Category: Travel & Food Page 2 of 4

The Goa Plan

We’ve all been part of those comversations which have “Chal Goa chalte hain” innumerable times. School, college or any group of friends always have this plan for Goa.

We all know what happens to those plans.

My first visit to Goa, two years ago, happened to be a solo trip. Apart from my crazy impromptu planning, this ‘Goa plan’ was the reason behind it. Ki ab chal hi jaata hoon, akele hi sahi. 

There’s something about the place that people from every corner of the country plans to go there. Maybe even Goa wale folks also end up saying, Chal Goa chalte hain.

The latest planning session is with my school friends. This ‘Goa plan’ seems to have finally found some direction after weeks of being postponed. But hey, unless we reach Goa, there’s no surety of it either.

The frequency with which people get excited when planning for the trip comes to a standstill as soon as one of them goes, ‘Yaar.. nai hopaega’.

Its not like I’ve not done this ever. I’ve also done the same with my version of the classic Indian head nod.

But then what are plans for, when they cannot be changed ?

Or was it promises ? Ummm.. Aah, this works too!

After-effects of Travel

As soon as the bus entered the hustle of Bengaluru. I was like, Finally! It was close to 2 hour late and the journey was not very comfortable, to put it sensibly. 

That feeling of taking a proper shower in your own bathroom is unmatched. Familiarity is a sucker!

As the day went by, and I ended up in office before my scheduled ‘arrival’to a few, ‘Woah! You’re before time, today’ greets and with an evident tan,work and meetings piled up. 

Excitedly describing the trip to my colleague. Singular. Because, number of people I hang out at office. Duh!

As I motioned back home, peddaling back home, I missed the beach. The noise. The Water and even the damn sun. Okay, not that sun. A little, perhaps. 

I’m certain, I’ll head back to Gokarna on a whim. Like I’d do with Varkala or Fort Kochi. The vibe. 

The beach. The rocks. The trek. And even Zostel. 

I wanted to write the Travelogue right away, before I add another one to the “drafts”, but I Gokarna tells me, be a little Laidback. Chill kar, thoda. 

The Old man in the beach

As I sat down, after an hour-long stroll at the beach, with a book to read and the sound of waves and the fading heat of the sun gave me company. Solitude is best at the farewell hours of the sun. At a beach. Sunsets are beautiful!

The Gokarna beach isn’t the most crowded. Or perhaps our timing couldn’t have been better to plan a trip to the coastal slash temple town at the borders of Karnataka and a little before Goa.

The beach had families offering puja at one of the corners and just around the time of sunset, something very interesting happened.

This old man, aged around 80, stripped down to his langot to offer the Surya Namaskar. The devotion he had in offering it was amazing. After a few dips and when the sun was almost about to exit from the frame, he went back to put on his briefs and brought with him two empty bottles. At first it looked as if he was draining out something from the bottles but he was actually filling them out to carry it back. I was more intrigued by the process that this old man as. At one point in time when a priest standing nearby tried to help him, his reaction of ‘let me do it my way’ was enough for him to stop. Old people don’t like interference. They know their ‘process’.

When he was finally done, he cleaned himself up, dressed up and walked back towards the road with two bags on his shoulder.

I don’t know whether that was part of a religious custom or not, but the dedication of the feeble old man was amazing. The look on his face was speaking something. As if he’s finishing a duty. For a second, I thought I’ll ask him or even help him pick his bag, but it didn’t felt right. He wanted to do it himself.

As I sit with my laptop after a tiring day of trekking (sort of) and travelling in the humidity, I’m reminded of the old man. Maybe, it gives me a window of ‘what-ifs’ of my own old age or just remembering the old ones who really mattered. And still, do.

This Picture from Pondicherry

This picture is from my first solo-trip back in 2014.

Food was average and the coffee was not good. So much for the long list of reviews talking great things about this place’s food.

