Sunday, January 17, 2010

GOA - Here i come











Goa is world famous for its beaches, its ancient temples and churches, and its Goan carnival.
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Sunset at the Palolem beach
Anjuna Beach - Close to the Chapora Fort, its key attraction is a magnificent Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and an attractive Mangalore tile-roof. Anjuna was the second-home (and main location) of the hippies in Goa, in the 1960s and 1970s, after other destinations like Calangute got more "crowded" for them. It is still venue of a (vastly-changed, more mainstreamised) flea market held each Wednesday. In the nearby village of Arpora, two colourful Saturday night bazaars are held in the non-monsoon seasons. This is still part of "alternative" Goa, though charter and other tourists also visit the place in increasing numbers to "get a feel of the hippy years".
Arambol Beach - A quiet beach in North Goa near Pernem. Not too many facilities in terms of hotels or eating joints. The water is shallow and good for swimming.
Palolem Beach A scenic beach in extreme south Goa. Getting a bit crowded. Good eating options. Turning pricey though (by local standards). The rocks and islands off its schore are definitely scenic.
Patnem Beach - a small and quiet beach in Canacona taluka
Vagator Beach - a beach in Bardez, neighbouring Anjuna
Morjim Beach - beautiful beach, inhabited by Russian tourists. Prices are high, many restaurants with Russian cousine. Nightlife is vibrant here. This place is popular among kitesurfers due shallow depth of the sea and very wide beach.
Asvem Beach - quieter beach in extreme north Goa's Pernem taluka
Mandrem Beach - another beach in extreme north Goa's Pernem taluka
Candolim and Sinquerim Beaches in North Goa's Bardez taluka. Once humble fishing villages. Now the crowded concretised coast of North Goa. Goa's Benidorm. Or quickly getting to be as crowded.
Colva Beach - This beach's spectacle of sea, sand and sky blend in a enchanting natural harmony, weaving their magic spell on the visitors. Known for its scenic beauty. This is part of Salcete, Goa's only Catholic majority sub-district. Once a very hospitable area, now relations are getting monetized thanks to tourism.
Calangute Beach - aka Queen of all Beaches in Goa. Once highly rated. Now crowded. Expect traffic jams along the main crowded street. Beach is full of Indian tourists, a lot of noise, a lot of souvenirs and water sports beggar. You won't get peace here. Many famous clubs are located here. Nice eating options.
Baga Beach A family-beach and charter tourist destination just outside Calangute.
Chapora Home of the Chapora fort. Close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Also site for a fishing jetty where trawlers (introduced into Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, amidst protests from traditional fishermen, who were affected by them) bring in their catch.

Relax at the beaches. Goa has an almost unbroken 70 km coastline of beaches
Visit the cathedrals of a bygone era at Old Goa
Enjoy the variety of Indian, Chinese and western cuisine
Chill out at the discos and pubs
Checkout Anjuna flea market
Visit libraries: Central Library in Institute Menezes Braganza (Panjim) and Mapusa's Athaide Library. Other research institutions with good collections include the Xavier Centre of Historical Research at Alto Porvorim, the also-Jesuit run Thomas Stevens Konknni Kendra nextdoor at Porvorim, the Goa University, and a quaint Konkani-focussed library called Amchem Diaz (Our Traditions) that functions out of the first floor of a commercial establishment not far from the Margao bus stand and the local court.
Diving: The season is between mid October to mid May. Diving is not possible during the monsoons in India (June till mid October) The water temperature is between 27 to 30 degrees. The local diving here consists of dive sites around Grande Island, just off the coast near Vasco Da Gama. The dive sites are mostly 12 to 16m deep, and the visibility varies through the season, with an average of around 5-6 m. Marine life is abundant, with many species of reef fish, and hard and soft coral,and several shipwrecks to dive. Several dive centers conduct PADI courses, and organize dive trips to Pigeon Island (also known locally as Netrani Island) in the neighbouring state of Karnataka.
Kitesurfing: Goa is certainly not the best place in the world to try kite surfing, but it still has something to offer. Check Morjim, Arambol and Aswem beaches in North Goa. You can find instructors in Morjim, that take 8000-12000 Rs for beginners course. Season starts in January, you can expect 1-2 windy days a week during January and February, and 2-3 days a week during March. Most people use 10-14m² kites. Water is choppy most of the time, don't expect wave riding.

Paragliding: Check Arambol Beach in North Goa for tandem paragliders.



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