Goa in the Monsoon

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Winter is generally the preferred season for tourists to visit Goa. Monsoon, on the other hand is the “off season” for tourists in Goa. Nonetheless, it is also the season when you can enjoy moving around the places of interest at leisure, without finding yourself in a sea of people all around you.

So here I am in Goa on a short trip, enjoying the monsoon. The rain this year in Goa has been sparse though. It wasn’t raining on Sunday morning. We decided to go to old Goa.

Goa has an interesting amalgamation of east and west, ancient and modern, beaches and hills. There is a bit of everything for everyone it appears. On one hand you find casinos and clubs, on the other you find a number of churches and temples. It is a small quaint state and yet there is something very lively about Goa.

The greenery on both sides of the road is refreshing. On the way many old bungalows can be seen with slanted roofs, pillared porches, inner courtyards and gardens outside.

old Goa

 

Portuguese Influence

Having remained under the Portuguese control till 1961 (yes even after India became independent from the British Rule in 1947), the cultural influence of Portugal is evident in its architecture, particularly in its churches and in the old houses.

Portugese Church

One of the oldest churches in Goa and in India is the Basilica of Bom Jesus. Constructed in 1605, the ancient church situated in old Goa, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The relics of St Francisco, who was known to have miraculous healing powers, are preserved in the church.

Decorated Gate - Basilica Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
Relics of St Francisco

 

Across the road stands the Archeological Survey of India Museum, a white building standing surrounded by carpet of greenery.  We are caught in a sudden downpour but manage to quickly enter the new church next to the Museum.

 

Temples in Old Goa

On the way we see the Tirupathi Balaji Temple.

Tirupati Balaji Temple, Old Goa
Tirupati Balaji Temple, Old Goa

 

We stop at the Mangeshi Temple, dedicated to Bhagavan Mangesh, an incarnation of Shiva. The temple is visited by a number of people throughout the year.

Mangeshi Temple
Mangeshi Temple, Old Goa

 

Spice Garden

Next we head towards the Spice Garden.  Spices have since long attracted people from all over the world to India.

The Sahakari Spice Garden promotes the concept of Eco – Tourism. Spread over an area of 130 acres, the plantation surrounded by a lake grows a variety of spices and herbs.

On entry we are served a glass of lemon grass ginger tea before we head for a guided tour. Our tour guide is a young girl, with an extensive knowledge of herbs, spices and plantations.

She introduces us to various spices and herbs. We see the Arabia coffee plants, cardamom, cloves, pepper, cinnamon, lemon grass, bettle nut palms, Potuguese chilli (called Piri Piri), nutmeg, turmeric and Vanilla. She explains the medicinal properties of the herbs and their various uses.

Piri piri, Portuguese chilli
Piri piri, Portuguese chilli
Turmeric plant, Spice Garden , Goa
Turmeric plant

We get to know how Feni (the famed Goan liquor ) is extracted and prepared from cashew pods.

As the tour ends we freshen up with a little amount of Feni in a shot glass followed by a buffet lunch. We move out recharged and refreshed.

More on Goa later…

Here’s the second part of the travelogue – Going around Goa

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0 thoughts on “Goa in the Monsoon

  • July 20, 2015 at 8:43 am
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    Nice post… bought back the memories for me when I visited Goa in Monsoon… I love Goa in monsoon as it is quiet and beautiful… By the way did you get to see the much talked about crocodile that came to shore of Morijim beach… 🙂

    Reply
    • July 20, 2015 at 9:48 am
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      Thank you. I too like it quiet and beautiful. No I wasn’t so lucky to see it walk around. Saw it only on the newspaper. 🙂 Have a nice week ahead.

      Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 9:03 am
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    Thats nice description. Close to my heart

    Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 10:51 am
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    Love the first shot and “Relics of St Francisco” shot so much.Great post.Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 12:08 pm
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    there is no place like GOA in India. period.

    Enjoy your stay Somali 🙂 TC

    Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 12:30 pm
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    I always want to visit this place.. I wish if someday I can..

    Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 2:34 pm
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    Beautiful pictures Somali, have a good time. I was in Lisbon a month back and all i kept thinking is that oh its so much like Goa 🙂 🙂 ofcourse Goa was a Portuguese colony then 🙂 Monsoon and Goa also reminds me of an event I handled in Leela Goa and most speakers were late or didn’t turn up as the flights were cancelled…embarrassing times 🙁

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm
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      Thank you Shweta. Such sweet- sour moments remain in our memory.Another thing about Goa is the present Russian influence, which is reflected in the hotel menu’s that are printed in both Russian and in English. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 2:59 pm
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    Lovely pictures and description.. It seems weather is amazing there.. have a nice time enjoying the monsoon. 🙂

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm
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      Thank you so much Deeshani. The weather is nice for the tourists like us, not for the locals who are rather surprised by the deficient monsoon this year, which could be damaging .

      Reply
  • July 20, 2015 at 6:03 pm
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    I found the description of Goa and the illustration of the places by the photographs
    in your post “Goa in Monsoon ” excellent .I visited Goa during the “Exposition of St.Francis Xavier the Patron Saint of Goa in November 1974 -January 1975 .I have not visited Goa after that .After reading your post I have decided to visit Goa in the monsoon .Congratulations for the lovely post and looking forward to the second part of your travelogue .

