Mapusa Friday Market
Carnival At Arambol
Unleash the freak in you ‘coz attending the Arambol Carnival could possibly be one of the coolest things you’ve done. No points in guessing that the carnival takes place at the Arambol beach. The video below will give you a fair idea of exactly how eccentric it is! The carnival has now become a tradition of an annual freak carnival. You will find people dressed as angels, insects, aliens, and even things which I cannot mention here. So if you are going, go prepared. Be dressed for the occasion, and ready to have fun!
If you are putting up at the Taj, then you are already at Fort Aquada. For the others, the Aguarda fort was built in the seventeenth century by the Portuguese to guard against the Marathas and the Dutch. It stands on the Sinquerim beach, by the Arabian Sea. The white lighthouse and the fort are excellent spots for photography with the most fascinating view of the sea and the areas around. Once you are done sightseeing, you can head over to the the Taj Vivanta for some drinks and relaxation.
Of course, you cannot be in Goa and not visit the famous churches. One of the most famous and must-visit churches is UNESCO-listed Basilica of Bom Jesus which has the tomb of Saint Francis Xavier. It is a Baroque Catholic church which stands on Old Goa road since 1605. Other churches which you can add to your must visit list are Our Lady of the Imammculate Conception, Se Cathedral and Church of St Francis of Assisi.
|Basilica of Bom Jesus / (C) WikiCommons|
Bat Island is a small island to the the west of Goa with all its beaches around it. Ideal for honeymooning couples and those who want some private time away from the maddening crowd. A good place to visit if you want to take a short break and of course, the visual delight you will derive is a big bonus.
Anjuna Flea Market
Head over to Anjuna beach on Wednesdays to shop at the flea market. The market has been around since about three decades or more and first came into being thanks to the hippies who had started it as a smoking joint. Slowly things started adding up and now there are rows and rows of sellers selling handicrafts, clothes, jewellery, teas, bags, sculptures and practically everything you might want to shop there. The prices are high here, so brush up your bargaining skills!
This was where bits of Dil Chahta Hai was shot. The fort is located at Bardez, Goa. Long ago, the fort was Akbar’s base camp in his attempt to oust the Portuguese with the help of the Marathas. There used to be a church inside the fort but it is not there any more. There isn’t a lot to do but the view is spectacular and of course, it is of the Dil Chahta Hai fame!
What used to be a village and a tourist destination, now has the National Institute of Oceanography. Dona Paula is named after an important member of Portuguese India, Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior. She indulged in many charities and is known to have helped many people. The beach is a major attraction amongst tourists. A huge part of the famous Bollywood movie Ek Duje Ke Liye was shot here as was parts of Singham. This beach should not be given a miss!
Mollem National park
In a protected area of 240kms, there is Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park at Sanguem taluk, Goa. The national park is about 60 kms from Panaji. An interesting thing to know is that a national highway and a railway line, both pass through the national park. Inside the premises are Tambdi Surla temple, Dudhsagar Falls, Tambdi Falls and sunset points. Also to be seen here are a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
An estuarine mangrove habitat, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is on the western end of Chorao island on Mandovi rive in Goa. Named after the eminent ornithologist, it can be reached via ferry from Ribander to Chorao. Inside the sanctuary you can spot multiple varieties of birds along with many rare varieties.
Literally known as the Sea of Milk, the Dudhsagar Falls is situated in the western ghats inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park. The best time to visit the falls is during the monsoons as during dry season, it doesn’t hold its spectacular stature. Don’t give it a miss if you are travelling along the western ghats.
If you are looking at the party scene, you will not fall short of choices. From karaoke bars to nightclubs to casinos, take your pick. My top three night clubs are Tito’s Street, Curlies and Club Cubana. Try them all, is what I’ll say and then try some more places. For when in Goa, the night is always young and the parties non-stop!