Myths that you should know before going for diving in Goa

Myths that you should know before going for diving in Goa

Goa is a wonderful place for first-timers to give a try for scuba diving. You might not get to see the surreal creatures that you usually come across in, television shows or in movies but you will experience a whole new world filled with corals and beautiful water animals. There are plenty of institutions or centers that offers certifications for those who are looking to have a wonderful time under the deep sea.  Even many hotels in Goa near beach also help you to find good  center for same.

Here is a list of 10 myths and the realities that you need to know to shake off that feeling which is preventing you from diving:

Diving is very difficult and scary

Sorry to disappoint! Whoever said this to you might have never stepped into the water. Yes, definitely it is scary for the first timers but once you gather the courage to take a plunge into the waters keeping all the odds aside, you will have a different kind of feeling you will see yourself entering a whole new world. That moment is the game changer so be little brave and remember all the basics that your guide taught you in the training session.

Diving is a very posh sport

To a certain extent, you are right!  But if you have a bit good negotiation skills and proper contacts then you can easily afford to get a PADI and SSI course certification and the necessary items for diving. Even if you don’t have much contacts, then also it’s fine as you can approach the staffs in Goa hotels packages that allows other activities in addition. Usually, the scuba Diving packages start from rupees three thousand in Goa which is quite pocket-friendly for first-timers and professional divers.

Techniques of Diving is hard to learn and it’s harder to recall under water

Unless you freak out or if someone drags you against your wishes then you might tend to forget. So it’s best to keep yourself calm. Test yourself and see how you react when you’re exposed to vulnerable situations. And talking about the techniques just remember what your instructor says you to do and try to memorize the hand signals. You can also practice it along with breathing techniques that you will learn during the training session. Underwater skills and lessons are important to learn before you go for diving.

One has to get ample Scuba Gears

To start the scuba lessons, in the beginning, you just need to have three basic gears a pair of mask, fins and a snorkel. The other scuba gears are easily available on rent if you don’t want to purchase for the time being. Once you become an expert diver, you can own other diving equipment for the future voyage. Many hotels in Goa Calangute provide you with the contact information of the agents that supply these gears for a day.

Only swimmers can go for diving

This is not at all true! Trust me I have done it even being hydrophobic.  You just need to learn the basics of swimming like how to float your body and how to paddle your feet under water. That’s it! You will be lucky if you get a good instructor, they can make you learn within just a few days.

Sea animals are very dangerous and they keep on attacking

Well, this is another myth and you will hear it pretty often!  The divers consider themselves lucky if they spot sharks since it’s very unusual to find them. One should be careful under water and make sure that they don’t hurt any creature by their activities. They should be treated just like wild animals and should maintain a considerable distance from them. And relax they won’t attack you because the gears that you will be wearing will make you look big to them which they would hardly want to mess with.

You have to take deep plunge and go much deeper to see the marine life

Yet another misconception that people believe in. Seas are vast and are full of various species and marine life. They live close to the surface for light, corals, and nourishment and that’s an advantage for divers. They don’t need to go 50 or 100 m down to see the marine life.

Snorkeling and scuba Diving are just same

Yes, get ready to hear this as well from people who don’t have any idea about it. So make them understand the difference of floating on the surface and going deep into the waters. Perhaps they learn!

Breathing would be really difficult under water

Why do you think that? Your trainer will guide you on this during the session. Just remember you need to breathe out more underwater. That’s the key to happy and safe diving!

It’s something ‘’women’’ should stay away

Last but not the least you will definitely come across this if you are a girl! Why should you wait alone in the boat for your male friends to resurface? So turn a deaf ear to all those saying this and focus on experiencing this unbelievable thing once in your lifetime.

Seems you are fascinated, isn’t it true? Diving is one of the best adventure sports that leaves you with wonderful memories. So don’t wait for it. Plan a comfortable stay at Ginger Hotel in Panjim Goa and make your own story to share with the world!

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Bonderam Festival: The reason to visit Goa this monsoon

Goa is the number one in everyone’s bucket list of dream destinations. Goa never ceases to blow our minds away with its amazing beaches, breathtaking exotic parties, glamorous night life, finger-licking seafood and over-the-top shopping outlets and you can enjoy all of this in 5-star resorts in Goa with private beach. There is a lot more to Goa than the bright sun, sandy beaches, and amazing nightlife.

