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Tis the Holiday Season! A Five-Point Guide to Goa- Live like a true Goan!

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Palolem Beach, Goa, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Dec 29, 2016: It’s the holiday season, which means packing your bags and setting off to a destination which has been sending you invites in your dreams throughout the year. And for most of us, that dream holiday destination is, “drum rolls in the background”- GOA!

The aesthetically pleasing beaches, the moreish sea food on the shacks, the colorful attires and jewellery in Goan flea markets, the artistic churches and the Bollywood famous- Dudhsagar Falls, everything calls out loud to every soul who craves for a soul soothing experience.

But what are the major attractions in Goa? What do the Goans do? How do they bask in the enriching air of Goa? Here is a holistic guide to enjoy Goa like never before. Because, when in Goa, live as a Goan!

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  1. Where to Shop

When you visit any foreign country, state, city or town, one of the most important things to do is shop in the local markets of that place. Just like Delhi has Sarojini and Mumbai has Colaba Causeway, Goa has its own flea markets and other markets which every Goan lives by! Anjuna Wednesday Market is a market which happensevery Wednesday has many goods and food stalls to engage people. Calangute Market is also a must visit for people who want to buy jewellery, souvenirs, clothes etc. Panjim Market, Mapusa Market and Margao Market are also a must visit for shopaholics. There are many night markets also like Baga Night Market, Saturday Night Market at Arpora and Mackie’s Night Bazaar where you can crash in after a day at the beach.

  1. What and Where to-Eat

Goa has its palatable cuisine of sea food. Fresh prawns, crabs, pomfrets, lobsters and many other varieties of fishes adorn the menus of the restaurants and shacks in Goa. Goan prawn curry, Fish Recheado, Bebinca, Rava fried fish, Chicken Cafreal are few of the delectable dishes of the vast Goan cuisine.

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Cafe Real in Panaji, Palácio do Deâo in Quepem which has amazing Portuguese food, Sakana in Vagator, Noronha’s Corner in Anjuna are few places where you can satisfy your hunger. Pousada on the Beach in Calangute, La Plage in Ashwem Beach and Surya Beach Cafe in Galgibag Beach are few places to eat on Goan beaches with the sun and sand.

  1. Hire a Bike

The best way to explore Goa is on a bike, said every Goan ever! There are many agencies in Panaji from where you can hire a bike to explore the streets and sides of Goa. The rates of hiring bikes are not very high and easily affordable also. Hiring a Bajaj Pulsar for around a day costs 800 rupees and a Honda Activa scooter for around 400 rupees.

Hiring a Royal Enfield is slightly expensive, it costs 1200 rupees a day but these are the rates for peak season. The hiring rates go a notch down in off season where a Bajaj Pulsar or Honda Activa costs 250 rupees a day and Royal Enfield costs under 1000 bucks ie. 900 rupees. So, hire a bike and scoot away to every beach and every shore!

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  1. Explore the Churches

A Goa visit is incomplete without visiting the beautifully architectured, majestic churches. Bom Jesus Basilica is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the oldest churches in Old Goa. S E Cathedral is another major attraction in Goa. It is the largest church in India and holds a strong Portugal history behind it. Monte Hill, Church of Lady Rosary, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception are other few of the many churches that Goa has.

  1. Cruises and parties

There is an extravagant and shiny side to the Goan life too! Goa has beaches and parties are a very important and cannot-be-missed feature of the Goan beaches. So many themed parties and cruises happen in Goa all year round. One can also spot dolphins on a cruise. So, sail away!

– by Shambhavi Sinha of NewsGram. Twitter:  @shambhavispeaks

 

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Monsoon Bliss: Drenched in Rain Kutch is a Must Visit (Environmental Feature)

The monsoon brings out a different facet of Kutch, the brown transforms into green

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Kutch
Rann Utsav in Kutch. Pixabay

Bhuj, Sep 09, 2017: White, fluffy clouds hanging low over green hills, little pools of still water teeming with migratory birds and an omnipresent cool breeze — the semi-arid region of Kutch in Gujarat transforms into a completely different avatar during the monsoon.

And although winter — the time detailed as “ideal” to visit this region — shows you a side of hers that’s truly unique, Kutch makes for a pretty picture during the rains, perfect for a rejuvenating holiday.

Nestling on the country’s western border, close to the Arabian Sea, Kutch had recently been in the news for the cyclonic storm-induced thundershowers that lasted five days. Before that, and like the rest of the state, floods had also hit the region in July.

