Bombay presidency during the British Raj, this place has a lot to offer — spectacular sunrise and sunset viewpoints, popular one-day treks to go on, and boating at the Venna Lake. Additionally, tourists can retrospect history at the centuries-old Pratapgad Fort and savour some toothsome jams and marmalades at the Mapro Garden. One must not miss out on the famous corn patties and strawberry cream when in Mahabaleshwar. Should you visit in March, you will be lucky to witness the gastronomically delightful Strawberry Festival that takes place every year. Plan a weekend getaway to this hill station and you will be impressed. Read More
it was around 10 o'clock in the morning and we reached Mahabaleshwar. we stayed at Hira Baug resort panchgani, okay so it is a little far from town but trust me the view you get from here is worth it! charges are variable so if you wish to go there then please google its price or contact them directly. had lunch over there and then i went to sleep as i traveled for 16 hours, and ya lunch was good! after 3 hours of sleep i woke up at 4:00 pm and then left resort to explore Mahabaleshwar! i don't know how but sunset was early so as soon i reached Venna lake there was about to sunset, so what i did was just set down near to the lake and enjoyed that beautiful sunset! it was wonderful, the silent water that kids playing around and that cold weather makes it perfect! then i left for Mahabaleshwar market. it was usual market surrounded with some stuff and all. yes do not forget to try strawberry with cream! if you like strawberry then you will love it as Mahabalehswar is capital of strawberry! then i left for my resort as i was hungry, i had my dinner and went to sleep.
The clouds were at the level of our eye line at our entry(made at night time) to Mahabaleshwar which proved to be an amazing sight.Next day we were off to discover the beauty of this marvel that we made our visit to. Mahabaleshwar certainly has one of the best hills in all of Maharashtra if not the best. The multi-colored impression the hills give are something to look out to.
Located in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is a gorgeous hill station, with hanging clouds and covered in mist, wrapped in a lush green wild. With a rich princely legacy reflected in colonial era architecture that earmarks the town, Mahabaleshwar has a charming appeal. The town’s scenic beauty is enthralling, being the base of five rivers, nestled in magnificent Western Ghats. With spectacular view of the sunrise and sunset, trekking trails, horse riding paths and boating in the rivers, Mahabaleshwar offers a meditative ambience, the perfect weekend getaway and thereby one of the best places to visit in India in May.How to get there: Well-connected by road from Pune, which also has the nearest airport. The nearest railway station is Wathar.
One of the best places for a weekend getaway would have to be Mahabaleshwar. The large plateau is surrounded by valleys on all four sides. It is among the best picnic spots situated near Pune. What adds to its charm? The lush evergreen forests and beautiful imagery. Legend has it that Mahadev temple is located where the River Krishna originates. A boat ride down Vienna Lake is definitely worth your time. Pratapgarh Fort is another historical place of significance one can visit. Strawberries and resorts is a luxury resort at Mahabaleshwar that is located amidst valleys that grow strawberries. The place is modern with all the amenities that one can ask for. It is a great place to rush off to for the weekend with your family. So be wise and try this out.Distance from Pune: 121 Km
We expected to take a ferry, but there was none. So we had to take this long along-the-river road. The road above the river is full of red sand. It required high levels of patience to ride this. More than 50 minutes, the road was all red with up and down slopes of red sand. I was sure, the bike would skid at some place, but it didnt. I must be a good rider. What was worse was the incoming trucks loaded with more red sand and blowing the dust in the air. Siddi was all red when we reached the bridge crossing.
7. Mahabaleshwar:Once the summer capital of the Bombay province, Mahabaleshwar is a plateau that is surrounded by valleys on all sides, and offers stunning vistas of the lush greenery it is surrounded by. It is also known for being the birthplace of the river Krishna, along with 6 other rivers. One can also make day trips to Raigad, Pratapgad, Wai, Lingmala waterfalls and the Venna lake. Located at 160 and 260 kms from Bombay and Pune respectively, Mahabaleshwar is one of the ideal places to visit in Spring season in India.
Mahabaleshwar is an iconic hill station on Maharashtra's Panchgani Plateau, which is the second largest plateau in Asia after Tibet. India's very own volcanic plateau remains green throughout the year. The magnanimous rocky formations and hills make it a magnet for tourists and also one of the best places to visit in February in India. The weather during this month stays at an average 20℃ throughout the day and dips a little at night.How to reach: The best way to reach Mahabaleshwar is by train. The nearest railway station in Wathar is 60km away.Travel to see the lesser known side of Sikkim, a dream called Lachen & Lachung!
