Arambol in Goa
The Countryside Heaven Of
the fishing settlements dotted along the north coast, only
Arambol 32-km northwest of Mapusa, is remotely geared to tourism
- albeit in a very low-key, low-impact fashion. If one is happy
with basic amenities, the village offers two very fine beaches
and a healthy dose of peace and quiet. Parties are occasionally
held here, drawing revellers across the river from Anjuna and
Vagator, but these are rare intrusions into an otherwise
tranquil, out of the way enclave.
Beaches Of Arambol
Modern Arambol is scattered around an area of high ground west of
the main coast road, where most of the buses pull in. From here,
a bumpy lane runs downhill, past a large school and the village
church, to the more traditional end of the village, clustered
under a canopy of widely spaced palm trees. The main beach lies
200m farther along the lane. Strewn with dozens of old wooden
fishing boats and a line of tourist café bars, the gently
curving bay is good for bathing, but much less picturesque than
its neighbour around the corner.
The smaller and less frequented of Arambol's two beaches can only
be reached on foot by following the stony track over the headland
to the north. Beyond an idyllic rocky-bottomed cove, the trail
emerges to a broad strip of soft white sand hemmed in on both
sides by steep cliffs.
A Freshwater Lake
Behind the surrounding of the second beach lay a small freshwater
lake extends along the bottom of the valley into a thick jungle.
Hang around the banks of this murky green pond for long enough,
and one will probably see a fluorescent yellow human figure or
two appear from the bushes at its far end. Fed by boiling hot
springs, the lake is lined with sulphurous mud, which, when
smeared over the body, dries to form a surreal, butter coloured
Nearby, in the woods immediately behind the lake, other members
of the lunatic fringe have taken to living in the branches of an
old tree; the scene resembles a cross between Lord of the flies
and apocalypse now.
Places to see
Terecol Fort :
North of Arambol, the sinuous
coast road climbs to the top of a rocky, undulating plateau, then
winds down through a swathe of thick woodland to join the river
Arondem, which it then follows for 4km through a landscape of
vivid paddy fields, coconut plantations and temple towers
protruding from scruffy red brick villages. The tiny enclave of
Terakol, the northernmost tip of Goa, is reached via a
clapped-out car ferry from the hamlet of Querim, 42-km from
It was a key Portuguese fort for the defense of Goa, on the north
side of the estuary of the Teracol River, the most northern
boundary of Goa. Hyped as one of the state's most atmospheric
historic monuments, it turns out to be little more than a down at
heel country house recently converted into a low-key luxury
hotel. Decorative turrets and dry moat with commanding views of
the estuary and ocean mark the fort.
If ones visit coincides with the arrival of a guided tour, one
may get a chance to look around the gloomy interior of the chapel
of St. Anthony, in the fort's claustrophobic cobbled square; at
other times it's kept locked. The Chapel also has a classical
late Goan facade.
How to reach :
Road: Buses to and from Panjim pull into Arambol every thirty
minutes until noon, and every ninety minutes thereafter, at the
small bus stand on the main road. A faster private minibus
service from Panjim arrives daily opposite the Chai (tea) stalls
at the beach end of the village.
Boat: Boats leave here every Wednesday
morning for the ninety-minute trip to the Anjuna Flea Market.
Tickets should be booked in advance from the Welcome Restaurant
by the beach, which also rents out motorcycles. The post office,
next to the church, has a Poste Restante Box; to change money,
however, one will have to head for Vagator, as Arambol's State
Bank Of India has no foreign exchange facility.