My friend Margaret and I, departed from Singapore to continue our travels. For the first time, I was embarking a new journey to India. I truly didn’t know what to expect but I had the most exciting adventure full of exploration, wonder and surprise. India was amazing and I want to tell you a little bit about it!
Mumbai is a destination hotspot for sightseeing heritage buildings, shopping and cityscapes. It was a wonderful (1-day) short stay in a busy cosmopolitan city of India that distinctly embraces an old-age culture and traditional food and delicacies. What I loved most about Mumbai is that regardless of the busy lifestyle, it is surrounded by sea and has an air of magic and mystic. From Mumbai, we got on a connecting flight to Goa at monsoon season. The heavy downpours of tropical rain had been a beautiful spiritual experience, a pure organic cleansing of the soul ready for new beginnings. As we took a one-hour-long drive from the airport to our place of stay, there was no traffic, just a long stretch of highway. As we drove through all the different towns and villages, we visited ‘Altinho’ a hilltop neighbourhood of Panaji, the smallest state. A quiet, peaceful and clean place indulged with colourful buildings surrounded by an evergreen landscape. Altinho is home to the Maruti Hindu Temple, where we could only get to by walking across a flight of stairs - barefoot. Once we reached the high standing temple we were faced with a spectacular view of not only the temple but of this magnificent stretch of land.
Later on, in the day we took a picturesque drive to Lake View Colony a residential town, where it was interesting to see casinos residing offshore, I quickly learned that this was due to gambling being outlawed on the mainland. That same day, we settled in Miramar, Panaji where we stayed with a very kind and generous couple ‘Dee & Sanjiv’ to welcome and have us stay in their beautiful home. More into the trip, we went to a place called ‘Old Goa’ and visited an ancient church and world heritage site ‘Basilica do Born Jesus’. The place of worship sustains a remarkable baroque architecture. We then moved onto a nearby convent surrounded by glorious gardens, and, a museum that boasts a great representation of the great Portuguese influence and history of Goa.
Since being in India, I had witnessed a clear defined divergence in India from very opulent residence to indigent people – very humble, nonetheless. And yet, I witnessed a ‘unity’ of people who live by tradition and strong beliefs.
It was my arrival in Goa where I truly experienced the true essence of beauty and magic of India. Besides the white sandy beaches, and beautiful, historically rich architectural churches and temples among green rich lands, there was something different about this place. From the moment I got here, there was a certain magic in the air that I cannot explain. The energies I felt here were incredible. Moreover, even in the midst of Monsoon season, Goa offered an abundant time to relax, meditate and spiritually connect; A true haven of peace, tranquillity and beauty.
To conclude my journey…
India is a unique world culture, a land and its people rich in colour with a fruitful nature. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of that world and continue to travel for leisure and work again here again soon.