And more than anything, it is the food that excites me about an new place. However, in the humid-hot Pondicherry, the location of this place is agreeably satisfying. Gazing at the water with the afternoon breeze for company, it was that time of realization that I liked this. The whole circus around traveling. The good and sometimes not-so-good parts as well.

More than anything it is the headspace that a trip puts you in.

Over time, after multiple trips around the southern part of India, the realization that traveling isn’t about a Checklist. Sure, it feels amazing to boast, “I’ve covered this this and this” and I’m not saying that I don’t want to use it. However, in the rush to achieve this, it’s essential to reflect, imbibe what each place and culture offers and make it part of ourselves. Our ignorance about the “others” is more due to us not opening up to them. Travelling is one sure-shot way to make an effort in that direction. At least, for me. At this point.

I’m sure each one of us have their own reasons. And each one is legit. Even I like shuffling between the reasons I travel. Sometimes it’s just for the group of people you go with, sometimes it’s just for a vacation and sometimes a mix of it all.

Scanning through the pictures on my blog, my own pictures from the travels never really excite me as much as random snaps that just convey my headspace does. Like this picture. Just chilling.

Delhi Travelogue: The Wazoo Khana

wazoo khana mosque

The Wazoo-Khaana.

While walking towards Humayun’s fort, I walked into this mosque to offer Zohar prayers. Old, not-taken care of, withered over time and hardly anyone at the mosque. The Wazoo-khana at the mosque reminded me of innumerable other mosques of the yesteryears. Now, they all have swanky tile-fitted-running-water wazoo khanas. Don’t mistake me for speaking of this modernization in a dismissive tone. I’m more of a purist and cherish the sacrilege-like feeling associated with a Wazoo khana. 

A good number of mosques still have this, but perhaps I rarely visit the ones which don’t have a tap running with a board mentioning, “Wazoo ka paani zyaya na karen.. Paani Allah ki rehmat hai”. Only to see people read it while water while the water flows out at speed faster than their reading.

Anyways, at this mosque, one needed to take out water from the adjacent well, fill it out in the badna and then perform wazoo.

Every-time the mosque near my office runs out of water and the water-tanker doesn’t arrive, we have to take two small mugs, out of a bucket of water, for use. Inconvenient. But we all end up saving almost half the water we’d normally use.

And more importantly, we read the signage: “Wazoo ka paani zyaya na karen.. Paani Allah ki rehmat hai” without letting the water flow away down the drain.

Post offering the prayers at this mosque, everyone gave me sort-of welcome smile. As if they recognized that I’m not from the place. Probably, I clicked a lot of pictures to make sure of that.

The mosque I was talking Masjid Khairul Manzil. You can read about the mosque in this post about Delhi’s architectural marvels, here.

Travelogue: Delhi Food Chapter

The options for food in Delhi are immense. The variety is staggering. Every pocket size can get something at every street corner. Something that’s amiss here in Bangalore.
The tales of street-food around Jama Masjid had already raised expectations and naturally this was the first place where I took the metro to.

Jahangir Biriyani, Delhi Food
So, my friend took me to Jahangir instead of the famous Karim’s. Knowing this won’ be my only visit in this vicinity for this trip, I agreed to trust him.
Of all the choices, Biriyani was definitely one. Chicken Lollipop and Mutton kassa became the starters.
The Biriyani was a little oily and the rice wasn’t the usual Hyderabadi Biryani kind and a little peculiar. But it definitely boasted of strong flavors and was cooked well.
Chandni Chowk.
So, confession time, I had no idea as to what Chandni Chowk was. But thanks to the innumerable references, I was curious.
Well, it turned out to be an overcrowded market place burstling with energy and yes, lots of people. Lots.

Daulat ka Chaat

Daulat ki Chaat, Delhi Food
I ended up trying “Daulat ki Chaat” in the streets and it was melt-in-your-mouth Yum. Expensive by street-food standards. However, I wouldn’t mind paying double of that if I could get it now.
Nataraja Dahi Bhalle

Nataraj Dahi Bhalle, Delhi Food
The Dahi Bhalle was on the sweeter side and personally didn’t like it. But the crowd seemed to love it. Hordes of people lining up to buy this on an evening. I’m told that this is a regular scene at this outlet. But were they all like me to have visited the outlet because of the “crowd”?

