Sunday, January 8, 2017

Beachy Road Trip to Goa

Somewhere on our way
Early morning, loudspeakers playing songs like ‘Rang Barse’, in an attempt to wake up a languid world for the festival of colours, and atmosphere waiting to be painted in hues of gulaal – and amidst all that I set out for my epic road trip to Goa with my family and some friends! Epic because it was the first road trip to Goa and we were doing a coastal Maharashtra to Goa and back route aka old Goa route and the plan was totally out of the blue and I planned out the itinerary in just 2 days. I often talk about this trip of mine but yesterday when I was writing about my recent trip to Grand Canyon, I realized I had never written about my first ever road trip on my blog. So here it is! (I’m chronicling my road trip adventure for CEAT Tyres in association with BlogAdda.)

Kashid Beach
Crossing Alibaug, Nagaon, Janjira, Kashid, Ganpatipule, and Ratnagiri we did manage to reach Panjim somehow in 4 days, of course halting at all those places, but the best part of the trip was being on the road and exploring, and not Goa as the destination. 

Murud Janjira Fort
Howling coastal winds, constant company for sapphire blue waters, forests, starlit nights – all of it simple yet so impactful. We chose the old Konkan way over the Bombay Goa Highway and didn't regret the decision a bit. This journey made me realize how beautiful the Konkan coastline is.

A random click from the road!
Often Indian highways are termed not cool for long, smooth road trips, and driving on old highway might seem like a crazy decision – but I beg to differ! Maybe the roads in India are not as maintained, monitored and regulated as highways in most developed countries, but they are good for any fun road trip and this trip made me believe in that thought even more.

The beautiful untouched Malgund Beach
While on the road we witnessed nature, history and culture equally, baffled by the thought – why do people not select the meandering roads accompanied by pristine blue waters fenced by dense coconut grooves and rolling paddy fields. 

Nagaon Beach!
While Alibaug, Murud and Jaigad on the way have marvelous forts from the Maratha Period, missing out on hidden gems like Ganpatipule beach and Malgund Beach with their seemingly infinite stretch of light golden sand shimmering against the crystal blue waters seemed like a crime to me!

Somewhere in Ratnagiri
Yes, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna and the hundreds of other beaches of Goa have their own charm, but none of them are as clean, quiet and untouched like the ones near Ganpatipule and Ratnagiri. But forget the beaches that were some ‘spots’! During the drive there were probably uncountable beach stretches or cliffs where the Arabian Ocean proclaimed its beauty and why it makes Konkan Coast so amazing! We drove in the early morning warmth on meandering hilly roads and late night on Ghats and under a very starry night and I enjoyed every bit of it!

When the path is so beautiful, you drive with a smile :P
Some experiences are beyond words, and this sure was one of them. Guess spending days on the road does that to you. Guess that is why people love road trips more than travelling by trains and planes and now so do I!

Finally the destination
The Road


Where to Stay in Goa:There are numerous hotels in Goa but it is preferable to stay in old Portuguese Villas and Homestays, because they show you a different side of Goa! Prime locations for stay would be Panjim, Bagha, Anjuna, and Candolim.

How to Get to Goa (ideally):
- Flight to Dabolim Airport would be the quickest way to get to Goa, but the airport is not very close to any of the prime locations.
- If your stay is in south Goa you need to take a train to Vasco-da-Gama Terminus and for north Goa, Konkan Railway terminus is at Margao.

- If you are planning to do a road trip, closest Metropolitan cities are Bangalore and Mumbai. You could either hail a taxi from these locations or if you love long drives do check out self drive options aka car rentals like Drivezy.com available in both Mumbai and Bangalore, along with many other south west cities of India.

Some things to remember

1.   Remember to keep your mobile fully charged and carry power bank for maps of course! And before you start your drive for following destinations keep your fuel tanks filled, check your spare tyre(s) and toolbox – not just as a part of basic highway safety measure but also important since you would be travelling on a path less taken and cross some rural or non-populated areas.
2.  For the Ghats, make sure your car tyres are meant for such trips and also do not try to overtake or cross speed limits – it is for the good of everyone on road! Hint - think of CEAT Tyres or its equivalents.
3.  Beware of tankers and heavy vehicles! Keep at least at a space for 2 cars between you and the vehicle ahead of you while at high speeds. This road is highly curvy so the distance will give you better control and help avoid mishaps.
4.  No drink and drive! I get why Goa is so famous among youngsters but hey, drinking and driving is a fatal crime and a total no no.

And of course enjoy the drive!

