The thing about living in a city during the monsoon is that it gives you a very skewed perspective of what they actually are about. This is very simply because, in a city, monsoon woes outnumber monsoon joys by a mile. And honestly, it makes me sad because being a June baby, I love the monsoon so much. Maybe disproportionately so, but I had all the reason in the world to ‘coz Goa is a paradise in the rains. Sure we experience similar problems like water-logging (not as intense) and leaky roofs and other nuisances, but the lush greenery that surrounds you more than makes up for all of it.
So as a Goan myself, and as someone who openly dances in the rain, I thought I’d give you a few ideas on how to do a Goa monsoon vacay right, mano a mano. Ready? Here we go:
Obviously, you guys know the options but my only reason to start with this is that each mode of transportation has its own particular benefits in this season. For instance, flights are cheaper and you do get there quicker than any other way, but then on the flip side, you have to deal with unforeseen delays and uncomfortable and slightly scary turbulence.
Then there’s the train with which you are one sleep away from your destination and while that adds hours to your travel time, it is quite an enjoyable experience. Train food is amazing in itself. From samosa and vada pav to tomato soup straight out of a filter, and even biryani, there’s much to choose from. Plus the rocking motion of the train on the tracks is the perfect aid to put you into the perfect slumber. And the route of the Konkan Railway takes you through some especially picturesque views. All in all, a win, I’d say.
But by far the best option in my humble opinion is to travel by road. I know that your knee-jerk reaction is that it’s dangerous, and that’s fair but hear me out. I’m not saying travel by bus. I know people do, but I think the above options are better than a bus. What I’m talking about is getting a bunch of friends together and driving down in a car. You will get to experience greenery, waterfalls through Amboli Ghat and just plain serenity.
Of course, there’s case to be made for booking rooms in 5-star hotels because they have some pretty attractive, off-season deals and if that’s your jam, it’s totally what you should do. But I for one get really excited when I find more local establishments, home-stays and Airbnb’s that lend to a more homey vacay vibe rather than a resort one. For instance, I went back home to celebrate my 30th birthday and found this beautiful property called Wildflower Villas, nestled somewhere between the quiet bustle of Panjim and the beach-belt mania of Candolim. The villas themselves were beautiful and vast, and minimally beautiful and the property was lush, green and with expansive views. To be honest, we didn’t try the food coz I had a lot of my own (Thanks to Mommy Dearest) but everything about the place (including the pool) was exactly how I pictured spending my 30th—in a beautiful location surrounded by the people I loved. Take a look at the prettiness:
A lovely thing to do if you happen to find yourself with a free morning/afternoon is to visit a spice plantation in Goa and learn about the different spices we use in our cuisine. Interesting fact: Contrary to popular belief, the populace of Goa is not predominantly Roman Catholic, but Hindu. And they are vegetarian with a Konkan vegetarian coastal cuisine that differs greatly from the Portuguese -influenced non-vegetarian fare you’d associate with Goa.
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The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is more commonly called Mollem National Park or Sanctuary, and it is the largest wildlife preserve in Goa, spread across 240 square kilometers on the south-eastern border of the state. Naturally, it is teeming with plant and animal life, with hundreds of species of flowers, plants, animals and birds calling it home. With several hiking trails that cut through the jungle, immense biodiversity and spectacular views, a visit to the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary will leave you speechless. Formed in 1969 to protect the flora and fauna of the Western Ghats, the place was first called the Mollem Game Sanctuary before being given its current name. The core area of the reserve, around 107 square kilometers of pristine, dense jungle, was later declared as the Mollem National Park in 1978. It has over 700 species of flowering plants and 128 endemic plant species, along with animals like the barking and spotted deer, mouse deer, leopard, tiger, toddy cat and the panther. Popular throughout the year, the sanctuary is most frequently visited from October to March, when the monsoon rains have turned the forest lush green. The monsoons are also a good time to visit the park. There are important geographical and historical features in this sanctuary. Jeeps on private arrangements go to the interior of the forest. The sanctuary's setting in the foothills of the Western Ghats is wonderful and the countryside is one of the most peaceful that you'll come across in Goa. #goa #trek #trekking #offroad #offroader #offroading #thar #sanctuary #mollem #monsoon #wildlife #nature #naturephotography #naturelovers #natureza #park #nationalpark #hike #trail #forest #mahindra #mahindrathar #ghats #countryside
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa is filled with greenery and rivulets, streams and lots of flora and fauna that you can witness first-hand. Off-roading in an open top car is also a lot of fun. But remember, never litter and leave the jungle the way you found it.
Growing up, I was most fascinated by the fact that what seemed dry, boring and plain hills, magically transformed into lush, green, waterfall-speckled backdrop. Dudhsagar Falls are one of the biggest around and magnificent when they are in full force.
Divar is a beautiful and quiet island in Goa that really comes alive in the monsoon. If you’re looking for a peaceful way to spend the day, cycling through the small, windy roads of this island is it.
In the summer, when there are so many beaches to go to, you might skip the churches unless you are into architecture and history. And that’s why, the monsoons are the perfect time to see all the beautiful churches, big and small. There are so many that you could turn it into a game of exploration treasure hunt.
While all the fancy-shmancy restaurants might be done for the season, this is your chance to scout out local eateries that serve delicious and honest-to-goodness Goan food.
Walk Around Fontainhas And Visit Local Taverns
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Saw this picture on @instagram with some 4000+ likes. Just crazy (considering we can only seat 4 😁) ! Thanks for the love and for the great picture @thelazyinsomniac and for tagging us so we could see it @flexcia_dsouza #mogassum #craftbeer #fenibar #josephbar #panjim #goa
A lot of movies that are shot in Goa have snippets of the facades of old Goan houses and in case you’re wondering where you can find them, the answer is Fontainhas, the Latin Quarter of Goa. While the area is mostly residential, there are a lot of cafes, bars and restaurants that are present around the area. There are also art galleries and designer shops you can visit.
And there you have it. Don’t be scared of the rain, peeps. Revel in it.