There are a lot of stupendous must-attend festivals in the monsoons in Goa – Grape Escapade, Goa Carnival, Goa Food & Music Festival, Goa Mango Festival, Sunburn Goa, Goa Arts & Literary Festival, Shigmo Festival and not to forget, the best among them all, “Bonderam Festival”. Bonderam Festival is a mega festival of Goa celebrated on 4th Saturday in August every year in Divar Island, 12 km from Panjim.

We will walk you through the facts about the Bonderam Festival held in monsoons in Goa.

  1. Origin of the Bonderam Festival

Origin of the Bonderam Festival.jpg

“Bonderam” originates from the Portuguese word “Bandeira” which means flags. According to the history, when the Portuguese ruled in Goa, there were always fights and bloody duels about property between the two parts of the Diwar village. To take stock of the situation, the Portuguese introduced a system which used flags to identify the boundaries of the two sections, Sao Mathias and Piedade. When the Portuguese introduced the flags to the two sections of the Diwar village, the rival groups of Sao Mathias and Piedade brought down each other’s flags to show their anger.

  1. Parody of the Past

Parody of the Past

The fight of Sao Mathias and Piedade is now commemorated with “Fotash”. Fotash is a fight between people where they use toy weapons (that are made using the bamboo stem) and soft missile weaponry (berries or peppercorn) to knock down each other’s flags imitating the past. This ritual is now discontinued as this had the danger of eye injuries to people.

  1. How to reach Divar Island

How to reach Divar Island

This is one of the unique monsoon festivals in Goa that you would never want to miss. You can reach the Divar island to attend the fantabulous fiesta via ferry from Ribandar to Old Goa. Your ferry will be draped with colourful flags that will give lead your path towards the mystifying mega celebration of Goa.

Once you reach to the dock of the Divar Island, you can drive straight towards the place where the festival is being held. If you want to enjoy the evening of the fiesta with a fresh start at the beautiful island instead of getting tired from the travel, you can book your stay in the best hotels in Goa that are located near Divar Island a few days prior to the festival.

  1. Divar Island comes to life

Divar Island comes to life

Divar Island becomes colourful and lively on the day of the Bonderam festival. People in the island start with the preparations from the early dawn. Music starts drifting throughout the village and reverberates in every street and corner in the surroundings. The festival starts at noon.

  1. And the Celebration begins…

And the Celebration begins…

The Bonderam festival begins with the opening ceremony comprising of the Flag Parade. After the parade, the zealous celebration reaches the height of zenith with the beautiful fancy dress competition and the conventional & traditional float parade that will take your breath away. Sounds exciting, right? What are you waiting for? You can plan your journey to Goa this monsoon and book your stay in the 5-star hotels in Goa packages for a luxurious as well as enriching experience with the mind-boggling touch of the Bonderam festival.

Wait…there is more. Have a look at some more specialities about the Bonderam Festival.

  1. The Traditional Float Parade

 

<> on February 12, 2017 in Viareggio, Italy.

Bonderam festival starts out as a carnival of fun and frolic with its traditional float parade. In this parade, each of the six wards in the Divar Island prepares their own custom float and try to build it as eye-catching as possible. These floats that are sponsored by the business houses in Divar are then sent to the parade. Each float has a distinguished local flavour to it that makes it stands out from the rest. You can also see live music and band along with the parade.

  1. The Colourful Monsoon Festival

The Colourful Monsoon Festival.jpg

The Bonderam Festival is one of the vibrant and colourful celebrations in Goa. Youngsters come out being dressed in colourful and beautiful attire to at to the zinger of the gala. People from the neighbouring regions of the Divar Island come and join in the joyful celebration.

  1. Best places to stay in the Divar Island

Best places to stay in the Divar Island

Divar Island in Goa offers an astoundingly amazing and opulent experience of a lifetime, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. There are great options on the island where you can choose to stay. You can do your research and do the Goa hotels booking that has the best services and proximity to the site of the festival.

Now that you know the specialities and some fun facts about the Bonderam Festival, you might want to pack your bags and plan out a trip in the monsoons to witness the most unique and incredible festivals in Goa. To top this trip a notch, you can visit the famous beaches such as the Calangute beach in Goa which is located just 66 km from the Divar Island.

