3 day itinerary to Go Goa!

3 day itinerary for Goa

Goa is one of the most beautiful and popular destinations of India! Planning a romantic outing, Go Goa! Reunion with school friends, Go Goa! Family holiday where the planned destination is a beach, Go Goa! You want to go parasailing with your loved one or go for a beautiful boat-ride to watch the sunset with dolphins jumping in the background, Go Goa! If you want to try your luck at a casino and let your hair down, Goa it is! If you want to be a part of rave parties to enjoy the nightlife of the place, Goa definitely is the best place. If you are fond of sea food, then this is the place to be! And if you are looking at having a relaxed weekend with chilled beer, then you are in luck as the taxes levied on alcohol is much less than any state in the country!

Here’s a list of activities to do in Goa. Before I share my itinerary, I would like to give you the various options Goa has to offer so that you can decide to tweak your itinerary to whatever suits you. I have divided the place into three categories, so that you can choose where to spend most of your time.

North Goa:

North Goa is famous for a number of beaches which is a must visit! This place is lively, full of folks in a holiday and merry making mood! There are a few activities on the beach like parasailing. If you wish to be a part of the hullabaloo then you should be at the Baga beach around 4:00 pm and wait till the sun becomes a huge red ball of fire and sets into the horizon.

Capturing the setting sun in Baga Beach
Goa brings out the madness in you! Fort Aguada.

 

Places to see in North Goa:

  • Baga beach
  • Calangute beach
  • Vagator Beach
  • Anjuna Beach
  • Fort Aguada (Fisherman’s Cove)
  • Chapora Fort

 

Restaurants to eat in North Goa:

  • Tito’s
  • Ratnasagar Hotel
  • Suza Lobo
  • The Capricorn
Blueberry cheese cake under attack at Titos!

 

South Goa:

If you like your beach less crowded and want a quiet walk holding hands with your loved one, then you must be at the southern end of Goa. If you dream of beautiful candle light dinners by the sea under a starry night then you have chosen the right place. There are local boat rides available to watch dolphins play in the sea, and to the virgin beaches situated a little away from the shore. Crystal clear water and warmth of the sands makes one wish that time stops for some time while they soak in the bliss of the tranquil surroundings. South Goa is definitely home to the best beaches of the Konkan coast of India.

Places to see

  • Palolem Beach
  • Candolem Beach
  • Colva Beach (Babumoshai)

Places to eat

  • The Pentagon
  • Palacio do deau
A romantic candle light dinner at Palolem beach. Flames from the sea shell buried in the golden sands made the evening even more romantic and beautiful
Get set and eat! You can choose the fish you want ( read prawns and crabs also), the choice of sauce and ask them to barbecue it! Tastes delicious.

Panjim:

The capital of Goa, Panjim houses the most beautiful and quaint churches in the area. Vasco-da-Gama arrived at India in the 15th century but has left behind a Portuguese culture in the streets of Panjim.

Places to see

  • Church Square
  • Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
  • Goa State Musuem

 Places to eat

  • Fisherman’s Cove
  • Anantashram
Feasting on Fish Fingers! At the Fisherman’s Cove.

 

How to travel in Goa?

The best and most pocket friendly option is to rent a bike. That is the best way to go around Goa. You could also rent a car. Remember to keep your driving license with you since the Goan Traffic Police is pretty strict when it comes to checking documents. Buses are a very few, and getting public transport during the night can be difficult, plus they charge you exorbitant rates.

 

Shopping at Goa

Flea markets are very popular in Goa and you will find a lot of stalls on the road and in crowded destinations. You don’t have to visit a shopping area as such. Plenty of beautiful skirts and blouses are available in floral patterns along with accessories. If you haven’t had the time to pack beachwear, you will find it in plenty on the streets of Goa.

Goan specialities

Thanks to the international tourist population, you will find all kinds of cuisines in Goa. There are plenty of restaurants serving continental food. However, do find time to taste the coconut gravy delicacies of the Malabar Coast which will steal your heart. Also try the local liquor Fenny (also called Feni), made of cashew or toddy palm.

 

What to carry?

  • Beachwear
  • Sunscreen
  • Good Camera
  • A small torch
  • Cash as not many places accept cards
  • A good book
  • Light music

 

My itinerary in Goa:

Day 1:

Relax in South Goa. Run to Colva beach in the morning and be back by noon before the sun sets ablaze. Post a shower you can dine in one of the restaurants in South Goa. I loved the restaurant called Babumoshai in Colva beach for serving delicious pomphrets. But you can pick any restaurant of your choice.