234 Kms from Vagator
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
The seven hills surrounding Satara give this picturesque district its name. Home to the popular Panchgani and Mahableshwar, Satara in Maharashtra is perfect for a rejuvenation holiday. If you are here for a holiday, do visit the scenic Kaas Plateau overlooking the Kaas Lake. Though it is a popular spot, you may be disappointed with the lack of good eating places. It's best to head here after breakfast. Another wonderful tourist spot is the Thoseghar Waterfalls. Located about 25 km from Satara, these lovely waterfalls offer the most stunning views during monsoon. Also the highest waterfall in Maharashtra, Thoseghar should definitely be on your itinerary. If you have more time, then head to the village of Bamnoli, located 50 km away, where you can enjoy boating in the Shivsagar Lake. There are tons of places to visit in Satara district so do choose your destinations in accordance to the kind of holiday you'd like to take. Read More
This beautiful weekend destination is located right where the River Krishna joins its tributary called Venna. This place was the erstwhile capital of the powerful Maratha Empire. This little city should interest history buffs as there are a number of places of historical relevance to visit. Most of the heritage sites and other cultural hubs are the reason why tourists come here for a relaxing weekend. The weather is good throughout the year for a lovely picnic with family and friends. To experience one of the best weekend getaways from Pune within 200 Km, make a visit to Satara. Once known to be the capital of the powerful Maratha Empire, Satara stands at the meeting point of the Krishna River and Venna, its tributary. It is the monuments here that draw in the tourists in droves and one is sure to have a great time here. The Vajrai waterfalls, and the forts Sajjangarh and Ajinkyatara are places one cannot miss here and the Kass Plateau is one of nature’s wonders to behold here in Satara. July to February is when one should visit this wonderful place. Around 112 kilometres away from Pune, Satara is full of surprise packages that one should visit in order to unravel. Take your pick from the list above of some of the best places to visit near Pune within 100 km.Distance from Pune: 113 Km
As I reached Satara it became even worse - the mad traffic and the road, and finally reached Pune at 8 pm. It was so nice to see my favorite Mama and Mami. Went for local Pune ride the next day and found myself like AK in PK. No one was following traffic rules, no helmets, no rules nothing. Saw people staring at me for following regulations. While coming back from MG road a guy in Merc was shouting at me for waiting for traffic light to turn green. Educated illiterate eh!? Spent the next two days in Pune and got much needed rest and most needed sleep. Running short of time, energy and most importantly money I decided to skip Mumbai and head to Goa. On 29th Dec left for Panchagani and Mahabaleswar. Visited Ganapati Temple in Wai and started climbing the hill. Reached the next destination by 11 am. Spent some time in city and at various places and left for Ratnagari. Joined Mumbai–Goa highway and reached the city of mangoes by 6 pm and stayed there for the night.
In the evening we started for Mahabaleshwar... Next day was fully dedicated to Mahabaleshswar. Visit to Mahabaleshwar Temple was quite ok. The highlight was after that. We reached one of the view point in old Mahabaleshwar. There was nothing to see the whole area was covered with fog. On reaching there in the jungle we saw the whole heard on Indian Bison. They were so big ab majestic and looking great......
Our initial target for the day was Pune (845 kms from Bangalore), but since we got delayed and we didn’t want to ride through the night, we decided to stay at a place called Satara. Pune was still a good 100 kms away. After a bit of hunting, we found a decent hotel right on the highway and we were settled in. I slept like a baby that night!Day 1 Stay: Hotel Mahindra Executive, SataraPros: Decent Staff. Good Food. Right on the highway.Cons: Small rooms. Slightly pricy.Few Pointers: Start as early as you can. Make note that you need time to pack the luggage onto the bikes. Always keep spare bungee cords. Also thoroughly wrap your luggage with tarpaulin. NH4 has relatively fewer fuel stations, so keep this in mind when you’re running low. The hotels in Satara have something called permit rooms, which people rent to host alcohol parties. This can get pretty ugly with an unruly crowd. So please check thoroughly before you zero in.DAY 2:Satara – Mumbai (270 kms):We were all pretty beat from riding all day long, so we slept in even though we had planned to leave early. After having some yum MisalPav andPoha for breakfast, we were ready to leave by 9AM. Now we had the horrendous task of loading the luggage and wrapping it with tarpaulin. It was only Day 2 and I was already fed up with the wrapping and unwrapping of tarpaulin. It is such a tedious task.Anyway, we finally managed to leave by 10AM. The road from here is great, and the view is out of this world. The route is surrounded by the Western Ghats. This beauty is mesmerizing all year round, but during the monsoons she has an outer worldly charm. Serene, calm and soothing. What a refreshing start to the day.
