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India Travel >>Travel to Goa >>Anjuna Beach, Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa

Anjuna Beach, Goa With its fluorescent painted palm trees and infamous full moon parties, ANJUNA, 8-km west of Mapusa, is Goa at its most "alternative". Designer leather and lycra may have superseded cotton Kaftans, but most people's reasons for coming are the same as they were in the 1970s: dancing and lying on the beach slurping tropical fruit. While browsing in the area have a day trip to the famous flea market.

The Beach
One of the main sources of Anjuna's enduring popularity as a hippy hang out is its superb beach. Fringed by groves of swaying coconut palms, the curve of soft white sand conforms more closely to the archetypal vision of paradise than any other beach on the north coast. Bathing is generally safer than at most of the nearby resorts, too, especially at the more peaceful southern end, where a rocky headland keeps the sea calm and the undertow to a minimum.

North of the market ground, the beach broadens, running in an uninterrupted kilometre long stretch of steeply shelving sand to a low red cliff. The village bus park lies on top of this high ground, near a crop of small cafes, bars and Kashmiri handicraft stalls. Every lunch hour, tour parties from Panjim pull in here for a beer, before heading home again, leaving the ragged army of sun weary westerners to enjoy the sunset.
 
Baga Beach
Baga Beach goaA Charming Combination Of Land And Sea
Baga, 10-km west of Mapusa, is basically an extension of Calangute; even the locals are unable to decide where ends and the other begin. Lying in the lee of a rocky, wooded headland, the only difference between this far northern end of the beach and its more congested centre is that the scenery here is marginally more varied and picturesque.

A small river flows into the sea at the top of the village, below a broad spur of soft white sand, from where a dirt track strikes across an expanse of paddy fields towards Anjuna. The old red tiled fishers houses behind the dunes have long been swamped by gaudily lit bars, Tandoori terrace restaurants and handicraft shops, but one doesn't feel quite so hemmed in as at Calangute.

 
Benaulim Beach
Benaulim Beach goa
According to Hindu mythology Goa was created when the sage Shri Parasurama, Lord Vishnu's sixth incarnation, fired an arrow into the sea from the top of the Western Ghats and ordered the waters to recede. The spot where the shaft fell to earth, known in Sanskrit as "Banali" and later corrupted by the Portuguese to Benaulim, lies in the centre of Colva Beach, 7-km west of Margao.

Only a decade ago, this fishing and rice-farming village, scattered around the coconut groves and paddy fields between the main Colva-Mobor Road and the dunes, had barely made it onto the backpackers map. Now, the shady lane leading through it is studded with guesthouses and souvenir stalls while the paddy fields on the outskirts are gradually disappearing under a rash of gigantic luxury resorts and time-share apartment blocks. For the time being, however, this remains a peaceful and welcoming place to unwind.

Either side of the sand blown beachfront, the gently shelving sands shimmer away almost to the horizon, litered with photogenic wooden fishing boats that provide welcome shade if the walk from the palm trees to the sea gets too much. Hawkers, itinerant masseurs and fruit wallahs appear from time to time, but one can easily escape them by heading south towards neighbouring Varca, where tourism has thus far made little impact.


 
 

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