Goa, often referred to as “The Rome of the East” is relished for its peace and tranquility. Beauty that makes you want to relinquish all the worldly pleasures there are and survive in solitary in the lap of this heavenly abode. Artists, wanderers and explorers from around the world have banished there bountiful lifestyles and surrendered to passion and Spirituality.
Shining today with its frenetic nightlife, bustling streets and bazaars and celebrated beaches, what was once a subtle getaway from the dog-tired robotic metropolitan life, Goa has now become a blurry shadow of calmness that people came here looking for. Much of Goa has been transformed into tourist hotspots and heritage houses converted into hotels, beach shacks converted into pubs and amidst all this running behind “Fun”, the glory of real Goa is starting to fade in thin air.
So we suggest you head to the hinterlands of Goa, to catch the rare glimpse of the city, away from the rush and hoopla of beaches and parties. As I begin describing the Islands encircling the costal state, there are three major ones we will discuss here. The Island of Chorao, Island of Divar and the tiny Island of Vanxim.
Away from the chaos, a much slower pace both of life and tourism, The Island of Chorao is self-effacing and quiet, sitting cozily on the Mandovi River. You need to take the ferry across from the village of Ribandar(5 kms. from panjim) and a thirty minute ride will transport you to the enchanting land of simplicity. Home of hanging mangroves and beautiful Salim Ali bird Sanctuary, the Island promises a laidback lazy day.
Island of Divar is larger and more densely populated with hundreds of acres of paddy fields and lush green foliage. A hill top that offers a stunning panorama of downtown panjim, Mandovi River and at the bottom of the hill sits the elegant Church of Our Lady of Compassion. Authentic goan food accompanied with the serenity of nature will fill your senses with ebullient energy.
Further north is located the tiny Island of Vanxim, home of barely hundred families, Vanxim will give you an experience which will surely be nothing like anything. Small, peaceful and naïve, the Island breathes nature and purity. There is Chapel of the Miraculous Cross, believed to fulfill all your wishes and prayers.
While you wish to win a lottery and I wish to travel free of cost, don’t forget to dive in the soothing freshness of Goa’s three wonderful Islands before they vanish forever. Enjoy!