Land of Lord Krishna – Mathura & Vrindavan

We did Agra – Mathura – Vrindavan – Bharatpur in the month of December 2016. The entire trip was done in public transport. This blog will cover Mathura & Vrindavan.

Vrindavan

We reached Mathura by train and we had our room booking in Vrindavan. We took a share rickshaw from Mathura. Eventhough the distance is only 12 kms. It takes more than 40 minutes to reach since the roads are narrow and there is lot of traffic.

Expected a serene atmosphere and blissful experience since it is a holy land but it was completely opposite. The temples are all commercialized, dazzling in lights and more touristic.

Firstly, we wanted to try the lassi here. Got a glass full for Rs. 40. It was good.

Photos of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We had this yummy Parantha at Rambabu Parathewala in Agra. We found out that they have a branch in Vrindavan as well. So without thinking twice we headed to this place. This is just ahead of Vaishno Devi Temple in the same road.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

Mathura – A visit to Krishna Janmabhoomi

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

Vrindavan and Mathura can be covered in two days maximum. There is nothing much to explore except the street life and food. Use public transport mainly rickshaws to cover the places.

Visit Banke Bihari Temple, Kesi Ghat & Nidhuban in Vrindavan.

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”

South India Tour – Namakkal – Srirangam – Thanjavur – Kumbakonam

We did a roadtrip from Mumbai – Trichy – Chennai recently in the month of November 2016. We did in an Alto K10. This blog will cover the trip from Namakkal, Srirangam, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam. This was my wife’s first trip to proper South India.

Namakkal

Namakkal is famous for its Narasimha (Half Lion & Half Human Avatar) temple and Anjaneyar Temple (Hanuman). Narasimha temple is carved out of a mountain and located below. Anjaneyar temple is open roof. These temples are hardly crowded so it is very peaceful.

Photos of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Namakkal, Tamil Nadu, India 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

After Namakkal, our next destination was Srirangam. We crossed a town called Thottiyam which is famous for Bananas.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Srirangam

The must do list in Srirangam below:

1. Srirangam Temple – Amazing prasad you get in the temple. You can have your dinner here. Tamarind Rice, Curd Rice, Sweet Pongal, Dosai & Vadai. Ideal time to visit: 7PM. See pics below.

Photos of Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple, Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Sri Ranganathar Swamy Temple, Srirangam, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

2. Venkatesa Bhavan – Located just on the way to the main entrance of the temple. Timings: 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM. Try to reach here early. Dishes to try: Sambhar Vada, Idly, Rava Dosai, Coffee & Sweet

3. Cauvery River – If there is water, go to Amma Mandapam or Mukkombu (Tourist view point – 20kms from Srirangam)

4. Thiruvanaikaval – Shiv Lingam soaked in water (2kms from Srirangam temple)

5. Gunaseelam – Balaji temple in Salem road – 20 kms from Srirangam.

Photos of Gunaseelam Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Kovil, Gunaseelam, Tamil Nadu, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Gunaseelam Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Kovil, Gunaseelam, Tamil Nadu, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Gunaseelam Prasanna Venkatachalapathy Kovil, Gunaseelam, Tamil Nadu, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Kallanai, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

We then proceeded towards Thiruvaiyaru – samadhi of Saint Thyagaraja by the river Cauvery. Famous for Asoka Halwa (Urad dal halwa) soaked in Ghee (Clarified butter).

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

Thanjavur Brihadeeshwar Temple – Visit for the architectural beauty

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Thanjavur Big Temple Fort, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Thanjavur Big Temple Fort, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Thanjavur Big Temple Fort, Balaganapathy Nagar, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Kumbakonam

Must do things here:

1. Degree Coffee @ Sri Venkatramana

Photos of Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

2. Banana Leaf lunch @ Sri Venkatramana

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

Some other things on the way which we experienced:

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Thank you for reading my blog. Please do message me if you require any guidance for touring in South India.

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”

Mumbai – Chennai Road Trip

My wife and I did a roadtrip from Mumbai – Trichy – Chennai – Mumbai in our Alto K10 car.

