Should you ever find yourself wondering where to plan your next relaxing retreat in India, we'd suggest you close your eyes and hop onto the conveyance of your choice that can take you to Goa. Surprised? Well don't be. As exciting as Goa is for its uber cool nightlife, beach shacks, a party rocking the scenes every one yard and beer at its cheapest rate, we've chanced upon the other side of it, the one that hosts your quiet picturesque getaway-worthy places, albeit lesser known, but full of exciting stories, a fair deal of mystery and a whole lot of solace.
We've enlisted five of our current favourites amongst a whole lot that had our hearts too, read on to know more about them!
Chandor A 43 km journey to the south of Panaji will take you to this quaint and long-forgotten capital of Goa—Chandor. Having had witnessed a glorious past during the reign of the Hindu kingdom before Goa was colonised by the Portuguese this city continues to retain its old-world charm in its nooks and crannies, which we assure you must experience once you're here to relive the lesser discussed history, first hand.
Rivona Caves Rivona or Rivana— a village situated on the outskirts of Goa ( in Sanguem district, about 2kms southeast from the main road towards Zambaulim) arguably wears the title of origination of Indian civilisation which also was the abode to several travelling muni-rishis (monks) and Buddhists. Take our word for it and find some time to travel to this place of historic beauty, marked by caves that speak of the Buddhist stories, travellers and more. And while you bask in the mystery the stories of the yester-years unfold to you, remember to wander towards the edge of the cave to find the Shri Vimleshwar temple, an architectural marvel known to nestle an old swayambhu shivalingam.
Sinquerim Fort Dividing the shoreline of the Arabian Sea into two-equal halves, stands tall the Sinquerim Fort (an extension of the Aguada Fort) on the beach south of Candolim, once built by the Portuguese in the year 1612, While once in all its glory the Fort stood guard to protect the state from invasions by different colonies, one can now see the remains of this structure, along the scenic view of the sea. One can visit this spot to gain a rich understanding of the Portuguese colonisation and enjoy a sumptuous Goan-style spread at the beach shacks close by.
Pequeno Island The Pequeno Island is also commonly called the Bat Island among the Goan locals. This small island is a house to a number of aquatic creatures, from dolphins and coral reefs to a number of brightly coloured fish that have now made these coral reefs their home. You can hop onto a boat ride to get a glimpse of the gleeful dolphins or dive into the clear waters of the Arabian Sea as you snorkel and spot the coral reefs. If you plan and book these activities ahead of time you'll end up with a day's deal where the organisers will also take care of snacks and a delightful meal.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary A relaxing trip is never complete until you are surrounded by lush greenery, in the lap of mother nature. And that is exactly why Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary makes it to our top 5 list. Located about 53 kilometers from Margoa and 54 kilometres from Panjim, this sanctuary lies on the eastern border of the state. Built to preserve the vast biodiversity of the Western Ghats, If lucky you can spot leopards, deers, snakes and a variety of birds, the ruby-throated yellow bulbul, the state bird of Goa, being a common sight. You will also chance upon a number of waterfalls, the most majestic one being the Dudhsagar waterfalls.
Shreyasee who has always remained a foodie has now embarked upon the journey of channelling her love for the same through her writing. An ardent theatre-lover, she's always on the look-out for new avenues to express her creative self. Apart from writing and working on social media, she also never misses an opportunity to crack a joke, every now and then.
Natasha Kittur is an aspiring writer. Her love for anything with cheese and spice is profound, but a white sauce pasta always tops her list. In her free time you will catch her reading or watching crime books and shows or go on and on about psychological experiments and theories. She aims to write a book in the fictional genre someday.