Updated: Sep 6, 2019
A state well-known for happening and intoxicated parties and never ending highs and debauchery. Anyone would be lucky to have a trip to visit Goa for these reasons particularly.
Fortunately, those aren't the sole reasons that made us decide to go on a trip there.
Putting aside the temptations of a "high-end" party life in Goa, people tend to forget that it is also a place where nature's beauty is portrayed in the form of beaches, greenery, and a pollution-free environment.
Before we actually got to know about the true purpose of the beautiful state, we were also among the major percentage of Indians, and foreigners, who believed that the only purpose of visiting Goa, is only to get high, and enjoy the legendary night-life.
We came to understand the true form of this beautiful state and realized how people are disrespectful or tend to misjudge the culture that Goa actually serves a purpose for.
Fact #1: Did you know that the locals do not encourage drinking?
The local residents of Goa (Other than the foreigners who are settled, or the people who shifted to the state), do not believe in the concept of "Partying", "Drinking", or "Getting high".
Our tourist guide explained to us that foreigners and illegal trade have caused the culture of drugs and alcohol to come into limelight and how it eventually became the soul reason to why tourists come from all over the world to visit.
In reality though, the local residents either do not drink at all, or just have wine on special occasions and celebrations. They also do not encourage drugs, and smoking. Surprising isn't it?
There are some dangerous areas, and people you don't want to run into or have any sort of connection with though. (Just like the film "Dum Maaro Dum", our driver said). But, that doesn't mean the entire state is risky to be in.
Sinquerim, Fort Aguada, and a choppy ride with the Dolphins...
We landed at Dabolim Airport around 7:45 am, and headed towards our hotel in Baga, which approximately took 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After checking in and freshening up, we first visited Fort Aguada.
It was around 34 degrees Celsius (94 degrees Fahrenheit), and the rust colored bricks of the fort looked their best in the scorching heat.
It's best if you visit the fort and lighthouse during times when the sun isn't too harsh.
Sinquerim Beach lies closest to the Fort of Aguada, as the fort itself is situated there.
The beach has semi-clear water and bright sand that can mesmerize you to bits!
The perfect time to visit Goa, or any of the beaches there is said to be around October and November, as water sports like Paragliding, and jet skiing is perfect to participate in during that time of the year.
On the beach itself, a lot of water sports and boat rides are offered. Paragliding and Jet skiing are reasonable, but the Dolphin watch ride costs Rs. 2,500 for a person or couple, whereas you can get the same Dolphin watch ride for Rs. 300 just nearby the lighthouse of the Aguada Fort.
During the boat ride, they take you along with 5 to 8 other individuals towards the deepest part of the ocean and let you watch the dolphins rise above the water. Sometimes people don't get so lucky as the dolphins won't come up to the surface. Other times, you may only get to see 1-3 dolphins, but if you're lucky enough, you will see them jump above the surface.
Our boat driver was quite the prankster, as he purposely rocked the boat heavily to scare the hell out of us. Although, there isn't anything to be afraid of since you get life-jackets.
I highly advise that you don't sit in the front or anywhere until the 3rd seat on the boat as the water being splashed from the bow (front) of the boat can splash on your face. Trust me, the extremely salty water isn't worth it.
(Extremely salty water can sting and cause your skin to get burned easily, and if it splashes into your eyes, then you won't be able to open it for a while because of the burning and stinging.)
Basilica of Bom Jesus, temples and a breath-taking sunset...
The Basilica of Bom Jesus (Meaning Church of Good/Holy Jesus) is one of the oldest churches in India and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It holds the preserved remains of St. Francis Xavier and is definitely worth visiting if you're interested in experiencing unique architecture.
The next place on Day 2's list was the Balaji Temple in Kumkaliem. We weren't allowed to take pictures, and the temperature was dangerously high, but the area of the temple was extremely serene and beautifully surrounded by exotic trees and plants. If you have a chance to go there, or if it exists in your tourist list provided by a travel agent, then surely go-ahead to visit!
The last, but definitely not the least of places we visited on Day 2 was Anjuna Beach. Unlike traditional beaches that have sand, this beach consists of rocks and gigantic coral reef remains that lie on the shoreline as boulders to sit on.
I know you're thinking, "What is so special in a beach like that?", well apart from the amazing corn on the cob and handmade jewelry being sold on the shoreline, this beach has the most breathtaking view of the sunset. I don't think I need to justify it anymore. The pictures speak loud and clear.
Fact #2: Did you know that Goa consists of 33% of forests of the total landmass?
The lush forests of Goa are filled with exotic wildlife and bird life, where over 275 species of birds and more than 40 different types of animals and reptiles can be found.
Fact #3: Dudhsagar Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in India standing at 310 meters
I bet you didn't know that!
Fact #4: Did you know that traffic rules and littering are taken very seriously by the public, as well as the police in Goa?
Yeah! It's true! If someone doesn't wear a helmet, throws trash on the streets, spits or trespass, then the police come rushing to the scene. How? Well, firstly, they are very strict and observe everything.
Second, the locals of Goa are very protective of their state, if they witness any such activity they either call the cops themselves or go to the person who committed the act and convince or scold them to wear a helmet or throw the trash away.
If only other cities could follow the same!
I conclude by saying that Goa was an experience that proved a lot of rumors, and doubts wrong.
There's true beauty hidden beyond all the high youngsters talk about or go there for.
Click here to read about our food experience in Goa.
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