Fort Aguada and its Lighthouse

Overlooking the confluence of the Mandovi river and the Arabian sea, fort Aguada has been standing tall on the Bardez Peninsula for over four hundred years. From being a reference-point to ships sailing through this part of the Arabain sea to being one of the biggest aguadas (watering-place in Portuguese) in whole of Asia of the time where ships could replenish their drinking water stocks to being the most prized and crucial fort of the Portuguese to finally becoming a prison now known as the Aguada jail is still operational, fort Aguada has donned many hats over the centuries. It is one of the must-visit places in Goa so a trip there was but natural, what if it was towards the end of my solo trip to Goa.

sunset at fort aguada goa photos

Colors of Sunset, Aguada Fort – Goa

Winding through beautiful village roads canopied by tall coconut trees that helped make the ride a pleasant one, I reached Fort Aguada a few hours before the closing time. … continue reading

Ruins, Rocks and Greenery

‘If you have to relax in the shade, the over-hanging rock there seems a much better choice’, I said to myself as I halfheartedly pulled myself from the soft grass that had been my bed for the past half an hour. The sun seemed to be at its brightest and no one in his right mind would even think of walking even a small distance out in this heat if (s)he doesn’t have to, let alone climb huge boulders a hundred feet high. I however, love climbing so climb I will, I decided. With heat billowing from the hot-like-a furnace rocks under my feet and the scorching rays of the sun from above, there I was, making my way up through thorny bushes and narrow gaps.

rocks at hampi

The inviting ‘top’ – Hampi

The views got better every time I turned to look back stopping at random intervals. continue reading

Gokarna sunsets

Sunsets are beautiful. Sunsets where the land gives way to the vastness of the sea, even better. After all my visits to some popular while some not so popular beaches, this is something I can vouch for. While it is true that no sunset (or sunrise) can be as beautiful and enchanting as those over the Himalayas, beach-sunsets too, have something unique about them. As the Sun slowly sets over the horizon, everything at the beaches seem to slow down. After-all, it is indeed very hard to notice anything else as the rays of the setting start Sun start painting the sky with a thousand shades of yellow and then red.

Sunset at Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Sunset at Kudle Beach, Gokarna

Just like everyone else, I too like to sit by the beach and watch this magical display of colors, something which has been happening since billions of years but still feels uniquely gorgeous every single time.… continue reading

The Fort, the sea and the sunset

I am a mountain lover, I have always been one. There is nothing that makes me more happy than being in the mountains. They calm me down and make me happy from inside. Those of you who follow me already are well aware of my love for the mountains but what you might not know is that, I also have a thing about historic places and ruins. And when it comes to forts, they are even more special. So let me tell you about one. One which has stood for centuries by the Arabian-sea, has seen different rulers rule it — from the Portuguese to emperor Akbar to the Marathas.

chapora fort goa sunset vagator beach

The setting sun and what is left of the fort

Given the fact that I am not much of a beach-person unlike most who visit Goa for its beautiful and happening beaches, I wanted to try to see the historical Goa. … continue reading

Trekking under the Moon

The invitation for the trek had come as a surprise but I did not think twice before responding to it in affirmative. Irrespective of whether I am trekking in the Himalayas or trekking on railway treks, I have always enjoyed them, so saying yes to yet another trek was the most natural thing to do. But that was not the only thing that had intrigued me about this particular one. The fact that the yes came a split second sooner than it would come otherwise was also because of the fact that this was going to be a night trek. Something which I had never experienced before.

bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

The bonfire at the Paradise Beach, Gokarna

Leaving puffs of smoke behind, our matador crawled through the narrow roads of Gokarna for what seemed to be hours, with more than twice the number of people crammed inside the vehicle than it was designed to accommodate.… continue reading

The contrast called Gokarna

Gokarna I had heard was what Goa used to be, a significant number of years back. Clean & not so crowded beaches, a laid back vibe and a lot of hippies enjoying the sun. While that was exactly what I found when I reached Gokarna on a humid April afternoon, what took me by surprise was another side of this quaint little coastal town. One which I had known nothing about. One which seemed to be deeply religious and has chosen to move ahead at its own pace rather than trying to race with the world.

Intricate carvings on a wooden rath, Gokarna

Intricate carvings on a wooden rath, Gokarna

As I walked through the narrow lanes of this hippie-hangout, I found myself lost in the beauty and simplicity of the place. Blue, green and bright-yellow houses with red-tilled roofs gave the place a rustic charm.… continue reading

The Zostel Experience

I had stayed at a backpacker’s hostel during my last solo trip to Goa and had quite liked it. Though the hostel was not one of the best, it had helped me get an idea about what to expect and what not to while staying in such environments and I personally did not find many items that I could complain about or which bothered me in any way. During my visit to Gokarna the previous weekend (more on that coming soon), I chose to stay at a backpacker’s hostel again. This one however was quite different from the previous one I had stayed at in Goa. Different in a good way.

Gokarna Beach from the cafe, Zostel Gokarna

Gokarna Beach from the cafe, Zostel Gokarna

One of the first things I remember however was the tiring half-a-kilometer up-hill walk which I had to endure in that sweltering heat.… continue reading

Ruins of the Church of St Augustine, Goa

Over-looking the calm waters of the Mandovi river from atop Monte Santo, the only standing structure of what was once the site for the Augustinian order, the belfry looks very much in contrast to its humble its surroundings. The 46 meter-high imposing tower of one of the seven Churches located on and between seven Hills in and around Velha is sure to catch your attention. It was the first thing that caught my attention too, as I approached the hill-top. Already in awe of its grandeur as I got closer, I realized that this part of a now non-existent façade of what once used to be the Church of St Augustine was not the only thing there that has seen centuries and rulers come and go.

ruins of St. Agustine Church, Old Goa

The Belfry of St. Agustine Church, Old Goa

Every rock, every pillar and every stone there seemed to have something to speak about the times gone by. … continue reading