Who wouldn't love a trip to Goa as a birthday gift? My brother was lucky enough to have one. He was 3 when we had a family trip to Goa and till now he didn't have a chance to go to Goa again. So we decided to gift him with it. And I thought I should share the fun here on my blog.
Day 1- We left Pune at around 3:30 pm. Pune to Goa isn't a short journey and considering that my father gets tired while driving we decided to have a halt in Kolhapur. Now that we were in Kolhapur we thought we should visit the famous Mahalakshmi Temple, but we were unlucky I must say, the deity's idol was to undergo a chemical conservation due to which the worshipers couldn't worship the actual idol. But we did get to go the temple and what a wonderful feeling it was. We reached Kolhapur at 8 pm and even after four and a half hours of travelling all the tiredness went away the minute we stepped in the temple. It was amazing. After that we went to have dinner. And how can one miss the 'tambda rassa' and 'pandhra rassa' when in Kolhapur. So we had it and then went to the hotel.
Heading towards Kolhapur
Everything was green due to the rainy season
Inside the Mahalakshmi Temple
The Mahalakshmi Temple
Yummy spicy Kolhapuri food
Day 2- So we were pretty much excited to start our journey to Goa. We had our breakfast and left for Goa. It was a continuous journey till Amboli Ghat. We did stop for a minute or so just to confirm the route. As we started towards Amboli the climate began to change. Clear skies turned cloudy, dusty roads turned wet, the sides all green and the climate all cold and foggy. We stopped by the Amboli waterfall for about one and a half hour. It was simply awesome. We were in the lap of nature. Beautiful waterfalls, lovely green grass, beautiful birds and butterflies and monkeys of course. We enjoyed the scenery with some mouth-watering kanda bhaji and hot hot coffee. We didn't want to leave this place but this wasn't our destination. I remembered last year when I had visited Goa with my friends. Amboli was beautiful but not as beautiful as it was now. We then started our journey towards Goa. We then didn't halt anywhere and straight reached our destination at around 4 o'clock. The hotel we had booked for our stay was a good budget hotel. However, being an OCD freak for cleanliness I will say I did not love it. It was nice but not awesome. We then freshened up had our evening snacks and hit straight to the beach. Last year when I visited Goa I had a strange reaction on my skin due to the sun. Though this time it was the rainy season, I was a bit hesitant to go to the beach, but I really couldn't resist it. We enjoyed on the Candolim beach which was just 5 mins away from the hotel and even collected sea shells. We even saw a fishermen family pulling out the net they had put for fishing, however, there was just one fish in it. We even saw a few star fishes, however they were broken so we just let it be. After enjoying at the beach we came back to the hotel, had a bath and went to Baga beach and did some shopping and then went for dinner. After dinner we came back and went to sleep.
On our way to Goa
The beautiful road towards Amboli
The lovely Amboli waterfall
Time for some pet-puja
My brother enjoying the waterfall
Look who's here
The road was quite foggy
Day 3- We were in Goa for my brothers birthday and shopping was a main part of the trip. So day 3 was all about shopping. We got ready and left for Panaji. First we visited the Panaji church and then started our shopping spree. It was a Sunday so the main market was closed however there was this local market where we got all things cheap. From there we went to Anjuna beach, did some photography and then again did some shopping. After that it was time to get inked. Tattoos were really cheap in Goa, so I and my brother decided to go for it. After getting inked, we went for dinner. Nothing much on the 3rd day, it was all about shopping. After dinner back to the hotel and straight to the bed.
Calangute Beach Market
My brother's tattoos
Day 4- Day 4 I must say was a day of worship. St. Xavier's Church, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Mangeshi Temple. We did all this on the 4th day. But before that my mother also wanted to get a tattoo. So we went to this tattoo parlour which was near the hotel. My mother got inked and then we left for the church. We first went to the St. Xavier's Church. It was huge and so divine. It was calm and silent. And there was a feeling of peace as soon as we entered the church. There were a few people but all were busy offering prayers. We also sat down for some time and let ourselves go with the flow. It was a lovely feeling. After St. Xavier's we went to Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is just opposite to St. Xavier's Church. This is the place where lies the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. From outside the Basilica is a very old construction, however, it looks lovely. Inside is a church and on one side is the body of St. Francis Xavier. The body is kept in a glass coffin on a height. It is however put to public display after every 10 years for 45 days. Followers come to seek blessings from the saint himself. They say according to Christianity, a person cannot be called a saint until and unless a part of their body is kept in Rome. Hence, the right hand of St. Xavier is in Rome. We came out from there. Mangeshi wasn't on our list. But my father inquired about it and when he got to know it was nearby, he insisted on going there. So we went to Mangeshi temple. The guard of the temple was very kind. He gave me a cloth to wrap around as short dresses are not allowed in the temple premises. We then went and offered prayers. There is this 'beediwale baba'. We have to light up a 'beedi' and wish. They say the wish comes true. After that we went to Calangute Beach for some more shopping. & after much efforts we found the correct route to reach 'Dona Paula'. However, it was already dark so we were there for just 10-15 minutes. We did get tired after that and also were hungry. We just wanted to eat and sleep. So we straight hit the hotel had dinner and went to sleep.
My mom getting a tattoo
Basilica of Bom Jesus
The body of St. Xavier
St. Xavier's Church
Day 5- The Birthday and the day of our return journey. We woke up and first wished my brother. We then got ready had our breakfast and checked out of the hotel. We then went to Candolim beach and spent some time there and then left for Pune. On our way we took a cake. We decided to do something different. We again stopped at Amboli and cut the cake in the ghat. A totally different birthday celebration. He was happy, we were happy, we ate cake and then started our return trip. Non-stop to Pune. We did halt to have tea in the evening. After that straight to Pune.
The birthday cake
On our way back home
It was an off season so Goa wasn't too crowded. Though rainy season, it would rain heavily only for about 10 minutes and then stop completely. Alcohol as usual is was and shall remain very cheap. Over all our trip was great and we enjoyed it completely.
So if you are someone who needs a break from your hectic schedule. Want to sift away from the crowd and booze Goa can be a good option. :-)