Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Sunday, August 5, 2018

Magical Monsoons in Goa - Jui Damle

Magical Mystical Magnificent Monsoons in Goa

“Rain clouds come floating in, not to muddy my days, but to make me calm, happy and peaceful,” said a wise person. It resonates so well with the rains in Goa. A great sense of cheer spreads as the intense summer heat magically dissipates. The landscape changes, the weather changes……in fact, there is a complete change in everything. While the beaches of Goa are undoubtedly a major attraction, they are off limits because of the rough seas during this season. Fewer shacks are open for business. But worry not. There are plenty of things to do in Goa in the monsoons.

The monsoons have now settled into Goa with much gusto, bringing in cheer and relief from the heat. The landscape is filled with such shades of green changing with the green cover in so many shades that will leave even the erudite artist surprised! The green rhapsody brings along gushing streams and robustly flowing rivers.

Try some of these offbeat activities to make the most of your monsoon holiday in Goa.

Go fishing or trekking!

If you go along the riverside to the Chapora jetty, you will find fishing enthusiasts sitting patiently with their fishing rods waiting for their big catch. Ask some of the fishermen and they can take you crab hunting. 

The gentle hills and vast expanses of greenery in Goa are a trekkers’ delight. Go for treks in the beautiful and gentle hills around Candolim, Arambhol and the lesser known places like Pomburpa and Aldona. The springs at Pomburpa are a delight in the monsoons. The natural wonders that this state offers have to be seen, to be truly enjoyed.

Enjoy a monsoon bike ride

Crazy as it may sound……take a bike and explore the unexplored in Goa. Drive along lush paddy fields, avenues lined with coconut trees, along the hills and along the rivers. Explore the real Goa on a bike. Try some authentic Goan snacks like the bhaji pav or the sumptuous Goan fish thali for lunch.

Join the festivities!

People in Goa love their festivals. And we are not just talking about the popular Ganesh Chaturthi or Christmas one enjoys in Goa. There are unique festivals celebrated only in the monsoons. The feasts of São João and Bonderam are celebrated during the peak of monsoons in the months of June and August respectively. Dedicated to St. John the Baptist and celebrated with much gusto, you will find people of all ages jumping into wells, ponds and rivers. There’s also a colourful boat race in Siolim in North Goa. Another unique festival is the Bonderam, celebrated on the fourth Saturday of August every year at Divar Island, situated at a distance of about 12 km from Panjim. There is a distinct carnival-ish flavour to this festival, with the Divar island filled with excitement on the day of the feast.

Check into the forts of Goa

There are some hauntingly beautiful forts in North Goa. Given its geographic significance in the past, most of the forts are located close to the sea. The much popular Aguada fort and the Chapora fort offer you a mesmerizing view of the magnificent Arabian Sea. And the cloudy skies, rains and the wind whipping your hair, a trek to these forts can be truly breathtaking. The lesser known Reis Magos fort is a marvel in itself. Located in the village by the same name, it offers a lovely view of the Mandovi river with the city of Panjim located on its banks. The village is famous for two of Goa’s famous structures; the Reis Magos Fort, and the Reis Magos Church – the first church in Bardez.

Eat and party away in the monsoons

Of course, it’s no fun without the food and the parties in Goa. But the party animals need not fear. A lot of the older and well known night clubs such as Tito’s and Mambo’s are open during this season. You can also catch the special nights at some of the other places like LPK (short for Love Passion Karma) or enjoy live music at the chilled out Cavala on its special Friday nights. There are also some special monsoon nights at the newly opened Soro in Assagao. With some Jazz, retro and other special nights planned, this is a great place to hang out with some heady cocktails and finger-licking barbeques.

And of course there are the amazingly delicious food options that Goa offers. Admittedly, fish is in short supply during this season, but do try the local flavors at Anand in Anjuna or Spice Goa in Mapusa.

