If you have loved Goa for its sun, sand and sea, then it is time you take another look at it- during monsoons. This is the season to experience a different side of this gorgeous state- one that lets you experience the colourful culture, the lush green forests and its gushing rivers. Here are ten things to do in Goa during monsoons.
Go on a heritage trail of the old Latin Quarters
Take a walk along the historical lanes of Fontainhas- old Latin Quarters of Goa, to discover the erstwhile Portuguese homes. Experience the winding roads that treat you to the yummy wafts of fresh bakes in the heritage bakeries. Try spotting an old Well with the Portuguese roosters while visiting the Chapel of St Sebastian next to it.
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Experience the unique festivals of Goa
Ever heard of the Cucumber Festival called Touxeachem? Or the Chikal Kalo? The monsoons are the perfect time to experience these unique cultural events of Goa. Head to the village of Talaulim to participate in the annual festival of Santana Church. You will see a long queue of families waiting for their turn to offer a cucumber to St. Anne, with the hope of a child. The Chikal Kalo festival in the village of Marcela brings forth the fun that Lord Krishna has when he played with mud. Witness the earthy fun of friendly games played in wet mud. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the colourful Bonderam festival with its colourful floats and street plays.
Discover rare museums
Hidden within Goa are some rare and unusual museums. The fascinating Indian Customs and Central Excise museum tells the battle of wits between smugglers and customs. You can see the ingenious ways that these elements use to hoard goods along with rare artefacts that have been caught and recovered by the customs team. The Houses of Goa Museum is another stop that you can add to your itinerary to understand different types of Portuguese homes.
Embark on a river rafting expedition
It is during monsoons that you can experience the joys of the gushing Mhadei River that rapids along the edge of an emerald green forest to leave you thirsty for more. One of the most scenic stretches to travel by water, this river rafting expedition is exclusive only to the monsoon season in Goa.
Explore the sea forts of Goa
There is a joy in observing the monsoon tides from the high walls of the various forts in Goa. Fort Sinquerim showcases the green beach of Candolim from its bastions while the Chapora Fort brings forth the beauty of Vagator Beach and beyond. Try visiting the Reis Magos Fort for not its views, but its ancient prisons, now decorated with the art of Mario Miranda.
Uncover Old Goa
The heritage buffs can have a field day discovering the Basilica of Bom Jesus with its stunning arches and ornate altars, along with the actual remains of the body of St. Francis Xavier. Connected to two other churches in the form of a holy cross, you can continue across the road to discover the largest church of Asia- Se Cathedral. Don’t miss the fascinating tale of the Mangeshi temples- of how the deities were moved to save them from the Portuguese.
Visit a spice plantation
The smell of wet earth combined with fresh fragrance of the Spice flowers can be quite an enjoyable affair at a spice plantation in Goa. Plan a day outing to one of the many plantations and see how some of the most expensive spices are made. Relish the tale of how a Vanilla Plant is pollinated or how the Queen of Spices, Cardamom, is grown. Discover the colourful roots of a Palm tree while you see the distillation process of making Goa’s traditional drink- Feni.
Try out some wildlife spotting
Spend a day in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and try spotting some unique birds and animals. Look around for the state bird of Goa- the yellow Bulbul or pretty Chitals and sambals. Watch out for the green vine snakes or the creepy iguanas hiding around. The monsoons are a great time for spotting these living treasures of Goa.
Go trekking along the waterfalls
With the rivers and streams gushing with water, there is no better way to enjoy it than to undertake a trek along or across one. Try the famous Dudhsagar falls that have caught the fancy of people far and near- including movie directors.
Head out for some crocodile watching
Not for the faint-hearted, the crocodile watching expedition of Goa takes you close to these majestic creatures. Take a tour of the Cumbarjua Canals- home to the rare salt-water crocodiles. You not just get to see them but also, get to experience the lovely mangrove forests – home to many colourful and rare birds of the state.