Goa is basically La-La-Land of India. A destination is friendly to different travel tastes and budgets. Well, anyone who has been to Goa always has fascinating stories about absolutely cheap alcohol, some pristine blue waters and some overcrowded beaches, adventure water sports, delicious seafood while some overpriced food at shacks and clubbing with foreigners. Well, I do not deny anyone these are false, but exploring places differently is all about. My taste about Goa is somehow a little different than any of I have mentioned above.
Re-live the Colonial Era:
Goa is one of the Indian states that remained under colonial rule for 452 years. Captured by the Portuguese in the year 1510, and attained freedom from them in the year 1962. Became Independent State in 1987. Goa comprises two revenue districts that is North Goa and South Goa.
All the towns which are stretched on west areas are blessed with pristine beaches. Various beaches have developed a different culture.
Each town has something different to offer—somewhat like a hidden treasure. From centuries-old Portuguese home, laid-back lifestyles, spice and veggies plantations, scrumptious seafood, spectacular view of one of the highest waterfalls in India – Dudhsagar, virgin beaches, and secluded islands.
Synonym to Hippie Life, North Goa has some crowded beach full of water sports adventure, some laid-back beaches with rocks, upbeat nightlife, hippie with color hues markets, loaded with seafood shacks.
Panaji (Panjim) is considered in North Goa, but technically, it’s in Central Goa with a totally different lifestyle. More peaceful and still holding many vintage things.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, the colonial Portuguese Baroque style church, was first built in 1541 as a chapel on a hillside overlooking the city of Panjim. It was eventually replaced by a larger church in the 1600s as part of Portuguese Goa’s religious expansion. It is among the first churches to be built in Goa, with its church bells being the second largest in the world. Many Bollywood movies have this church as a background. To be named few: Dilwale, Aashiqui 2, Murder 2, Force 2.
Photo: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
Panaji is situated on the left bank of the River Mandovi. The Canal of Cumbarjuem links the Mandovi river to the Mapusa river, and this canal has made the inner parts of the Mandovi open to ships that carry Iron Ore. Iron Ore is Goa’s prime mineral that is mined in Eastern hills. Mandovi River is often described as the lifeline to the State of Goa. Along with the Mandovi River, the Zuari River is also a primary river in Goa, sharing water with the neighboring state Karnataka as well. Mapusa, the town in North Goa, also happens to be the largest town located on the banks of the river. Since ancient times, the Mapusa River has been used as a famous waterway to transport agricultural products as well as spices.
Photo: Mandiri River. Clicked at the time of Serendipity Arts Festival, Dec-2016
You will find 100+ years of Portuguese buildings, more towns, temples, churches, quiet roads, peaceful nightlife, some finest unspoiled beaches in South Goa.
Something to learn:
1) Do not wander at night. If you are not aware of the roads, you might be lost the way and not a soul around to guide you. Better learn the way in day time.
2) Do not totally rely on GPS. Ask locality. Use public transportation when you need to hop between North to South towns or vise versa.
3) Make sure to carry snacks and a water bottle with you before deciding to explore. Some places are amazing to spend time but do not have any snacks shop.
4) Strict rule to wear helmet/seat belt while riding/driving. Yellow number plate vehicle indicates a tourist vehicle, and if you get caught, the penalty amount will be high.
Note: All images used in this article except maps are subject to copyrights.