Paranthe wali Gali, Delhi Food
Close to this shop is what the Delhiwaalas call the “Paranthe wali Gali”. It’s not just parantha but a variety of fried Indian stuff being dished out. One can find umpteen number of parantha combinations. For a lane this size, there would hardly be a time when it is not crowded.
Khan Market

Khan Chacha, Khan Market, Delhi Food
My cousin took me to this posh Delhi Market called Khan Market. It’s different from the usual Delhi, although there’s no dearth of girls pouting for selfies like the rest of Delhi.
Jokes apart, the place is interesting and would have been great to be hanging around.
Khan Chacha
We went to another famous outlet called “Khan Chacha”, started Haji Banda Hasan in 1972. With a modest shop and ended up becoming popular as ‘KHAN CHACHA’ among students and youngsters. It is sort of a legacy now.
We tried rolls which were good, the kebabs too but the Biriyan was okayish. What I realized is, if you’re used to the Hyedrabadi style of Biriyani, getting used to Biriyani they serve in Delhi is difficult.

Barcelos Burgers, Delhi Food
This one is close to Khan Chacha and this Burger is something to die for. The black burger is too big a mouthful but is worth it. I’m waiting for the day when they open an outlet in Bangalore.
Haus Khaas Village

Haus Khaas Village, Delhi Food
Crushed Chicken Kathi Rolls at one of the many food stalls at this happening place. The crowd is good and the food around is good too.

Nikashee Chinese food, Delhi
Tried a little bit of Chinese as well. Noodles, Fried Rice and Shezwan Cheese Gravy to accompany it all.

Changezi, Delhi Food
This was one dish my friend has been telling me a lot about. So, we went to see what the whole fuss was about. When you visit a place and just by looking at the food being cooked you realize, woah, this is going to be good. This outlet was one of those.

Changezi Chicken, Delhi Food
Changezi laden with Creamy butter was to die for. One of the highlights of my delhi trip.

Kebabs, Karim's, Delhi Food
This place has a waiting line which can envy even government office counters. I’ve been to my fair share of restaurants but had never waited this much to get a seat. Food was good, however, cannot tag it “best I’ve had” and Delhi has much more variety and quality food than just Kareem’s But of course, one needs to experience the place, and so I did. Tried out these Kebabs among various other things.
Just out of Kareems’ there is a sweet shop opposite to Kareem’s. Tried their Rabdi to end my meal on a high.

Rabdi, Jama Masjid Area, Delhi Food
I ended up trying their Biriyani at a food court where I met a friend and found it okayish. But then, it is wrong to copare food-court wala food with restaurant quality. Right ?

Momos from Delhi:

Momos from Delhi are famous. One can find them wherever you lay your eyes on. If I had to compare it to the ones we get in Bangalore, they were far better. I’m not a momo-fan, even though I don’t dislike ‘em either and found these momos great. The chutey served makes it even better. And they’re cheap as well.
The Parantha Mornings

Paranthas, Delhi Food
My usual travel plans are spread across weekends. But for the Delhi trip (as it was longer), getting to experience the weekday rush around town as well as the breakfast options. Amazingly good breakfast at 20 bucks, where you get to eat hot spicy paranthas with chutneys. Great, isn’t?

I’m sure I’ll definitely be visiting Delhi again and will add onto this list. if you have any suggestions around food, then do comment.

Delhi Monuments: Marvels of Architecture

The Marvels of Architecture

One of the prime reasons which, from as long as I can remember, always got me excited about visiting Delhi were these! The Architectural marvels of Delhi.

Spread across the city, the monuments had decorated the pages of numerous history books I’ve read as a child and something I still find appealing. Delhi has traditionally been the “favorite” capital city of most of the kingdoms which ruled the Northern part of our country.

