Goa – The Land of Sun, Sand and beaches (India)

Goa Beach
Goa - Land of Sun, sand and beaches

I was getting married to my best friend. Wedding date was fixed in April and along with all arrangements my family and I was busy with, one thing was keeping my nights busy was "My honeymoon destination". I did lot of research and spent hours on computer reading about places that could be perfect for my honeymoon. Sometimes I got so engrossed in looking for that perfect place that I slept on the keyboard and woke up with the keyboard keys printed on my cheeks. Well, after all it was an important decision and I wanted the place to be perfect. So after all the research and reading different blogs, websites, one place stood above all, Goa- The land of sun, sand and beaches.

I booked flight tickets to and from Goa, 2 months in advance and that too on a very very good deal. I also booked a nice 4 star hotel Coconut Grove near the beautiful Betalbalim beach in South Goa. South Goa is famous for its beautiful and secluded beaches and all 4 and 5 star properties.

The days were passing by quickly and I was occupied with all the shopping, arrangements and finally the day of my wedding arrived and I got married to my best friend and the dream of having The Big Fat Indian Wedding came true.

Our flight to Goa was scheduled 2 days later. I was very excited to experience the beaches and sea and sand as I had never been to Goa before.

A day before, my wife packed our bags and she did it pretty fast surprisingly, I still don't know how she manages all this packing things in perfect order. Next day we woke up pretty early, 7 AM (yes, that is early for me atleast) and left for the airport after getting ready and taking our parent's blessings. It was a regular weekday and traffic was at its peak, but our taxi driver managed to drop us at the airport pretty much on time. We blessed his taxi and went into the airport and were through with security checks. While we were waiting to board the flight, I did some useless photography and clicked some really useless pics.

My dirty shoes
After sometime, we boarded our flight to Goa. The journey was of 2 hours and 40 minutes and we spent all our time in talking about our wedding. Yes, we also spent few minutes towards the air hostess who was trying to sell few products from blackberry cellphones to sunglasses which really made me think that everything is becoming commercialised now a days. That poor air hostess was looking more like a sales girl.

"We are about to land Dabolim Airport, Goa in few minutes, please fasten your seatbelts" said one of the air hostesses. Our excitement was increasing every minute and I could not wait any longer to explore the beaches first time in my life.

Goa Airport
We got off the plane after few minutes and after collecting our luggage we came out of the Dabolim airport and I quickly scrolled my eyes to catch my name on any of the banners that hotel representatives and drivers might be holding standing outside the airport. "There he is" my wife shouted as she saw a man dressed in a driver's dress stood along with other people who were waiting for their guests, holding a banner of my name and hotel's name beneath.

"Namaskar" he said as I approached him and smiled at him. He offered to carry our luggage which I gracefully accepted and soon we were sitting in hotel's Innova and were off to our hotel. I kept gazing outside the window while holding my wife's hand and was admiring the empty expressway in the afternoon and wished that Delhi roads could be this empty. While I was busy admiring Goa's expressway, soon our car took a turn and we were off the highway and entered a peaceful village which reminded us of Malgudi days. Now I started asking questions to my driver about Goa as he was a localite. We got to know that markets get closed between 2pm to 5pm as people take a break for lunch and relax. As he said those lines, I started to think about Delhi's Karol Bagh and Chandni Chowk's businessmen and streets which are always busy, no matter what time it is in the day. I wondered why Delhi people can not be that cool and take breaks and relax for that long. I must tell you, there is something in the air of Goa that makes you lazy. Now that I am already a lazy person by nature and could not tell how much I wish I had a voice to text software so that I would not have to type all this. More on me, later ;). I was just wishing to be turned into Superlazy character as I took a deep breath. (Superlazy sounds cool, don't you think its a great movie idea?)

I was still busy looking the beautiful green fields from the window of our car. "I am hungry" my wife said and I looked at her and then looked at my watch. It was 15 minutes to 2. I asked the driver if he can take stop car to any good restaurant. Soon I saw a small shop and thought why not grab some chips and few drinks meanwhile. The lady in the shop was very generous and shop was pretty old and not very well maintained. I purchased chips and few cold drinks and then saw her deep frying which looked like samosas to me. I don't know what language she spoke when I asked her what it was, but could only catch the word samosa in her whole sentence. Unhealthy food is my second speciality, first being laziness. I asked her to pack few samosas in sign language and then we left for our hotel. On the way we managed to take a bite and this is how I tasted the worst samosas of my life.