Route: Thane – Pune – Satara – Kolhapur – Belgaum – Hubli – Davangere – Chitradurga – Tumkur – Bangalore – Krishnagiri – Namakkal – Srirangam – Thanjavur – Kumbakonam – Chidambaram – Chennai – Bangalore – Tumkur – Chitradurga – Davangere – Hubli – Belgaum – Kolhapur – Satara – Pune – Thane

Day 1:

We started sharp at 3 AM from Thane. We did non-stop till Satara and we reached at 7:30 AM. We wanted to avoid morning traffic so we started as early as possible. The best part was all tolls were waived due to demonetisation effect. This helped us in saving a lot of time as well.

We stopped somewhere in the outskirts of Satara for breakfast. Had some Idly, Poha & Tea. Our next target was to reach Kolhapur. The roads were perfect NH4 highway after Satara. 4 laning of Pune – Satara is on so there were diversions in between.

We reached Kolhapur at 9 and our next destination was Belgaum and ahead. We reached Dharwad at around 11. There are not many options for eating on this highway. The best restaurant we found was Kamat Upachar just before Dharwad.

Since we reached at 11:15, the lunch was not yet ready so we had to settle for tiffin dishes. We had Vada sambhar, Pooris. We also purchased famous Dharwad peda. It was yummy and chocolaty!

We pushed ahead and we never stopped till Tumkur. One can easily maintain speeds of 100 kms safely on those highways. The drive was a breeze. We got a little exhausted when we reached outskirts of Tumkur at 5:00 PM. We stopped for nature’s call somewhere and we decided to drive till 8:00 PM.

We had made reservations for Hotel at Krishnagiri. A thought popped up to cover as much as possible and maybe stay at Salem. We decided to take a call after reaching Bangalore.

We reached Bangalore NICE road by 6:00 PM. We encountered a bit of traffic while exit. We were somewhat tired and hungry since we did not eat much after our lunch.

We stopped at Adyar Ananda Bhavan for dinner. We decided to reach Krishnagiri and stay for the night and not to go further.

Return Journey: We left again at 3:00 AM from Chennai. We covered a 1000 kms and reached Kolhapur at 8:00 PM. We stayed there overnight somewhere near the temple. Next day morning we had darshan at Mahalakshmi Temple and had famous Misal Pav (Expected it to be very spicy) but it ended up a normal one.

Things to keep in mind for roadtrip:

1. Get your vehicle serviced before your trip

2. Ensure air pressure is correct

3. Take couple of cloths to tie up at back window to avoid sun heat during afternoon time

4. Carry a lot of water

5. Drink Coconut water on the highway

6. You can stop at any petrol bunk for nature call as we found all to be clean

7. Try to maintain average speed of 80-90 kmph.

8. Do not race at 120-140 kmph as your average will only come down.

 

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”

Mysore – A Foodie group’s journey

Hi! I’m going to walk you through the places to eat yummy food in Mysore. Like other tourists, we did cover the usual sightseeing in a day. The list is below:

1. Mysore Palace

2. Chamundi Hills

3. Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary

4. Brindavan Gardens

5. Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

6. Tippu Summer Palace

All this you can cover in a day if you start by 8 in the morning.

We were four of us travelling from Mumbai – Mysore – Coorg. We took a flight to Bangalore and then a train.

1. Maddur Vada – On the way to Mysore by train, we spotted this after Mandya station. Hot and semi-crispy Maddur Vada famous in this region from a village called Maddur. You can read more about the origination of this dish here.

Photos of Mysore, Karnataka, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

2. Hotel RRR – One of the famous restaurants in Mysore. Had Chicken Biryani and Thali (Meals – Unlimited). The food was quite tasty and served with lots of love. Have Ghee and Dal Powder. This place can get quite crowded in the evenings so better to go early.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
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Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

3. Vinayaka Mylari – Another famous eatery in Mysore. It’s a very small outlet with 5-6 tables only. You get only Idly, Mylari Dosa, Chutney and Filter Coffee. Mylari Dosa is something different from usual dosa. It’s a must have when in Mysore. I cannot describe the taste here.

Photos of 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

 5. Bananas – Try this variety called Nanjangod Rasbelle.

Photos of 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

6. Vishnu Bhavan – This place is right opposite the Main Intercity Bus stand. We had a late lunch so we ended up having snacks only. Its a decent place to try Mysore Bonda, Rava Idly.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
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Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

7. Anima Madhwa Bhavan – We are not done yet! Haha. We went to this place for dinner to try the typical Madhwa community food. The ambience is really good. They make you sit down and food is served in Banana leaf. This place is suited for people who prefer less spicy food.

