Many beat-up travelers claim that the country of contrasts is India. It can be described as a rich land where poor people live. I was lucky to visit the place that impressed me with its great diversities. On the picturesque shore of the Arabian Sea, Goa is one of the most popular destinations in India, and I understand why.
Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan, in Western India. It is bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south.
When I visited it for the first time, I was astonished by its calmness. Being in the city was like being in a deep dream. The wide roads surrounded by cashew and coconut trees. The most surprising fact is I saw none traffic lights or traffic police on roads. But despite this, the cars were moving obeying the traffic rules.
After enjoying such a pleasant road trip from Mumbai to Goa, we booked a hotel at the top of Margao. There are several choices in which to stay in Goa. Accommodations can be in a small hotel or in one hundred of luxurious resorts. It appears the whole population there turns into innkeepers in the summer. They meet the tourists and do their best to satisfy all their needs.
Goa is famous for its finest beaches. Next day we went to the Colva beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in India. It is the calmest beach in Goa. Several lounges are on the sea beach to enjoy a drink while watching the sunset. The sand golden with just the right comforting warmth. The sea water was refreshing with crystal clear water. The lighting produced by the sunset can be magical. The lambent sunray turned the water into liquid gold. One can share intimated moment at the silent beach in the evening time.
There are several beaches in Goa like Baga, Calanguat, Anjuna, etc. The most interesting thing is that the watercolor is different at every beach. There is also a private beach at the front of Taj Hotel. You can try many water sports or even parasailing. But if you prefer calmness then I suggest Colva beach is the best.
If you are a shopping lover, then you are at the right place. You can get everything in the markets like cashew, dried fish, handicrafts, antiques, spices, and jewelry. You cannot see any place in India where so many jewelry shops are lined up together. You can do your shopping at Baga market, Panjim market or any other markets near the beach. Do not forget to try Goa's famous pickle and dry chilies.
The beaches were lined with restaurants and cafes. The cuisine was Goan, so I enjoyed these traditional dishes. Goan food is a fusion of Indian food and Portuguese food. The delicacy is rich in different spices, herbs, coconut, and cashew. It is a heaven for seafood lovers. You can taste everything from crab to kingfish. Some must-try foods are chicken xacuti, a traditional dish made with allspice and bebinca, Goa's most famous sweet. If you are snack lover then you must try taco rolls near Colva beach.
Goa is known for making good wines and cognacs. So, my advice to you, if you visit there one day, is to try the wine and take a bottle with you as a present for friends. A glass of red wine with a delightful supper in one of the small, quaint restaurants on the beach will make your evening unforgettable. The special drink is Goan Feni, made of cashew fruit juice. It is aromatic and rich in taste.
Goa is enriched in history. It is distributed in two districts North Goa and South Goa. You can visit every corner of Panjim by a hoodless bus called Hoho bus. If you want to know the history of Goa, you must visit the Big Foot museum. You can know about Portuguese culture from Ancestral Goa.
The most of the locality in Goa is Christian. So, there are many ancient churches to visit like Basilica de Bom Jesus, an excellent example of Baroque architecture.
There are a few beautiful temples too like Shantadurga temple.
One thing you must not miss is the enchanting view from Fort Aguda. If you are romantic, then you will fall in love with the place. If you are not romantic, then your heart warms up. I loved the place most in Goa after Colva beach.
You can go on a private trip to Dudhsagar falls, where the Princess bathed while drinking milk and Spies Garden, where you know a lot about spies and taste the local delicacy. You can also enjoy a cruise trip on Mandovi river.
In the evening, I took a walk and relax. I was astonished because such a quiet place in the mornings came alive with many small music discos, drinks, food and entertainment in the evenings. The beachfront was alive; it was full of talented people presenting fire shows, singing and playing musical instruments. The atmosphere was amazing, and people were taking pictures of everything they saw, as all of us watched a wonderful show.
If you want to complete the experience, you must visit the famous Goa carnival.
Goa is famous for its unique dance form. In Portuguese history, music is an integral part of Goan homes.
It is often said, "Goans are born with music and sport".
Western musical instruments like the piano, guitars, and violins are widely used in most religious and social functions of the Catholics.