There are a number of amazing things to do and places of interest in and around Goa. No doubt, we try our best to take advantage of all that Goa has to offer in the vacation department. Whether you are diving in the sea or taking a tour of the groves, you will fall in love with the Goan life. However, there still remains certain aspects of Goa that you may have overlooked–we are here to throw light on them so that you can experience them first hand on your next trip! Look for the slides ahead.
Caves of Arvalem
Arvalem Caves are situated in Bicholim town of North Goa. They are rock cut caves dating back to the 6th century. It is believed that the Pandava brothers from Mahabharata, sought shelter in these caves during their exile in the forest. However, the presence of Shiva lingam and Buddha’s statue inside the cave complex make it hard to decipher the exact origin of these caves. Nonetheless, they are one of the best heritage sites in Goa.
Ancestral forest groves
Goa has a tradition of preserving and worshipping the groves which are dedicated to the forest deities since centuries. These groves are also the repositories of fauna and flora of the region. Some of the most well-preserved groves are situated in Keri village of Sattari namely Biramanyachi Rai, Baldyatali Rai, Pishachi Rai and Komachi Rai. Of all the groves, Ajobachi Rai is the largest sacred grove of Goa as wide as 10 Ha. The tradition of worshipping and preserving groves shows that the ancestors of this region had a deep reverence for nature.
Goa is a heaven for vacationers, but there is a special place in Goa which is a heaven for peace lovers. Located on the outskirts of Savoi-Verem village, the 11th century shrine of Lord Anant (Vishnu) is a place where the heavenly gods would really love to reside due to its special surroundings. The shrine is situated in the middle of green groves of areca nut and coconut trees extending to several miles from the temple. Anant Temple is located 45 km from Panaji city.
Generally, people think of Goa in terms of beaches, shacks, casinos, hippie tourists, partying and so on. However, there is another side of Goa which depicts how modern materialism and traditional customs co-exist in the same land. We are referring to the Tulsi plant pot that beautifies the verandah of every Hindu home in Goan villages and towns. They are no ordinary plant pots but an eye-catching example of Goa’s folk art. They are so beautiful and aesthetically pleasing that it is hard to find a home that would not take pride in having one at home for offering daily worship. These Tulsi plant pots are known as Tulsi Vrindavan in Goan culture.
From July to October, in parts of Goa, the smell of different spices permeate the air, and several tourists flock to these verdant and lively spice plantations for a tour. Those who have been there would agree that this is one of the ultimate Goan escapes that everyone should spend money on. Spice plantation tours are offered by different firms and it covers Old Goa tour as well. Costing around INR 500 or so, the trip includes a buffet meal at the plantation site. You get to witness and appreciate how wonderfully Mother Nature grows spices for our consumption and you will also get a chance to buy freshly harvested spices for your kitchen shelf.
According to a local belief, long ago, a demon ruled this particular site in Goa. He had control over every living creature in this place. Once, it so happened that a native of this land conned the demon by stealing his fish. Ever since, this site has remained under the curse of the demon. Many swimmers have lost their lives to the river flowing in the deep gorge here. Because only a few people dare to visit this place due to its scary legend, it retains a mysterious vibes.
You need not visit any other destination to witness and swim with playful dolphins. There are cruises operating in Goa meant for this purpose. You may visit Fort Aguada, Panaji Jetty or Sinquerim to accomplish this purpose.