Goa beckons again..

The memories stay forever about the swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters; the tiny, glorious slice of land hugging the country’s western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea.

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One of India’s smallest and most relaxed state capitals, Panaji (also still widely known by its former Portuguese name Panjim) crowds around the peninsula overlooking the broad Mandovi River, where cruise boats and floating casinos ply the waters, casting neon reflections in the night.

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church- Panjim

A solitary Portuguese outpost  for almost 500 years, the influence of colonial rule can still be seen everywhere; in the exquisite, crumbling architecture; in the East-meets-West cuisine which combines coconut milk, palm vinegar and in the siesta-saturated joie de vivre that Goans themselves call susegad.

 

But Goa’s heart is in its villages.

Not surprisingly, it’s the villages of Goa which hold both charm and character. After an aimless ride on a relaxed evening ,I realized living in Goa can be tough and slow, but holidaying there is just fine and I was surprised with the charms of the Goan village.

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Having a number of crisscrossing rivers and creeks, Goa’s water transport services provide cheap and easy modes of transport.

Flat bottomed ferry boats form a part of Goa as her marine beauty, the ferries of Goa provide an essential means of transport connecting different regions of the state. Ferry service in Goa act as a lifeline connecting various regions where bridges are yet to be built over the coastal backwaters. These boats and ferries take in almost everyone and everything, like local fisherwomen carrying their ware to smart foreigners, motorbikes, cars, cattles and other heavy items from one place to another.

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Unlike urban areas, the villages tend to be neat and clean, friendly and even good value for money, except maybe in those areas where there are a lot of tourists already.

Goa has many different faces. The coast varies from the “hinterland”. Below is a list of some villages where you could find something unusual. But don’t restrict yourself to this list alone.

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Assolna, Benaulim, Britona, Cortalim, Curtorim, Goa Velha, Mollem, Usgao, Reis Magos, Savoi Verem, Shiroda. But this list is far from complete. Please note that you wouldn’t necessarily be looking around for accommodation (though you can find it in some places), because these villages are often close to the places where most tourists stay.

Regions:

North Goa- Bardez,Bicholim,Pernem,Ponda,Tiswadi,

South Goa-Canacona,Mormugao,Quepem,Salcette,Sanguem

Cities:

Panjim,Margao,Vasco da Gama,Mapusa

Beaches:

Agonda or Turtle beach

Anjuna and Vagaor

Calangute and Baga-very popular with foreign tourists

Candolim

Colva

Dona Paula

Palolem

Polem

Bogomolo

Reach Goa:

There are many direct flights from Mumbai and Delhi.

Also Goa is well connected by train and luxury buses from Mumbai and takes about 12 hours to reach Panjim.

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