Green re­treat in Goa

Next time when you plan a trip to Goa, think be­yond its beaches and night life. In­stead, ex­plore the serene coun­try­side

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Lifestyle - Collin Ro­drigues collin.ro­drigues@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Goa is known for its beaches, churches, tem­ples and car­ni­vals among other things. But, the state also has a beau­ti­ful coun­try­side that is rarely ex­plored by tourists.

Goan vil­lages have a dis­tinct look and feel with huge Por­tuguese style vil­las that can leave you awestruck. As a large per­cent­age of Goans work and stay abroad, more of­ten than not, you will find just one or two peo­ple stay­ing in these mas­sive res­i­dences.

There­fore, find­ing some­one who will help you get a room on rent in one of these houses is not dif­fi­cult. In fact, many peo­ple have al­ready put up their houses on rent on web­sites such as Airbnb. And many, who have set­tled abroad and don’t plan to re­turn to Goa, have sold their houses to for­eign­ers. Once you have taken a vil­lage house on rent on your Goan so­journ, there are a few things you must keep in mind. First, life here starts quite early in the morn­ing, and at night, the streets are com­pletely de­serted by 8pm. But, if you are keen on late-night hang­outs, you can al­ways visit the near­est city, which won’t be more than an hour’s drive, con­sid­er­ing Goa is a small state.

EAT LO­CAL

An­other ad­van­tage of stay­ing in a Goan vil­lage is get­ting au­then­tic lo­cal food. As the day breaks, you will be wo­ken up by the sound of lo­cal bread bak­ers sell­ing fresh breads. In Goa, one should try poee, a round bread that was in­tro­duced in Goa by the Por­tuguese. You will also find small joints sell­ing lo­cal food in most Goan vil­lages. But, since these eater­ies cater to a lim­ited crowd, you should reach there by as early as 9am for break­fast. These lo­cal restau­rants serve lim­ited dishes, but the au­then­tic food is bound to leave a last­ing im­pres­sion on your taste buds. Here, one should try a lo­cal spe­cialty called the bon — a sweet, deep fried bread. Other than Goa, you will find bon only in Man­ga­lore, where it’s called Man­ga­lore bun. You can also try a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of Mum­bai’s batata bhaji in the city called kaapa

and mirchi.

A DIF­FER­ENT WORLD

A MUST-VISIT IS THE BANASTARIM MAR­KET, WHERE YOU CAN BUY DRY FISH, DRY CHILLIES AND DIF­FER­ENT VA­RI­ETIES OF MANGOES

Though only Ker­ala is pop­u­lar for its back­wa­ters, not many know that Goa also has a vast net­work of back­wa­ters that runs through al­most ev­ery vil­lage. This is an­other as­pect of Goa, which is not pro­moted, as the fo­cus is com­pletely on beach tourism. Fish­ing is one of the prom­i­nent in­dus­tries in Goa, and fish are avail­able in large quan­ti­ties in the back­wa­ters. So, you can ei­ther go fish­ing on the banks of the near­est back­wa­ter or just re­lax there.

MAR­KET WATCH

A Goan vil­lage mar­ket is an­other place that one must ex­plore. A must-visit is the Banastarim mar­ket, which is held ev­ery Fri­day. Here you can buy dry fish, dry chillies and dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of mangoes dur­ing mon­soons. Next, you may choose to visit the churches in Goan vil­lages that have a lot of open spa­ces. The spa­ces are, at times, used to stage tia­trs (Konkani plays) and to play foot­ball. And, once the sun sets in, you can visit a lo­cal tavern. If you don’t drink al­co­hol, try a lo­cal soft bev­er­age. So, next time when you plan a trip to Goa, think be­yond its sandy shores.

A beach in Goa filled with fish­ing boats

PHO­TOS: SHUTTERSTOCK, ISTOCK

An an­cient dis­tiller for a cashew feni drink. Ditch your soft drink, and try these lo­cal drinks

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.