Move to Palolem beach in the evening.Be there by 4:00 pm. I would highly recommend a boat ride to Honeymoon Island. Tip the boatman to take you to areas where you can see dolphins play and lap in nature.

Watch the sunset from the beach. If you’re lucky on a non-cloudy day, the red ball disappearing into ocean blue is a sight to behold. Take a walk by the beach line. Find yourself a restaurant on the beach and enjoy candle light dinner.

On a boat ride, heading towards the orange sun before it kisses goodbye!

Ensure you have a rented bike or have booked a taxi back. You may not find transport if you are really late. Also, lock your rented bikes well. People often find fuel stolen while they were away and are stranded at night.

Tuck in!

Day 2:

Book a cab and go towards Panjim. Leave early morning, and see if you could carry your bags with you.

Once in Panjim, visit the church square and eat at Anandashram near the Honda showroom. Walk down the narrow lanes with Portugal influence. Visit the church and head to North Goa beaches.

Baga beach is a good place to be. Try some water sports activites and enjoy the view of the crashing waves. Tito’s, at Baga Beach must be in your bucket list.

Parasailing at Baga Beach

If you are a party lover, you must visit Anjuna beach. Curly’s is an awesome place with great music and good food. There are other places in the neighboring region as well.

Crash!

 Day 3:

Visit Chapora Fort and Fort Aguada. Do not miss Fisherman’s Cove, a lovely restaurant on Fort Aguada Road.

At Fort Aguada, embracing the natural beauty!

Spend some time in the flea markets and shopping centres and relax.

Head back to the beach in the evening! You can visit Calangute or Vagator beach.Or go back to Baga! Plenty of good food in the vicinity there.

 

Have a great trip to Goa and bring back wonderful memories. I am sure it will be worth a thousand smiles and wonderful moments that you will cherish in the years to come. Do mention what about Goa intrigued you the most!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Souvenir Shopping at Agra

handicrafts

Planning that dream trip to Agra? Read Why Fatehpur Sikhri is a must visit from Agra? by clicking here!

Souvenir Shopping at Agra

Folklore has it that the some of the people still living in the surrounding areas are descendants of the artisans Akbar had chosen in the 16th century. The skills with which they craft white marble strengthens this belief. Adorn your homes with a relic which reminds you of the exquisite architecture of the Mughal era.

You can pick up souvenirs from vendors at Fatehpur Sikhri or at the shops from Agra market. The rules remain the same!

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A tourist friend admiring the beautifully carved stones.

What to buy?

  1. Agra Petha – don’t forget to try the special sweet dish unique to this area!
  2. Jutis – for both men and women. Average price range would be Rs 200-Rs 500
  3. Leather – Meena Bazar and Agra Market sells a lot of bags and footwear of very good quality!
  4. Edifice of the Taj Mahal – Very pretty replicas which have an option of fixing a light beneath the monument – perfect to adorn your living room!
  5. Handicrafts – jewelry box, lampshades, coasters etc with mina work, done in various motifs!
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Lampshades, jewelry-box pots and coasters intricately carved sculpture with floral and animal motifs

Tips on Souvenir Shopping!

  1. BARGAIN.
  2. BARGAIN FURTHER.
  3. Don’t give in. Try to negotiate further.
  4. You can start with one third the price the shopkeeper claims. It may sound absurd but you must not pay a penny more than half the amount suggested. Having said that, please note that all this is hand-made and not made by machines, and these objects take time to create.
  5. Check for the authenticity of marble if you are paying more than Rs 2000. Shopkeepers often con the buyers by selling faux marble and charging a premium for it.
  6. Foreigners (and tourists from other parts of the country) are advised to let the local accompanying you do the talking for obvious reasons (may be your tour guide or cab driver, if they are with you) – but it is essential to build a rapport with the local first!
  7. Request the shopkeeper to bubble-wrap and pack your purchases for distant travel. You may want wrap it in the folds of a towel or a soft cloth to avoid damage.
  8. You can get similar artifacts in Agra market for a slightly lesser price, if you have the time. Do not forget to check out jutis in the Agra market. You can get a pair for around Rupees 400 (after a lot of negotiation) to complement your Indian ethnic wear.
colour changing handicrafts
A shop-keeper explains how the stone changes color to a shade of pinkish red when water is poured on it, and how it gradually turns white as the water dries

Click here to read about Fatehpur-Sikhri, the capital city of Akbar, the greatest Emperor of the Mughal dynasty.