You can book your stay in hotels in Calangute Goa and enjoy the beauty of the best beach in Goa – the Calangute. After you enjoy your days in Calangute, you can move to the Divar Island one or two days before the Bonderam festival. This monsoon, you are going to have a lot of fun! Kudos, people!

Let’s Explore The Portuguese Have Left For Travelers In Goa!

Goa is undoubtedly a thrilling place not only for its unbeatable vibe but for its rich culture and history. Five hundred years ago, Portuguese arrived in Goa and everything changed for this state, a lot for best! From gorgeous churches to the popular Goa Carnival, a lot that we admire and love about Goa today hails from Portugal culture. There are many fascinating Goa vacation packages that will not only let you explore the North, beach and party side of Goa but the Old Goa as well, where the real history of Goa thrives!

Rich and unperturbed, this is the feeling that one has while walking through the pavements of Old Goa. The Portuguese came to Goa in the 16th century and stayed here till 18th. Its beautiful streets and Portugal style buildings still retain that charm of the bygone era.

The beautiful churches are another attraction of Old Goa that will never go unnoticed. The gorgeous murals on the inside, the enthralling architecture, the tranquillity in ambience, each and everything about these churches make them more than just a tourist attraction.

Once there were around 60 churches in Goa, but today only 7 imminent ones remain. Let us look at these beautiful churches that Portuguese have left for us to admire!

Se De Santa CatrinaSe De Santa Catrina

Built in the 17th century, this cathedral houses the beautiful Golden Bell, which is known to be the biggest in Goa. Also, the church is considered to be one of the largest churches in India and is a must visit.

Bom Jesus Basilica

Bom Jesus Basilica

Known to be as one of the finest specimens of Baroque architecture, this gorgeous 17th-century cathedral is listed amongst UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You must visit it once to experience pure tranquility.

Church of Lady Rosary.jpgChurch of St. Francis of Assisi

Located in North Goa, this church is easy to access from any hotel North Goa and one must for such is its magnificence- brilliant wooden craftsmanship, wonderful frescos, floral artwork, an abode of historical paintings, sculptures and artefacts, this is a church of immense beauty!

Church of Our Lady of Miracles.JPG

Church of Our Lady of Miracles

The church is built on a demolished Hindu temple and both Christians and Hindus believe this place to be sacred for praying. Indeed the church is miraculous for it truly defines ‘unity in diversity’ in India.

Chapel of St. Catherine.jpgChapel of St. Catherine

This simple yet elegantly designed church has undergone many modifications. It was initially built in 1510 by a Portuguese governor, but its present structure is a reflection of 1952’s modification and yet it retains its old world charm.

Church of St. Cajetan

Church of St. Cajetan

The beautiful structure of this church derives inspiration from original Basilica in Rome. It is nestled in close proximity to Viceregal Palace and Se Cathedral and one must explore the beauty of this one!

Church of Lady RosaryChurch of Lady Rosary

This unique church has a pint of Gothic in its design. It lies to the west of Basilica of Bom Jesus and boasts of two gorgeously designed chapels and several elaborate altars.

Old Goa, located near the capital of this splendid state, Panjim is one of the must visit places in Goa. An amble through the streets of this wonderful place and you’ll feel as if you are transported to an old European town. The calmness it possesses is a rarity in today’s world. So, abandon your lavish Goa hotel room for one day and take a peek into Goa’s rich history, just here in Portuguese town, ‘The Old Goa’.

8 Famous Churches of Goa That You Must Visit

A remanence of Portugal rule, churches in Goa exudes brilliance and magnificence that is simply impossible to forget. They provide Goa’s culture a magnetizing charm that you perfunctorily feel with just a glance at these. So, even if you have put up in hotel north Goa, you must make a trip to old Goa and explore this state’s every corner to discover these fabulous churches and realize Goa’s rich history!

Bom Jesus Basilica

Bom Jesus Basilica

This beautiful 17th-century church is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in Old Goa, it is a masterpiece by Giovanni Battista, who was a famous sculptor of that time. The mausoleum took almost a decade to finish and today it is known as one of the finest specimens of Baroque architecture.

Se Cathedral

Se Cathedral

Also laid in Old Goa, this church ‘Se Cathedral de Santa Catarina’ is one of the largest churches in India. It was built to mark the victory of Portuguese ruler, Afonso who captured Goa in 1510. The day also witnessed the victory of Saint Catherine and hence its name!