As we reached our hotel, Coconut Grove, we were astonished as it was beautiful and gardens were marvellous. I booked a villa styled room in the hotel and soon after few formalities, we went to our room. It was big and very beautiful. I loved the ambiance of the room and our hotel. It turned out to be more beautiful than it appeared in the pictures.

We laid on the bed and relaxed and suddenly there was a knock on the door. I opened and the hotel's staff brought us a welcome cake and a bottle of wine.

Our Hotel
Villas of the hotel
In the evening I was too excited to go to the Betalbalim beach which was just 2 minutes walk away from our hotel. As we were walking towards the beach, I could hear the waves and it was like a music to my ears. Soon we were on the beach. I was so excited and ocean seemed HUGE. I almost dropped my jaw when I saw the beautiful view. This was the first beach I have ever been to and could not think any other beach beautiful than this. My wife had been to Mumbai before but according to her, Mumbai beaches are not that clean. She also fell in love with that beach.

This beach had the awesomest golden sand and crystal clear water. I could only locate few foreigners lying on the beach. A cute Russian kid making a castle in the sand and few Russians enjoying the beer relaxing in the beach shack.

First I was afraid to step into the water but later I could not stay away from it. We did all the splashing, swimming and waves were so great that we both had the wonderful time. After that we laid on the sand enjoying the sunset while holding hands.

Betalbalim beach
Betalbalim beach
Beach shack
Beach shack
We returned back to our hotel after sunset and took a quick shower to get rid of sand which was stuck all over us and in our clothes. We relaxed for a while and after sometime we had dinner. It was a buffet and all kind of meals were available. I tried sea food, but didn't find it as good as I have heard. I rather chose North Indian food.

Next day we woke up with the sound of the land line phone of our room. "Good morning, please be ready by 1pm for sightseeing today", said the receptionist from other end. Then I remembered that when I booked the hotel, they offered me half day sightseeing as a complimentary. Well, anything for free is always welcome as long as you enjoy it. We both got ready and went for breakfast. My wife chose fruits and juice and I went with eggs and mashed potatoes with a cup of tea.

We returned to our room after breakfast and watched TV as it was too hot outside during day. I wondered how we will survive the heat when they are going to take us for sightseeing. "Let it be" I thought and continued watching TV and soon we both took a short nap turned into a longer one.

"Damn" I said when I woke up and realised it is 10 minutes left to 1pm. I woke up my wife and soon we both started to get ready. At 1pm, Hotel's receptionist gave another call to us to check if we are coming or not, "in 5 minutes" I replied and asked myself "why am I always late?". I still do not know the answer. Anyhow, after 15 minutes we reached reception and there was another family waiting for us as we all were going together in a mini bus. Of what I understood by their language was they belonged to West Bengal as they were speaking Bengali. One lady gave us an angry look as we kept them waiting. As if I cared, I entered the mini bus and chose the front seat so that I do not miss any action. I realised that the driver was same who picked us up from the airport. We smiled at him and were glad as he seemed to be a nice person.

I thought we will go to some beaches, but instead, we went to a temple. It was very old temple named Shantadurga Vijayate. We purchased a coconut from the vendors outside as a ritual and went inside the temple and received blessings from The God.

Temple Shri Shantadurga Vijayate
Temple Shri Shantadurga Vijayate
Main Temple inside
Temple premises
It was 2 in the noon and I was hungry. There was a small cafe in the temple premises and I thought that we could grab something to eat quickly. We went in and I ordered a Masala dosa for myself and Vada Sambhar for my wife as that cafe was specialised in South Indian food. Food was decent there and not too costly. Cleanness was also well maintained as even the customers were told to remove their foot wears outside before entering the cafe.

After the lunch, I could virtually hear my stomach saying Thank you to me as I was pretty hungry. Soon I realised that driver said that we have to get back from the temple in 30 minutes. I looked at my watch and realised we were 15 minutes late and image of that lady in our bus and her husband came in front of my eyes. Believe it or not, that lady had sharp teeth like a vampire, I do not know why my wife could not see them. Soon we rushed outside the temple and driver was waiting for us. I went in the bus quietly and sat on my seat avoiding looking at that lady.

