Golden sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, Portuguese inspired architecture and turquoise blue seas. One name that pops right up on hearing these words is most definitely Goa, the land of freedom and glee.
Set in the western coast of India, this small stretch of land has so much of diversity to offer, in terms of food, religions, cultural nuances and inspiration, that you could simply deem it as a mini version of India. Let’s take a sneak peak at Goa’s heritage, its rich culture, some of the best places to visit and the rise of Goa’s tourism. It is more like a one stop destination for all things ‘Fun’. There have been so many changes in Goa, from the small homely shacks to the top-end multinational chains of hotels that spell perfection, but one thing remains the same no matter what, and that is the fact that Goa is your perfect weekend getaway.
Goa has a vibrant and very exciting history, from the Mauryan Dynasty to the Portuguese invasion; they have all had a considerable amount of affect on Goa. Their subtle influences are visible at every nook and corner; in fact it’s easier to say that they are all over town. You will find a number of impeccable hideaways; spectacular churches and picturesque beaches, making it seem inviting almost instantly. If you intend to visit Goa soon, make sure you plan your trip well in advance.
Understand that Goa is divided into two parts, North and South Goa. So pre-decide whether you want to get a glimpse of both the parts or explore one in its entire totality. I would suggest visiting both. When it comes to beaches, Goa is the best place to be in. You would have already heard of the famous Baga and Anjuna beaches, so try planning a lovely sunset with your family or enjoy a nice bonfire with your friends. If you’re a party fanatic, then you’re definitely at the right place and I don’t really need to expand on the endless possibilities, because I am sure you already know them all. Something that I absolutely love about Goa is the honesty of the people, many years earlier my entire family had gone for a short vacation to Goa. Whilst having some refreshing coconut water, my mother happened to realize that she had left her purse at a shop. We rushed back to find that it was in the exact same place, untouched, now isn’t that refreshing. Hiring bikes and venturing into unknown territories is another one of my favorite things to do. I would also suggest the Sightseeing tour of Margao city in South Goa, it’s a fun filled adventure packed up in a single day.
Try visiting at least some of the well known historical sites like the Aguada Fort or Lamgau Caves, their charm is sure to win you over. There are many famous temples in Goa worth visiting as well. At least one of the pristine churches must definitely top your list; I would personally suggest the Basilica of Bom Jésus, which is world renowned for its calming ambience and the uncorrupted body of Saint Francis. As a child I was always fascinated by the Saint, entombed in the glass enclosure, his body still not decomposed even after so many years. For those who aren’t already aware Saint Francis Xavier died on the 3rd of December in 1552. Yes that’s right, even after so many years, his body is pretty much intact. If this story has already given you Goosebumps, you can’t even begin to imagine the number of interesting legends and places that Goa has to offer.
Goa is well-known for its tradition of being warm and welcoming from time immemorial. From the small hotels and motels in the olden days with traditional Goan sea food, cashew fenny and hammocks to relax in, it seemed like the perfect go-to place. Much has changed in terms of its approach, with big chains of hotels and holiday packages, but its spirit is still the same. In fact those who prefer being pampered should definitely get themselves booked in one of the best hotel’s in Goa, which aren’t necessarily expensive. There are many accommodation options available, starting from as low as INR 500 onwards which most definitely fit the buck.
If you happen to visit Goa during the Carnival festival, know that you’re in for the time of your life. Goa is also famous for its fun filled weekends, after a hard day’s work you truly deserve it. But let’s accept it; you don’t need a specific occasion, because it’s always a good time to visit Goa. For those who will be visiting Goa for the first time try getting in touch with professional tour operators and guides, they could help you make the most of your holiday. From an amazing and memorable evening on a royal boat cruise to hotel accommodations that fit your budget, the possibilities are endless. Giving them a chance to plan your holiday will give you a chance to truly relax, rejuvenate and enjoy your holiday.
The unique amalgamation of people, who believe in enjoying life; especially their afternoon siesta is definitely something worth experiencing. So this was just a glimpse of Goa through my eyes, want to experience it yourself? Then simply pack your bags and off you go!