7 Goa travel tips

Hello guys , I have been thinking of writing this for sooo long but this is delayed by one thing or the other

1.Timing

Goa travel tips

 Photo Matthew Jackson

 Our marriage was in June , so the honeymoon was also planned then. But unfortunately most of the beach cities have no water activities or sports in monsoon ,that is June -October . We had no option as we wanted  Goa badly. If you do not have any such restriction and want to enjoy Goa completely ,plan your holiday accordingly .

2.Journey

Goa travel tips

Though the simplest and most convenient method is travel by air , I advice you to plan a train journey .It can offer a spectacular view of Dudhsagar Falls ,if you are luckySome trains like Vasco da Gama express, Amaravathi Express pass it . Just inquire whether a train from your place passes it .

You can read the full story of my experience here.

3.Accommodation

If you are traveling in only male group ,it is OK even if you stay in some budget hostel like  place .But if you have girls in your batch or you are with family ,then you need to be rather careful about the hotel . Majority of gangs reach Goa just to booze . It is always better to be on safe side ,you know !!!! Read reviews before selecting a hotel or resort .Make sure you feel secure enough at the place.

4. Sunscreen

Goa is one of the most hot and humid places i have ever visited . Chances of sun damage are double there .So have heaps of sunscreen bottles with you . Also try to buy some ‘ water resistant’ ones. (for more details on using sunscreen ,read this 10 sunscreen questions answered ).

5. Clothing :

Goa is the only one place in the India  where you can wear anything to every place without the need to face ‘stare’s from everyone. I even traveled in a rural route on bike which was pretty conservative ,but no one gave us odd looks. So you can happily experiment with clothes. ( To know what i chose for Goa trip click these links…GOA DATES :Outfit 1,OUTFIT 2,OUTFIT 3 )

6.Food

As Goa is a world known destination which welcomes millions from all over the world ,wide range of cuisines are at your service. Especially for non vegetarians it is like a heaven of sea food.

7.Explore

Goa travel tips

Goa is used synonymous to the beach ,but there are many other places in Goa if you have a willingness to explore. I have written posts on that which you can read from the links Places to visit in Goa other than beaches ,Journey to the less known Tiracol Fort- Goa,FORT AGUADA ,GOA.

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All my Goa posts are listed below…

A TRAIN to GOA : a sweet surprise

GOA DATES :Outfit 1

FORT AGUADA ,GOA

GOA dates :OUTFIT 2

Journey to the less known Tiracol Fort, Goa

Goa Dates Outfit 3

Places to visit in Goa other than beaches

 

 

 

 

Karthika pournami :Dazzling home town

Hello friends!!!!!!!!Day before yesterday was Karthika pournami . That is  the full moon day of the month Karthikamasam.karthika pournami

The day is important for both Lord Shiva and Vishnu .Lord Vishnu killed a rakshas called Jalandhara and Lord Shiva killed Thripurasura on the same day . So it is celebrated for both . I have no personal interest in any of the story or worship ;What i am more interested is the celebration at our home town . I was ( as well as my parents ) born in a small town called Dharmapuri ( current location Telangana)  on the bank of river Godavari. It is a famous pilgrimage site in Telangana and some border districts of Maharashtra. Many of the major festivals are  celebrated very brightly here. (Read about the festival called Bathukamma ,here ) .

For Karthika pournami a place called Koneru (temple’s water tank or reservoir ) is decorated with lamps (diya) everywhere.

It is a site which holds breath for few seconds . I really feel very excited for being able to take part in it many times , though not this time . I just wanted to share few pictures with you.

karthika pournami

karthika pournami

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Bathukamma : a history , a heritage , a childhood

The colorful ones
                                            The colorful ones

Happy sunday friends !! Since the beginning of Navarathri my heart i have been brooding over the fact that i could not be part of ‘ Bathukamma celebrations ‘ this time . I f you do not belong to Telangana or AP states , there are few chances of having heard about ‘Bathukamma ‘ .But for us it’s a part of our lives . No one can separate Telangana and Bathukamma from each other . No wonder when the Telangana movement ( Before separation from AP ) was in full bloom Bathukamma was played everywhere regardless of season .President of an organization ‘TELANGANA JAGRUTHI’  MP Kavitha has penetrated the masses ,could reach and flatter many women hearts during the movement by organizing many nonseasonal Bathukamma events and encouraging local women to participate in them. Then the events were organized at many temples, schools ,colleges even offices .Her gracious presence in each of those places with Bathukamma had won  crores of hearts  .There was no meeting , no rally or strike where Bathukamma was not celebrated .Bathukamma has almost become an icon for Telangana .