Photos of 1/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 5/5 by Prahlad Raj

Thank you for reading my blog. If you know any other place, please do comment. Shall try on my next visit.

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”

A trip to Coffee Heaven – Coorg

I did a trip to Coorg for the first time along with my wife and cousins. Since I’m a true backpacker, I always prefer to travel by public transport or the cheapest mode available. We took an early morning 6 AM bus from Mysore Intercity bus stand to Madikeri. There are buses every 15 minutes from 4:30 AM. The buses in Karnataka are convenient and fast too. The ticket cost is around Rs. 115 one way.

We reached Kushal Nagar at around 8:30 AM which is 22 kms before Madikeri. We got down here in order to visit the Golden Temple and Dubare Elephant camp first before heading to Madikeri where we had booked a homestay.

We first had breakfast near the bus stand. It was a Kerala restaurant where we had Rice Pooris, Dosai, Lemon Tea and Coffee.

Photos of Kushalnagar, Karnataka, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Kushalnagar, Karnataka, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Kushalnagar, Karnataka, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Dubare Elephant Camp: We hired a car for Rs. 800 to take us to Dubare Elephant Camp and Golden Temple, Bylakuppe. Dubare camp is 12 kms from Kushal Nagar. Unfortunately, the camp was closed due to some fire incident.

Photos of Dubare Elephant Camp, Nanjarayapatna, Karnataka, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Dubare Elephant Camp, Nanjarayapatna, Karnataka, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Dubare Elephant Camp, Nanjarayapatna, Karnataka, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Golden Temple, Bylakuppe: It was Tibetan New Year so there were traditional dance performances, huge crowd and lots of food as well.

Photos of 1/7 by Prahlad Raj
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Photos of 7/7 by Prahlad Raj

Time for some momos!!! 🙂

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We took a bus from Kushal nagar to Madikeri. We had booked this homestay Eshwari Inn Homestay thru GoiBibo. We got a great deal at Rs. 3000 for two night for 4 of us. An entire 2 bhk house for ourselves.

Mr. Lohith, the owner was quite helpful in getting us food from hotel.

Raja Seat: We wanted to take walk around the town to get the local experience so we started walking towards Raja seat (View point for Sunset).

Photos of 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Shops to purchase Spices, Chocolates: Coorg Greens ahead of the bus stand. You get amazing Chocolates at Choci Coorg shop. Flavours like Paan, Coffee splash, Almond drops etc.

Buy authentic filter coffee powder at Ganesh Coffee (opp. to Private bus stand). One kg costs only Rs. 280. 80:20 Coffee and Chicory mix.

Next day we had breakfast at a very small eatery called Krishna Bhavan. Hot Idli, Vada Sambhar, Coffee, Poori etc. This place is very small and its near Choice restaurant. Authentic food.

Photos of Ganesh Coffee, Madikeri, Karnataka, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Ganesh Coffee, Madikeri, Karnataka, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Abbey Falls & Talacauvery: We hired a car for Rs. 1600 to take us to these two places. You can bargain a bit with the taxi driver.

Walk to Abbey falls is through a coffee plantation. Don’t expect any coffee smell :P. The greenery is very beautiful.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Abbi Falls, Hebbettageri, Karnataka, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

Talacauvery: Birth place of river Cauvery. It is 45 kms from Madikeri. On the way you can visit Bhagamandala Shiva Temple and Triveni Sangam.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Taal Kaveri, Karnataka, India 1/6 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Taal Kaveri, Karnataka, India 2/6 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Taal Kaveri, Karnataka, India 3/6 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Taal Kaveri, Karnataka, India 4/6 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Taal Kaveri, Karnataka, India 5/6 by Prahlad Raj

 

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Matheran – Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle

Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 1/11 by Prahlad Raj

We had just come back from 17 Day long Leh roadtrip in the first week of July. It had started raining heavily in Thane a couple of days later. I did not want to miss out on trekking this monsoon season. Planned a one day trip to Matheran on 16th July 2017 with my wife and sister in-law. I always assumed Matheran to be too touristic and very crowded so this place never appeared in my travel bucket list. This place was suggested by sister in-law as she had already been there.