An early-morning-start believing that I’ll try to cover most, if not all, of the monuments which Delhi had to offer.

The Qutub Complex

Qutub Minar Delhi

The magnificent stone tower looming out from a distance is a marvelous sight as you walk inside the complex. A cloudy wintery Delhi day in the midst of this monumental complex, which comprises of the Qutub Minar,  Quwattul Islam Mosque,  Khilji gate, and Iltutmish tomb standing adjacent create a historical retreat for anyone walking in.

Khilji's Madarsa

From the Great Khilji to Qutub, and even Iltutmish,  Iltutmish Gate in Qutub complex, Delhithe individual contributions are evident in the architecture as they stand bearing testimony. It took almost 500 years for them to perfect the shape of the “Dome” or Ulti katori as they used to refer the dome as.

This wasn’t written anywhere but heard it from a really cute history teacher, who was explaining this to her students. Not to mention, I was one of them.

Humayun’s Tomb

Beyond Qutub,  there is the Humayun’s tomb.  The Mughal architecture in their trademark style is beautifully captured.  Built in the memory of Humayun and countless other Mughals, the tomb has earned the designation of being referred as a “tomb gallery” of sorts.  Close to 160 Mughal royals have been buried here.

Humayun's tomb Delhi

The tomb complex has 4 smaller tomb-like structures, with a gate used for shipments and labor from Persia in those times. Humayun’s tomb was built by Hamida Banu Begum. It also remains the first garden tomb monument in the Indian Subcontinent. The Char Baagh concept of gardens remains essential to the Persian architecture style as always. In my Jaipur travelogue, you can also see something similar.

There are mosques and smaller tomb-like structures inside the complex along with attached gardens. The entire complex is nothing but an ensemble of other smaller monuments.

Red Fort

Red fort Delhi

Red Fort is huge.  The Mughals were very detailed when it came to monuments and the interiors of the fort bring out this distinctiveness. Be it the numerous diwans or the hamams, or the even the Sheesh mahal, bears testimony to the royal life that was lived.

Inside Red Fort comple Delhi

Inside Red Fort

Inside Red Fort Delhi

The Zeenat mahal has now been turned into a mini-museum, which displays letters (farman) and clothes, to even utensils used during the period to artillery.

Jama Masjid

Jama masjid view Delhi

Jama Masjid area is always bursting with people.  A fine exhibit of overpopulated of this old city.  The Mosque has been reduced to one exhibit of this problem. The lane opposite to the Mosque is lined with eateries,  kashmiri clothes merchants,  and hordes of small shops and vendors.Jama masjid in delhi

The architecture of Jama Masjid, like other Indian Monuments, is entrenched into the heads and apart from the security entrance and the gareebi around, remains the giant mosque as I had pictured. Ended up offering my Namaz and then headed off for food.

Jama Masjid wazoo khaana
I had my breakfast and also experienced something wonderful- a small eatery distributing free food to the homeless. Not just in the one I was eating,  but across the lane in many of the eating joints. There’s so much of visible poverty which disturbs you with their plight. And a multitude of similar stories visible in the vicinity of Red Fort and Jama Masjid area.

India Gate

India Gate Delhi

Snack stall near India Gate Delhi

I also went to India Gate and even though it is not architecturally satiating, it is a symbolically to what is referred to as ‘New Delhi’. The thing that excited me here were these carts put up by differently-abled people.

They had these mechanical ovens from which all sorts of puffs and buns were served. It is great to see them empowered.

Masjid Khairul Manzil

Masjid Khairul Manzil, Mosque near Purana Qilla, delhi

On my way to the Humayun’s Tomb, it was time for Zohar prayers and hence I stopped here at this mosque. The picture is intriguing, right? This is  one old mosque which hasn’t been revamped or any attention paid to it.

wazoo khana mosque

The Wazu-khana, where an elderly gentleman is making wazu doesn’t have water and one needs to draw it from the nearby well. The look and smile on the few present inside the mosque made me realize they knew I’m from somewhere else. Strange how looks can speak.


