I have never dreamed of being at Goa – to be honest. But thanks to my Office. I got a chance to be at wonderful Goa for 2 weeks and explore many things of it.
Goa is the smallest state in India by area and the fourth smallest state by population. It’s located in the western coast of India.
It’s accredited of being one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It brings good number of both international and domestic tourists. It has rich cultures, good temples, churches and other ancient structure that are living anecdotes of Indian history.
Its exotic beaches, golden sand, lush green unbeaten countryside, and mosaic of cultural heritage, have made it one of the most preferred holiday destinations in India. Therefore, people also call Goa as Rome of the East.
Portuguese have ruled it for more than 400 years. It was liberated sometimes in 1961. Today visitors can see strong influence of western cultures and architectures. Therefore, Goa is often called as ‘West in the East’.
Travel to Goa- My Travel Plan
I was surprised when I received an invitation to attend a training on ‘Experience Capitalization’. It was another surprise when the place for training was mentioned as Goa.
I was quite nervous at first. I didn’t have any Bhutanese friend. Especially during embarkation and disembarkation, I felt quite lonely. Nonetheless, I reached Goa safely on the night of April 9; exactly on the night of my 23rd birthday!
My Experiences at Goa
The training venue was at Varanda Do Mar; a 4 star Boutique Business cum Luxury Hotel. It is located at 5 minutes’ drive away from Panjim City or Panaji City. Panjim city is the capital city of Goa that is known for Casinos, Night Life and the Kingfishers blinks.
When I was at Goa, I felt very free. Because then I was away from the monotonous life of going to office and coming back to home. I was curious to meet new people, taste new foods and experience new cultures. I felt that it is sometimes amazing to be away from home.
Things to do at Goa – Tourist Attractions of Goa
#1 Miramar Beach
People also call Miramar beach as the urban beach of Goa. It’s at a distance of about 3 km from Panaji city. The beach is where Mandovi River meets Arabian Sea. It is a lovely golden beach with soft sand and the palm trees.
The Miramar Beach being the 1st beach I have got to walk over, I had a good time snapping the sun set over it, snapping its ocean waves and every little different things that I have felt.
#2 Panaji City
The next day, Dr. Vincent, his son and I went to explore around various shopping malls of Panaji city or Panjim City. The clean street with safe traffic surrounded by numerous healthy green trees amazed me.
By age I am old enough. But I still get crazy over so many childish stuffs. I really love the flowery hairpins, bangles and the ear rings. Of course, these stuffs don’t suit me. However, at Panaji city I couldn’t resist purchasing some and trying them unto myself.
#3 Goa Cappuccino
The way they shape Cappuccino is beautiful. The leaf-shaped and heart-shaped Cappuccino were wonderfully artistic. I had one Cappuccino but just to have tough time finishing it. Because the cup was a huge one.
People visiting Goa usually have visiting beaches in their travel plans. I too can’t be an exception in this. I wanted to run freely along the palm pronged beach experiencing the joy of walking over miles of golden sand.
Therefore, six of us (four other friends from Nepal) visited Calangute and the Baga Beaches. Both of these beaches are equally beautiful and famous among tourists.
#4 Baga Beach
Baga Beach despite being little bit crowded and noisy, it’s one of the popular tourist destinations of Northern Goa. It’s best known for row of shacks and fishing boats.
I personally like Baga Beach as it presents harmonious combination of diverse activities and cultures. Tourists can see dolphins at shoreline at a distance of about 2km. The beach also has various water sports like parasailing and banana riding.
#5 Calangute Beach
People call Calangute Beach as Queen of the Beaches. It’s said that it’s more beautiful than other beaches of Goa. True to its name, I also found Calangute Beach beautiful beyond compare.
The joy of simply enjoying its exotic and panoramic views sitting under shade of palm trees is wonderful. Everyday hundreds of visitors keep the beach lively. At times you’ll feel like to rock along the rhythmic duets of various classic Goan songs.
If I were given another chance to be in Goa, I won’t miss to visit Calangute Beach. I still miss the aroma of sweet corns and artistic show of Tattooists.
It was in Calangute Beach that a group of men who were embracing the sand suddenly rushed to me to take pictures along, giving me the feeling of being a celebrity. On a serious note, everybody appears joyful.
#6 Old Goa
It was the capital of Goa before the start of Portuguese domination period. It still has arrays of churches and majestic buildings that would take any visitor to those lost times.
Popular tourist attractions of Goa like Francis of Assisi Church, Archaeological museum, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Tomb of St Francis Xavier are at Old Goa.
However, Goa isn’t popular with beautiful beaches. There are also many churches that appear ancient so much they tell many things of those lost times.
#7 Basilica of Bom Jesus
We visited the famous church, Basilica of Bom Jesus. The church is located in old Goa, which was a Capital of the Goa during the period of Protugee’s rule.
The Church has the body of St. Francis Xavier, a very close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits). Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
#8 Goa Archaeological Museum
Just opposite to Basilica of Bom Jesus lies a giant and beautiful, the Archaeological Museum.
The way to the Museum is marvelous with the green lawns, flowers and the resting benches. It is a beautiful place for portraits and simple short distance landscape photography.
#9 Immaculate Conception Church
Some people call it as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. It is located on a hillside overlooking Panajim City or Panaji City. I was told that it was first built sometimes in 1541 as a Chapel.
The church lies like a giant white bird guarding and blessing the city. I was totally overwhelmed by its graciousness. The church totally calms down the busy-city-moods.
Travel to Bhutan from Goa
Though my stay at Goa was limited, I got enough moments that would go in an archive of my wonderful memories. I could also hear so many unheard stories. And more importantly, I made new friends. We are now connected through social media.
On the return journey, I had the morning flight at 3:10A.m. By the time we landed in Paro International Airport, beautiful dawn broke. Mild sun rays started cutting through whitish fluffy clouds. I was like, ‘God, birds are so lucky to fly closer to these wonderful clouds.’
It’s always better to travel new places and explore new things. Travelling sparks purpose in your life, sometimes. It’s often through it, you’ll learn to appreciate home and realize it isn’t just a place where you are born and grew. My travel to Goa has also provided me many things that I don’t get at my home. However, love is only at home – the thing I realized.
Recommend to read following travel experiences and exciting stories from India:
- Bodh Gaya – Place where Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment.
- Varanasi, Garden of Bliss and City of Music and Light.
- Lotus Temple of New Delhi, a symbol of unity and tolerance.
- Manikaran – Paradise of good hot springs in Himachal Pradesh.
- 12 popular tourist attractions of Himachal Pradesh, India.
- Rewalsar Lake – Guru Padmasambhava met his consort Mendarawa.