After discussing different routes and things to do over breakfast, we decided to catch a ferry to the neighbouring village Bankot. The boat that stood at the end of the narrow jetty looked small but the local fishermen helped us load our bikes on it with ease. We later found out that there are two jetties in town. The one that we took was used by the locals for fishing. The other jetty which was used for ferrying people and vehicles was wider and the boats there were large enough to accommodate vehicles as big as buses. The locals in Bankot depend on fishing as their primary source of livelihood. Riding through the narrow lanes of the village we reached Bankot Fort. A small fort perched on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Konkan coastline that hasn’t featured on the tourist maps yet. There isn’t much to do here except enjoying the view in peace, away from the noise and the distractions of other popular hangouts.Another such place that doesn’t find a mention in the guide books but is a must-see is the ‘Parikrama Marg’ located near the famous temple in Harihareshwar. One has to enter the temple premises and take the steps that go uphill. The climb is not only a good calorie burner, but also gives a fantastic view of the beach below. Soon it was time to head back home and we decided to take the route that runs along the coast via Shrivardhan, Diveagar leading to Rajapuri creek as seen in the map below. With the Arabian Sea and white beaches as a constant backdrop, this is easily one of those drives you can’t have enough of.
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117 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - January,February,October,November,December
Perhaps the largest metropolis in the country, Mumbai is a multi-faceted city with something to offer everyone. From the imposing architecture of Gateway of India to the crystal clear waters of the Marine Drive, from the modern architecture marvel of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link to the Elephanta Caves, the city brings the old and new together. It is also home to the very popular Hindi film industry and most Bollywood celebrities have residences here. The most famous spot here is probably the Chowpatty Beach, which remains packed throughout the year, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival which sees thousands of Mumbaikars get together to immerse an idol in the waters. The Siddhivinayak Temple of Mumbai is a famous place that is frequented by believers in large numbers on a daily basis. Lying along the salty waters of the Arabian Sea is the Juhu Beach, which is another popular beach in the city. The Essel World Amusement Park here is an ideal picnic spot to cool off in the hot summers of Mumbai. The city, being a metro, offers all kind of food from different parts of the world. The local pao bhaji and vada pao can be sampled at any local eatery. Popular restaurants here are LSD, Indigo, Cafe Churchill and Cafe Leopold.
137 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - February,March,November,December
The city of Thane is a great getaway from Mumbai. Its beautiful lakes, lovely locales, boat rides and old forts makes it a popular weekend spot for tourists. The most popular lake here is the Upwan Talao, which is also famous for hosting the Sanskruti Arts Festival. This sparkling lake also houses a Ganesha temple near its confines. Enjoy the thrill of water rides at the Suraj Water Park, which also doubles up as a picnic spot here. The Masunda Lake is another famous lake, which offers boating and water scooter facilities as well. Don't forget to try out the delicious local snacks that are sold here! Thane offers a chance to discover the unique flavours of Maharashtrian cuisine. Lodging here is not a problem with numerous hotels and guest houses available as per the tourist's requirement. If nature is something that you wish to explore, Thane is the place to be!
288 Kms from Bankot
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.
291 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - January,February,March,November,December
A highly sought-after globetrotter destination, Dona Paula is a secluded bay located just 7km away from Panaji, the capital city of Goa. There are a number of hotels and resorts in the area, so travellers are well taken care of. While in the town, there are captivating places to witness and a variety of fascinating activities to indulge in. Also, the picturesque location and beauty of the place is undoubtedly a major attraction. Initially known as Oddavell, Dona Paula derived its current name much later. Situated on a breathtakingly beautiful sea stretch, Dona Paula is now a popular tourist destination. It holds the renowned National Institute of Oceanography, which is a must visit. It is serene and alluring during the monsoon season, and numerous movies have been filmed here. While in Dona Paula, Cabo Fort and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are the two must visit spots. The spectacular views and prepossessing beaches give Dona Paula the status of the ideal place to relax and sunbathe.
Vasco da Gama
300 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
On the western tip of Goa and Mormugao peninsula lies the lively port city of Vasco Da Gama. Even though the city itself is busy and dusty, a few places justify halting here for a day before getting your Goa trip started. Just behind Dabolim airport is the Bogmalo beach, small and quaint, but pretty nevertheless. If you want a little privacy, pay a visit to the Velsao Beach. It is not touristy and you may even spot a dolphin or two here. For a spectacular view of the sea, climb up a few stairs to visit the Japanese Garden on a hillock on a breezy evening. The Naval Aviation Museum behind the airport is a great way to pass time if you are interested in the history of Indian Naval Aviation. Vintage air crafts, helicopters and vessels preserved here will give you a taste of the heritage of the port city. Another must-see is the ancient St. Andrews Church in Vasco da Gama. The walls are adorned with beautiful azulejos and the cemetery is maintained well. If nothing else, a relaxing walk on the beach will make Vasco Da Gama absolutely worth it.
284 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - October- March
This is a village in the northern part of Goa and is on the southern side of the very popular Calangute Beach here. This is an extremely popular tourist attraction and witnesses a large number of tourists throughout the year. There are a number of restaurants and shopping options around. This is however a little more expensive for the backpackers but is an ideal location for those who love to eat out and shop. Apart from eating and shopping, the main attraction here is the pristine Candolim Beach. This beach is a little narrow at some parts which is because of continuous erosion. Also on the Sinquerin side you will find options for several water activities such as para sailing, dolphin boating and others. There are also a number of shacks here which sell authentic Goan cuisine which includes seafood mostly. The tiger prawns here are absolutely delicious. There are stalls which sell cheap clothes as well.
281 Kms from Bankot
• Nightlife :- At the end of the day, what is Goa without its vibrant parties! This is by far the best season for party animals, as places like Mambo’s and Tito’s that you usually need to queue up endlessly to enter are now free of the crowds. Head to the Bar at Park Hotel in Calangute, or enjoy live music at the chilled out Cavala, on Baga-Calangute Road. If karaoke is what you’re looking for then head to St. Anthony’s bar on Baga Beach and sing your heart out. Another popular nightclub in Goa remains the LPK (short for Love Passion Karma) in Candolim, which is famous for its foot tapping music and peppy ambience. Goa is the only state in India where gambling is legal and there are many floating casinos where you can try your luck at the slot machines and roulette.
278 Kms from Bankot
Best time to visit - N/A
This is a place which was first discovered by the hippies and is situated in the Northern part of Goa. This is a beach known to be one of the most popular in Goa and is surrounded by the Calangute Beach on one side and the Anjuna Beach on the other side. The Baga Beach starts from where the Calangute Beach ends though the place cannot be exactly pin pointed. This is also a shoppers paradise with all sorts of flea markets and the fresh seafood is wow over here. Also, you can enjoy a number of water sports and activities in this beach area such as jet skiing, para sailing, surfing and others. The people around here are always in a festive mood and dance and music are a major part of their culture here. They have carnivals during christmas and New Year too. Also, the people here are very religious and the main religion followed here is Christianity. The lifestyle here is a blend of Indian and Portuguese to a large extent. This is a stunning evidence of the fact that Goa was under the rule of Portuguese colonies till even a decades ago before it was taken over by the Indian Government.