This prayer timing board hanging outside on the tree was an adorable sight.

Khairul Islam mosque was commissioned by Maham Anga. She was the foster mother of Akbar when Humayun (his father) was in exile along with his mother.

The interiors of the mosque are not in the best of condition than the famished look of the building outside.

There was renovation work underway in the adjacent complex and I do hope certain care is taken for this as well. It was built in 1561!

I covered all of it in just one day and definitely could have spent a lot of time around, especially in the Qutub Complex and Humayun’s Tomb. There’s so much to learn and refresh what you’ve learned in history books.

I’ve always been intrigued by the Mughal architecture and Delhi is one of the best showcases of that heritage.

Travelogue: The Jaipur Chapter

Scratching through the wee hours in teeth crushing cold, my bus, Good morning’ed Jaipur. It was cold. Everything which I could pack to keep myself warm was not much of help as I had hoped.

It was December after all. It took 5 hours from Delhi to Jaipur. Here’s my Jaipur Travelogue.

With no hotel booked as this was supposed to be just a day’s trip, I walked around the surprisingly crowded bus stop at around 4:30 AM! The upbeat brokers strolling around made sure that I know the rates of nearby hotels as I sipped a cup of chai.

I started towards Jal Mahal by asking directions from locals after the bus I boarded dropped me near the main market. This bus has to be the tiniest Mini-bus that I’ve ever traveled in and which was driven by the oldest driver I’ve seen driving anything. He was clearly in his late-80s but the way he was handling himself appeared to be a seasoned professional nevertheless.

I walked by to see the city waking as the street lights on the clear roads slowly shutting down, one at a time, theatrically. The roads and the visible infrastructure around the city appeared good and the early risers were helpful in showing directions. When traveling down south, (Whether its Chikmagalur, Kodaikanal, Allepey, Varkala, Mangalore, Yelagiri, Kochi or even Chennai), sometimes, language does become an issue when asking directions. I mostly try to understand by gestures and then confirm after every few minutes as Google maps, which is still fun. In this case, Internet had ditched me and I had to talk more than I usually do.


The picture of Jal Mahal, in my mind, was a wee-bit different than what was in front of my eyes. It reminded me of the man-made islands in Zoological parks around which you row boats. Only, in this case, the island was a Mahal and ,of course, there were no boats to row and enjoy a closer view. I wished there was a way to access a better view like the birds flying above the mahal. But then.

However, it was a lovely sight to wait and ultimately breathe in the sunrise along with hundreds of pigeons flying around to give me company.

My next stop was the Amer fort. Along with the rising sun I trekked (sort of) uphill on the straight road. I was glad to have packed lightly which made things easier. Meanwhile, I was introduced to an unheard cultural practice by a passerby heading in the opposite direction when he told me about a temple on the hills. On completion of a wish (mannat), which you ask the deity here for, one has to offer a bottle of liquor as offering. This was new and interesting.


I could already notice the boundaries of the fort from a distance. The off-Yellowish lines visible from a distance added on to the excitement. Scenes from movies and innumerable music videos had featured this sight quite a lot and it all came running down. It was exactly how I had imagined it to be.

There is a lake called Maota is adjacent to the fort and gives it a scenic semblance as you walk alongside to enter the fort. Amer was built by the Meena Tribe and later occupied by Raja Man Singh I.

The insides of Amer Fort: As I entered, I noticed the Chaar Baagh (Four Gardens) formations which are a prominent part of Mughal Architecture. Like the ones which I saw in Delhi a couple of days before. With the shining sun illuminating the pathway towards the fort entrance, the doors literally make for a Grand Entrance.


A more-than visible print of Elephants being regulars here can be seen with their “discharge” all over the pathway.


Rajasthan in general is a primary tourist attraction even before the “Incredible India” campaign kicked off. Finding foreign tourists in huge numbers is quite expected and this early morning at the fort definitely was one of it.