There are few destinations around the world that can rival the year round charm that Goa possesses. Goa can offer you all the ingredients of a dreamy, green and peaceful vacation.  Contrary to popular opinion, a monsoon holiday in Goa is magical. So try something new and different and you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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Monday, August 1, 2016

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On the Goan food trail- Amazing fish thalis in Goa #very_goan #goaunlimited #goavillarentals #goaholiday

On the Goan food trail – Amazing fish thalis in Goa
by Jui Damle

Thali at Konkani Kanteen, Panjim
If you thought Goa was about fish, fish and more fish, you wouldn’t be so wrong! Fish is eaten with gusto across India or for that matter, across the globe. But the sheer variety, taste and preparations with fish in Goa are unparalleled.

The unique fish thalis have become something of an iconic symbol of Goa.It’s almost a sacrilege to leave without trying the fish thali at least once during your trip. As a relatively new resident of Goa, I crave for this fish thali at least once a week.

So what is this fishthali all about? It’s a simple, hearty but extremely tasty and balanced meal. Across the length and the breadth of the state, you will find the same constituents in a fish thali – the rice, fish curry and a piece of fried fish. To cut down the spiciness, the soul soothing and stomach cooling solkadi (the version with coconut milk) or the ‘tival’ (without the coconut milk added) are usually an essential part of the thali. Depending on where you are eating, the type of fish in the curry and the fried version differ. The taste of the curry differs too – sometimes spicy and piquant or mellow with the flavours of fresh coconut. As you traverse from the North to the South or the East to the West, there are some classic joints serving up these delectable meals.

In the north, there is Anand. Set amidst lush green fields (at least in this season), Anand serves up a delectable thali with fresh fish, some absolutely ravishing curry along with clams or tisryo in a coconut gravy, served with steaming rice and a vegetable. There are some joints like Copperleaf in Porvorim that serve a huge fish thali – served with all the standard dishes but with the addition of kismoor, a sort of salad with dry shrimps, along with an interesting addition like a crab sukka or some other special of the day. Another place that serves a great tasting thali is Sanil, also in Porvorim. It’s a small joint, very popular among the locals. Another place that deserves a special mention is Spice Goa in Mapusa, with their legendray fish thali. There are several eateries in Panjim that are famous for their fish thalis – Ritz Classic, Anandashram, Vinanti and the newly opened Konkani Kanteen. Down South, you will find the famous and popular Mardol, Sharda in Bambolim and Sheela’s on the way to the airport.

Whichever the place, however big or small, be sure to try the fish thali and you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you will be coming back for more!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Enjoy a meal under Rs. 100

Savour the true taste of Goa - Enjoy a meal in Goa under Rs. 100

When it comes to Goan food, fish is the first thing that comes to mind. While it’s true that Goan fish preparations are epic, there is a lot more to this cuisine. And it’s cheap if you kmow the right eating joints spread across Goa!

Here are a few of our food recommendations
from Goa Unlimited, of the
food one can savor while in Goa...

A morning breakfast in Goa is sumptuous, starting your day with the energy and the carbs. One can enjoy the Goan bread, actually available in several different shapes and taste – poi, katre and the legendary pav to name a few. This healthy and organic Goan bread is eaten with either ros, a coconut based chicken gravy which is poured over an omelette. The dish called as ros omelette is one of the tastiest innovations in egg preparations. It offers a great taste of all that is Goa and is filling as well. For the vegetarians, there is bhaji pav, mostly made of white peas and potatoes. You can have that with the tasty mirchi bhajis. A tasty treat indeed!

You will find these delicacies at every small and big eatery along the way. Drive around one of the small village roads and you will find a small cafĂ© – most are very clean and hygienic, serving up these preparations.

And there is a lot more to choose from. You can savour some more Goan snacks such as the chops – made with chicken, beef, or egg. They make for a delicious tea time snack or a starter on your dinner menu.

Goa has so many gastronomic delights, enough to write a book about. Travel is as much about food as sightseeing and enjoying. Come and enjoy the tasty treats Goa has to offer!