Church of St Francis of Assisi

Church of St Francis of Assisi

Nestled in Velho, North Goa, this church is easily accessible from hotels north Goa, India. Immaculately designed with frescos and floral designs and showcasing intricate wood craftsmanship, this church displays architecture of Barque and Corinthian. Another interesting thing about this 16-century old church is that it a museum inside filled with historical sculptures, artefacts, and paintings.

Church of Our Lady of Miracles.jpgChurch of Our Lady of Miracles

Discovered in 1595, this church was initially operated as a military chapel. It is built on the ruins of a Hindu temple and is, therefore, a sacred site for Christians and Hindus alike. Its best feature is the annual festival which attracts a number of tourists every year.

Chapel of St Catherine

Chapel of St Catherine

This one of a kind church in Goa displays simplicity yet seamless elegance in its design. The church was first built in 1510 by Portuguese governor but was modified a number of times after that. The present structure was rebuilt in 1952.

Church of St CajetanChurch of St Cajetan

The architecture of this flawlessly designed edifice is influenced by Corinthian architecture and inspired by original Basilica in Rome. Both the interior and exterior are beautified wonderfully with intricate work. The church lies in close proximity to Se Cathedral and Viceregal Palace.

Church of Lady of RosaryChurch of Lady of Rosary

With a tinge of Gothic in design, Church of Lady of Rosary stands as one of the oldest churches in Goa. It lies in Basilica of Bom Jesus’s west and consists of two elaborately designed chapels, the main one dedicated to Holy Mother. There are gorgeous altars too inside which will definitely catch your sight.

StSt Alex Church Alex Church

Located in Calangute, it is one of the most popular churches in Goa. Where it stands today, stood a Hindu temple dedicated to Ravalnath, a form of Lord Shiva once. This truly mesmerizing church was built in 1597 and exudes positivity in the ambience that is undoubtedly contagious for one’s soul!

Whether you are a party enthusiast, nature lover or simply a leisure tourist in Goa, your trip is incomplete without a visit to Goa’s amazing churches. So, do not just let loose at five-star hotels in Goa, but plan a hike to its each and every corner as the churches of this mighty tourist location are a must visit!

 

 

Goa – My Escapade

5 star hotels in north goa
Though it may be the smallest state in India, Goa has surely a lot to offer.  From relaxation on  secluded beaches to rockin’ your socks off with fellow backpackers or simply exploring the ruins of old Portuguese forts and the charming city of Panaji,  Goa has something to suit everyone’s palate. For me,  I love to do a bit of everything and mix it all up a little.

In this article, I will give you a shortlist of each of the places I visited during my holiday in Goa, trying to give you a few handy tips along the way

palolem beach , five star hotels in north goaPalolem beach

After getting off a 14 hour overnight bus from Cochin, Kerala, my first stop was Palolem. Located in Canacona, South Goa, Palolem is known to be inhabited by many foreigners.  Beautiful stretches of golden sand with a stunning turquoise beach, Palolem is very small, with enough amenities to satisfy your basic needs. Accommodation here is reasonably priced as there are plenty of chilled out beach huts/resorts all along the main beach, haggle your heart out for the price though as bargaining is really the way to go about for everything.


agonda-beachAgonda Beach

To the north of Palolem is an even more relaxing and quiet Agonda beach. There really isn’t a lot to do here except to chill and soak up the sun. Something I would strongly recommend to do whilst you are here is to hire mopeds and ride to Cabo de Rama fort. It’s just a few hours drive and the route is simply breathtaking which makes for a great half day excursion.

panaji, north goa hotels, goa north hotelsPanaji

Further up north, overlooking the Mandovi river is Panaji, Goa’s capital city. Walking down the bylanes, you can get a glimpse of colourful villas, paved streets and old architectural buildings that represent the old Portuguese era. Many famous restaurants and international clothing brands are ideally situated here.

Stay and Accommodation near beaches

There are many accommodation choices available in Goa starting from cheap resorts to expensive. From budget hostels near Calangute Beach to Hard Rock (one of  the 5 star hotels in north Goa), North Goa has a place to stay for all kind of travelers. While south Goa too has options, they are not as comfortable as the ones in north Goa.

