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Another fest in line, Goa catching up with Shigmo fervor

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By Mayabhushan Nagvenkar

Panaji: A week long pre-Holi festival, Shigmo, is set to enthrall locals and tourists in Goa. This popular cultural fest was preceded by the Carnival revelry, another popular Christian festival celebrated earlier this month.

Shigmo, whose style of celebration is similar to Carnival, could be a big draw for boosting tourism footfalls in Goa, says Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, whose department is going the whole hog to promote the festival both in India and abroad.

“Goa Tourism promotes feasts, festivals and events which are significant and special to Goa and those which draw tourists in large numbers to the state. Shigmo is one of them. The festival is the celebration of the new season of spring and a very popular event in Goa that brings out a riot of color and costumes,” Parulekar told reporters.

“It is a social festival with a religious core. This religious Hindu festival is filled with colour, music, dance and floats. In its true meaning, it depicts the life of a Goan. In fact, Shigmo gets as much attention as any other festival celebrated in Goa and is given good publicity through various mediums nationally and internationally,” Parulekar added.

The 14-day Shigmo festival, which begins next month, is popular with the local Hindu population, includes colorful float parades and khells — or impromptu street plays — accompanied by traditional song and dance routines.

The khells are based on the classical Yakshagana dance which is popular in Karnataka.

Typically, a Shigmo parade is marked by troupes of men, with colorful clothes and headgear, dancing with long painted wooden poles draped with flags, while others perform the ghode modni warrior dance. Traditionally dressed women also perform indigenous dances like the fugdi during the float parades.

According to Parulekar, the tourism ministry is going all guns blazing to promote Shigmo both in India and abroad to attract tourists to the unique, exotic event, which is held in every major Goan town through the 14 days.

“Tourists from neighboring States visit Goa to witness this event that takes place all across the State. Even international media and writers descend on Goa to document this festival. We use our social media platforms to promote Shigmo and there is an overwhelming response to it,” Parulekar said.

“Our Facebook and Instagram accounts and websites also play a big role in promoting Shigmo and we will continue to use these platforms to promote Shigmo,” he added.

Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly four million tourists every year. In recent times, the state has tried to broad-base its offerings to tourists by promoting Goa as a destination for Eco-tourism, diverse cultural and musical events. (IANS) (Image source: blogspot.com)

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10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day

Butterfly beach is one of the secluded beaches in Goa

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10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day
10 Best destinations For Bikini In India: International Bikini Day. Pixabay

-By Sonali Pimputkar

International Bikini Day is celebrated on July 5, a day that marks the anniversary of a two-piece bathing suit in 1946 by a Parisian Fashion Designer Louis Reard. Since then there is no turning back. Women around the globe have been hitting the beaches and pool sides in the bathing suit. When it comes to India, bikinis are usually worn in the movies and even in 2018, the bikini culture has not been accepted fully. Not to forget the fact that India is home to sun-kissed beaches that spread over 7,500 km coastline. Beaches mean waves, sand, shores, and fun. When it comes to beaches you will find people taking photographs and secretly judging you. But that should not turn you off from hitting the beaches in India in your favourite bikini. Well, having said that there are few local beaches across India that provide complete freedom to flaunt your bikini body enjoying the sun and sand.

If you are planning to explore the backwaters of Kerala, then head to the Marari Beach in Alleppey. The secluded beach is an undeveloped one and is an ideal for lazing around. The tourism in the area is growing though. The place is minus any water sports and beach shacks. However, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas. The beach is also home to few resorts.

Butterfly beach is one of the secluded beaches in Goa, which is known for dolphins, crabs and of course ‘butterflies’. The place is peppered with gorgeous views, aquatic lives and an aura of bliss. The semi-circle landscape, flying butterflies and acrobatics of dolphins and you donning a gorgeous bikini, doesn’t it make a picture perfect scene?

Located in Lakshadweep, Kadmat Beach is surrounded by large lagoons from both Eastern and Western side and gorgeous beaches. The beach is perfect for those who want to unwind completely. So what are you waiting for? Take a break from your hectic schedule and spend your vacation sunbathing in your favourite bikini.

Situated in the Havelock Island in Andaman, Radhanagar Beach is known for its beauty and sunsets. The beach is also known as Beach Number 7. The turquoise blue beach and white sand give tourists an opportunity to delve into nature’s charm. Sunbathing and basking in the sun is a must do activities here. The only advice is carried good sunscreens to protect your skin from the harsh sun.

Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Agatti Island in Lakshadweep is every adventurer’s delight and is known for water sports activities. The beach is also home to sea turtles and beautiful corals. Visitors are allowed on the beach with certain restrictions and have to obtain an entry permit from the Lakshadweep Administration for entering the island.

Agatti Island, Lakshadweep
Agatti Island, Lakshadweep. Flickr

Om Beach, Gokarna

One of the popular beaches in Gokharna, Om beach derived its name for being naturally shaped like the auspicious symbol ‘Om’. The beach is also home to a bunch of water sports activities including speedboats and surfing. It is often frequented by tourists from the West and is considered safe to don a bikini.

Varkala Beach, Kerala

Also known as Papanasham beach, Varkala beach is located in Thiruvananthapuram. The beach is believed to be holy which has the power to wash away sins. It is often visited either by tourists or worshippers.

Palolem Beach, Goa

Located in the Southern Goa, Palolem beach is a one-mile long beach and is also known as Paradise beach. The beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by local fishermen and foreign tourists. The beach tops the list of the safest beach as it is considered safe to wear bikinis without being judged at.

Mamallapuram Beach, Tamil Nadu

Mamallapuram Beach, also known as Mahabalipuram, is a perfect destination for lazing around without being judged. Sunbathing is a must do activity here. The place is a beautiful blend of history and natural splendor. The beach is home to various tourist attractions including School of sculpture, Snake venom extracting center, Tiger’s Cave, Crocodile Farm, Five Rathas and Arjuna’s Penance.

Also read: Bikini-clad Female prisoners in Brazil filmed snorting Cocaine sparks outrage in Brazil

Benaulim Beach, Goa

Benaulim Beach is one of the less explored beaches of Goa and is away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, the beach sees a huge crowd on weekends. Old houses, temples, and churches add to the old charm of the beach. The beach is home to a lot of accommodation and witnesses a huge crowd during weekends. (IANS)