P.S. Just the recap of the places I went to




44 comments:

  1. Nice blog and pics. It is superb and lush green just after the monsoon.

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  2. Fabulous pics. I totally get it when you say the Konkan coast is an underrated beauty. The beaches at some areas are so pristine. The drive through this stretch is just beautiful!

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    1. I know right! I love the Konkan coast :D

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  3. I haven't been to any of the places you've covered here, but happy to say I did cover most from your recent trip though 😊

    Happy travels in US now.

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    1. You did so much more in that region...I had to pick places and prioritize them. Waiting to read more of your posts! :D

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  4. Lovely pictures! So pristine and untouched; each beach you mentioned on the Konkan coast is a gem of a beauty indeed. Makes road tripping around here so much more fun!

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    1. Thanks Arti! the beaches are indeed very pretty :)

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  5. Lovely pictures, Vaisakhi! Never been to Ganpatiphule but heard a lot about it and its cleanliness. In goa, it's true that the beaches are overcrowded and not as clean as some of the beaches in outskirts of Goa. Good to see that you enjoyed the trip and covered most of the beaches en-route. :)

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    1. Thanks Saumy. You should plan a trip to Ganpatiphule...there are 4 amazing beaches there...I just had time for 2 but fell in love with that place :)

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  6. Nice blog.. Good job.. It is very important for traveller to know about the places where they want to visit. Places to visit at that time. Places famous for. everything they must. And this type of informative blogs helps a lot at the time of travelling. Thank you so much for the information. And Photograph was just amazing!!!

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  7. Such a scenic drive and loved your captures!

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  8. Been reading travel blogs about India lately and it just gives me new reasons to visit India! Such a beautiful country with so many places to visit. Your photos are great too!

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    1. India has so much to see! I am sure you ll love it here :) Thanks!

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  9. As people who road trip all over the world, we've always been leary of road-tripping in India. I'm a bit afraid of the cows and people, let alone the tuk tuks and whatever else may be in the road, but you've almost got me talked into it. Maybe we should start with Goa.

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    1. Trust me when I say this - on highways of India cows and tuks tuks will never be a problem. The only thing that put me off during my road trips was lack of restrooms. Else nothing really hinders your travel :) Oh and Goa might be just the right place to start with!

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  10. Wonderful shots of the road trip.

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  11. All these pins on Google Maps is GENIUS idea. The exact information we always need to get somewhere. I loved Sri Lanka, really have to go back to see the coast!

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    1. Thanks! I am yet to do Sri Lanka...hopefully this time when I go back to India :D

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  12. It looks like Goa beach have this beautiful sunrise and sunset view. During sunset this could be romantic too with your BAE and while sipping a good champagne :)

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    1. Goa is one of the top Honeymoon destinations in India! So well you did hit the Bulls-eye :)

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  13. I too like the road trips here in India but the lack of toilets puts me off. And yes I can imagine the mesmerizing scenic locales.

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    1. Indrani totally on point! The only thing I hated during this road trip was lack of toilets...I was just glad we had so many pit-stops so kind of managed the trip..but it is the major put off for road trips in India.

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  14. Wow! That's one heck of a road trip. I still haven't been to Goa and its in my wish list for a very long time now. The pristine beaches look so divine!

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    1. Hope you get to do your Goa trip soon :)

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  15. I have been to Goa quite a few times but have never heard of Malgund beach. It sure looks better than rest of the beaches in Goa. Some of my friends are right now in Goa and I'll pass this onto them :D

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    1. Malgund is to the north of Goa in Ganpatipule...a bit offbeat but a place worth visiting :)

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  16. I totally agree with you about the best part. Being on the road is always way more thrilling than the actual destination. Random stops along the way make the trip all the more worthwhile. I've been world traveling for almost 12 years now, but I can't wait to do a massive road trip all across america to hit all 48 continental states!

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    1. Woah 48 states! That will be one hell of a trip! Hope you get to do that soon and we get to travel virtually with you :)

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  17. Road trips are always a good idea! I like the views on your pictures, the landscapes are very beautiful :)

    Miriam Ernst - http://www.be-sparkling.com

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  18. I love a good road trip, and spontaneous road trips are even better! This sounds like an amazing and scenic trip.

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  19. The Murud Janjira Fort looks fascinating. Would be keen to know more about the history of this place.

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    1. Punita you can read all about it over here - http://thewordpool.blogspot.com/2016/06/the-unconquered-wonder-murud-janjira.html :)

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  20. Just completed another Goa trip in November, it's been pleasure to see the beaches and roads again through your article. Goa is again tempting now !!

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  21. All the photos and information you shared in this blog is really amazing and interesting to read . Thanks for sharing your experience and photos with us. keep posting like this.Car rental in India

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