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Monsoon Festivities of Goa

Goa-drenched – unusual Goa in the rains

Goaaaaah in the rains. It is a story that must be lived and experienced first hand. It is time to lift the veil of the monsoons and discover what lies beneath. Welcome to Goa!Goa has a hitherto unexplored facet beyond the usual sun, sea and sand, one that whispers history, culture and of a people deeply traditional yet straddling modernity with ease. As you come in from Kerala chasing the South West monsoons, make a pit stop in Karnatakath and head to Goa, you revel in the air that is noticeably happier perhaps and brimming with covert excitement.

Towards the end of June every year, the Goans celebrate the ‘son-in-laws’ of the village. Yes, you heard right! Young people wearing “copels” or floral crowns celebrate the “Javoiache” (meaning son-in-law)
or the “San Jao” festival with gaiety and gusto. As you cheer and shake a leg or take a swig of the “feni”, the local cashew or coconut based-alcohol, steer towards the Latin Quarters or Fontainhas of Goa.

Impeccably maintained, this part of Goa harks back to a Portuguese past, managing to survive despite the onslaught of 21st century. Buildings built in classic Portuguese style dressed in yellow, green or blue with balconies fronted by wrought iron railings and tiled roofs transport you to another era.

From Portuguese style houses time to make room for some sumptuous forts. One among them being Terekhol, standing sentinel to a violent history of the land it was built to protect. Built by the Raja of Sawantwadi, this magnificent 18th century fort is a heritage hotel today, with a beautiful chapel within its precincts.

From tradition to heritage to history to island, yes it’s time to head to Divar. Just take the ferry from Old Goa, about 7 kms from Panaji and step onto Divar island, a little gem of old world charm, paddy fields, small houses, winding roads, tinkling of cycle bells and boys playing football in the rains.

Soak it all in. Cycle. Walk. Sip feni, eat some vindaloo or chicken xacuti. Listen to some Mando, old Konkani songs and let Goar rains seduce you. It’s time to do a rain dance in Goaaaah!

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