We started off from Thane at 7:30 AM and took the Badlapur route to reach Neral. The roads were ok till Neral. You can reach the top by vehicle but the roads are quite steep. You need to drive only in 1st gear. There are a few small waterfalls on the way where you can stop and take a dip. We reached at around 10:00 AM and the parking lot was full. At some places there was slush and mud where a couple of vehicles had got stuck. We were careful and found a place quite inside the parking lot.

There is an entry fee of Rs. 50 per person and Rs. 80 for vehicle parking. The hiking starts inside the jungle and there are many points to visit. We wanted to cover two points i.e Charlotte Lake and Garbet point. We were quite hungry so wanted to have breakfast. We started off towards the Bazaar area. It is around 2 kms from the main starting point. There are two ways to reach this place. One is the road route and other one can walk along the toy train route. We took the road route as there was not much slush.

Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 2/11 by Prahlad Raj
Aman Lodge Railway station – Trains don’t run
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 3/11 by Prahlad Raj
Misal Pav
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 4/11 by Prahlad Raj
Matheran Municipal School
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 5/11 by Prahlad Raj
Charlotte Lake

We had Vada Pav, Misal Pav and Sandwich for breakfast. There are several eating joints in this area but all of them serve more or less the same dishes. Then, we proceeded towards the Charlotte lake which was another 1 km.

We wanted to head next to Garbet point and there was one road on the left of Charlotte lake. We enquired with the locals and they asked us to take this route. There was hardly anyone around in this road. It started raining heavily and we were getting drenched. It was quite an experience as we were the only people. We kept walking and reached a main point where we had tea. We proceeded towards Garbet point but found later that this point is closed and is not accessible due to several water streams. We reached a place where One Tree Hill point was 3 kms away. We enjoyed the hike to this point as there were several water streams on the way and some were even flowing on the path.

Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 6/11 by Prahlad Raj
Near Charlotte Lake
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 7/11 by Prahlad Raj
Road next to Charlotte lake
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 8/11 by Prahlad Raj
On the way to One Tree Hill point
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 9/11 by Prahlad Raj
One tree hill view point
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 10/11 by Prahlad Raj
One Tree Hill
Photos of Matheran - Monsoon Hiking in the Jungle 11/11 by Prahlad Raj

One Tree Hill point is a must visit on your trip to Matheran. It is worth walking all the way to the point. We had very good views of the lake, one tree hill itself and waterfalls. We spent some time relaxing and then we started to walk back. We stopped at a small Bhajji joint and ordered one more round of vada pav and hot onion bhajji. Belvedere point was just 2 minutes away. So we ordered bhajji and went to see the point. This is another point with good views of the mountains and waterfalls. It was quite breezy so water was splashing on our face from the opposite direction.

The hike was quite tiring since the path was full of small rocks and water streams. In total we must have covered around 12-15 kms. Matheran is a must visit in peak monsoon season. One can enjoy the view of several waterfalls, take a dip in one of the waterfalls, hike around the jungle, eat hot snacks. One can hire a horse for touring inside Matheran.

 

“To get an itinerary prepared for your trip, connect with me on Whatsapp @ +91 95945 58457.”

Lohagad Monsoon Trek – A must do!

Lohagad is located near a small village called Malavli which is close to Lonavala. The distance from Thane is 110 kms. Lohagad fort trek is considered to be one of the easy treks. One can drive till the base of the fort from where it takes 20 minutes to reach the top.

Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 1/17 by Prahlad Raj
Vinchookada point
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 2/17 by Prahlad Raj
On the way to the fort

We parked the vehicle some 3 kms from the fort. At the main parking area, it is handled by one guy who demands Rs. 100 and one has to handover the key to him. We decided to park elsewhere and found a place outside a house. They charged Rs. 50 for the entire day. This chowk (area) was somewhere near the Bhaja Caves (Buddist caves). Started the hike after having breakfast of Misal Pav, Vada Pav and Tea. Our target was Lohagad fort so we skipped Bhaja caves which was to our left. The hike is from the road to the fort so a lot of vehicles was passing which was quite irritating as they were honking too much.