Now we were going to Goa's oldest church which was built in year 1605. I have never been to a church before and had only seen it in the movies.

About Church
Goa's oldest church
Jesus Christ
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Entrance of the Church
As we entered the church, there was some ceremony going on inside. Lot of people were gathered inside. I clicked few pictures but due to lack of light, my canon could not do much. We took Jesus blessings and came out of the church.

Now we were waiting for that Bengali family outside as they were late. I didn't mind as I also kept them waiting twice. Meanwhile, we explored a local market nearby the church and did some shopping, My wife purchased sunglasses and I purchased a pair of boxers after a reasonably good bargaining by my wife and I must tell you, she was good.

Later, we went to cruise on Mandovi river. It is located at the centre of the city and near the capital, Panjim. The cruise will take you to one end of the river and then will bring you back. Our driver went and managed to get us the tickets and we hopped on to our cruise. It was bit crowded so we chose the corner area to enjoy. It takes 1 hour for the cruise to complete the circle and get back meanwhile all sorts of folk music plays and shows continue on the cruise. We enjoyed that and then we were holding hands and looking at sunset.

Casino Royale
Some random cruise
During sunset, it all looked really beautiful and I clicked some okay pics which I am not really proud of. As we returned, we got back to our mini bus and returned to our hotel.

We were bit exhausted after a long day and I chose to relax myself in the jacuzzi. It really feels great after a long tiring day. Later that night, we had dinner and sat on the pool side just staring at stars and talking about our future and making random plans.

Next day we woke up early in the morning and went to the beach to see the sunrise, damn we were late again. Anyhow, we had fun splashing in the water and this time I was more open and not scared at all. We jumped along with waves and did all sort of fun. After getting tired we sat quietly on the sand and my wife started collecting sea shells while I was busy looking at ship sailing at quite a distance. I remembered it was there a day ago too at the same place. Soon I could hear the background music of Pirates of the Caribbean running in my head. It was getting hotter now and we decided to come back to our hotel. After a nice warm bath in the jacuzzi, we had breakfast and lied on the bed watching TV. I must say again, there is something in the air of Goa which makes you lazier. In the evening we went to beach again and had fun while my wife played in the sand and made this awesome art.

Random Art by Us
While I clicked few sunset pictures exploring the best out of the beach and my canon.

Awesome Sunset
The other day, I wanted to try water sports and got to know about Colva beach which was 2 Km away from our hotel where all sorts of water sports are available. We hired a bike from the hotel and went to Colva in the morning. As I parked my bike, vendors who manage sports activities their, followed us and after a good bargain, we went ahead and chose 4 water sports activities. First we did Para-Sailing and it was awesome. We both were hanging and I was holding my wife while we were feeling at the top of the world. Soon he splashed us in the water and we were again in the air.

Hanging in the air - Para Sailing
After para-sailing, we went for Banana ride. It looked easy but wasn't. Stabilising the Banana boat while we were about to sit on it was a difficult task. My wife fell twice while getting hold of it. At one point she refused to ride, but later agreed. "Here we go" I shouted as we left the shore and went in the ocean holding on tight to the handle in front of our seat as instructed to us.We were enjoying and shouting but soon our banana ride twisted and we both fell as we were about to reach the shore. Thanks to our life jackets but still we both were struggling to get out of the water. I swear I drank atleast half a litre of salt water while managing myself to come out of it. Pic below shows we both trying to get out of water was clicked by one man whom we asked to click our pics.

Both of us struggling as our Banana ride twisted
Anyhow, we managed out safely with our life jackets and I did some body show like actors do in the movie while getting out of water, the difference was no one was interested in watching me.
We went for a quite boat ride and later Jet skiing which I loved the most. After a long tiring events of water sports we were feeling fresh mentally and bit tired physically. We rode on our bike back to our hotel and played a little game " who got more tanned" and relaxed on our lovely spring bed. We woke up in the noon and realised we have rented the bike for whole day and we have to get out. We decided to go to North Goa. It was hot outside but on bike, it felt pretty good. I checked the fuel in my bike and it was almost finished. I managed to locate a gas station soon on the way to North Goa. After all the water activities, we felt hungry and stopped to grab a cheese burst pizza from Dominos. My wife was crazy about it, but when I tried, I went crazy too. We spent good 45 minutes in there. We were now feeling more energised and rode our bike towards Aguada fort. We both were enjoying scenic beauty on our way as we rode between green fields and felt fresh air. "Stop", my wife shouted as her cap flew in the air. I stopped the bike and she ran towards the cap which was lying at the corner of the road. Later she kept her cap inside the bag instead of wearing it.

