- May 2, 2023
- Posted by: Planet Goa Team
- Category: DISCOVER GOA, SPIRIT OF GOA
Get off the coast and encounter a fresh side to Goa’s hinterland
There’s more to Goa that meets the eye than its shimmery coast. Goa’s blessed natural bounty provide for arresting vistas of green and tree shaded plantations as you drive to the heart of Goa.
On Goa’s Spice Trail
The scene changes as you drive inwards to Goa’s hinterland. The commercial bustle of the city slackens to a slow place. Majestic countryside mansions replace concrete buildings, and a green blanket covers the landscape. In Ponda, Bicholim, Sattari, Sanguem, and Pernem large stretches of these verdant lands are called kullaghars. These fertile grounds hold Goa’s spice plantations, now famous for their nature experiences. The area is best suited for areca nut and banana trees, along with papaya, coconut, and jackfruit. Spices like pepper, cinnamon, elaichi, cardamom, and turmeric are popularly grown. Each spice plantation offers a range of nature walks, meals, and local experiences.
Savoi Plantation: The farm in Savoi Verem is 25 km away from Panjim. Indulge in an authentic local Goan Hindu lunch served in mud pots and banana leaves.
Pascoal Spice Village: Once you’re in Ponda, in the village of Khandepar, Pascoal is one of the oldest farms in the area. Tour the plantation amidst the areca nut trees, interspersed with other varieties.
Tropical Spice Plantation: Keri village is a green haven with rich vegetation. Enjoy a refreshing welcome herbal tea before you walk through the plantation and end with a hearty Goan meal. Rustic Plantation: Towards the northeast of Goa, enjoy a rustic space in the wilderness. The lush green valley rejuvenates you.
Sahakari Spice Farm: Meet the friendly resident elephant or purchase a few authentic organic spices to take back with you; there’s plenty to do on a day trip to the farm.
Life in the village retains its charming rustic charm and authenticity. Lush green pastures, white courtyards with arching pink bougainvilleas, and striking exteriors of the iconic Goa domestic architecture hold a slice of ancestral life. As you drive around, the village tinto or market square is a meeting point for locals to discuss the day’s events. At the tea stall, you’ll find a refreshing cup of chai along with a plate of piping hot bhajiyas. Slow travelers can sink into the experience of local life.
Exploring Goa’s Buddhist and Jain Ancestry
Vestiges of Buddhism and Jainism in Goa speak of Goa’s ancient connection with the outside world. In Rivona, Lamgaon, and Harvalem, the Hinayana sect left traces of their religion. Since the Kadamba dynasty who ruled Chandor embraced Jainsim, many pre-colonial statues were found. A popular Jain basti in Cudnem belongs to the Chalukyan period. Located behind the Betal temple, the old ruins reveals striking Indo-Aryan features. Dr V. R Mitragotri writes, ‘The floral pendant is a mute witness to the skill of the sculptor.’ The Sabhamandap has gabled roof with tiles. The Garbhagriha has three niches. In Lamgao, the presence of the Buddhist caves reveals another chapter of Goa’s past. Aravalem is not only famous for the waterfall behind the temple, but the remains of ancient pandava caves attract tourists. Build roughly around the 6th century, the five rock cut cavities are believed to be the home of the five Pandava brothers of the Mahabharata. A linga was also discovered in three compartments. Other’s believe it has Buddhist ancestry. In Rivona, too the presence of low build Pandava caves are another clue to the past.
Visit Budbudyanache Taley
The lake is also called Goa’s bubbling lake in Netravali. The lake lies 80 kms from Panjim and 50kms from Margao in South Goa. Strangely bubbles rise to the surface and respond to certain sounds. While local folklore believes it is the work of the deity, others say it is the presence of sulphur and carbon dioxide gas. Whichever the case maybe, it’s a fascinating sight to watch the unexplained phenomena. You also visit the Gopinath temple in the same area.
Goa is simply stunning during the monsoon season. The waterfalls dotting the Goan landscape are in full flow in the season. The waterfalls of Goa are things of beauty and joy forever. Apart from the beaches, temples and churches, the cascading waterfalls of Goa are the most heavenly sight to behold. For travellers, it’s a beautiful playground of nature where you can breathe in the most serene drops of tranquillity.
Take waterfall treks to the most majestic waterfalls, such as the Savari Waterfall in Netravali, the Harvalem waterfalls, the Barazan waterfall in Sattari, and the Kuskem waterfalls, the Vazrasakala Twin Waterfalls, the Ladkecho Vozor, and the Mainapi Waterfall. And, of course, one cannot miss the majestic Dudhsagar Waterfalls, one of India’s tallest waterfalls with a height of 310m. The list is quite long, but these are must-visits.