At some places, one can skip the road and take the shortcut through the mountain. This can be quite slippery due to water streams flowing and moving through thick bush. We took 2 hours to reach the base of the fort. There are many eating places near the base of the fort.

Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 3/17 by Prahlad Raj

There are three doors which one will encounter on the way to the top i.e Ganesh Darwaja, Narayan Darwaja and Hanuman Darwaja. Water was flowing in full force on the steps as it was peak monsoon and it was raining heavily. There were no views of the surrounding area as the fort was hugged by low hanging rain clouds. It was quite wonderful experience for us as this was the first monsoon season outing for us. At few places, the passage was narrow so we had to be very careful as there was rush and also the steps were irregular. We took our time to reach the top of the fort and made it successfully after an hour or so.

Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 4/17 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 5/17 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 6/17 by Prahlad Raj

We were awestruck at the fog covered fort, heavy rains and extremely breezy. We felt as if we were in heaven. Then, we moved towards the left of the fort on the edge. It was quite scary as there were no rails to catch on and it looked like a free fall. We came across a beautiful little pond which was in the middle of the fort. The strong wind and rain continued to pound our windcheaters. We moved towards the Vinchoo kada (point). Vinchoo means scorpion in Marathi. The mountain extended like a scorpion’s tail so the name.

Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 7/17 by Prahlad Raj
At Hanuman Darwaja (Entry point)
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 8/17 by Prahlad Raj
A tomb at the top
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 9/17 by Prahlad Raj
Place to park the Horses
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 10/17 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 11/17 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 12/17 by Prahlad Raj
Vinchoo kada
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 13/17 by Prahlad Raj
Cloud cover at Vinchoo kada

There was a Dargah and even a Shiv Mandir on the top of the fort. We spent sometime around the area. We ended the trek with hot filter coffee which we carried in the flask. Overall, this is a must visit place during the monsoon.

Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 14/17 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 15/17 by Prahlad Raj
Shiv mandir
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 16/17 by Prahlad Raj
View from the fort
Photos of Lohagad Monsoon Trek - A must do! 17/17 by Prahlad Raj
Way down
 

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North Goa Roadtrip – 3 Days Itinerary

Hello,

My wife and I did an unplanned trip to Goa for 5 days (including 2 days travel). This was our first trip to Goa. We decided to cover North Goa places in this trip.

Since it was off-season, we got a Guest House for just Rs. 500 per night in Anjuna (thru Goibibo). It was a suite room with TV, AC, Fridge, Balcony. A compact room and located near the beaches.

Day 1: Thane – Anjuna

We start our roadtrips always very early in the morning in order to avoid traffic. It is also very peaceful to drive. We started from our home at 3:30 AM. Our first stop was ahead of Satara for tea.

We took the Belgaum-Chorla Ghat route since the roads were really good and quite scenic too. This is one of the longer routes in comparison to Amboli Ghat. We avoided the Amboli Ghat since the roads were terrible with lot of potholes.

Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 1/41 by Prahlad Raj
Anjunem Reservoir – Chorla Ghat
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 2/41 by Prahlad Raj
Chorla Ghat
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 3/41 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 4/41 by Prahlad Raj
Bom Basilica
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 5/41 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of North Goa Roadtrip - 3 Days Itinerary 6/41 by Prahlad Raj
Se Cathedral

We reached Anjuna by 2:30 PM. Settled down in our room and took a nap till 4:30 PM. We headed out to Anjuna beach in the evening but we didn’t find any good place so we moved to Baga beach. We have heard of Britto’s. So we went there for a beer and some snacks. Its a nice place right by the beach to spend an evening.

Photos of Britto's, Baga, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Britto's, Baga, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Day 2: Mapusa – Harvalem – Fort Aguada – Sinquerim Beach

We started off the day with Mapusa Market since it was a Friday. The market is typical with Fruits/Vegetables, Clothing. Indians can basically skip this market. Locals sell pork dishes.

Photos of Mapusa, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Mapusa, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

Harvelam falls, Rudreshwar Temple and Harvalem caves are located some 30 – 40 kms from Mapusa. This place is a worth a visit since it is an off-beat location, there is less crowd too.