    Reply
    • July 21, 2015 at 10:17 am
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      Thank you for your kind words. It must have changed a lot since then. I am sure you will enjoy a trip to Goa during the monsoon.

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 2:19 am
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    Beautiful pictures…Goa is indeed a place where oriental meets occidental… It’s been in my list for a loooong time…

    Your post just ignited the desire to visit Goa, preferably in monsoon… 🙂

    Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 10:06 am
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    Beautiful pictures.

    Reply
    • July 21, 2015 at 11:10 am
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      Thanks Purba. A local person tells us that February is also a good month to be in Goa as the weather is good, Dec-Jan crowd has lessened and you can enjoy the water sports as well. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm
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    Wow, picture perfect !! Goa <3 I love it… amazing pics 🙂 so beautiful…

    Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm
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    Beautiful captures, Somali. Goa is indeed fascinating in Monsoons too. Recently, I was reading the adventurous Goa Monsoon trip on Nisha’s blog. It was thrill, reading the post. Hope you too enjoyed a lot! 🙂

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm
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      Thank you Ravisha, I am yet to read Nisha’s post on Goa, but intend to do so today, Yes the trip was short but very enjoyable. We got to know a lot about the local traditions, culture, folklore, news and places of interest, courtesy the person who took us around. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 3:14 pm
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    Very nice one Somali. Goa sounds so enjoyable in the rains, would never have known. Must visit in this season

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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      Thank you sir. I am sure you will enjoy visiting Goa more in the off season. Though tourists mostly gather around North Goa beaches, but South Goa is equally beautiful.

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 5:34 pm
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    i’ve been to Goa in the summers also and like it equally… it’s an amazing place… but ofcourse Goa in the monsoons just takes the cake! 🙂 Nice pictures Somali 🙂

    Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 7:37 pm
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    Goa.. It’s forever a different Tourist Place.. Especially during the rainy Season.. Your Post takes me back to year 2005 when I had to visit the Place a few times on my Official Visits..Thanks for sharing such a nice Post, Somali!

    Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 10:51 pm
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    Although I have been to goa a few times, I have always missed out on the cultural aspect. The portugese presence and the rich history certainly adds a lot of flavour to it. I really liked the architectural front and their influence on it. And the greenery sure speaks for itself.

    Reply
    • July 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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      Thank you Vinay. Besides the natural beauty, the traditional, historical and architectural aspects of a place interest me a lot. 🙂 Have a nice day.

      Reply
  • July 21, 2015 at 11:39 pm
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    Incidentally I also wrote a post on Goa in monsoon recently. Goa beyond beaches is equally wonderful. 🙂

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 7:40 am
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      True Nisha. Beyond the beaches too Goa is wonderful. Would love to read your post as well. Will check it out today. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Reply
  • July 22, 2015 at 10:50 am
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    Lovely pictures and description. Goa is my favorite holiday destination. I have visited it many times and prefer off-season as well.

    Reply
  • July 22, 2015 at 11:14 am
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    Our coastal areas are so beautiful in the Monsoons. Last year we visited a coastal town in Kerala — in the monsoon — and just spent a day chilling with friends and another just watching the rain and taking in the greenery. The off-season charm.

    Nice post, Somali. It clearly tell one that Goa is much more than just its beaches.

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm
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      True D. Our coastal places are so beautiful and so are the mountains in the north, Not without reason they call Kerala – God’s own country..and yes Goa is beaches and more. Better infrastructure for tourists can really give a big boost to tourism.

      Reply
  • July 22, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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    I’d love to visit Goa during the off-season! Plus, anywhere during the monsoons sounds good to me! 😀

    Reply
    • July 22, 2015 at 2:00 pm
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      Ah you are a pluviophile ! Btw I picked up this word from Maniparna’s post on Limeroad and had to use it somewhere. Thanks for giving me the chance. 😀 😀

      Reply
  • Pingback: Going around Goa – Scribble and Scrawl

  • July 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm
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    I remember few years back, it was off season in Goa during Monsoon. In last three years things have changed dramatically. Now its a packed season in Monsoon too. Thanks to monsoon offers by hotels now Indians rule the tourists in monsoon season. And yes Goa looks amazing in this season.

    Reply
    • July 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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      Thank you arv. True, the greenery is amazing , and with proper infrastructure and facilities one can actually enjoy a trip during the monsoon as well. 🙂

      Reply
      • July 23, 2015 at 3:46 pm
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        I second that…I’m sure its going to be great for photography in monsoon!

        Reply
  • July 23, 2015 at 12:27 pm
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    Nice post with beautiful pics.
    went down memory lane when we had visited Goa with our six months old daughter but during summers.

    Your post motivated us to visit Goa again bt this time in monsoon.
    Congratulations! !!!

    Reply
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  • August 8, 2015 at 2:27 pm
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    The elephant shower at spice gardens is amazing. Thank you for following me Somali

    Reply
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  • November 21, 2015 at 9:28 pm
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    Beautiful post. Reminds me of my last trip where I loved staying at Conacona in South Goa, not far away from Palolem. So serene to be surrounded by greenery and village set up.

    Reply

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