Accommodation in Goa

Accommodation in Goa is very easily available with many unique Hotels, Resorts and Guesthouses to suit everyone’s taste and Budget. Accommodation ranges from simple studio apartments and beach huts for backpackers to five-star deluxe luxury suites for the sophisticated traveller. However accommodation prices are high during the peak season which is around December-January. Therefore it is advisable to book early if travel is intended around this period.

 

Accommodation in Goa can be categorized as follows:

 

Budget Hotels

Budget accommodation is appropriate for the price conscious traveller or the backpacking tourist. This accommodation type includes basic, standard rooms with a few amenities. They are more affordable as compared to larger hotels.

 

Mid-range hotels

Mid-range hotels are found all across Goa and form a major chunk of the available accommodation. These hotels have organized reception areas, well-appointed rooms, room service and usually also include a restaurant. If you have to visit Goa during the off-season, these mid-range hotels are undoubtedly the best options for your stay. During the peak season however most of these hotels are occupied with International travellers.

 

High-end hotels

The higher range of hotels in Goa can be categorized as 4-star hotels and 5-star hotels. They are located in all major towns and cities and some of them even enjoy pride of place along the beach belt. Although some of the resort hotels are not beach properties, they are located not very far from the local beaches. Hard Rock Hotel Goa is one such hotel which is conveniently located in the heart of Calangute and is just 1 km away from the famous Calangute beach.

 

Beach Huts

Goa is considered as a tourist haven and is one of the most favoured destinations for international and local travellers. However, if you truly want to enjoy and experience the beach life, then hiring a beach hut is a viable option. These Beach huts are comfortable and affordable and they are a good choice for those who have a tight budget. They are ideal for large groups of friends or even married couples. As they are located all along the beach belt, you have plenty of options to eat with good restaurants just outside the huts. It is indeed a great place to unwind and experience Goa’s buzzing nightlife. The very popular beach of Goa is a pleasure to eye sight. You can consider few hotels on Calangute beach in Goa for a pleasant stay.

 

Service Apartments

If you are looking at a homestay kind of accommodation then service apartments are available at many resorts. You have a wide choice of luxurious, comfortable and cost-effective rooms to suit your style.

 

Villas

Villas are either situated on the beach or hidden in Goa’s idyllic villages where you can hear only the sound of birds and curious monkeys. Each privately owned villa has a distinctive style with unique antiques or modern décor with basic amenities.

Tasteful Weddings in Goa

Have you ever heard your relatives and friends narrate stories about sunny beaches, incredible seafood, vibrant music, warm friendly people, stunning sunsets, a casual island vibe and enthusiastic festivals with a distinct Goan flair—loaded with food, music and energy! Imagine having a dream wedding in this picturesque land, how noteworthy and sentimental! Here are a few tips that will make your wedding in Goa as simple and peaceful as could reasonably be expected:

  1. Choose a perfect location in Goa

The most imperative step in arranging a tasteful wedding in Goa is choosing the correct wedding venue. Selecting a wedding venue that not only fits your style but also has adequate rooms to suit your list of attendees is crucial in the initial stage of wedding planning. Ensure that the venue has different indoor and outdoor options to organise the pre and post wedding functions, perhaps it could be somewhere at the poolside or closer to the beachfront.

  1. Consider the weather

Goa is like any other tropical place. While it has some great months to soak up the sun, it has those days that are rainy too so don’t forget to check the weather forecast before booking the venue. The best time to get married in Goa is between October and March when the weather is cool and pleasant. June to September are the monsoons in Goa; unfortunately the Goa Government does not allow beach weddings during this period. April and May are low season months as they are hot and moist; a beach wedding during this period could be considered if it is to be arranged after sunset.

  1. Hire a wedding planner

It is practically difficult to arrange a tasteful wedding in Goa without local support. Hiring a wedding planner in Goa will put you at ease and help you relax before the wedding. Many believe that wedding planners are very expensive and it is a myth that their services are required only for large and enormous weddings. A good wedding planner understands your needs, pays attention to every detail, gives you creative ideas and helps you stay away from the wedding stress and clutter. He customizes his package according to your requirements and ensures that your big day culminates in style.

  1. Set a budget

Before investing on your favourite flowers and color themes, set aside a budget for the wedding. Your wedding budget will cover all your requisites from events and décor to photography and makeup. Ensure that your wedding planner is aware about your budget so that he could work his way around accordingly.