The Flip Side of GOA

The first thing that comes in the mind when one hears the word Goa, is “Party” which is followed by dance, music ,food and of course booze and other ’stuff’. But my experience was a bit different when I visited Goa for the first time. To me it was much more than late night parties and getting high ,I immediately fell in love with the rustic look and feel of the city. A little overgrown grass, the narrow roads with no street light so you are completely on your own at night and literally have to follow fellow travelers to reach different places. The small colourful houses and Churches at every nook and corner told so many stories. It was so very different from the concrete jungles which are cluttered like bee-hives in the cities.

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This city is a beautiful fusion of the old and the new. Where on one side hifi party culture is booming and attracts people from different parts of the world to blend in as one, on the other we have the simple goan people who are poles apart from this lifestyle. The beach parties are like no other, loud music mainly trance, a good DJ, great food and a bunch of mad people who are here to get away from their mundane life.  The parties go on till wee hours in the morning and one gets tired like hell but you have these local ladies who stand there to serve you hot maggi and bread omelette all the time and somehow its tastes much better than all the cuisine that you get in the shacks.

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Apart from beaches and parties, Goa has lot more to offer like old portugese forts, Aguada and Chapora (only for the name sake) being the most prominent ones. In Chapora the fort is nowhere to be seen only the ruins are left there now and that too only of the boundary. Although the view is just amazing from the top and it’s a must visit for all the Dil Chahta Hai lovers.

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Then you have these Famous Churches in old Goa, which should definitely be on your itinerary. The entire old Goa takes you to the Portuguese era, with the grandiose white buildings and their intricate architecture.  One being Basilica of Bom Jesus, it is a world heritage which holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. One interesting fact about this Church is that it attracts lakhs of pilgrims every ten years during the public viewing of the body of St. Francis Xavier.

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If you move further east into GOA away from crowded beaches you will find Spice plantations amid thick forest cover. In and around Penda a small town deep inside Goa, the area has been known for spice farming and with the coming of tourists, it has grown into an organised tourist attraction.  A guide takes you around a big plantation area showing and telling you about various spices and nuts. Here we got to see the making of fenny, a local legendary alcohol made from cashew nut, it tastes awful though. After the tour they pour a ladle of cold water on you to refresh you, a weird way but it was refreshing indeed.

In a nut shell, Goa has an old world charm of its own and I can bet that if you go there once then you will definitely plan again. You need not be party animal to visit Goa and if you are, then there is no better place on Earth.

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