I know I am going into too much of politics . I have no interest in them . My love for  Bathukamma began in my childhood . As by the age of 4 or 5yrs ( as far as i remember )we are allowed to and ordered to take part in it. Before going into all the things let me give you a short   (hi)story .

Bathukamma is not just a festival for women. It is a festival to worship feminity in the nature ,where flowers represent women.Mythological story tells about Goddess Gouri after feeling humiliated by Lord Shiva’s comments on her dusky complexion , prayed for Brahma who eventually gave her a golden color . That is why in the center of every Bathukamma there will be a turmeric lump representing her . There is another story of a King who was desperate for kids but all his male new born babies end up dying . He requests all nearby saints to bless him with a heir .So when the Queen gives birth to a baby girl ,all saints come to bless her ‘Bathukamma’ ( literally means ‘long live amma’ ) .

Bathukamma                         The typical bathukamma

Bathukamma

Bathukamma                     various sizes and shapes

 

 

 

 

 Foreign Bathukamma , made with atypical flowers as the routine one's are not available there.This just shows how seriously our people take the festival
Foreign Bathukamma , made with atypical flowers as the routine one’s are not available there.This just shows how seriously our people take the festival

 

 

 

 women ready to play
                                women ready to play , see the  creative decorations and the glowing faces

BathukammaIt is celebrated for 9 days .The first day is called ‘Boddemma’, the last day is ‘Saddula Bathukamma’ . Everyone of the household will be busy for those 9 days. It starts in the morning all old children and teenagers are sent to market to buy heaps of flowers . After a short  siesta the real work starts . First thing is preparing Bathukamma ;it is an art . Flowers arranged in various rows in a cone shape.It actually takes more than 2 hrs .Second stage is making a snack. It is not that simple cause you have to for at least 20 people and you have to make one special item each day . Third is getting ready for celebration. In childhood it was almost like a fashion parade for me. Mom used to pick one kind of dress for each day like midi one day ,parikini one day ,frock ,saree,half saree etc etc .

Once everything is done by around 5 in the evening , women and children with Bathukamma and snack boxes in hands start for the venue .In our place it is the bank of the river’Godavari’ . Where everyone will gather to divide themselves into small groups who arrange all their respective Bathukammas and snack boxes in a circle ;start playing around it singing lovely songs.

The songs seemed to me really playful in childhood but now when i think about them i can find stories , histories (mainly of Kakthiya Dynasty) ,mythology ,anthropology in them . They pass from one generation to other . My grandmother taught me few.

While the women sang songs and played ‘Bathukamma’ in circles , kids run and play in sand. With the creeping darkness , they would declare end of that day’s session . That would be a great news for us as we get to have snacks . Women with help of elderly children walk into the waters of the river ‘Godavari’ to release ‘Bathukamma’ ,then they ask children to go in batches to distribute the snacks they prepared . Everyone gets chance to taste snacks of everyone else . Boy!! It was like a huge feast . And this happens daily . No wonder used to get craving for the festival throughout the year .

 

It is so sad to say that becoming a doctor has ruined my festival. These days i hardly get chance to go down to my place.

I spent all these navarathri days in guilt and gloom . I really hope to participate at least in next ‘Bathukamma’

 

Photo courtesy – my buddies Manasa and Kavitha .Thank you babies!!!!!!!

If you guys are interested in watching a visual on Bathukamma there are many videos.One of it is linked below

.Bathukamma song

 

9 Places to visit in Goa other than beaches

Hi friends !!!!

It has been more than 10 days since the last post . I have an awful flu , nearly broke my finger and overall stresssed out. I am admitted in the same hospital where i work . Still on bed but determined to complete this post now.

Goa is the term used synonymous with the word Beach . I know many friends have visited Goa multiple times ,but never went anywhere other than beaches . There are some interesting places in Goa which you can write down in a list for your next Goa visit.

1.Fort Aguada

fort aguada

Situated in North Goa ,It is a fort cum lighthouse now divided into 2 parts as Jail. Read the full article about it here .

 

2.FORT tiracol

tiracol fort

It is located at the mouth of Tiracol river 42 km north of Panaji .Built originally by Marathas ,it was later invaded by Portuguese. It had a chance to witness civil wars,revolts and freedom fight. I had some exciting and exhausting experience with Tiracol fort. Read the complete article here .

3.VAGATOR FORT.

vagator fort

our photo at vagator beach

Truly speaking there is hardly any fort . In a place where the fort is supposed to  be located there was only a wall on a hilltop.

