All posts filed under: Goa

Alila diwa goa

Alila Diwa: A Little Bit of Goa and A Whole Lot of Luxury.

When I dream of Goa, I don’t hear the roar of the ocean or feel the sand on my feet. I hear the pitter-patter of rain on old Portuguese roofs and the chatter of women in their rice paddies. I feel potent home-brewed Urakh smoothly slipping down my throat, a burst of flavors from fiery curries on my tongue and my mind slipping into a susegado mode. Earlier this year, when I landed in India after a six-month sojourn across Central and North America, I knew I needed Goa as much as I needed a cocoon of luxury to call my own. Alila Diwa was the kind of place on my mind, and this is why I loved staying there: Floating on the edge You know that feeling of lounging on a relaxing beach chair, floating in a pool that has no edge, shades on your eyes to keep the sun out, the wind ruffling your hair, a cocktail in your hand, lush rice paddies stretching out into the horizon? Yeah, I didn’t know it either. Until I found myself in Alila Diwa’s …

Goa monsoon, Goa rains

Offbeat Goa: 12 Mind-Blowing Experiences.

On a rainy Goan afternoon, wrapped up in my blue poncho, I drive my bike past verdant rice paddies, abandoned railway tracks and sleepy hamlets, to cross over to little-known islands in the interiors of Goa. On the empty ferry, the surprised driver asks me why I’m going there. Why? Because these islands are covered in mangroves and mist-laden meadows, adorned with old Portuguese homes, and home to large populations of colourful migratory birds and tiny populations of people who, far from the beaches and revellers of Goa, exemplify the susagade (content) way of life. I’ve spent two blissful monsoons rediscovering Goa. Take my list and go, and soak in experiences you never could have imagined: 1) Discover the sleepy Chorao Island. In the heart of North Goa, this quaint little island is serenaded by gentle backwaters, loved by migratory birds, and home to the friendliest locals. On a weekday afternoon, when a friend and I ferried our bike to its shores, the locals were all tucked in for their afternoon siesta in their old Portuguese homes. We chanced upon La Fayette, a little neighborhood eatery, and knocked on its doors, …

Goa homestay, Goan Portuguese house, Aldona

The Joy of Slow Travel.

I’m sitting on a window sill as I write this, feeling the cool breeze on my face and watching the incessant rains spring new life into the wilderness that surrounds my (temporary) home in Goa. The joy of driving, walking and just being in the monsoons is not mine alone. The village folk are out in their carpet-like rice paddies, tilling the land in their colorful ponchos, humming along cheerful tunes at the late monsoon arrival. It took me a few days of being here to slip into the susagade mode of Goa, feeling content with life, appreciating the little things like hot tea and freshly-baked Goan poi on rainy evenings, happy to gaze out at the wild beauty that surrounds me.

In Photos: Goa in The Monsoons.

A few days ago, I reluctantly bid adieu to Goa, and followed my heart to Kumaon. As I snuggle up in a cosy room in what was once a hippie town near Binsar, I reminisce about my time in the hinterlands of Goa. Whizzing around the lush green landscapes of Aldona, the cool breeze in my hair, a light drizzle splashing off my face, the salty aroma of the sea breeze, Goa made me feel a sense of liberation that I’ve tried to capture in this photo essay. *** 1. WHIZZING AROUND GOA ON MY BIKE  with the wind in my hair, and lush green fields swaying in the backdrop. *** 2. SOAKING IN THE SERENITY OF GOA’s BACKWATERS watching men fish, smoke and socialize. *** 3. CRUISING THROUGH GOA’S RIVERINE BACKWATERS  on a speed boat; definitely Goa’s best kept secret! *** 4. CHILLIN’ LIKE A VILLAIN, MR CROC!  As our speed boat came closer, he gently got up and slipped into the water. I was too mesmerized to capture that moment. *** 5. CHASING …

7 Authentic Goan Restaurants in North Goa.

My three weeks in Goa (Read: Wake Me Up When September Ends) have busted two myths – that Goa is only about the beaches and crowds, and that Goan food has nothing to delight vegetarians. I’ve been indulging my taste buds in local delights, from home-baked Goan breads called Poi and Pao, to seasonal vegetable curries cooked in Goan style, to home-cooked vegetarian appetizers, to Goan sweets and desserts that I had never heard of before. Here are seven Goan restaurants that delighted me, culinarily and otherwise. And for you seafood and meat lovers out there, my friend vouches for these even with carnivorous taste buds! 1. VENITE, PANJIM The first thing you notice about Venite is its charming decor. Little balconies lit up with dim lights overlook the street, each with a table for two. Lamps made from coconut skin adorn the rest of the restaurant, while a private group seating area has walls decked with old bottles, and rather creative paint and crayon graffiti. The mushroom pepper fry accompanied by finely cut french …