If you liked the article, don’t forget to hit the ‘Like’ button to encourage a beginner like me! Thanks for sharing it on social media to help the friend who is planning a trip!

 

North-East India : A photographic Journey

The Himalayas never fail to impress anyone. As the path trails, the scenic beauty engulfs the traveller. Here are a few pictures from my journey in July 2008.

  • Travel Route : Guwahat – Tejpur – Bomdilla – Tawang – Dirang – Guwahati
  • Duration : 5 days
  • Mode of Travel : A Sports car with a local guide
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Madhuri Lake, or so it is called, ever since Madhuri Dixit Nene visited the place to shoot for the Bollywood movie Koyla
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Bliss! When she came down to Earth, this was her residence.
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The mountains. Salute to the Indian soldiers who camp here to protect the Indian borders
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Yaks!
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Twin Lakes, Arunachal Pradesh
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Another view
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Sela Pass, the highest point
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View from the Checkpost
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Sela Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in this region. I have taken this picture from the Internet since my camera battery ran out of charge the day we visited Sela Lake, and it would be sheer injustice to the post if I do not have a picture of the most beautiful place visited during the trip
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Nuranang Falls, Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
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An open road and your favourite song, is sometimes the therapy you need
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Dirang. A view from the Hotel
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Apple orchard at Dirang
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A monastery on the road
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The monastery inside is as peaceful as the nature outside
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Pitcher Plant, Nepenthes truncata
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River bank, along the Kaziranga National Park
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Canoe ride to the island for the ‘Tiger Safari’
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Tent House!
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The inside is quite modern, well equipped with a clean bathroom
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Random water-falls on the road

DSC05530.JPGKamakhya Temple, Guwahati

Cannot get enough of the Himalayas?

The Himalayan trail to Spiti Valley

The above link is the photographic journey to the Chandertal Lake in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh.

Do share your thoughts on the beautiful Himalayas! I am keen on hearing from you!

 

Why Fatehpur Sikhri is a MUST visit from Agra

The architecture. It is beyond brilliant. The intricate details and carvings on red sandstone and white marble is unique to the Mughal Sultanate, and is a visual treat for the eyes. I wish the walls could whisper about the grandeur and charisma of this magnificent empire!

Jalal-ud-din Mohammed Akbar, the greatest emperor of the Mughal dynasty, had built the twin cities of Fatehpur and Sikhri between 1571-1585. The capital city of Sikhri is an example of meticulous urban planning of medieval times. This ancient township  is protected by a 11km long fortification wall. A tomb is dedicated to the Sufi saint Salim Chisti. The palace complex houses various important buildings. A tour of the city is like walking into the pages of your school history text book – only to realize that no words can do justice to the pristine glory of the mighty Mughal empire.

How to get there?

By Road from Agra

It is only 37 km away from Agra, towards the west. An hour’s drive from the beautiful mausoleum city.You can hire a cab for approximately Rs 2000 (an air-conditioned Indica which is a four seater) and the price varies based on the number of people commuting. Your hotel will be able to help you with this booking.

Note: The Taj Mahal is closed on a Friday, but Fatehpur Sikhri isn’t.  The Taj Mahal is open to tourists on full moon nights (once a month) and the view is of paramount beauty. So plan your tour itinerary accordingly.

What to Carry?

  • Carry a cap to avoid the blazing sun and sunscreen during the day in summers
  • Warm clothes – It can get icy cold during November to February
  • A good pair of walking shoes
  • Cash – the cab driver and local shopkeepers do not use debit / credit cards
  • A good camera
  • Water bottles – it is allowed inside
  • Some snacks to eat on the way (not allowed inside the monuments).

Entrance Fee (subject to changes)

  • Indian nationals : Rs 40
  • Foreign Nationals: Rs 550
  • Additional camera charges apply

Traveller’s Tip:

A tour guide is essential to explain the nitty-gritties of the architecture. Beware of cheats! An official guide would be wearing a white uniform and will have a license. He would charge you approximately Rupees 1500 and would not bargain. You could wait for another travel group to split your expense. However, many fake tourist guides roam at the entrance to con the tourist with a fake ID card and similar uniform. They agree to a lesser price but often provide false information or no information at all.

Sikhri

Babur, the descendant of Chengiz Khan, had noticed a small village and name it Shukri (meaning shukriya or thank you) when he defeated Rana Sangwa at Khanua in 1527. Akbar, Babur’s grandson called it Sikhri and made it his capital between 1571-1584.