The fort has a multistoried layout which is no less than a Bhool bhulaiya of sorts with the tiniest of windows and doors spread throughout the structure. This characteristic was quite prevalent in almost all the architectures at Jaipur(which I visited) and I presume in Rajasthan as well. The Hawa Mahal is basically an ensemble of these tiny windows. Interestingly, I also noticed a few of the cleaning staff, which comprised of women, draping a Ghoongat (Dupatta used with a veil).


I also heard from one of the guides who was explaining to the foreigners that these windows helped the women folk to easily witness gatherings, markets or processions in the sanctity of the mahals and forts.

I headed back in a crowded bus which charged around 14 rupees and dropped down near Jal Mahal which was in contrast to what I saw earlier. A makeshift market place had emerged around the pavements selling shoes, clothes and even food to be fed to the pigeons roaming around soaking the morning sunlight. The pigeons were not alone BTW!


I headed over to the City Palace which is located amidst the Jaipur market. Renovation work was underway on one of the gates.




The insides are filled up with these glass colored window panes which add on to the many decorations in the palace.

The tiny staircases leading to the terrace are little suffocating and I cannot imagine getting lost in the dark in one of those. Nightmare.



However, once you’ve reached the top, the view is supremely beautiful. Not just that, the feeling of getting out in the open and watching the whole city is sublime.



Venturing out of the City Palace, I went around the market to grab something to eat. Now Jaipur is called the Pink City. So, when you walk around the market, one can notice that the shops, walls and everything where you can lay your eyes on has a shade of pink.



It’s not Pink. But Pink. The market looked very organized and pink. (The pink color maes it all a litte funny though. But its not pink).


I stopped by to have Rabdi (in the pic above) and Malpuas in the market. Eating these was just out of sheer hunger of not having eaten anything since morning and I ended up at the first outlet I saw. They were pretty decent and I would have definitely got a better one had I done any sort of “food research” like I usually do. But then, Internet!


The Hawa Mahal in my head was supposed to be this mammoth building but it wasn’t so. Only when I started taking pictures, I realized why it was so. The Road opposite to the Mahal is pretty narrow and for a good picture, one would either have to take a side-shot to capture it perfectly. Of course it still looked good.

It was a Friday and I needed to search for a mosque to attend Jumma Prayers and even though I was hungry, I held on as I had to meet a friend who works nearby an IT park.


The nice people of the city guided me to the right bus. A vegetarian thali for lunch while reminiscing about college days was great and as always it’s great to meet known friends in unknown cities.


I headed back in another bus and then also took a tuk-tuk just to have an experience on how the city moves around in these.


On reaching the Bus stop and getting onto one of the Delhi bound buses, I realized how much I could do in just one day. Due to time crunch, I could hardly get my hands on Rajasthani food but if I ever visit this place again that will be my priority.

Jaipur is a traditional city which has kept its original charm even with steady development. At least the areas I went around appeared to have better civic sense. Of course the public transportation can improve a lot but the folks of the city make a tourists’ life much easier.

What’s an Ideal Travel Plan, anyway ?

When you have to take a vacation and just plunge into the abyss of forgetting your work-pressure and simply get a break, where does your mind picture you enjoying?


For me, it has to be a Beach. Any Beach. The sound of waves rushing in, the waves giving the breeze a high-5 and your eyes enjoying the magic happening. Does this paint a picture for you ?

Taking out my cycle from the parking lot, I was trying to figure out my weekend plan. Probably a movie or catching up with a few friends? Maybe cooking something new in the kitchen ? or simply binge watching a tv-series while ordering food from any app which gives a discount.


Eat. Sleep. Repeat mode awaits!

You wait for the weekend and end up doing one of those three things and then head over to another week of office.

Have to do something. Have to do something.


And then it popped up just when I crossed the traffic signal. A green light lit right there.

Headed home, switched on my laptop, checked for flight schedules, but most were over due to the weekend rush. Finally got confirmed bus tickets as well as hotel bookings and bam! in just an hour, the Uber was downstairs taking me to my bus stop.

