Beach is the first thing that comes to your mind as soon as you listen to the word ‘Goa’. However, the Goan fantasy doesn’t end here, there’s a lot beyond the beach and it’s about time we unleash the same.
Savouring Goan flavours
Some places where you can relish the local flavours include:
• Mum’s Kitchen, Panjim
• Martin’s Corner, Betalbatim
• Jamie’s, Calangute
• Britto’s Calangute-Baga Road
• Souza Lobo, Calangute
If you start missing your regular North Indian food, head to Sher-e-Punjab in Panjim and gorge onto some butter chicken.
Into the Wild
If you thought Goa is all about sun, sand and the sea, you are in for a surprise. The splendid destination is bestowed with national parks and wildlife sanctuaries with enchanting flora and fauna. Few places to head to are:
• Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Chorao: Named after an eminent ornithologist, this sanctuary is an estuarine mangrove habitat and spread over 440 acres of land. The place is a wonderful avenue to take a look at several coastal and migratory birds.
• Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Mollem: The largest protected area in Goa, it comprises around 722 species of plants and range of birds, reptiles and mammals like the Black Panther, leopards, deer, pythons, etc. although it might be a little typical to spot many of these sheltered animals.
There are two more sanctuaries namely Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in Palolem and Bandla Wildlife Sactuary near Margao, both of which are ideal for camping with friends.
Adventure’s the way
Some adventure always does you good. Your list of things to do in Goa must include indulging in some water sports. Feel the high trying out the following activities in this marvellous place:
• Jet skiing
• Scuba diving
• Water skiing
• Catamaran sailing
• Speedboat Rides
• Dolphin Drives
As a tourist, you might be charged way higher than the actual price. So, make sure you bargain. Most of the operators are private and are not licensed to conduct these activities so check before you pay. Also, water sports are not organised during monsoons.
The joy of street shopping comes alive at Goa. The lively and colourful flea markets sell a variety of junk jewellery, Tibetan crafts and a lot of decorative items. The craze of tattoo is best felt at these bazaars. Some places you should be shopping are:
• Calangute Sunday Market
• Anjuna Wednesday Market
• Mapusa Friday Market
• Arpora/Ingo’s Saturday Night Market – Opens from the month of November to April
Old world charm
Goa subtly blends its modern lifestyle with the olden charms comprising churches and cathedrals, Portuguese dwellings and forts, each possessing distinct architecture and exquisite decor. Churches to visit in Goa are:
• Our Lady of Rosary – The oldest church in Goa
• Se Cathedral
• Basilica of Bom Jesus
• Church of St. Francis
For history enthusiasts and photography buffs who find interest in clicking the ruins, the following places are just the one:
• Aguada Fort and Chapora Fort are the two most important forts in Goa that speak of the Portugal rule.
• Cabo da Rama Fort named after Lord Rama was erected in the 18th century and was later on taken over by the Portugues. It lies in complete ruins.
• Rachol Fort – It was built by the Muslim Bahamani kingdom and lies near Margao.
• Reis Magos Fort that stands on the Mandovi river was built by the Franciscans
Terekhol Fort, Cabo Fort and Corjuem Fort are some other forts that can be considered.