“Heavy showers are normal during the monsoon,” local taxi driver and long-time Bhuj resident Anwar Khatri said, indicating that the heavy rainfall was not out-of-the-ordinary. “But in the last three-four years, we have had very scanty rainfall. The monsoon brings out a different facet of Kutch, the brown transforms into green.”

Kutch occupies an important geographical location when it comes to birds, said ornithologist Jugal Kishor Tiwari, since it falls on their migration route. His organisation, Centre for Desert and Ocean (CEDO), works on wildlife conservation and promotes nature tourism.

And although the winter is a brilliant time to spot a host of migratory birds, one can indulge in some bird-watching during the monsoon as well. CEDO, which is based out of Moti Virani village, some 400 km from Gujarat capital Gandhinagar, organises tailor-made tours of such nature.

A visit to Kutch would however be incomplete without witnessing its rich treasure trove of handicrafts. Ajrakh (block printing), camel leather craft, Bandhni, different forms of weaving, bellmetal craft, Kutch embroidery — the list is endless — and nothing beats the wonder of watching an artisan work on his or her craft.

After the devastating earthquake in 2001, several NGOs took up the initiative of supporting artisans and their art, even reviving some, and helping them find suitable markets to showcase and sell their products beyond the state’s and the nation’s borders.

There are many such NGOs within a radius of 10-15 kilometres from Bhuj — the point you will either fly down to or reach by train — and one can visit their campuses to see some of these exquisite crafts take shape and understand the story behind them from the artisans themselves. Some names to look out for would be Shrujan, Khamir, and LLDC (Living and Learning Design Centre).

About eight kilometres from Bhuj is a village called Bhujodi, which has the Ashapura Crafts Park set up for artisans to display and sell their work. Again, one can meet weavers, tie-dye artists, block printers and others here. Needless to say, it will leave you wanting for more shopping bags to fill!

From the well-known to the lesser known — a monsoon visit to Kutch would also remain wanting without a trip to one of its pristine beaches. Mandvi is the closest to Bhuj and there are many resorts close by with their own private beach enclosures. The high point of the beaches here — Pingleshwar, about 98 km from Bhuj, a hidden gem — is witnessing the marine life. Jelly fish and hermit crabs are a common sight and the multi-coloured sea weeds look extraordinary.

Also Read: History of Rigvedic river Saraswati

If the children are more in the mood for some fun and frolic, Mandvi has ample opportunity for water sports as well — which may be restricted when the weather is grey. But a ride on a camel would more than compensate for that!

With the temperature hovering on the pleasant side of the scale and a constant breeze, one can also opt for some historical sight-seeing. The Aina Mahal, with its blue tiles, Venetian-style chandeliers and walls studded with mirrors, is a must-visit. Next door is the 19th century Prag Mahal, a brilliant example of Italian-Gothic architecture.

As you travel around the place and move on the fringes of the main town of Bhuj, it is difficult to miss the vast expanses of agricultural land with acres after acres of pomegranate plantations, palm groves and cotton fields — all this thanks to drip-irrigation, which has brought about a sea-change in the region’s crop pattern. With the green hills in the backdrop, it’s a sight to behold. Soak it in, for, with the changing season, Kutch will soon reveal a different face. (IANS)

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If You are Planning to Visit India, Here is a List of Things You can Do!

Here is a glimpse of things to do in India - The nation of vibrancy

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Tourists at Taj Mahal in Delhi, Pixabay

July 23, 2017:

India is a country of vibrant race, religion, colors, and heritage. The secularist nature of the country distinguishes different it from other nations. It is also denoted as a nation of ‘unity in diversity’. Visitors traveling across the globe want to travel India for its austerity and simplicity. It is aesthetic country and there is a lot to do when you visit this beautiful country.

Undermentioned is a glimpse of the vast country and a very minimal part of it.

Here is a checklist of the things you can explore while traveling to India. It’s uniqueness always compels sojourners to visit the beautiful country.

Diwali: Festivals of Light

Diwali
Diwali Festival, Wikimedia

Festivals in India are worth a watch. The traditions are so bizarre and unique that you tend to enjoy being a part of such an affair. It becomes a memorable experience for the voyagers. The entire region flickers with lights and lamps which seem as if the stars have descended to the earth. Festivals in India have its own charm and grace.

Relic importance of Delhi

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Red Fort in Delhi. Pixabay

Delhi is a perfect spot for people wanting to see Indian history of colonial government or British era. Although India is very developed, it is the glimpse of slum areas where you get to see the hard hitting reality. The famous ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ is the heart of old Delhi in the middle of Chandni Chowk. They serve a variety of stuffed parantha made with wheat dough and lightly fried on both sides. One of the fascinating things is that some of the places there have been around for 100 years or more.