So, in just around an hour, the Uber was downstairs taking me to my bus stop.

The hour spent was to check how should I head to Goa. Should I take a flight ? Naah. Too expensive, although the website was offering me a good deal as compared to others. Still, expensive.

I don’t usually like buses, but hey, adjust maadi.

The backpack was dusted and any clothes (mostly clean ones) which I could find was thrown in. This wasn’t supposed to be like any of my other travels, where I plan, pack and explore the place.

This was supposed to be just a vacation and hence, the idea was to head there, chill on the amazing beaches. Maybe cool my heels while I finish those half-read books or jot down a few blogs on my laptop.

And isn’t that what goes in our head when we plan to travel? The expectation on what we would do once we are there.

My itinerary:

List of Beaches to explore: Baga, Anjuna, Calanghute and Vagator.

Sea Food: Whatever I could lay my eyes on!

Party: What’s that?

But a lot of it doesn’t go according to our plans, right? My Goa travelogue can give you a clear picture of what I (actually!) did there. And yes, it was exciting.

Of all the things that are with me from Goa, this planning process -from that green signal to booking tickets, remains an unusually exciting part. I plan things. I don’t usually do things impromptu.

I’m at a loss in imagining how all this would have been in an era of no-internet? Would I have rushed to the bus stop and enquired about the timings and tickets? Or would I have just binged on good American television along with a few cheese burst slices?

Goa Travelogue: A Blog on my Solo Trip to Goa

How often has this thought of “heading home and packing bags and get out of the city” hit you ?

If you’re anything like me then a gasp of yes would have already come out of your mouth by now.

Anyways, I wanted to keep this as a solo trip and Goa was the first place which popped in my head and as a result of which you are reading this Goa Travelogue.

For years holidaying has been synonymous with Goa. Of course, most of those trips are planned with friends. Mine, initially, was also no different. But the thing is, most of these planned Goa trips never work. Especially when it comes to Goa.

It was already late in the evening, rushing back home, checked hotels for a 2-day stay and luckily got one at Stayzilla. Bus seats were there too. Booked.

Over to Goa.

Reached late. Took close to 16 hours of a tiring bus journey, a very expensive cab, and almost an hours’ walk to finally arrive at my place of stay.

No, not the one with Stayzilla, as those guys ditched me again. Hotel was booked, payment was made and yet they cancelled it, while I was on my way. Had to make another arrangement through Airbnb. A very unconventional hut greeted me, along with a group of hippies in a jungle!! If that wasn’t scary enough, the not-so-clean bathroom made sure that I looked out for an alternate. Luckily, got an alternate arrangement at a homestay. This whole experience is even more adventurous, but let’s keep that for some other time.

This new place was near Anjuna Beach and luckily they also had an Activa Scooter for rent (Rs 800/Day). It was a decent deal, considering, I just couldn’t get anything else.

Travel Tip: If you’re travelling Goa for the first time, my advise is to rent out a vehicle as soon as you get down at the bus stop in Panaji. Any other mode of transport in the city will cost you a lot.

Calanghute Beach:

I was here around evening on my first day. Having hardly eaten food, and a heavy bag on my shoulders, I looked for a “proper” place to eat. But even after going into one, it was pretty difficult to get your order placed. I headed over to gulp a glass of juice in the outside market.

Goa Travelogue: Sunset at Calanghute Beach

Calangute was one of those beaches where I didn’t spent much time as it was also getting dark and I needed to head to my room. Of course, not before enjoying the beautiful sunset out on display.

Anjuna Beach:

It was almost noon by the time I headed to Anjuna and this sight here lets you in with a sense of your being. The last day had been really hectic, with the extended bus travel, hotel change and hardly any time to properly eat. I finally had breakfast and then lost myself again into enjoying the view.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

I took a long walk on the beach, clicking a few pictures in between; while the Arabian-Sea splashed across my folded jeans. Cold water splashing against the semi-tanned legs, indeed felt good.