Aguada fort is built on hill top and we were on our way looking at the town getting smaller as we ride up the hill. We reached Aguada fort at 5:15pm and damn, it was closed. We read outside that it is open till 5PM. I cursed the cheese burst pizza of Dominos. Had we not stopped there, we could have entered the Aguada fort.


Boundary wall - Aguada fort

Dog who kept following us in Aguada fort
Well, we explored the Aguada fort's boundary and a dog kept following us where ever we went in the Aguada fort. He ensured that we return safely to our bike.

Our next stop was Calangute beach which was not too far from Aguada fort. We reached at Calangute beach post 6pm. The beach was really crowded that I had to think twice before stepping further. We parked our bike and rather than going to the beach, we shopped at the flea market there and purchased few souvenirs and decided to return back to our hotel. It was really romantic while we were riding our bike in the moonlight and we were singing songs (playing antakshri) and we also stopped near Mandovi river which was shining because of moon light. We spent few minutes there and continued way back to our hotel. While singing songs, we were so lost that we lost our way to our hotel and then we asked few people who led us to the right way. I suddenly recognised the way to Colva beach where we went this morning and we were on the right track. On our way back, we did some shopping from a supermarket and purchased some unhealthy snacks and drinks.

We reached our hotel around 9pm and were too tired. We went for our dinner and then sat at our usual pool side chair and made plans for our future in the moonlight.

The next day, we had planned that we will wake up early to say Goodbye to our lovely beach, but we were too tired to wake up and instead we got ready to catch our flight to our city. That day we were bit depressed as we were bound to return to our usual life. I loved Goa and loved doing nothing all day. But that was not me, a part of me wanted to stay there, but a part of me knew I do not belong there. We packed our bags, locked our lovely suite and said goodbye to the wonderful hotel and left to board our flight. I still regret I didn't go to my lovely beach at our last day. There are wonderful memories attached to Goa, our beach and our hotel. I will visit that place again soon, but till then I have other plans. Stay Tuned ;)


  1. enjoyed reading and reminded me of my goa trip. i will also try to write on it. while reading it seems its happening in front of screen.

    1. Lol... well that's the beauty of reading. It increases your imagination power and virtually takes you there. I would love to read about your take on Goa.


  2. enjoyed reading this post..i haven't been there yet..but a few of us are planning a trip..how much did all the water sports cost you guys?

    1. They charged us Rs 2000 for all water sports activities...

  3. Nice to read your experience. Please feel free to check out my page for separate topics on North and South Goa beaches and comment.


  4. Thanks Avik, I will surely visit your blog.

  5. hey,
    I too visited maily the north goa on my trip, have missed most of these spots you mentioned, will surely look forward to it..

    1. Even I missed lot of places during my visit. I guess that's the beauty of it as I have a reason to go back to there ;)

  6. once time i have been Goa....very nice place.

    Nice post along with beautiful picture. Thanks

    Ritesh Gupta...Agra


  7. Great Post. will check out that beach next time around .Amazing Sunset pics .

    1. It is a lovely beach... worth going. Thanks for dropping by. :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This reminded of my Goa Trip. We didn't visit temples though. Congrats for the marriage!

  9. Plan your travel with Trabol and explore the historical monuments in India | http://bit.ly/1QD3G7J

  10. Goa is a best tourist destination for spend vacation with so much fun


  11. Great blog Himanshu. It's good that you also love to travel and love exploring new places. Travelling for me is like exploring myself and I think same happens with you also :)
    Last month I also visited Goa, seriously it is incredible place to visit. The city has an identity beyond its beaches. Thank for recreating my journey through your post. I like that random art made by You....

    1. Thank you, this article is about my last visit in 2011, I recently went again in March 2016. I will post about it soon as well.

      I agree with you, traveling is definitely exploring ourselves, we discover something new in us every time we travel.


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