Travelling is a great medium for increasing knowledge, wisdom and experience, along with enjoyment and entertainment. And our country India provides much diversity for those who are bitten by the travel bug. We’ve got snow capped mountains with scenic beauty up in the north, beautiful vast deserts in the west and wonderful beaches down south. Indeed, India is a travellers’ paradise.
We stay in Chandigarh, and trips to mountainous regions are not uncommon for us. So, a few months back, when we wanted to visit a new place, we wanted anything except mountains and hills. After much discussion, we settled on Goa, mainly because of its beaches and the projection of fun in many Bollywood movies.
Located on the west coast of Indian peninsula, the best way to reach Goa is by air, although we took the train. The train takes almost 40 hours from Chandigarh to Goa, including time taken for changing trains at Delhi.
We visited Goa mainly for its beaches, so we wanted to explore as many beaches as we could manage. The Calangute Beach is called the queen of beaches because of its extraordinary beauty. It offers a number of water sports like jet skiing, jet paragliding etc. Then there are beaches like Baga Beach, Palolem Beach and Anjuna Beach which are all very beautiful. In Panaji, we experienced scuba diving.
North Goa has better beaches while South Goa has beautiful temples. But the main religion of Goa is Christianity so churches can be found all over the state and are a must visit for anyone who wants to get a sneak peak into Goa’s glorious culture. Local Goans are not known to very affluent and thrive because on tourism. One must be careful when dealing with local Goan guides as they are often known to cheat tourists.
There are a number of tour operators that provide guided tours for those who want to look around Goa. They cover the main beaches and other places for sightseeing. One can easily rent a car, bike or scootie as well.
The one problem which we faced during our stay in Goa was that there was very less availability of Punjabi food. Of course, we didn’t expect a Punjabi menu but there wasn’t even one item. Seafood was the main item on every menu, and vegetarians like us had to be satisfied with pao bhaji only, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Goa is famous for its Feni, the cashew-coconut alcoholic drink, which is indeed very strong. A feebler version available is urak.
The liquor king, Vijay Mallya stays in Goa and his Kingfisher villa, a sprawling palace, is a must see. Kingfisher Beer is very popular in Goa and has been successful in shifting the popular Kings Beer off many a menus.
We had fun on our trip to Goa. And I would suggest everyone to visit Goa once at least and have the time of their life.