First Goa trip (Colva beach, Se Cathedral, Bom Jesus Basilica) and Murudeshwara

Date: October 2005

Yes, 2005 🙂 I’m going all the way back in my travel archives! This was the first time I went to Goa, one of the most popular (and much hyped) tourist spots in India. It was group of two cars, all of whom were my friends and co-workers at the time.

Sunflower field highway Karnataka India
We left Bangalore very early in the morning

Sunflower field Karnataka India
We drove past many sunflower fields such as this
Sunflower petals torn field Karnataka
Stopped for a while to take a few photos
Sunflower field Alok Ranjith Goa trip
The one taking the snap is Ranjith, and the guy holding the flower is Alok, in whose car we were driving to Goa
Indian truck lorry message avoid aids
"Save Rain Water, Avoid Aids" Sure, makes sense 😉

We arrived at our hotel in Goa only by nightfall. I don’t remember the name of the hotel we stayed at, but it was beach front and only Rs. 400 per night I believe (for a double bed, at the time). I won’t go into too much detail – because I can’t – this trip was made 7 years ago, and I don’t remember every small detail.

Colva beach South Goa India
We stayed at Colva beach, in South Goa
Footsteps in sand Colva beach Goa India
The sand was soft and it felt great to walk barefoot again

It’s a sensation I consider one of the most soothing yet simple moments in life.

Mithun Colva beach Goa India
That's me, with my simple point-and-shoot camera (Photo by Alok)
Dog under shade Colva beach Goa India
Even dogs need respite from the sun
Calangute lunch at Chicken-n-Fish restaurant Goa
We drove up to Calangute in North Goa for lunch
Fort Aguada grass Goa India
After lunch, we visited Fort Aguada
Fort Aguada steps Goa India
The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1612
Fort Aguada lighthouse Goa India
The massive lighthouse tower

Fort Aguada view hotel Goa India

Arabian Sea from Fort Aguada Goa India
The Arabian Sea
Sea view sunshine Fort Aguada Goa India
You could see ships and tankers in the distance

Ships in the distance Arabian Sea Goa India

Ashwini Bhat Fort Aguada Goa India
My friend Ashwini

Inside Fort Aguada Goa IndiaFort Aguada gates ray of light Goa India
Here’s a brief video I took from Fort Aguada:

Sinquerim beach sunset Goa India
After Fort Aguada, we took a short drive to Sinquerim beach, which is located at the far end of Calangute stretch
Mithun Alok Sinquerim beach paragliding
First activity on the agenda, paragliding
Paragliding in Goa Sinquerim beach India
This was the first time I had tried paragliding and it was an awesome experience! The boat flies you over the Arabian sea and up to a tanker that's been marooned off the coast for quite some time, before flying you back to shore (Photograph by Ranjith)
Mithun Alok paragliding landing Sinquerim beach Goa
It was fun!
Jet ski Goa Sinquerim beach Mithun Alok
Next up was jet-skiing. Not fun, the water was dirty, extremely salty and the ride was very bumpy.
Sinquerim beach sunset Aguada Fort end Goa
Overall, a fun time though
Zuari bridge Goa India
Zuari bridge
Zuari river sunset Goa India
We were trying to make it to Anjuna beach before it got too dark
Anjuna beach panorama Goa India
We reached Anjuna beach just in time
Anjuna beach sunset rocks Goa
I tried best to capture Anjuna's rocky shores as much as I could in the dimming light
Anjuna beach rocky shores goa India
Anjuna isn't your typical sandy beach
Anjuna beach rock sea Goa India
The waters come through the rocks, fill up and lower down
Inside Alok's Indica
This was the end of day one in Goa
Colva lunch at 49'ers Goa India
The next day
Ranjith with Ash's handbag Goa
That's not Ranjith's handbag. Just sayin'.
Colva beach coconut trees goa India
We left Colva and headed for Panaji
Panjim river near PWD office Goa
Panaji, or Panjim (it's what the British) called the Goa capital
Panaji head post office Goa India
I was keen on visiting Panjim, but so was my father
Panjim Directorate of Accounts office building old Goa
My father worked in Panaji PWD for 9 years, and I was even here for a year
Panjim blue building Goa India
But I don't remember anything about my life here, I was just a baby then
Panjim yellow old building Goa
We lived in this area

Panjim hall monument Goa IndiaPanjim directorate of social welfare Goa India

Sher-e-Punjab Panaji Goa India
We stopped to have lunch at Sher-e-Punjab in Panaji itself
Panjim church Goa India
After lunch, we walked around town
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church Panaji Goa
This is the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church