. The place is shown in many films ( the one i can recall is the ending scene of ‘ Dil Chahtha Hai’ ) . It offers a good panoramic view but the burden we took was not worth it. Walking up there is like trekking and walking down is super scary where you have small stones slipping under your feet and make you struggle to even stand . I walked down holding my sandals in hands.

 

4.Basilica of bom jesus

basilica of bom jesus

basilica of bom jesus

With the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier ,Basilica of bom jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site . It is open for public every day and once every 10 years , in December ,the body of St.Xavier is exhibited for public . The event attracts devotees from around the world . The structure of the church is a typical example of baroque architecture in India . Many paintings ( showing life of St.Xavier) and some amazing murals. There is a Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery which has paintings of the artist Dom Martin.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

I look awful here

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

This is just located  opposite to the ‘Basilica of bom jesus ‘ . Compared t the former it is more peaceful and less crowd y .

It has an archaeological museum at hand . the interior of the church holds few floral frescoes . There is also a statue of  Our Lady of Miracles Jaffnapatao .( google her , she has some interesting miracles in her story ).

6.Shri Shantadurga Temple

Shri Shantadurga Temple

Shri Shantadurga Temple

 

It is located about 30 km from Panjim. The temple is said to be the richest temple of Goa state . This and the mangueshi temple are the only two temples i know to allow women with short dresses into the vicinity . It has a golden idol of the ‘Devi Shantha durga’  .

 

7.Shri Mangueshi temple.

Shri Mangueshi temple.

 

Located 21 kms from Panjim this temple has Bhagavan Manguesh who is an avtar of Lord Shiva .  The ancestors of legendary ‘Latha Mangeshker ‘ were from this place . I liked this temple till the time i had a chance to visit the temple’s washrooms .I still get some nauseating feel recalling them.

8.Dona paula

dona paula

The place is located at Panjim .Goa. The place was named after the woman called Dona Paula de Menezes. It has very interesting romantic and scary stories surrounding it .  Search for the story , everyone has one special story. Funny thing is our tour guide invented a modern Romeo -Juliet kind of story with two lovers called Dona and Paula . He showed a white washed statue  ( by by Baroness Yrse Von Leistner) and said it was the picture of Dona and Paula . I believe this story he created as the film Ek Duuje Ke Liye was shot here.

9.Casinos :

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I personally dislike casinos very much but i know some people find the places very enjoyable . It is said that each casino there pays about 80-100 crore of income tax . I really wonder about the total income and the share of black money in it.

There are many more interesting places but i stop my list here.

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Goa Dates Outfit 3

Hello buddies!!!!!!!! Here is another outfit post from my Goa Dates series . As the day then was windy , I planned to go for a flirty skirt to play with the wind. The black skirt here is in fact a dress , the pretty LBD . I wore it in Goa for one dinner . When in tour i usually like to re-use same pieces to reduce the burden to some extent . So….that way the LBD became skirt in this outfit.

sadhvi mythili

Fort Aguada

I really like the puffy hands and and the neck detailing of the top. I paired it with the black handbag ,grey stone ear rings and silver bangles.

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Sadhvi mythili

Sadhvi mythili

earrings and pearl neck detailing

outfit details

Top,LBD,Hand bag -Dresslink.com

Footwear-online shopping

Bangles – bought in Lifestyle

Ear rings – Gifted

 

Hope you like the outfit.

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Journey to the less known Tiracol Fort, Goa

There is a lot of difference in being a ‘tourist’ and a ‘traveler’ . On our every tour we try to come out of our comfy ,secure ‘tourist zone ‘ at least on one day . We keep one extra day aside to explore some unusual places or to do some random things . In other words we try to be ‘travelers’. This ‘Tiracol Fort ‘ is also a kind of ‘out of the way ‘ place for routine tourists of Goa.

Tiracol Fort was sooooooo….uncommon that even our hotel staff were clueless when i inquired about this place. Google maps showed just 53 km if we use a better road ( from candolim) . But it took us more than 3hrs as we had many ‘pauses’ in our journey . We started on bike at 11 am and decided to have our lunch by 1 pm. But surprise……… there were no restaurants not even dhabas .It took us more than 1 and 1/2 hour to locate at least one decent restaurant. Even there the waiter kept saying     ”sorry mam” for almost half of the dishes . Finally he settled us with one ‘over spicy hyderabadi biryani ‘ and one ‘tasteless pasta’ .

