If one thinks of beaches of India, the first name that comes to mind is Goa. While beaches like Calangute, Vagator, and Dona Paola are the first areas that the tourists visit, Goa has far more to offer to the visitors.
I’ll talk about only those beaches which I have visited. To be honest, I have so much to write & show that I wanted to write one post per beach but that would have become a little torture to my readers. Maybe some other time when I don’t have anything to post. This time I’ll require at least two posts to cover them. So, hang on !
There are mainly two beach strips, Calangute in the north and Colva in south Goa though I would prefer to divide them into three. South Goa is actually very large in area so for my convenience I have divided it into two – mid-south Goa & south Goa. There are more beaches further south and are the best known and in fact part of longer, continuous beaches.
Calangute for example is towards the northern end of the five kilometre stretch that starts at Fort Aguada and includes Sinquerim, Candolim, then Calangute and Baga.
Similarly, Colva is in the centre of around 18-km southern stretch, the longest in Goa.
Further north are the laidback beaches — Anjuna and Vagator, that was the northest we went though across the Chapora river, there is another long stretch of beaches including Morgim, Arambol and Mandrem. Ok, reserved for next time.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, Calangute is now highly commercialized for water sports. So the hippies who had made it their base moved towards Anjuna and Vagator.
Here are a few of the beaches that we visited and enjoyed. Each one of them is similar yet so very different from one another. I’ll tell you later which ones are my favourites.
Let us start with A for Anjuna. 😀
Arjuna beach is one of the most popular beautiful beach hangouts in India. It is one such place in Goa which is quite famous for all night dazzling parties and is well known for the full moon parties besides Benaulim beach. But it has also become notoriously famous for Scarlett Kealing’s case. To me it looked quite safe and similar to other beaches. Yes, if one wants to venture out alone at nights then maybe it is not.
Like Agonda, this also has stunningly white water. One of the most delightful activities that you can enjoy at the Anjuna Beach is bathing and swimming as the sea is calm; try out snorkeling around the rocks in the sea or simply kill time spotting mullet, fish etc. around the sea, go for boating and spot some of the dolphins in the sea.
If you remember, Anjuna beach is also famous for flea market.
I found this as most scenic beach. Barely a couple of kilometers off cliff tops and parched grassland separate Anjuna from the southern fringes of its nearest neighbour, Vagator. Yet to be disturbed by the hustle and bustle of tourists, life goes on peacefully, in the background, in Vagator and also in Chapora. It is cool rural area, without offering the tourist any big shopping complexes.
Vagator beach is better known for its rocks and the sharks. Beautiful panaromic view from the hill top and if you go down, you can sit on one of the rocks to get splashed by the angry or mischievous waves. Without doubt, it is worth of spending a whole day here.
The word ‘Miramar’ in Portuguese, means, the viewing of the sea and so apt is this name to the place. One can have a panoramic view of the sea and the Aguada fort just across the Mandovi River. To me it looked a confluence of 2 rivers and the sea.
It is only 3 km from Panaji in the north of the state and a km away from Dona Paula. Also known as, Gaspar Dias, it is a lovely golden beach of soft sand, with a thick grove of shady palms.
We were told that the most captivating view is created when this 2 km long coast of fine soft & silvery sand bed sparkles in the moonlight. Unfortunately we couldn’t wait till then. The beach is not very wide compared to Marina beach of Chennai but it suddenly becomes very deep and dangerous. So deep that we could see several cargo ships nearby.
The tourists find all the facilities within the vicinity of Miramar Beach such as various beach resorts & hotels, shopping, sightseeing, tourist destinations and good restaurants.
It also provides the much-desired solitude & isolation, for those who want a few moments of life away from the crazy crowd. Its good location, peaceful & quiet atmosphere makes it an ideal place.
The beach suddenly goes very deep with large heavy waves coming onto you. This one almost engulfed me. In the background one can see several ships.
Dona Paula beach
The Dona Paula beach is named after Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman.
With the romance and myth attached to it—haunted by Dona Paula—tourists throng the Dona Paula Beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters.
This beach has also been the location for many Indian movies, the most famous being Ek Duje Ke Liye. Ha ! I came to know of this after coming back else I would have posed there. 😉 I must watch the movie again for some solace.
Dona Paula is different from other Goan beaches in the sense that this is one of the beaches that’s washed by both the Goan sea and the Goan rivers. It is also house to the Governor of Goa, known as Cabo Raj Bhavan.
In spite of all these attractions I somehow didn’t like it. When you go there in the hope of something and find that it is nothing but a totally commercialized place with bad approach road. We had to walk bare foot for around a kilometer on tar road to reach there.
Irrespective of what I had in mind or what you see in photos, these statues are very dirty and nowhere near white.