Panjim town road Goa IndiaPanjim church road in front GoaPanjim church Alok Ash Arun GoaRajesh Art Gallery Panjim Goa

Panaji National Emblem pillar goa India
We got back in our car

Old Panaji building Goa India

Sail boat Mandovi river Panjim Goa
They have dinner boat cruises on Mandovi River

Mandovi river bridge Panaji Goa

Mandovi river bridge Panjim Goa
We were driving next to Old Goa, the former capital of Goa during the early days of Portuguese rule
Bom Jesus Basilica church Goa India
Old Goa is famous for two very old churches
Bom Jesus Basilica church facade Goa
The first is the Bom Jesus Basilica, which is more than 400 years old

Bom Jesus Basilica stone sculpture Goa India

Bom Jesus Basilica church gold Goa India
The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier

Bom Jesus Basilica golden mural art Goa

Bom Jesus Basilica Portugese church decor Goa India
The interiors were quite impressive

I took a brief video:

Bom Jesus Basilica church corridor GoaBom Jesus Basilica stone corridor GoaBom Jesus Basilica church side Goa India

Se Cathedral Goa panorama
Just across from the Bom Jesus Basilica is the Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral Goa India
Se Cathedral is apparently the largest church in India

Se Cathedral Goa entrance India

Se Cathedral altar Portuguese church interiors
The church is over 300 years old

Se Cathedral Jesus candles GoaSe Cathedral old Portuguese JesusSe Cathedral old Portuguese JesusSe Cathedral arch design old GoaSe Cathedral mural figurine church Old GoaSe Cathedral murals gold church GoaHere’s a brief video from inside Se Cathedral:

Se Cathedral arch top floor Goa
Both churches were worth checking out
Se Cathedral park Goa
We left Old Goa and headed back to Colva
Sunset Colva beach boats Goa
This was our last day in Goa
Colva beach couple India
We took one final stroll on the beach
Arun's photo Ashwini Alok Ranjith Mithun Goa
That's me on the extreme right (Photograph by Ashwini's husband Arun)

The next morning, we checked out of our hotel real early and left Goa.

Karwar bridge Karnataka panorama India
This is the Karwar bridge
Murdeshwara beach sea coast India
By 9am, we were in the temple town of Murudeshwara, which is famous for...
Murdeshwara steps to Shiva statue Karnataka India
... this
Murdeshwara Shiva statue largest India
The second largest Shiva statue in the world

Murdeshwar temple statues sea coast India

Murdeshwar view Arabian sea Karnataka
A panorama view of the Arabian Sea

Here’s a video I took from up here:

Alok Ashwin breakfast at Murdeshwara India
We stopped to have breakfast at the pure vegetarian restaurant here
Murdeshwar Shiva temple statue Karnataka
This was definitely a great stop on the route we were taking back to Bangalore
Murdeshwar beach fishermen Uttara Kannada
There's a pretty decent beach here too
Murdeshwara temple Gopura boats beach Karnataka India
We left Murdeshwara after an hour

The next place we would stop by on the way would be at Udupi…

Ashwini Bhat Udupi elephant
Which was Ashwini's hometown

We stopped for lunch only once we reached Mangalore. But post that, it was one long drive back to Bangalore.

Western Ghats Karnataka drive India
We were going uphill from here on

Western Ghats bill clouds Karnataka

Western Ghats road curve Karnataka India
The drive, although bendy, got very scenic as we went higher

Here’s one final video from the Western Ghats:

Alok Ranjith Mithun Goa drive back
All in all, it was fun first trip to Goa

First impressions of Goa? Honestly, it wasn’t worth the hype. Not that I didn’t have fun, it’s just the way my friends praised Goa to such extent, as though it was paradise, turned out to be untrue. In fact, the first thing I said upon driving though Goa? “Wow, this looks just like Kerala!” And a lot of it did. The houses, the beaches, the hilly terrains, the paddy fields… so nothing felt new to me. I guess the opinions I got harks from the fact many of them, unlike me, never saw the sea much growing up.

I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to visit the much talked about Baga beach due to lack of time, and the folks I went with didn’t want to make time for me because they had already seen and done that before. No biggie, I went to Baga on my second trip to Goa — and that will be the the next post.

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One Comments

  • Ganang

    23/01/2013

    Nice post! Did you try ice cream in Mangalore? You can never imagine such awesome icecreams!

    [Reply]

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