Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Beautiful Beaches of North Goa

We went for a walk along Miramar Beach in Panaji the day we reached Goa. This is not exactly a sea beach. It is a beach along the river Mandavi. Nevertheless, it is beautiful. After eating panipuris, we boarded a launch for an evening cruise on the Mandavi. But there was no scope for observing the scenery. There were singers and dancers on board, ready to perform once the launch started. The first performances were good (one song, one dance, dancing by all the little kids on board and dancing by all the couples on board). But then, they called all the boys to dance. After that, it was pure ghost-dancing and needless to say, we didn’t enjoy it all. The music was being played at full volume. Moreover, the songs were mostly Himesh Reshamiya numbers. So, we didn’t get what we had expected from the cruise.
Next day, we went on a tour of North Goa. While going there, we witnessed the beautiful state of Goa. It is very clean and very green. The houses have sloping tiled roofs and are mostly two-storeyed. The street-lights are lined neatly and look different from the usual street-lights found in other Indian cities. Panaji looks like any foreign city. Yes, it is that much different from other Indian cities. Goa has a unique combination of hills and sea. We first visited Aguada Fort that day. Basically, it was used by the Portuguese to see the ships and get alerted. Situated atop a hill, this fort overlooks the sea on all sides. You get a really splendid view from there. It also hosts the remains of an old light-house. Our next stop was Sinquerim Beach. This beach is surrounded by small hills, some resorts and lines of coconut trees. Tourists are not allowed to go down to the beach. So, we watched it from the top of a kind of enclosure which has been constructed for tourists. Before reaching here, we had wanted to see dolphins in a lake near Aguada Fort. But the people there charged too much money. Besides, there is every doubt whether you’ll be able to see the dolphins or not. So, we decided to leave the creatures alone and go to the next beach. The net beach was Calangute Beach. This is the most popular one in Goa. It is very long and without trees or hills. We ventured a bit into the sea and then, drank Mirindas under one of the umbrellas which had been laid in front of the restaurants. This was also great. We sat there for a long time, watching people bathing and the lifeguards blowing their whistles. The next beach was Anjuna Beach. This is again, a bit different. You have to go down the hills using steps to reach the shore. There are big boulders on the shore and the beach is surrounded by hills and coconut trees. We had not noticed the steps while going down. So, we went down using a pathway laid with rocks. We also had to climb some of the boulders on the shore. It was both fun and danger. But it was more fun. While going to the next beach, we fed on cucumbers! Yes, we were already a bit hungry. Our Branch (Breakfast+Lunch) of chicken sandwiches, toasts and omelettes had been digested. Anyway, cucumbers were enough for the time-being. So, we visited Vagator Beach. This is almost like Anjuna Beach. But it is bigger and you need to climb down many more steps to reach the shore. It is more beautiful also. After that, we visited the Shree Bodgeshwar Sansthan in the town of Mapusa. It is a kind of temple. We also saw the Secretariat of Goa. It is indeed beautiful and is situated amidst the hills. With that, our tour of North Goa ended.
We returned to Panaji by evening. We took dinner at a restaurant called “Sher-e-Punjab”. You must have heard about it. It is there in almost all cities of India.


Woodsmoke said...

What did you eat at Shere Punjab?

Butterfly said...

Unfortunately, I don't remember that now.