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One can find small tea stalls,cool drink shops en route . Petrol bunks were spaced with long distances.

After about 3 hrs of journey ( with 45min lunch break) we came to a dead end at tiracol river .We were gobsmacked . Sign posts and maps were still showing  the same direction. We lost our hopes and took an ‘ about turn’ . On our way back we asked one elderly women ,just in case . She too was directing us to same spot and then said we needed to cross the river on ferry.  She even offered us ferry timings. We could catch a ferry just at the spur of leaving which was the slowest form of transport i have ever used. I made friends with one localite aunty who offered me a place to sit .She belonged to ‘Tiracol village’ travelling with husband . The ferry operators were friendly and showed us the route to Tiracol fort.

Finalyyyy………. we were at Tiracol fort . It had two security people and two more tourists .It used to be a resort once but when we were there resort was shut down . There was nothing much to see except for the breathtaking view of Tiracol river joins the Arabian sea . We enjoyed that for few minutes before i injured my self while  hopping. My husband insisted on leaving the place did not look safe with only occupants being 4 unknown men.

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But this time we again took a chance by not taking ferry and choosing one alternative route . That turned out to be one of the ” scariest bike journeys” of my life as we could not find a single human being or animal for 25 mins in that route. I was making up my mind to encounter some dons or dhakus as the place looked so deserted and gloomy . It was almost like the road in English movies where we expect the couple to get lost on their holiday and find themselves  ‘face to face’ with a psychopath or devil or both . I took my breath peacefully only after i saw one women waiting at small village bus stop after 25 mins. Rest of the journey was uneventful .

I am really sorry for not writing much about Tiracol fort but you can read on wikipedia ,here

 

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GOA dates :OUTFIT 2

PhotoGrid_1438620239323Hello friends !!!!!!!!! This is another post from my ‘Goa ‘ series and this is the second outfit post ( For first outfit post click here). It was the third day of our trip and also was a busy ‘sight seeing’ day. Our tour plan consisted of few temples ,churches,beaches,monuments and the famous ‘Mandovi cruise ‘ .That meant it was beyond my stamina levels. Moreover , it was Goa in June !!!!!! Heat and humidity were threatening me.

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So, i chose this simple, light denim dress which has a chiffon ,flowy lower half . That lovely wide tan belt came with the dress. For footwear , i opted those pretty gold sandals which would allow me to walk happily without hurting my feet.

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As i wanted my dress to be the ‘key piece ‘ of the outfit ,i paired with simple ‘owl necklace’ . a ‘deer bracelet ‘ and ‘chariot ring’ which were not overshadowing that dress.

I love those mirror sunglasses . I skipped my bag and dumped everything into the backpack my hubby was carrying.

Of course ,that ‘straw hat ‘ was a must. After all , it was Goa.

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Outfit Details

Dress,Belt and bracelet – Dresslink.com

Ring                                  -Shopnineteen.com

Owl necklace                  -Online shopping

Straw hat                          -Goa beach shopping.

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FORT AGUADA ,GOA

FORT AGUADA ,GOA

Hi friends , how was your weekend  ? I am much into Goa these days all my outfit posts and my Travel posts are going to be on Goa .Today’s post is about the ‘Fort Aguada of Goa. Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a well-preserved seventeenth-century Portugese fort standing in Goa, India, on Sinequerim beach, overlooking the Arabian SeaPhotoGrid_1437891423466.the ‘four storey light house’PhotoGrid_1437891151800 entrance

Aguada means ‘water storage’.Its name comes from the natrual springs within the fort that provided water to the fort and passing ships. Built in 17 th century this fort used to be  a guard from the depredations of the Marathas and the Dutch and also served as a lighthouse for more than 100 yrs.In earlier times, ships used to stop here to refill their  drinking water from the fresh-water spring within the fort. The capacity of the storage tank is more than 2 Million  gallons.

The light house is a ‘4 storey ‘ one . But when we went there they were not allowing visitors on the top of it.PhotoGrid_1437891234026

Fort Aguada is divided into upper and lower portions . Only the former is open for tourists as the lower portion is now a prison.Interestingly, it happens to be the largest prison in Goa. Prisoners in goa are lucky enough to have ”sea view cell”s.

The walls of this fort are 5 metres high and 1.3 metres wide which will allow you to walk on them easily. You can walk along the wall to get a delightful view of Arabia Sea and Mandovi river. PhotoGrid_1437891319316the wall

Those brick walls ,bright green grass ,white light house make the place picturesque.