76 Kms from Vagator
It was during this time of the month that there was a festival in Canacona town that had a 2 km long procession of people on the road blocking the only highway to Bangalore. Our bus left at 6 PM, and at 1 AM the next day, we were still in Goa, stuck on the highway.My friend and I got out, saw that 12 other buses and other vehicles were stranded on the road with no access to a washroom or restaurant. Someone had allowed the people to let their procession onto the road illegally. Since I had worked previously at RedFM and NDTV, I managed to get the ACP of Goa on the phone. He blabbered something about his superior giving the go-ahead and I gave him a mouthful and a peace of my mind. It was my friend and I who drove the police to move the people out of the way so that the buses could continue.Finally, at around 2:15 AM, we managed to get the buses moving with every driver thanking me along the way. I had verbally yelled at the ACP enough for him to turn off his phone for the entire night. We got onto the bus, told the driver that he needed to drive his best. Because of how tired we were, we dozed off instantly. The next morning at 7 AM, we were miraculously in Bangalore! This is one of those few moments in a lifetime that I am immensely proud of. As a journalist, I felt I'd done my duty. I had even sat in one of the police cars and told them I wouldn't leave until they cleared the road for us. Believe it or not, that's what finally worked!As much as we didn't touch the usual in Goa, it felt complete. I'd spent years looking at beaches in Goa, but never had a chance to explore the underrated. And this time, I did it. It felt absolutely complete. But, a few days after reaching back, I realized that there's a whole lot more I hadn't discovered. And that's something I did on my next trip to Goa, but more on that next time!Here's a short compilation of one of my trips to Goa! Please like, share, and subscribe! Read More
It was during this time of the month that there was a festival in Canacona town that had a 2 km long procession of people on the road blocking the only highway to Bangalore. Our bus left at 6 PM, and at 1 AM the next day, we were still in Goa, stuck on the highway.My friend and I got out, saw that 12 other buses and other vehicles were stranded on the road with no access to a washroom or restaurant. Someone had allowed the people to let their procession onto the road illegally. Since I had worked previously at RedFM and NDTV, I managed to get the ACP of Goa on the phone. He blabbered something about his superior giving the go-ahead and I gave him a mouthful and a peace of my mind. It was my friend and I who drove the police to move the people out of the way so that the buses could continue.Finally, at around 2:15 AM, we managed to get the buses moving with every driver thanking me along the way. I had verbally yelled at the ACP enough for him to turn off his phone for the entire night. We got onto the bus, told the driver that he needed to drive his best. Because of how tired we were, we dozed off instantly. The next morning at 7 AM, we were miraculously in Bangalore! This is one of those few moments in a lifetime that I am immensely proud of. As a journalist, I felt I'd done my duty. I had even sat in one of the police cars and told them I wouldn't leave until they cleared the road for us. Believe it or not, that's what finally worked!As much as we didn't touch the usual in Goa, it felt complete. I'd spent years looking at beaches in Goa, but never had a chance to explore the underrated. And this time, I did it. It felt absolutely complete. But, a few days after reaching back, I realized that there's a whole lot more I hadn't discovered. And that's something I did on my next trip to Goa, but more on that next time!Here's a short compilation of one of my trips to Goa! Please like, share, and subscribe!
Day 1 - Saturday morning 6 am - The most beautiful sunrise was infront of me . Lush greens, washed forests, beautiful sea and a clear sun brimming through the dew and mists of rain .
For every teetotaller and loner, Vagator is completely the wrong option. Instead, disappear from the madness and crowd to the southern side for serenity at Canacona Beach. A perfect place to spend some time in solitude!
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