Goa is one of the hottest tourist spots in India and is known worldwide for its beaches and parties. But the stretch of Goa which most Indians frequent bears a stark contrast to the section experienced by foreigners. Most indigenous tourists prefer setting up camp at Baga or Candolem beach- in the vicinity of the “parties”.
The majority of Indian tourists, on the other hand, are attracted to the pubs along Tito’s lane, like bees to honey. While visiting the Aguada fort, Chapora fort and the various beautiful churches that Goa has to offer is a good idea, we also need to indulge in the vibe of Goa. The public sentiment might sway towards parties, alcohol and gambling and most remain unacquainted with local Goan culture.
For instance, Baga and Candolem beach are commercialised beyond repair; they are crowded, littered with everything from a sun screen bottle to dirty undergarments and have a constant supply of noise from the discs.
On my first visit to Goa, when I was still a rookie traveler, my first pit stop was at Baga. Disappointed, but not disheartened, I deserted the popular beach after a quick scan.
Having read umpteen praises for the beaches of south Goa, I decided to head to Colva. The only positive that I can extract from my experience of Baga beach is the street food one encounters while heading to it.
Before renting a scooter, I decided to grab a quick unhealthy bite. I was as impressed
by the Pav bhaji and Doners as I was disenchanted by the beach. The hour long drive from Baga to Colva magically transformed the character of the beaches. While I could still hear music on the street, it was emanating from instruments (and not speakers). While the
beach continued to be flocked by a fair amount of people, the vibe emanated by them was sociable.
All one needed to do for making new friends was smile. Albeit people indulged in alcohol, yet I didn’t find a hyper soul creating a ruckus. The beach wasn’t specked with garbage and I permitted my feet to sink into the sand as I wandered aimlessly.
Exploring Colva, Palolem etc. in the southern Goa is the key to a mellow trip. One can laze in a shack, enjoy a drink of his/her preference, feast on garlic prawns and be engulfed by calmness.
Before embarking on my vacation, I had decided to eat Chicken Xacuti with pav for breakfast, golden fried crabs for lunch and Portuguese fish curry for dinner at least once. I had also hoped to drive around Fontainhas and make an excursion to Dhudhsagar water falls. I am filled with a sense of peace as I race against the deadline to finish the article, thanks to my time in Goa. I assure you, you too will get nostalgic if you familiarize yourself with the unadulterated Goa.
-Karanveer Monga and Sanchit Gupta
Picture credits: Karanveer Monga (www.instagram.com/globetrotterguy)
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