Diwan-e-Khass 

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Diwan-e-Khass (The Jewel House)
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The pillars are a blend of Indo-Islamic architechture
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The ornately carved central pillar is believed to house the throne of Akbar while the Ministers were seated at corners of the passage

Ankh Michauli – The Imperial Treasury

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The crevices in the wall suggest that the Royal Treasure Troves filled with gold, silver and copper coins were placed here

Palace of Jodha Bai – Shabistan-i-Iqbal

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The design of this building draws inspiration from Rajput traditions and Hindu architecture and was also equipped with a kitchen based on the request by Akbar’s favourite queen
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One of the walls of Jodha Bai’s palace lined with various designs of the Rajput Queen’s jhumkas or earrings

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While some historians believe that this was the Hindu prayer hall Jodha used, others refute by suggesting that Jodha had a summer palace and a winter palace. Akbar was the only Mughal emperor who allowed his queen’s to follow their own religion. The Jalal carefully examined the doctrines of all religions, customs and ceremonies and blended the best practices to start a religion called Din-i-Ilahi

 Turkish Sultana’s Pavilion

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Rukaiyaa Begum’s Pavilion. The paintings adorning the walls have faded with the sands of time. The beauty and finesse of the Persian silk curtains guarding the entrance to the chambers can only be imagined
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A verandah facing the Talao. Intricacy herself would have sculpted the walls of the Turkish Queen. The delicate carvings on the friezes, pillars and pilasters of the stone masons can be mistaken to be teak wood carvings

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Panch Mahal

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Badgir (wind catcher) consists of four storeys of decreasing size. It was meant to mitigate the intense summer heat
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No two columns are alike on the first floor. Several designs such as bell-and-chain motif, floral patterns and tiny circular blossoms are carved on these walls
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The ground floor consists of 84 columns (an auspicious number for the Hindus, the first storey consists of 56 columns, the second storey 20 , the third 12 and the top storey is a domed kiosk supported on four pillars 

Hujra-i-Anup Talao

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North-east of the Talao is a beautiful structure described as a ‘superb jewel casket’

Fathehpur 

The twin city of Fatehpur – meaning land of victory was built next to Sikhri. However, Akbar had to abandon Fatehpur-Sikhri due to the saline content in the water and scarcity of water in this region.

Jami Masjid Complex in red sandstone 

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The Badshahi Darwaza, the entrance used by the Emperor to enter the Jami Masjid complex.
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Pillared bays in Jami Masjid
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The remnants of the ceiling once adorned with marvelous paintings and colours. A look at the centre of the dome shows signs of the last designs peeling off
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The Masjid, the principal building of Fatehpur consists of an open courtyard. The inscriptions on the wall gives an idea regarding the construction and commissioning of the mosque

Darbar of Salim Chisti in white marble

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Akbar sought the blessings of Shaikh Salim Chisti who predicted the birth of his sons, heir to the throne of the Mughal Sultanate. The dargah marks the profound reverence and respect the Sultan had for the saint
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The intricate jali work architecture unique to the Mughal Empire, resembles carved ivory instead of white marble. The devotees tie a sacred thread around the jali to seek blessings of the famous Sufi saint
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The pillars around the dargah consists of sepentine brackets which spring from the shafts. The space between the curves is filled with jali work
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The marble screens around the tomb draw different patterns such as pentagon, hexagon and octagonal patterns. The early morning sun casts beautiful shadows which leaves the tourist spell-bound

Buland Darwaza

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The Buland Darwaza (Lofty Gate) was built to commemorate the conquest of Gujarat. This imposing gate is made up of plain red sandstone framed in white marble. Verses from the Holy Quran are inscribed on the structure which can be seen from far distances.

A sincere attempt to show the magnitude of this architecture. The gigantic gate characterizes the assertion of power and dominance of the most successful Mughal Emperor.

Souvenir Shopping at Fatehpur Sikhri and Agra

Click here to read what Agra is famous for and tips on souvenir shopping!

I have had a few people asking me if these photo’s were edited. The answer is NO! I have clicked the above pictures using a One Plus phone. No filters have been used. Here is a link to check out the latest One Plus product. If you are planning to invest on a good phone do check this out! If you click on the ‘Never Settle’ image and make a purchase it will help me as I will receive a small commission.

Have you seen the road trail from Manali to Spiti Valley? Click on the link to see the lofty Himalayas and beautiful pictures of Chandertal Lake. The road-trip to Spiti Valley

Shubh Yatra (Happy Journey)!