Updated: Jul 20
When Alok asked his friends to tag along for his road trip to Goa, his friends were rolling on the floor laughing. They were under the impression that Goa closes down during the monsoon and were thinking that Alok is making a fool of himself by traveling there.
But this is not the reality. Though monsoon tourism in Goa not widely popular, the city is absolutely up and running, even during the rainy season. They decided to tag along anyway, just to share the fun of driving in their friend's new car.
They had no idea that they were going to have a magical week ahead. Goa is beyond beaches; Goa is beyond parties; Goa is beyond imagination.
The Beginning :Beautiful nature
Starting from Pune, the rain too decided to accompany them and add a lot of fun and thrill to the drive through the ghats. A quick pit stop at Kolhapur, and they headed to Amboli. Anyone who is traveling from Pune to Goa must spend some time in Amboli, especially during the monsoon. Of course, one needs to drive carefully here as the roads are narrow, but the nature you are surrounded by is bountiful.
From tiny springs to huge waterfalls, you will be able to witness the splash of nature against the backdrop of dense greenery. Some wide flowers that bloom during the rainy season and birds' calls enchant you. The smell of green wild grass will surely stay in your nasal memory forever. A tea break is mandatory in this area on a rainy day.
The fun of having steaming hot fritters and tasty corn along with a cup of tea is like following a tradition, just like we follow the tradition of having Maggie when in the mountains.
The Boat party
Since they had started when the day was about to break, they were in time for a boat party. Alok kind of knew about monsoon water activities hence, he pulled his car near the Panjim jetty and showed his friends the boat welcoming guests for a nice two-hour party. Looking at the boat their faces looked lit.
They had never been on a boat party, and when they boarded the boat, the ambience and vibe just matched their mood. It was a super fun evening for them, and the Goa trip has begun on the right foot.
After enjoying the party, they checked into their rooms in one of the best places in Goa. During the monsoon, tourists don’t travel much here, so the rates of the hotels are often low as compared to the peak season.
Accomodation and places to visit
The next morning, they woke up fresh. The rain and the sun were playing hide and seek, so the weather was pretty pleasant. After a good breakfast, Alok drove them to Old Goa,the former capital of Portuguese India. This beautiful town transports you to the past with its intricate architecture and mystic vibe.
Around November and December, it’s too crowded because of tourists, but during the monsoon, you can take leisurely walks on the street and spend a good amount of time appreciating the beauty of 16th and 17th century ornate chapels, churches, and a bell tower. The Basilica of Bom Jesus, where the relics of St. Francis Xavier are kept, is one of the most popular pilgrimages in India.
After a soulful experience at the churches, it was time for some soul-satisfying food, and Alok took his friends to some popular food joints where they could try some authentic Goan food.
The Secular Goa: Temples
Goa isn’t all about churches and chapel, as it has many famous temples too. The Shantadurga temple, the Mangeshi, and the Nageshi are some must-visit temples here. The architecture of these temples is a perfect blend of Indian and Portuguese styles. The temples are generally huge, and most of them have a ‘Deepmala’ (a huge pole made of stone to light oil lamps) at the entrance of the main shrine.
One must visit the temples and spend some time on the premises, observing the intricately done garlands, the food stalls selling snacks to pilgrims, and the locally made souvenirs. Shop for some flowers, snacks, and souvenirs from these local shops; that way, we can empower small businesses.
Visiting churches and temples isn’t just a religious thing. It is about experiencing a slice of culture and witnessing how harmoniously people from different cultures live here.
Water sports in Goa
This trip was going fine up until now, but Alok knew his friends wanted to explore some water sports. The adventure water sports in Goa are usually closed during monsoons as the sea is pretty rough between June and September. Never the less, many water activities like kayaking, fly-boarding, and jet skiing are functional in rivers and backwaters during monsoon.
Not only these water sports, but adventure sports like bungee jumping, paragliding, and motor paragliding also take place during the rainy season. Of course, heavy rains and rough weather affect these activities, but Alok and his friends were lucky to have a dry spell and clear sky in the later part of their trip, so they could do it all.
They made the most of their time and explored serene mangroves on their mangrove kayaking tour, followed by the excitement of motor paragliding. They were even lucky to find a perfect slot for bungee jumping, and their happiness knew no bounds since many blocks on their bucket list were checked unexpectedly.
Foodies' paradise: Goa
Goa is popular among foodies. The Fountainhas food trail was perfect to end the trip; therefore, with a professional guide, they went on the Feni and Tapas trail. Fountainhas, the famous Latin square, welcomed them with open arms.
A strikingly colourful heritage building hosted them with the traditional liquor Feni and small portions of Portuguese-influenced goon cuisine, which they tasted to their hearts content. The restaurant hopping continued, and they ended up having the most sumptuous food and tasty desserts as well.
Sitting on the bench installed on Miramar Road, they could see the lit boats taking passengers to casinos. They realized that even the casinos were functional during monsoons. Though they had no time to visit one, their faces were shining as bright as the casino lights. It was time for them to head back to their hotel, as the return journey was scheduled to begin the next morning.
The New Beginning: Myth Broken
This trip had washed out their misconceptions about Goa in the monsoon, and they were sure that every year they would return for the monsoon trip to Goa. This time they couldn’t do waterfall treks in Goa, but they kept it for the next time. Early in the morning, they started their return journey with tons of photographs and thousands of memories drenched in happiness.
Alok's buddies were rolling on the floor with laughter when he asked them to come along on his road trip to Goa. His pals believed that Goa shuts down during the monsoon, which is not the case. They made the decision to accompany their pals nonetheless so they could enjoy the excitement of off-roading in their new car.