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When :

The timings are: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. Time your visit either early in the morning so you escapethe harsh sun .Instead you can chose to go late in the evening so that you get a chance to see the red orb sink into the Arabian Sea.

What to do : Enjoy the nature. Have some  glorious views.  Take some pictures or you can just sit  peacefully on one of the terraces overlooking sea.

Where to eat : Except for some street vendors selling snacks there are no regular restaurants .

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small beautiful fishing colony en route.

Hope you like it. Bye till next post.

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PhotoGrid_1436091473703                              I just realized that it has been so many days since i have done my last outfit post . So here i am with my another outfit post. This is a very simple outfit which wore for our first beach day of Goa. It was early monsoon but the weather of Goa was terrible. It was hot, humid and sickening . Especially in those beaches .

So for my ‘Goa beach date’ , i chose a very simple and light outfit for a comfy & cute look . That day we actually visited and spent time in 4 beaches .

The white top was made of light but not transparent ( it was necessary for top to be ‘non transparent ‘ to save me from embarrassment after dip into the sea.) I really like the ‘bead design ‘ around the neck  and those cute hands.

PhotoGrid_1436976647686I paired it with simple cropped shorts. ( recycled from my old jeans ) As it was a beach and i was in a playful mood , i chose my simple ‘archie flipflops’ .They were adorable but unfortunately i can not find photo now. I completed look with silver bangles and grey crystal studs. One huge black hand bag to hold all the stuff i need in beach.

PhotoGrid_1436976588892                               hair has become like this after an hour of just standing in the beach

OUTFIT DETAILS :

Beaded white top & hand bag- Dresslink.com

Denim shorts       -Recycled from my old jeans.

Bangle set             – from Hypercity

 

Hope you like my outfit.

A TRAIN to GOA : a sweet surprise

 

Dudhsagar_Falls_Triplet    I always wanted to write about my honeymoon . I am starting that with one of the ‘most memorable train journeys of my life’ . It was a simple journey for first 13 hrs full with food and laughs . I did not expect much from that journey other than that . Then came the surprise ….

At about 10 in the morning our couch attender came to us & asked us to come to the door as there was interesting thing to come in next few mins. We did not give this to much consideration as we thought this to be the usual over enthusiasm of old people. He came back with in 5 mins.

amma ,manchi falls vasthadi ippudu,chala baguntadi . dudhsagar antaru.vacchi chudandi”

( here comes a beautiful water falls called dudhsagar ,please come and see )

The name Dudhsagar succeeded to bring some mobility in my lazy body . I succeeded to drag my hubby along.

As we came to the door , i could see that at every door in every couch people were standing with anticipatory excitement in their faces. ( only we were ignorant ).Only then i spotted it coming …….Dudhsagar ….

As we stood there with awed expression and widely opened mouths , the train moved closer and closer. It actually created an illusion of the train actually traversing the fall . As if to prolong this bliss the train was moving at 10s. We both were very much enchanted by what was in front of our eyes . Water with some foamy character was actually looking like milk . Imagine gallons of milk flowing from some unknown heaven.

The GOA tourism website describes Dudhsagar falls like this.

“The Konkani name for the falls, which literally translated means “sea of milk”, derives from clouds of milky foam which rises up at the bottom of the falls. Dudhsagar is set amidst breathtaking scenery overlooking a steep, crescent-shaped head of a valley carpeted with pristine tropical forest, that is only accessible on foot or by train.”

There is some funny story attached to the name which you can find in that website.

The legend tells the story of this powerful and wealthy king who ruled a kingdom in the Western Ghats. His lavish and opulent palace in the hills was surrounded by vast gardens which were full of deers and gazelles.

The King had a beautiful daughter, who used to enjoy taking a bath during the hot summers, in the picturesque lake near the forest on the edge of the King’s palace grounds. It was her habit to finish her bath and have a jugful of sugared milk in a jug made of pure gold.

One day when she was finishing her usual jug of milk she found herself being watched by a handsome prince standing amongst the trees. Embarassed by her inadequate bathing attire, the resourceful Princess poured the sugared milk in front of her to form an improvised curtain to hide her body, while one of the maids rushed to cover her with a dress.

Thus was the legend born. The sugared milk (dudh) poured down the mountainside and continued to flow in torrents as a tribute to the everlasting virtue and modesty of the Princess of the Ghats. ”

I could not get the information whether all trains going to Goa can have this wonderful moments or not. At least  Vasco da gama express ,Amaravathi express, Goa express ( as per my knowledge ) are blessed.

So, it is my advice to all people thinking of Goa ,to consider train .

 

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