Category: Goa.

Goa: A paradise on earth

By MARIAM NIHAL

“Live and let live” is a pseudonym for life, as we know it, and Goa renders that true. A fine slice of heaven served in waves of stimulating beliefs, Goa is where the magic happens. Throw on some insatiable dust that sparks life and an exuberant mood, and Goa is what you get.

Goa, a former Portuguese territory, was described by a Sunday Times writer as “South Asia’s Latin Quarter: Indulgent, tolerant, capricious, steeped in a tropical lassitude and wedded to the sea.” Words cannot do justice. They can try and dwell on the sanctity of Goa, which leaves you in a state of trance.

Trance music, along with its intoxicating nature, habitually transforms you to utopia. It is the haven of free spirited bliss, beaches, soaking in the sun, water sports, scrumptious seafood and nightlife. The most popular destination for Russians, Europeans, Arabs and all the hippies, Goa is utopia.

With a population of 1.5 million, Goans speak Konkani, as it is located in South West India in a region called Konkan. On May 30, 1987, Goa was born as an independent India’s 25th state.

Goa’s capital is Panaji, and you will be amazed how you can cover this state in only 3,702 sq km. It is India’s smallest state, but like they say, the best things come in small packages. The familiarity of the place and its philosophy help you subside into the weather and its empowering allure. There is a sub Mediterranean and Caribbean feel surrounding the hub of ecstasy. Goa is always full of tourists — people who deem it home and who promise to return, no matter how many times they have been there before.

There is an irrevocable dreamy quality in the air, and with a party of foreigners from across the globe, you only feel at home. Smiles, passivity, grandeur for life, food and music envelop the evening of Goa channels. To be in Goa, you have to be “Susegad,” or in other words, go with the flow as you sit back and relax.

The architecture is low-rise and Latinate with plenty of green patches, trees laden with coconuts, papayas and fresh guavas. The coastal setting with lakes, rivers and beaches set a pleasant and breezy appeal to Goa’s skyline and natural outlook.

Picturesque buildings from the Portuguese give Goa its character. A city proud of its heritage, it continues to hold its ground and reveal its character. Panjim in the 1820s became the administrative center of the Portuguese Estado da India.

With an 87 percent literary rate, it will be of no surprise to hear the locals conversing in English. Most buildings, cathedrals and common architecture is Portuguese reigning since their regime. Goa has kept its heritage preserved for the masses and in accommodating its feel, the towns remain embellished in history. Small roads, palm trees, ocean blue beaches with birds flying free in the breeze implore on the sanctity of the Goa.

Old colonial-era houses are scrupulously maintained, and locals retain the gracious culture that makes Goa an exuberant and warm escape. Culture is not only maintained in historic monuments but can also be seen in the business and agricultural facets. Farmers and their generations have worked the same fields that tradition has tended to for centuries.

Beaches, ship cruises, cultural archetype, monumental remains, cathedrals, flea markets, food shacks and irresistible memories under the deep blue skies are spread across the imperial state of Goa.

North Goa

With over 36 beaches, North Goa starts with its hippie front that embeds color and fervor into Goan culture. In fact, the more commercialized and happening episodes take place on the shores of North Goa.

The novelty of Northern Goa is spread across tourist attractions Tiracol Fort, Chapora Fort, Fort Aguada, the Chapel of St Anthony and the beaches of Candolim, Morjim and Miramar. Spreading from Aguada Plateau to Tiracol Fort, it is the place to let go of inhibitions. The beaches of Candolim, Calangute and Miramar are more subdued and open to families. The party central for India’s party people and wild brunches are the hotspots Baga and Anjuna beach. Baga offers its entertainment capital factor, whereas the extensive extravagance of villas and affairs of India’s rich and famous can be found in Sinquerim.

In an international vibe that is edgy and contemporary to modern classic, you can energize your soul and senses by the beach or with the wonderful spread in restaurants like Britos, Mambos, Chapora and Vagator where cafés are jammed with eager tourists and exultant locals. The other appetizing global tallying the food markets are a variety of Italian, Burmese, French, Turkish and mostly homemade, local establishments. The vibe of Goa is rich, in both splendor and gratitude. Many homes are habitually breakfast places, cafes and guest homes.

Morjim, owns Olive Ridley sea turtles that thrive on the beach with a potent Russian subculture subsiding in its bead. Beyond living in shacks and thatched huts under coconut palm trees, Goa offers great flea markets that are bliss for tourists from all across the world. Dolphin sightseeing, tai chi, reiki, cruises that offer the ultimate dining and entertainment package with dances and karaoke, along with yoga, and ayurvedic massage therapies trap you into Goan purpose.

Dudh Sagar waterfalls (called an ocean of milk), cashew plantations that blanket much of Pernem taluka of Goa, a spice plantation, and intriguingly, amalgam Hindu temples of Ponda are a treat to discover. The Savoi Spice Plantation is located 10 km from Ponda. Their main cultivation consists of ginger, basil, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and peppers.

South Goa

South Goa is less developed and a perfect place for tranquility. Be it for a getaway or honeymoon, it imposes a tranquil margin of stillness for you to unwind uninterrupted.

White sands and crystal beaches stretch from Cansaulim to Mobor with dramatic ruins of the Cabo de Rama Fort. Astonishing Mesolithic carvings at Pansaimol, resident tigers in the jungle of Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and the lush agricultural bounty of the hinterland of Quepem are integrated within the sphere, leading to a further stretching coastline.

Bogmalo, Consaulim, Majorda and Utorda, Agonda and Palolem are considered to be one of the most stunning beaches clustered with sparkling white sand and clear waters with myriads of blue hues and coconut palms. Some villages encase some of these beaches. The mix of urban and retro feel gives Goa its exotic flavors.

Old Goa

Old Goa is one of the world’s most prized cities home to legends, aristocrats, and adventurers. Goa’s churches and convents were chosen as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

When to Visit

New year is the best time to be in Goa. Filled with a mesmerizing exotic crowd, it is laden with submerged, sunburn and other trance parties alike. The who’s who of anywhere will be just about near. People make Goa home and even book a quarter year room in a hotel suite or book three months in advance to get the best spots in town.

India’s conglomerate of Vegas and Miami, all you need to take with you is the frame of mind they deem “Susegad.” In the romanticism and myth of Goa’s history, it is the chance you want to take, and the place you want to visit with your loved ones. A destination of happiness (remember even in Utopia, you can never be alone), the spirit of Goa is mystic and will be the wonder you are looking for.

Weather

In November through April, tropical climate ranges from 25 C to 30 C and may go up to 40 C in October and May. The monsoon lasts from June to late September with the heaviest rains in July.

Where to Stay

Leela Hotels and Resorts for excellent and superlative composure of Goa, along with Taj Hotels. Marriott Hotel and resorts offer a majestic outlook and make a convincingly attractive deal.

Wildernest (www.wildernest-Goa.com) occupies a stunning location at the coastline of the Mhadei Valley in North Goa.

Visas

Foreigners require a visa for Goa except for citizens of Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives. This can be granted by your Indian Embassy, as there is no modus operandi of visa upon arrival.

Fly Air Arabia

The best and safest route by far is Air Arabia. They offer a flight from Jeddah through Sharjah directly to Goa — the first of its kind in the Kingdom. A three-night holiday package to Goa starts at AED2,705. Flight fares depends on the season; however, one way in October is around AED280, excluding taxes and surcharges.

News source

Category: Goa