A(rt)ventures in Goa
Sea and surf by day, pub-hop and party vibes by night. Goa is always a good idea, but even better with a twist in the tale. Surprise yourself by skipping the predictable beach and breeze itinerary. Give art and adventure a chance when you escape to India's coastal capital the next time.
Acquire an alternative address
More often than not, the compulsive urge to shun the humdrum confines of home culminates in the verdant paradise that remains an eternal favourite for every season. A creative option while searching for a safe sanctuary away from the shackles of the city is to skip staying at a cookie-cutter luxury hotel and check into a chic, fully serviced pad you can call your own for a few days. What can be a better shortcut to savour the taste of Goan-style living, without actually moving base? Courtesy, Rosastays.
Sheltered in the heart of a leafy residential neighbourhood in Porvorim, Bardez, the upscaleapartment-style Rosa Kuber Mandovi Bay is the best place to stay in Goa that offers an ideal refuge for the discerning traveller looking for a novel accommodation. Location-hunters will be gratified by the pleasing lush hill green cover of Porvorim and swept off their feet by the vision of the tranquil Mandovi River flowing into the distance, where it melts into the endless blues of the Arabian Sea.
Unwinding means the absence of doorbells and waking up to the serenity of complete silence in a spacious bay view room or suite. Is it the thrill of the unfamiliar or a much-needed respite from the tedium of routine that causes you to glide barefoot onto the balcony deck rubbing your still-drowsy eyes? Prep for a session of deep breathing bathed in soft sunlight, followed by a refreshing cup of coffee or tea. Contemplate all the creature comforts of your swanky new home, be kit the sleek furniture, sumptuous linens, generous wardrobes, mood lighting, and the swimming pool, while drifting into the euphoric realization that the day ahead is a blank canvas, ready for a splash of untried colours. Luckily, the surge of inspiration is only a blink away.
Get drawn by a blaze of vibrance on the walls, enlivened by a quirky collection of custom-created artwork by the local art hub, Free Soul Art. Decode the dabs of paint that speak volumes about people, culture, and landscapes. Then, consider an art-themed trail through the sunshine state. The home of legendary painters like F N Souza, Mario Miranda and Laxman Pai has evolved into a thriving art hub, hosting acclaimed events like the Serendipity Arts Festival and attracting a burgeoning creative community. Seek and you shall find.
Approach a state of art
Start at F N Souza's ancestral village, Saligao, where his grandson, British Israeli artist, Solomon Souza, has unleashed his imagination on street walls with vivid spray painted murals in celebration of the state's unsung heroes. Then hit up the Museum of Goa in Bardez, a privately owned contemporary art gallery where you can soak up Goan-flavoured eye-candy, including many works of founder Subodh Kerkar. Later, head to Reis Magos, Goa's oldest fort, which has been guarding the seafront against the banks of the Mandovi River. The solid walls, Portuguese turrets and canyons have lost their defence purpose but serve as an unusual site for a museum dedicated to artwork by Mario Miranda, cartoonist, painter and one of India's most famed illustrators. Stoke your interest even more by landing up at the Mario Gallery in Porvorim, where you can browse for signature-style Mario souvenirs like bags, T-shirts, mugs and tiles.
The treasure hunt leads to Fontain has in the capital city of Panjim, where the narrow cobbled streets of the UNESCO Heritage tagged Latin Quarter is lined with brightly painted colonial architecture, exuding an old-world charm. Wander into the Gitanjali Art Gallery to gawp at creations by renowned photographers like Raghu Rai. Be enchanted by the permanent display of pieces by Goan artist Antonio Xavier Trindade at unda? Oriente. Scan the events calendar at the state-run cultural centre, Kala Academy. Besides exhibitions, concerts and workshops, you can catch an entertaining Konkani play (Tiatr) here. A short drive away lies the elite Altinho neighbourhood, where the iconic Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts stands nestled in shady boulevards dotted with grand mansions and government offices. A tour of the engaging art gallery and a coffee stop at the cosy courtyard caf?s almost obligatory.
Adopt a spirit of adventure
It's an effortless transition from designs by humans to the handiwork of nature. Float upriver on a ferry into the forested mangroves on Chorao Island, the biggest of 17 islands in the Mandovi River. In this wildlife haven, lazy crocodiles can often be spotted sun-soaking on black silt beaches. Birding enthusiasts can drool over dozens of avian species including kingfisher and seasonal migratory birds at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, named after Dr. Salim Moizzudin Ali, India's pre-eminent ornithologist. The island is also the location for a community of wetland otters and the headquarters of a research centre dedicated to their conservation. The more active outdoorsy types can kayak their way through the biodiversity, learning about the intricate ecosystem and the communities that depend on them for livelihood.
Exhilarate your taste buds
Fulfilment takes on even more enjoyable contours back in the ROSA KUBER Apartment. Boisterous episodes with the brood and seamless sessions with the board, every kind of wrap-up are destined to be fruitful. However, the real treat is lined up for the evening, when the drama of the spectacular sunset unfolds across the Mandovi River. Stay glued to the scene as the skies burst into a kaleidoscope of tangerines, crimsons and purples. Finally, dig into a delectable spread at the plush dining room, O Bite, an explosion of flavours and aromas of fresh produce, tropical spices and Portuguese influences from the Bay. Spoil yourself with a wide range of epicurean enticements, including authentic Goan classics like Vindaloo, Xacuti, Cafreal, Prawn Balchao, Shark Ambot-tik, Stuffed Calamari, Sorpotel and King Fish Recheado Rawa Masala. For those low-risk days, The menu is rich with comfort foods, pan-Indian and continental favourites, and beverages from the in-house dining. Pamper the palate with the Chef's special dessert, the Fruit Custard Tart.