Akshardham Temple

India
Swaminarayan Akshardham. Wikimedia

At its first sight, you will be spellbound by the impressive structure located on the outskirts of Yamuna River. The dome like structure and unworldly architecture of the temple blow away the onlooker. When the sun descends, temple lit up in its magical sense. Amidst of this exquisite creation, you will find yourself a minuscule.

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Grandeur Himalaya Peaks

India
Himalayan range. Pixabay

Plan a trip to mountain valley and land up to Spiti Valley, the truest quintessence of the great Himalaya. If you want to get the mesmerizing sight of Himalayas, you must travel to Spiti Valley. It begins from Shimla and ends in Manali. Here you will be encountered with snow covered mountains surrounding you all the time. During the journey, you will also visit the old tribal group and to witness their cultures and traditions is a treat.

Goa: The Blue Land

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Vacation in Goa. Pixabay

Enroute to Goa to have the Indian beach experience. To name a few you can visit Palolem beach of Goa, this area has everything starting with whitish clean sand, dark blue water, palm trees and the sun constantly shining. You get to see everything on the canvas like the independent traveler, couples, vacationers, sea food, beverages and the laid back atmosphere that all together makes it a perfect destination for the travelers.

Kashmir: Paradise on Earth

India
Dal Lake in Kashmir. Pixabay

Kashmir is also known as paradise on earth. You can’t miss the chance to glare the beauty of Kashmir when you are in India. The state is blessed with invincible beauty and people who visit here are amazed to see the beautiful creation of God. There is a lot to see in Kashmir, to name a few important places in Kashmir, start with Srinagar, and one of the famous attraction here is Dal Lake. Gulmarg is a place to visit during winters as the entire countryside is covered in a fresh sheet of snow.

India
Ladakh. Pixabay

Leh and Ladakh are another major attraction of Kashmir which is as magnificent as ever. One thing appealing about this place is the climate which is extremely pleasant which gives relief to the mind and nature gives relief to the eye.

Your journey should always teach you, it should always be of high relevance to you because that’s where you are spending your precious time and India is a country which has a lot of disguised beauty and bizarre traditional values. You can only become empathetic to other culture if you will try to fit into their shoes, and there is much more to this beautiful country which meets the eye of the traveler.

– by a Staff writer of Newsgram


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Top 5 Islands in India for a Memorable Escape to Bliss!

India has some of the most amazing islands and the adventurous getaways offer the travelers with a handful of marvelous experiences

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5 Islands in India
Andaman and Nicobar Island in India. Pixabay

New Delhi, India. Jul 21, 2017: It is said that islands offer the most beautiful backdrop for a refreshing getaway. From beach parties to water sports, and sun kissed hair to the hammocks, long walks, amazing sunrises and equally mesmerizing sunsets.

Be it sensational Santorini to the mainland of Greece or the beautiful Philippines, islands have always captured the essence romance and have been the ultimate getaway for wanderers, mentioned ANI report.

India also has some of the most amazing islands and the adventurous getaways offer the travelers with a handful of marvelous experiences.

Following are the most exquisite islands that a traveler filled with wanderlust should check out once in life:

  • Havelock Island: Scuba diving is one of the most popular activities in this island and this offers the travelers with amazing experiences to witness the ethereal depths of the Andaman Sea and view the alluring vista of the fish and coral. The interesting and exciting Andaman tour packages have made it more popular over the years.
  • Grand Island: Goa happens to be one of the most famous and incredible getaway destinations. But some of the parts still remain untrodden. Right below the serenity of the divine blue water, there lies the beautiful bed of corals, fishes, turtles and dolphins; the threshold to which remain unexplored at the ‘Grand Island’, and this island offers the best snorkeling experience to the travelers.

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  • Rameshwaram: Located between Sri Lanka and India, the beautiful island of Rameshwaram offers kayaking in the coastline south India to enjoy the marine life in the backdrop of the mythical Bridge of Pamban.
  • Willingdon Island: A perfect amalgamation of tradition and cosmopolitan, this place of the coastal area of Cochin, provides a traveler with the most invigorating experience. With a blend of visually stunning architecture and modern backdrop, one should engage in the refreshing and relaxing powers of Ayurveda with the help of the expert masseurs and also gorge on some mouth-watering delicacies of Kerala.
  • Port Blair: The history of India’s struggle for freedom can be reminisced in Port Blair. With a trip to the Central Jail, and the iconic Ross Island left by the British and experiencing the light and sound show, explorers get to truly enjoy the unmatched history of Port Blair.

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter @ElaanaC


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.