Food & Travel South Asia

Goa | A short getaway in Calangute

Deserving every reason to be called the ‘Queen of Beaches’ in Goa, Calangute Beach is a paradise for nature lovers holding the spectacular beauty and charm. The beach reflects the unique Goan culture with a glorious view of the landscape serving as a perfect retreat for visitors. It is also the biggest beach of North Goa and ideal for witnessing the beauty of palm and coconut trees against the locale of the magnificent Arabian Sea.

It was planned to visit Goa from Mumbai along with families of a couple of relatives and friends. We assembled at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) for the Goa bound Konkankanya Express. CSMT is formerly known as Victoria Terminus. It is a historic railway station and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It’s a overnight journey from here to Goa.

The Train Journey

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The train journey was good but this train seems to stop almost at every station. The Mumbai-Goa sector is a single line track and hence it stops at some small stations for the coming train to pass by. The stretch has got a large number of bridges and tunnels, much more than any other part of the country. My dad and I woke up early at around 5.30 a.m. It was still dark. After dawn, the train stopped at Sangameshwar Road railway station. It’s a beautiful station and was looking romantic in morning light, wet with dew.

Sangameshwar Road railway station
Sangameshwar Road railway station

We stood at the gate for almost entire journey since then to enjoy the natural beauty. The train passes through very beautiful Western Ghats filled with full of hills, mountains, rivers, paddy fields, tunnels, bridges, etc.

Greeneries in Western Ghat
Greeneries in Western Ghat

Western Ghats also known as Sahyadri (Benevolent Mountains) is a mountain range that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian peninsula. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight “hottest hot-spots” of biological diversity in the world.

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The Western Ghats are the mountainous faulted and eroded edge of the Deccan Plateau. Geologic evidence indicates that they were formed during the break-up of the supercontinent of Gondwana some 150 million years ago.

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There is a beautiful waterfall – Ranpat Waterfall – near Ukshi station. We wanted to see the waterfall. The train came out from the tunnel at high speed and before we could aim our camera, it entered into another tunnel. We weren’t sure of the actual location. The eye-catching Ranpat Waterfall in Ratnagiri is one which travellers and tourists can clearly catch a glimpse of when one is travelling on the famed Konkan Railway.

In the peak rainy season, these vertical streams crawling through the ranges of the velvety looking Sahyadri comes gushing down on the background of the lush green cover. We reached our station.

Thivim Railway Station
Thivim Railway Station

Our train reached Thivim railway station 45 minutes late at around 11.35 a.m.

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A minibus was waiting for us outside the station. It was arranged by the hotel that we booked in Calangute. We checked in and quickly went to the beach.

The Beach

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We lazily had beer and lunch in a beach shack until the Sun started dipping at the dipping horizon. The Calangute Beach is one of the most popular beaches in North Goa.

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Termed as the Queen of Beaches, Calangute is the first choice for every tourist that lands on the soil of Goa. It is a haven for sunbathers. The cool sea breeze from the sea is sure to lull any tired soul to sleep. Endless shacks to lay around with the exotic seafood and drinks, sounds like an apt getaway. The Calangute beach is also famous for the wide range of street food and seafood that is available in plenty at the multiple shacks, stores and beach restaurants located along the shoreline.

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As the sun goes down, a mystic and electrifying breeze scatters around on the Calangute provoking the tourists to party all night.

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The Calangute Beach is one of the busiest and one of the most commercialised beaches in Goa. All the more reason behind the popularity of the Calangute Beach is its location between the Candolim and Baga beaches. It’s practically a 8-km long beach.

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The Calangute Beach, over the years, has become a hub for tourists and backpackers, both domestic and international. This is the very reason why this place is known to have a unique charm of its own. There are two distinct parts of the beach. The place closer to the Baga beach is home to the constant sound of of pop and rock music, which sort of stays in the air of this place at all times. The other part towards Candolim is a quieter part. The music is played in much lower volume and gives an air of tranquility to the beach.

Chilling at a beach shack in Calangute beach
While on the beach, doing nothing is a very important part of a trip to Goa.

The History Behind the Name of Calangute

Calangute was earlier called as Kolongutt but the Portuguese changed it to Calangute. The word ‘Cal’ refers to goddess Kali, who was worshiped by local fishermen. Some believe the town got its name from the word ‘Kalyan Gutti’, which means a village of art. Some others believe the name Calangute emanated from its earlier name ‘Konvallo-Ghott’, a reference to the coconut palms which abound in the village.

The Sunset

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Another spectacular features of Calangute Beach is its sunsets. My dad and I walked from the Baga beach to Calangute beach while watching the sun set in the western horizon.

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Never waste any amount of time doing anything important when there is a sunset outside that you should be sitting under!

As it became dark, we found some people trying to catch fish there with small nets and with angles, rods and lines. It was a nice 5 km walk over the sands watching people taking funny photographs – eating the sun, or trying to place the sun within a heart-like shape made with fingers.

Sunset at Calangute

Some kids were playing on the sand and making sand castles and structures on the beach

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The sight took me back to my childhood days when my dad and I made sand structures on sea beaches.

The Nightlife

So be it insane celebrating with individuals from various continents playing your fortunes at the club or having a shoreline side blaze grill night, Goa has everything that you can consider under nightlife. Feel the thrill as you hit the nightclubs or just enjoy the tunes at the beach you will have the best of time here.

One night, we went to the SinQ nightclub, opposite Taj Holiday Village in Candolim. The SinQ is an upbeat, and trendy night club with an exciting dance floor as well as private curtained cabanas near the pool area for smaller groups. it offers an attractive party scene with good crowd and some great music being played by the best DJs in town. The entry ticket gets you unlimited drinks (limited range of basic brands) from a separate open bar, food is not covered. Beside dancing, we had beer, sandwiches and hookah there. We were at the club until it was closed at 3.00 a.m.

SinQ Nightclub

All this makes Calangute the favourite place to be in Goa

Calangute Beach is a perfect tourist retreat, filled with souvenir stalls, shacks and other stalls selling everything from beer to trinkets. Calangute beach is a perfect destination for nature freaks and the glorious view of locales enfolding serene ambiance, mark the place as a dream destination for beach bums.

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