Photos of 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/4 by Prahlad Raj

We went to Anand Bar & Seafood restaurant in Anjuna as recommended by the owners of the guesthouse. The food was really good and quite cheap too. The place is popular among the locals and tourists. It was quite crowded on a weekday afternoon. Since it was off-season, the rates were lesser than what was printed on menu. Got a vegetable biryani and gobi manchurian for just Rs. 220.

Photos of Anand Sea Food Restaurant & Bar, Anjuna, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Anand Sea Food Restaurant & Bar, Anjuna, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We wanted to cover Fort Aguada and Reis Magos Fort. But we ran out of time in the evening. This place is ok to visit maybe in the morning when it will be less crowded. Good views of the ocean from the fort.

Photos of Aguada Fort, Candolim, Goa, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Sinquerium Beach, Candolim, Goa, India 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

Day 3: Indian Naval Aviation Museum – 3 Kings Chapel – ShantaDurga Temple – Mangueshi Temple – Arambol Beach

Indian Naval Aviation museum is located near the Dabolim Airport. We started with this place as it was southern most and covered other places one by one. It was 45 kms from Anjuna.

There are a few models of aircrafts in display. There is nothing much to see in this museum. A couple of torpedoes, INS Vikrant model etc.

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj

The best part which we liked to do in Goa was driving around the interior areas. It was quite scenic with views of green fields, hills, backwaters, chapels. This is something one should not miss when in Goa apart from the beaches. Take a bike or rent a car and roam around aimlessly to see the real beauty of Goa.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

3 Kings Chapel is one of the haunted places in Goa. Nobody is allowed here after 6 PM. This place is 10 kms from the airport. It is located on top of a hill. There was a car and couple of bikes parked near the gate and nobody was around. We were not sure whether we were allowed to go inside. So we just walked inside a couple of 100 metres to reach the church. The place was really quiet and eagles were hovering in the skies. We saw a few people near the church and were a bit relieved. This church opens only on a Sunday. Great views of the villages and the ocean from the church. A must visit place!

Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 1/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 2/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 3/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Three Kings Church, Cansaulim, Goa, India 4/4 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Shantadurga Temple, Cortalim, Goa, India 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Shantadurga Temple, Cortalim, Goa, India 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

We spent the evening at Arambol beach. It is a beautiful beach. Quite clean and less crowded too. Sip a beer in one of the shacks and relax. Don’t think!

Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Arambol Beach, Arambol, Goa, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Day 4: Reis Magos Fort – Old Goa

We visited Reis Magos Fort in the morning. There is an entry fee of Rs. 20 per person and a vehicle will take you to the top of the fort. Just a couple of minutes drive. There is a beautiful church located right next to the fort. Reis Magos fort is a must visit place! Showcases the works of Mario De Miranda, Cartoonist.

Photos of 1/1 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 1/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 2/3 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of Reis Magos Fort, Verem, Goa, India 3/3 by Prahlad Raj

Old Goa

We visited Fontainhas (Latin Quarter) area in Old Goa which has Portuguese styled houses. Its quite beautiful to walk around this place.

Bom Basilica, Church of St. Assisi, Se Cathedral are places of historical importance.

Photos of 1/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 3/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 4/5 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 5/5 by Prahlad Raj

A few travel tips for Goa:

1. Cashew Nuts – Go to Old Goa market (Panji Market) to get the best quality and good price cashnew nuts. It costs Rs. 900 per kg with quite a lot of varieties available.

2. Fenni – A drink made of Coconut or Cashew is the local drink. It is a must try when in Goa

3. For Vegetarians – Look out for Udupi hotels in Calangute road, Old Goa etc. This is your best bet if you don’t like the smell of seafood.

4. Villages – Visit the interior villages of Goa. This is where the beauty of real Goa is.

5. Beer – Alcohol is available like everywhere. You can drink all you want. Drink responsibly! Do not drink and drive.

6. Other place of interest: Salim Ali Bird sanctuary, Chorao Island, Dudhsagar waterfalls will be worth a visit during the season.

We returned via the Amboli Ghat route. The roads were quite bad with lot of potholes but we got to see the beautiful Amboli Waterfalls on the way. There was no difference in travel time.

Photos of 1/2 by Prahlad Raj
Photos of 2/2 by Prahlad Raj

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