Goa Beyond Beaches
Glimpse|September 2016

As a journalist, I hardly get time but travel is a must even if your schedule doesn’t allows, taking out time for yourself is one of the best ways to bring your soul to ease. Every person or place carries a stereotype, likewise when I close my eyes and think about Goa what all I see is beaches and sand all around- pristine blue with golden sand and perhaps a bottle of Goa’s favourite chilled beer King’s. My perception was changed when I went to the land itself and here I am sharing my experience of Goa beyond the beaches.

Goa is easily accessible by road, train and air from the entire country. The airport is home to some international scheduled and charter flights. Sun, surf, sand and beer attract tourists. Usually tourists there hire cars and bikes to move in and around the beautiful place but I preferred walking alone. The old world charm of Goa is not lost, not yet. It lives on in areas away from the overcrowded beaches; shouts of drunken men checking women out and unlimited empty bottles of beer thrown around. If you have seen all of this, and want to explore something new in Goa - discover the Old Goa, discover Goa beyond beaches, alcohol and trance parties.

The best part of my trip was that I already had two of my friends putting up there with an Indo-Polish family in an Old Portuguese house. The Polish family was too humble and it made my trip rock. I did visit the beach, but that was just a tiny part of the trip. I did so much more, things that can easily get overlooked if you spend all your time at the beach.

This is a quick guide on how you can spend days in Goa, exploring its real way of life, its churches in tiny villages, its iconic Portuguese houses, street photography and of course, some unusual food.

Divar Island

River Mandovi flows through Goa and drains into the Arabian Sea right next to Panjim. The river is beautiful and all along surrounded by the thick foliage of mangrove. Just before the river meets the sea, there is an island which had historically been a very important part of Goa.

It’s famous for its Old Portuguese villas, many of which still survive in a pristine condition. I had a splendid time discovering interesting villas with distinct architectural styles. I still remember discovering the art deco style house of Albuquerque which was class apart!

History of the Island

The name of this exotic little island is Divar. Divar in native Konkani means small.

Before the island became an important symbol of Catholicism, it was an prominent Hindu pilgrimage center. Portuguese targeted the Brahmins on the island first for conversion, and that have risen to the community of Roman Catholic Brahmin.

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