Memoirs of a Goa Experience

Memoirs of a Goa Experience

The first thing a Mallu thinks when going to Goa is about booze. It would be an understatement to say that Goa is all about purity and divinity. ‘Freaking out’ is the term which would aptly describe a real Goan experience. Beaches, drinks and a carefree attitude is a heady combination but this would make a perfect cocktail for enjoying Goa. The attitude of the Goans reflects this spirit. In stark contrast to scenes seen in Kerala, you cannot find even a single guy lying on the streets in an intoxicated state. Drinks are part of the Goan culture and they never overdo it.

We had started off from Hospet along the Konkan railway route before disembarking at Madgaon station. After the ride in a luxury bus we halted for the night at Aldeia Santa Rita, a cozy resort close to the Candolim beach to where I sneaked that night to enjoy the moonlit sky lying on the sands. This beach is not as crowded as other Goan beaches, nevertheless is a charming one. The experiences in the resorts were truly enchanting be it food or other amenities including the swimming pool. There were a number of foreign tourist in the resort enjoying the ambiance.

The number of foreigners who prefer Goa over other destinations in India really amazed me. The fact that the inflow of foreign tourists as well as domestic is on a rise in Goa is testimony to the hard work the official have put in to improve quality. Goa, the land of beaches owes its popularity not only this nature’s bounty but also to the tourists’ friendly community which I feel is lacking in Kerala. True, the culture of Goa is a mixed one and it has its own demerits, but for the people of Goa, this is the way of life.

Our first major stop was Palolem, situated forty-three kilometers away from Madgaon is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa which is also called the paradise beach. Water sports such as diving, boat cruises, water biking and para-sailing form the major recreational activities and is a major source of income for the local community. These recreational activities are available around the year. Another major attraction is the Agonda beach, famous for the historical Aguada Fort built by the Portuguese to protect Goa from the foreign attacks. The peaceful and pristine surroundings with the fort as backdrop make this a perfect weekend getaway. It is surprising that Agonda beach is just fifteen minutes from the crowded Palolem beach. Another popular destination is the Calangute beach and is often referred to the queen of beaches. This beach is thirteen kilometers away from Panaji. Other beaches of prominence are the Baga, Colva and the Dona Paula beaches.

In addition to the beaches, churches and temples in this state which is the smallest in terms of area in India attract lot of visitors. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, now UNESCO World Heritage site. The basilica in Old Goa holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Old Goa was the capital of Goa in the early days of the Portuguese rule. A visit to Goa cannot be complete without visiting this monument. The architectural splendor coupled with the majestic surroundings provides the visitor an experience which will remain etched in memory.

The return journey by the Konakan path was equally memorable for it was day time. There was lush greenery all around thanks to the abundant rains. The Western Ghats, now a bio diversity hot spot was in full bloom. As the train stopped at the Dudhsagar station, the cascading waters appeared milky white and instantly the reason for naming it Dudshsagar was clear. This stunning falls at the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa in the Western Ghats along the borders of Karnataka and Goa is more than one feet height.

The Goan experience remains afresh through years have rolled by, for some places leave their impressions in a way unique to them as some persons are. This one was one such.