God was in a good mood when He created Goa. 33 major beaches and many more little ones with sands ranging from pale gold to silver white, all fringed with waving coconut palms and washed by the aquamarine waters of the Arabian Sea.
Sixteen rivers thread their silver route from the high hills of the Western Ghats and flow gently down to the sea, past quiet villages, many of which have not changed in beauty over the centuries.
The land rises from the fishing villages, to the towns. The local architecture is fascinating especially the traditional homes and shrines of all religions that have taken sustenance in this old, old land.
Goa has had long trysts with various rulers, from the Kadamba Kings, to the Vijayanagar empire, to the Sultans, to the Portuguese until the Liberation of this tiny state turned it into a part of India.
The Goan people perfected a way of life that is the envy of all. A slow steady contented quality referred to as sussegado. Goans developed a distinct culture of their own. Much like their world famous cuisine, they took the best of all their “visitors” and merged it with their own music, art, architecture, drama, literature, language, dress all stemming from a rich community agricultural heritage to create a unique Goan culture. Not Indian, not foreign, just Goan.
There is much to see and experience in Goa. And since ours is a small state, it is possible for visitors to explore Goa’s infinite variety – there are boat cruises with live entertainment that take you up the rivers through the backwaters and deep into the rich forested areas, the mines and spice gardens.
There are churches – some as old as five centuries; there are temples even older; there are not-to-be missed sanctuaries for birds and animals.
There are museums, art galleries, and water sports; and if you fancy some on-land speed – go-karting at Nuvem.
If it’s night life you want, you can go clubbing at the world famous night spots at Baga a 5-minute drive from 10 Calangute, visit the night markets, or just lie on the beach and look at the fat harvest moon smiling down at you.
The tourist season begins in late September and carries on through till early March. The weather is usually dry and pleasant.
It gets hot around April and May and the rains come down in June creating sheer magic until September. The heavens open up and rain down turning fields into velvet spreads, the roiling sea smashes onto the beach with huge waves and lots of sound and fury, tropical thunderstorms add their pyrotechnics. And Goa is at her most beautiful then.
Yes, God was definitely in a good mood when He created Goa.