Recently, I was reading an article on how photographers and Instagrammers are ruining Panjim’s famous Fontainhas, ignoring locals’ requests not to disturb them. This reminded me of my own trip to Panjim, where I saw hundreds of photographers armed with their mobiles and DSLRs creating a nuisance for local residents in the beautiful Fontainhas area. In our fun moment, we conveniently ignore that our actions might go against the culture and way of life of the locals. What kind of pleasure do people get by ignoring local people’s requests? Even a “no photography” request sign fails to deter the tourists. I myself have witnessed it. We should always respect the local people and their culture while on our trips.
Lots of people suggested me to visit Panjim’s Joseph Bar. It was early morning and the staff was not interested in me. They might have figured out this guy won’t spend much here. And I too realized this is not my kind of place. So I ordered a beer, finished it quickly and left the place after clicking few images. The interior part of the bar was very impressive. Soon I reached a hole-in-the-mole bar (since 1976). Ordered a beer and started conversation with the owner of the bar. When I asked him why people recommended Joseph Bar ? He just smiled. He told me It is crazy. All most all the tourists spend money there. Don’t we have a right to survive, he asked me ? My answer was – of course, yes, that’s why I am here. Ordered another beer with some snack. After spending around one hour I left for my room.
As I always say the more you travel, the more you see. During a quick trip to Panjim, I encountered all these fascinating structures. Do you know why these structures exist? I have no clue. While some of these structures I spotted in the crowded markets, the other part of the capital city is also a sight to behold. I am talking about Panjim’s Latin Quarter. Brightly painted houses will take you to a by gone era. And the best part is you can explore all these places on foot. The whole idea was to get some unique images. And I am glad I was able to capture some interesting and vibrant houses in Panjim.
A quick trip to Goa made me realize that the state is not all about beaches. While exploring some interior parts of the state, I stumbled upon these beautiful plants and leaves. Although I am unable to recognize them, I am glad I spotted them during the trip. I just wish I could have clicked more such pretty photographs of these plants. So next time when you visit Goa, try to explore a bit deeper so that you can encounter with such species.
When it comes to savoring seafood, Goa is definitely a heaven. My experience with Goan food was more than wonderful. And I had all these delicious dishes in the hole-in-the-wall restaurants, thanks to the guidance of local people. Almost all the dishes satisfied my taste buds. Neither spicy nor salty. Just perfect.
It was my birthday and I wanted to explore a lesser-known beach of Goa. A tea-stall owner, who served me copious amount of tea in the morning, suggested me to visit Butterfly beach, which I instantly accepted. Some fisherman in Agonda offered to take me around that beach for a sum of Rs2,000, which I politely declined. My good Samaritan, the tea-stall owner, guided me to reach that place. It was May – a typical hot and humid Goan weather.
I rented a scooter and set off my journey towards the beach. After driving 1-2 kilometres on a deserted stretch with no one in sight except vast forests as company, I began to have fear of losing my way and exactly that happened. I lost my path. With no sign boards and people to assist in finding direction, this was bound to happen.
The roads were terrible. While randomly driving, I saw a jeep full of people. I told them about my destination and sought their help in finding my way. They happily asked me to follow them, as they too were heading towards the same beach.
After driving few kilometres I finally reached the beach. The turquoise water quickly erased my pain caused due to my tortuous drive to the beach. Other than me there were couple of travelers, who soon left the area. I was left all alone, lounging on the beach and soaking up the sun, which was nothing less than pure bliss. After spending around 1-1/2 hours, I left the place. While returning I took a wrong turn and again lost the path. However, somehow I managed to reach my hotel.
My Goa sojourn took me to another destination – the Cabo De Rama Fort, which has been held by various rulers in the past.
Situated at Canacona taluka in southern Goa, this place is a major attraction for tourists.
The fort is surrounded by a moat and gatehouse. One can notice big and rusty cannons lying there. This fort also has a small chapel, which is still visited by devotees. When I reached the place I did not find a single tourist. The best part of this place is one can enjoy spectacular views of the Arabian sea from the western side of the fortress.
One can easily reach this place by either hiring a car or taxi. I used a motorbike to reach this place from Agonda.
South Goa is replete with stunning beaches. Notwithstanding scorching summer (April last week), I decided to explore it in order to avoid huge rush during tourist season. And the decision was worth taking. Let’s start with Agonda beach, which I made my base. From here, I traveled to nearby places.
Agonda beach is pure and pristine. Wake up in the morning, take a stroll and soak up the vibe. This beach has everything to impress you. Moreover, one can also enjoy water sports like surfing.
I used to wake up early morning to enjoy the sunrise. There were just a handful of people around me. So the whole beach was just for me. Listening to ocean waves early morning is an incredible experience that cannot be described in words. I used to sit in a secluded place and gaze endlessly at the sky and ocean.
From Agonda, I traveled towards Paloem beach, probably the most famous beach of South Goa. It is bit touristy and you will find a lot of people even during the off season. Still the beach left me breathless with impressive white sand dunes. I did not stay there for long as I had to explore another beach – Patnem.
Certainly, I found tranquility here. Walk along the beaches, take some photographs, grab a beer and enjoy the views.
All the above mentioned places are lined up with numerous bars, shacks and restaurants.
How did I reach Agonda ?
Airport →Margao →Kadamba →Agonda
From the airport, I took a bus for Margao. From Margao, I boarded a bus for Kadamba. And from Kadamba, I reached Agonda via bus. I used public transport extensively. I had a memorable experience as I spent quality time on the beaches without facing any major problem.
Goa’s Agonda beach has been favorite among locals as well as tourists since long. In fact it has been adjudged as one of the best beaches in Asia. But if you ask me, I would say Cola is more beautiful. That being said, I believe experiences are purely subjective.
Cola is not far away from Agonda and there are many ways to reach this magnificent beach. And the most simple way is – follow the signboards:)
I visited Cola during the off season, and no wonder I could see only a handful of people on the beach. It was hot and sunny, but that’s OK for me, I could still have a wonderful time. With nobody around me, I just lay down on the beach and let myself soak up the serene environment and gaze the endless bluish sky.
The magnificent beach can be divided into two parts – North Cola and South Cola. North mainly draws tourists because of its beautiful lagoon. Trees and hills make this beach more beautiful. I did not find any high-end hotel there, only few beach shacks. Small hotels and tented accommodation are also available for the tourists. Overall, I had a great time being there and aim to re-visit the place in future. And lastly, if I have to describe the beauty of Cola in two words, I would say – Pristine and Perfect!
After spending few hours in Palolem and Patnem, I moved towards Raj Baga beach, following advise from a bar owner. After a short drive from Patnem, I reached Raj Baga late afternoon. The day was hot and humid. Probably this was the main reason why I came across an almost deserted beach. After an hour, everyone had left and I was the only person present on the beach to marvel at its beauty. The beach is lined with numerous coconut and palm trees. Once you are there you can enjoy the beauty of river kissing the sea as the confluence of the Arabian sea and Talpona River is clearly visible on the far end of the beach. After taking permission from a lifeguard, I ventured into the sea. Few beach shacks were serving juices and coconut waters at attractive prices. Due to the off-season, they were offering good discounts which also make business sense. I spent nearly two hours at the beach and did not notice how quickly the time had passed. I had thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of my stay there. If you are in South Goa, please do not forget to include a visit to this place in your itinerary. Highly and heavily recommended !!! I had to seek help from local people to reach the destination as my mobile GPS was not working.