Sunday, January 23, 2011

Great weekend in Goa

Last weekend was a long one and so I planned for the Goa trip. I and Seema both left our office early on Thursday. I had bus booking for this trip with Paulo travels. Though their service was not good but bus journey was comfortable. We started at ten in night and reached Panjim at eleven in morning. It took another half an hour by auto to reach our resort ‘Castle house’. Castle house is a budget resort near Calangute beach but it’s a very pleasant one. This resort has everything to make one comfortable. Room was very clean and nice. Resort had a good swimming pool and restaurant. We became fresh and had lunch in restaurant. Food was overall good. Staff of the resort was also very helpful.

After a good lunch and rest, we headed towards Calangute beach which is the most famous beach of Goa. This was really a striking one but little crowded. It was sunny day and we sat on the sunbed there. A number of agents were roaming around for water sports and I talked with one boy for eight hundred bucks. We started with water scooter and other boating. Next stuff was the parasailing. I have seen this in movies and very tempted to go for this one. A speedboat was taking people in deep sea for this and so we gave our bag to the boy and went for parasailing. Other people in boat were making noise as everyone was excited and petrified. The sky was colored there with a number of parachutes in air. People were doing parasailing and after some time our number came. When we were up in sky, it was an amazing experience. While returning back to the beach we were anxious as we could not see the boy there. Suddenly he came and we felt relieved as my camera and wallet was in the bag only. We paid him and then had a beach walk before we sat and had some snacks there. It was sunset now, music was loud and people were sitting near the beach. A complete festive mood everywhere and Goa on a high beat always.

Next day we hired a scooty for rest of the trip for three hundred bucks. In morning, we started roaming on streets of Goa and first reached to the Baga beach. This was early morning and beach was not crowded. Here we hired a speedboat to watch dolphins. After fifteen minutes we reached in deep sea and pleased to spot dolphins. As number of boats was noising around so dolphins were coming out for few seconds only. I was unable to capture this moment but happy to see dolphins for the first time. We started again from here and visited Anjuna beach. We bought hats as sun was up. After this we were back to our resort, enjoyed in swimming pool and had a delicious lunch. After lunch we started roaming again. Having a scooty was very handy. This time we started for Fort Aguda, where a shooting of ‘Dil chahta hai’ movie was also done. We sat on the wall of Fort Aguda, watched sea from there and had some good photos. From there we started for Panjim and stopped just before of Mandovi river bridge. I bought two tickets for Sunset cruise. A number of cruises were roaming in sea at sunset time. Watching sunset and folk dance on cruise deck was a distinguished experience. The cruise also had a disco in downstairs, which we visited. After this we returned to our resort. Fortunately this was a Saturday and time for weekly Goa market. Nothing special but we found it interesting. I visited a number of beaches but Goa is a different one. You will get a fill of a different country in the same country. On each step, you will see a pub. Streets are full of foreign tourists. Markets are open late night and people roaming around. We also roamed in late night before going to resort for sleep. This day was a complete in all ways. 

Third day we went to Calangute beach again. Crowd was not there as it was early morning. We had beach walk before we entered in water. We visited Candolim beach today and I must say that this one is the best beach of Goa. Less crowd, clean sea shore and awesome ambience make it must to visit and hang out for long hours. We also went to Sinquerim beach which was close to Fort Aguda. After this we had lunch outside and had rest in resort for few hours as bus was in late evening. We had car to reach the bus stand in Panjim. From windows of car it was wonderful to watch the landscape of Goa and packing up of sweet memories before we left Goa for Bangalore.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Excursion to Mahabalipuram

This Sunday I was on a business trip to Chennai. I started in early morning and it was an excellent journey by Shatabadi train. The hotel Ambassador Pallava where I checked in was a splurge and very comfortable. There we had a rest of few hours and a very delicious lunch. As we had rest of the day as leisure, I thought of visiting Mahabalipuram which is about fifty five km far only. So I booked a Tata Marina by hotel travel desk and started after one in noon. The route to Mahabalipuram is parallel to the sea shore and very picturesque. In city it goes along Marina beach and after that it goes along sea on one side and backwater on another side. I was enjoying this scenic route and got slept in between. The driver just make me awake to know that we are now going to pass Crocodile bank if we wish to have a glimpse. This crocodile bank was about fifteen km before Mahabalipuram and there were thousands of crocodiles lying inside. From there it hardly took fifteen minutes to reach Mahabalipuram.
Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram is the world heritage site declared by UNESCO and all its beauty is in its architecture and rock sculptures. A number of temples are made out of rocks and these were built by Pallava rulers. Major attractions of this place are Pancha Rathas and Shore temple and we visited these two. In Pancha Rathas, each of the five temples was carved out of single stone and that makes it fascinating. The shore temple is just on the beach and nice to visit. You can sit here for a long time, enjoying the cool wind and noisy waves.  There were other temples and caves which we did not visited as all are nearly same but portraying the best sculpture illustration of the history. We started back for Chennai after spending two hours to have rest before a busy next day.