Goa Travelogue: Anjuna Beach

Baga Beach:

The only name I knew in Goa was Baga. I didn’t looked up any travelogue like I usually do when planning a trip and apart from Baga, i hardly knew anything about Goa. Except my friends telling me, “Tu Goa jaake kya karega? Tu to peeta bhi nahi” .

This beach is crowded, but extremely well managed. You can see “baywatchers” (Sadly, not like the Baywatch Girls) out their repeatedly warning people to not go too deep. (Did that sentence come out right? :P).

They look more like DJ’s to me. What say ?

Goa Travelogue: Baga Beach
Even with the crowd, Baga has a certain charm attached to it, a stroll across the stretch of the beach is a joy undefined. And you’re not alone in doing so, you can see hordes of Solo travelers, giving that a try. And yes, you can tell who is a solo traveler. There’s that unmistakable vibe and a passing glance of smile, which explains it all.

I sat, with drenched lowers on the sands at Baga, along with a water bottle in my hand, stark contrast to the other “bottles” which everyone seemed to have. The view of the ocean, kids playing, groups of friends having fun and even cows having a Sun bath, while I munched on peanuts. Meanwhile, wondering how come beef consumption is fine here, even when it’s a BJP ruled state.

Goa Travelogue: Sunbathing Cows

Baga is the most happening beach, I’m told. Late evening when I visited, it remained crowded with all the “party animals”. I excused myself to enjoy my dinner.

Vagator Beach:

Technically, I didn’t put my foot on this beach at all. I was meters above it, at the Chapora Fort. Or as people like to call it “the-Dil-Chahta-hai-fort” as a few scenes were shot here.

[To the Uninitiated, Dil Chahta is a famous Bollywood movie directed by Farhan Akhtar]

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Fort

The place is full of people humming the title song along with clicking selfies.Yes, I’m not kidding even a bit. I went to the other side to sit atop one of the rocks, gawking down at the shiny waters while the wind blowing down sunlight off my face.

Goa Travelogue: Vagator Beach

Now, let’s talk about the Goa Food:

This was one of those trips when I ate less and roamed more. However, I’m not complaining.

I started my day with a decent English Breakfast. The street leading to Anjuna Beach is lined with numerous options, and randomly I checked into one, after finding space to park my rented Activa. A decent start to the day.

How wrong can you go with an English Breakfast anyway ?

Goa Travelogue: English Breakfast near Anjuna Beach

I was craving for some good sea food, but amidst all the beach hopping and merrily driving around, time was running out. Also, since I wasn’t sure whether Meat would be Halal or not, the number of food options were limited. Plus, almost all the restaurants serve alcohol, which kind of creeps me out anyway.

Goa Travelogue: Pomfret near Bagha BeachI tried Pomfret at one of the popular joints in Goa, called Twenty23 which is almost in the middle of Calanghute and Anjuna. Very Expensive, and perhaps the most expensive food item I might have ever eaten till date. But a good fish is worth the bucks you spent.

The last day, before I headed back to Bangalore, I ended up meeting a few of my batchmates in Goa and ended up with Calamari on my plate. Pretty weird taste and I guess it’s mostly an acquired taste like most sea foods. However, I might not eat it again.

[Also read about my Mangalore trip, where you can enjoy Seafood and lovely beaches]

What I got from the Goa trip?

The Goa trip was my way of getting back to solo travelling. There couldn’t have been a better time than this. Although with the long weekend, it ended up getting way too crowded and defeated the purpose of going to Goa in off-season, yet finally having ticked Goa off my list feels great.

From Goa, I got back my travel mojo. I got back the joy of simply strolling around beaches. I got back the adventure of adjusting to change and of course the happy vibes from the beaches. However, it still doesn’t beat the best beach I’ve been to.

[Wondering which one is it ? Read Here]

My sole intention was to only cover beaches and enjoy my time without any itinerary. Must say, I was successful in achieving my goal.

Did you enjoy this blog on Goa? Share your views in the comments below for this Goa Travelogue.

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