Your Guide to Goa – Panaji

Panaji is the capital of Goa, which is also called as Panjim, very prominent place for it is the main city that connects several places. Here is a the main bus terminal, which is the state run transportation and is very affordable! There is an old church in the middle of the Panjim city with several commercial places, tour organizing offices, restaurants and shops found on either sides of the roads as we get into the interior.

For a first time visitor it will be rather confusing to navigate through the town, since most of the roads are one way. And believe me, almost all the roads are clean and tidy! Smoking in public places is prohibited in Goa and so is ghutka. So there is enough breathing spaces left!

A Visit to Dona Paula is recommended as it holds some prominence. There is a story about a woman named Dona [daughter of a Viceroy] who was in love with a local fisherman and wanted to marry him, and threw herself from over the cliff since her dad denied it. So you can feel the sweet pain of love when you visit this place. It has also been quite popular among many indian movies as the location is beautiful with the view into the sea that stretches as far as your eyes can see.ย  You can spot big steamers and ships in the sea and it’s a bustling place with many local vendors selling everything between eatables and clothes. The water sports are popular at this place. One can try the motor bike ride into the waters.

Always remember, when in group we can bargain on cost. The road to Dona Paula is easy: from the Panjim circle, take left to the main road which goes past the Miramar beach. It’s just about 10 min drive and we can spot many boats on the river Mandovi connecting to Miramar, which take people for a trip into the sea with music and dance performed aboard, where we can have drinks and enjoy the sights and sounds.

As we all know or might have heard that liquor is inexpensive, rather affordable. We can spot many wholesale shops in Panjim and anywhere in Goa. One evening, we were on our way to North Goa where there are two bridges that connect from Panjim to North Goa over the river Mandovi. We stopped at one of the Wines Stores and we guys just wanted to pick a Vodka, but after knowing the price of Smirnoff full bottle, which was for Rs. 350/-, we were astonished and each one started picking something; a Rum, a Scotch and something or the other of our choice. Mahesh and I, the wine lovers, picked a white wine bottle ๐Ÿ™‚ย  We couldn’t wait any longer to open it and started sipping the wine while driving, and we finished the whole bottle on our drive towards Bagga beach, which is about 19 k.m., approx.. We were little cautious of police and at traffic signals but, as long as you are driving safe and normally, no one stops you.

The North and South of Goa are on the Same coastline of the Arabian sea, but are separated by Panjim, Mandovi river and Dabolim airport or the far end of Vasco DA Gama.

Your complete guide to Goa!

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Your Guide to Goa!

There was a good response for the Goa Travelogue I published last month. Few added comments right here, few others shared their excitement in chat and a couple of them called on mobile for intricate details. And, there is of course Ravi Varma, co-author on this blog who shared his own experiences. Well, he now wants to take it one step forward and compile a guide for anyone who wants to visit Goa. Of course, veteran party animals may have their own stories to tell, however, at least this might help someone like me who needs some insight for the first visit. I already received few requests to provide information to plan a Goa trip. Well, this is for you!

So, the series of posts that follow with ‘Your Guide to Goa – xxxx’ as title are all written by Ravi Varma, and edited by me. He actually wrote one big post (8 pages approx. in Microsoft Word!) but you know, I am trying to keep it simple and publish in digests.You can bookmark this post. I am planning to update this one with all the subsequent post links as and when published. It could be useful to you or for any others planning for a vacation in Goa.

The intent of the series? Read the intro: When we talk about Goa, most of the people are in a wrong assumption, they only think of Booze and Beaches! Of course the booze is always there in loads, and the beaches arenโ€™t a miss. However, there are several other places, which are quite popular and worth visiting! One has to spare some love for history and culture too. For when travelling, what I get from that journey is also important!

A tip: Instead of providing dry information like a boring travel book, Ravi includes his experiences as and when possible to give you his perception of the place/ event. This benefits the readers to place yourself there and live the moment. As said, this is only his perception. Everyone might have different ways to look at the same fun events and places in Goa. If you are one of them and like to add more details, you’re welcome!

Update:

Your Guide to Goa โ€“ Panaji

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My Favorite destination… GOA! anytime!! anyday!!!

I must say trip to Goa is best enjoyed with like minded people or to say whoever wants to freak out and shed their inhibitions, so you also need to have a good company along. Goa is very seductive with its Sun kissed and white sand beaches! I’ve been there four times now and almost know pretty much about most of the places there- in and out, every nook and corner, every road or gullies :).ย  First time I went by bus, then train and in the recent past, took road in my car with my pals, and the last trip was in Monsoon, which was by flight! Each trip was unique; but by train is a too good experience, with twists and turns on the hills and tunnels, and by water falls, but only after the train enters Goan region and you wish to capture all the beauty of nature at very instance, which is too gud and gone too soon!

The road trip is also amazing and the experience is too gud to cherish. We took road maps and travelled to differnt places all the way in and out, with songs playing on the deck, stopping in between, taking pictures at good locations. The ghat road is awesome! and terrifying too; it took almost 20 hrs to reach there and is truly an experience. Hitting Goa in Monsoon is total different experince since it will be turning into lush green everywhere and the sea is on high… it’s like refuelling itself and if you are a nature lover, you would fall in love for it’s greenery, waterfalls, sea and everything about it!

The season starts right from October through February ending, December is kind of peak season with many tourists. Its chilling during evenings and nights, and hot as the day goes on. Feb is still good but it gets hot during the last week. I have been to several beaches; some are similar, and some are unique and differnt, vary with water color, sand and crowd. The roads are good, and there is lot of greenery, rivers, valleys and of course sea! and not to forget, the bikini babes! ๐Ÿ™‚ One can treasure more than their eyes can see as the beaches are full of foreigners who enjoy sunbathing and tanning their bodies, lying down and reading books for hrs together.