There is much more to this Indian destination that its sandy beaches and fish curry.
In the autumn of 2011, Goa and I met for the first time. Since then I have returned many times to strengthen our bond. Like me, travellers go back to the smallest state of India to experience it differently each time. The history of Goa is as diverse as the people who flock to this destination.
In the third century BC, Goa was a part of the Mauryan Empire. Following a series of annexations, the Portuguese established a permanent settlement in 1510. They made Velha Goa (or Old Goa) their capital and converted a majority of the people to Christianity. The British colonised Goa in 1812 and after a few years, in 1843, Panjim was made the capital. It was finally in 1987 when Goa became the 25th state of India.
In my numerous visits I discovered a different ethos of the state. Sometimes it impressed with its quiet beaches of South Goa, sometimes the colourful lanes in Panaji, and other times it was the Monsoon soaked forests. Every time there was something new to explore and experience.
When I moved to Goa to live there, I felt like my exploration was complete. For six months, I lived in a 100-year old Portuguese restored heritage villa in a sleepy village of South Goa. Turiya Villa and Spa is a perfect place for tourists to experience the susegad (a Goan concept meaning laid-back) lifestyle. And for me, it was a great opportunity to explore the state like a local. So I wandered away, into the roads of Goa.
Including: Park Hyatt Goa Resort & Spa, The Leela Goa, Alila Goa, W Goa and Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Goa
© This article was first published in the Oct-Nov 2017 edition of World Travel Magazine.