By: Prasenjit Sen (LT MHS)
When Anniversary bells are ringing on January end and you want to beat the chill and dampness of Faridabad…what else you can think of except Goa!! So, we set out for a romantic and amazing journey to goa.
Day-1: Calangute and Baga
We reached Thivim station around 11 a.m. and were greeted by hot and humid air. Oh yes we could smell the sea nearby. From station, we went straight to our hotel near Calangute beach. As we had only 4 nights and 5 days to cover Goa, we planned to keep two days for north Goa and two days for South goa. Right after refreshment, we head for calangute beach.
It is among the most popular beaches of North Goa. The beach is highly crowded due to peak season. There are plenty of beach shacks to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful Arabian Sea. The beach is well marked for safe swimming and a number of life-guards keep an eye on the sea. After having plenty of fun in the Sea and sumptuous goanese cuisine, we decided to have a short beach trek from Calangute to Baga beach. The distance between the two is hardly 2 km and the walk is highly recommended. You can enjoy the nature as well as the surrounding. When we reached Baga beach, the sun was setting, calling it a day, and the sun set view was amazing. We sat on Brittos’, seaside restaurant right on the Baga beach while sipping Fenny (Local drink made from Cashew nut) and enjoying the sun set.
Sunset from baga beach
Day 2: Crazy bike ride in North Goa beaches
The best and the most convenient way to commute in Goa is to rent a bike. We did the same and went on to explore north Goa on a stylish two wheeler.
Fort Aguada And Aguada Jail:
It is a seventeenth century old fort constructed by the Portuguese to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It is situated on the Sinquerim beach facing the Arabian Sea. The serpentine road to fort Aguada and Aguada Jail is just awesome to drive to. The expanse and colour of sea from the fort is a treat to the eyes. The beach front near Aguada Jail is rocky and one has to deal with the rocks with care.
Fort Aguda jail
Boat ride and dolphin spotting:
Right after fort visit, we set on a boat ride to spot Dolphins in the water nearby. It was a pleasure watching the dolphins cruise in the sea.
If you get disturbed by the crowded Baga and Calangute beach, then you must go to the Candolim beach. This beach is calm and serene compared to the other two, with high waves and less sea side activities. For us, it was a pure bliss. We had lot of fun in the high waves and enjoyed fully to the brim.
Way to Bagator beach and chipora fort:
After spending a relaxing time in the splendid candolim beach, we decided to go towards North Goa and after a 40 minutes ride from Candolim, we reached Vagator beach. It is famous for its red cliffs just beside the beach and one can watch the amazing sun set from here. The beach is divided into two parts by a rocky surface. The left side is called little vagator (or ozran beach) and the right one is called ‘North Vagator’ or ‘Big Vagator’. The beach is a bit rocky at places but the beauty of the beach will leave anyone spellbound. However, we could not spend much time as we have to cover chipora fort, at the north end of Big Vagator beach.
On the way to Chipora fort
Chipora fort is located on a high cliff and is encompassed by water in its three sides. One has to climb a little through the red stones to enter into the fort. But the view from the fort is mesmerizing. One can view the vast sea along with the deep green stretch of land from the fort. The fort also covers a huge area. A song from the movie “Dil chata hai” was shot here. We saw the amazing sun set from the fort.
After sunset we went to Anjuna beach. On the way, there are road side shops where you can find fancy dress materials, souvenirs and many more things to shop for. However, as we didn’t have much time we headed towards the sea. Due to darkness we could not see much of the beach, but the beautiful sea breeze was good enough to wipe away our tiredness.
We called it a day and returned to our hotel and had a fantastic lobster for dinner!
Day 3: The journey to Doodh Sagar falls:
Most of the people associated Goa only with beaches. But one must know Goa has many other beautiful places to visit. Doodh sagar falls is one of them. It is a four tiered falls located at goa Karnataka border in Vagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park among Western Ghat mountain rage. It is around 85 Km from Calangute and we had hired a car to reach there. Now, one has to start early if he/she wants to see the unspoilt beauty of dudh sagar fall. One has to reach to Mollem from where tickets are available to Dudhsagar fall. There are Suvs available which will take you through jungle and rocky patches to Dudhsagar. The ride was quite awesome and reaching to dudhsagar, we were awestruck by the majestic fountain. However, bathing is allowed there. So without wasting time, we dived into the water. Unlike the sea, the water was chill and sweet. We enjoyed there for a long time and left only after we felt exhausted. From there, we went to a spice garden for an educational visit and more importantly-lunch!
After leaving at 4pm, we had ventured for the south Goa. Our next destination was Colava. It was evening by the time we arrived. We were pretty tired and decided to relax in a nearby sea side restaurant. It served our purpose by some live music and gigantic crab perry perry-a local goan dish.
We woke up early because it was the last full day we are left with. So, without wasting time, we started for south Goan beaches on bike.
Our first destination was Caboderama fort-A deserted fort left by Portuguese. The view of the sea from the fort was awesome. After capturing the sea view, we went to the Caboderama beach. The beach is inaccessible for any vehicle. So, one has to go by foot. The beach is frequented by locals.
View from Caboderama fort
Our next destination was Agonda beach-one of the famous beaches of South Goa. However, we thought to try out some lesser known beaches like Cola beach which was truly amazing. It is basically a very small C shaped beach, pocket covered with pristine white sand and wrapped with coconut trees. There is also a little backwater stream going inside the mainland. We spotted some foreigners soaking under the sun. However, we found the sea a little more rough as compared to other beaches we have encountered so far. But this could not restrain us from having a fun filled bath in it.
Beautiful Cola beach
After some hours, we started for Agonda-12 kilometres from cola beach. Agonda is huge compared to Cola beach. Dumping our belongings in a sea side shack we jumped into the sea again. After bath-we had our lunch with beautiful grilled fish and chicken sizzler.
Since, we have come to the far end of goa, we decided not to miss-Palolem beach, another famous beach in South Goa. Palolem was 5 km from Agonda beach. It is again a huge beach with lots of activities. There were beach side cottages and lot of beach shacks. However, the beach is a beat more crowded and the sea is extremely calm. There were boats waiting for tourists for dolphin spotting, kayaking and other water sports activity. Unfortunately we had to return without trying any of them as we were late. Enroute, we stopped at Varca beach, Benaulim beach.
All good things comes to an end, but this time, we both were sad as if the time just has passed at a speed of light. Today is the day we would have to return from the paradise to the daily dean and bustle of Delhi. However, we wanted to utilise the morning and went on for a quick visit to old Goa. Old Goa has a true Portuguese feeling with old buildings and huge churches. We visited the most famous Basilica Bom Jesus, a marvel of baroque architecture in India, where the remains of St. Francis Xavier is kept. The awe-inspiring architecture really left us spell bound. After that we went to Church of St. Francis of Assisi. The church is grand and picturesque and there is a museum restoring some beautiful 17th century paintings and sculptures. It is a must visit.
Basilica Bom Jesus
Church of St. Francis of Assisi
While the tour concluded with this, but Goa has taken a permanent place in my soul. The rich natural beauty, wild sea, fresh wind and old monuments – one just cannot forget. It is truly a “pearl of the orient” for every traveller across the world.