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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1 comment

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

    [Reply]

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