South Goa is famous for Dudhsagar waterfall which is perhaps the most beautiful waterfall in our country. Apart from that, there are numerous waterfalls in South Goa among which Bamunbudo waterfall is the second most famous in this district. Bamunbudo waterfall is situated on the way to Netravali in South goa in a rural village called Gaondongrim. The waterfall is easily accessible by road as it lies directly on the side of the road surrounded by dense forests. Since I went in the monsoons the waterfall looked more gorgeous than its normal volume as heavy rains increased the volume of water in the streams of the mountains which joins to form the waterfall. The waterfall looks more like plenty of streams sliding along the rocks so it is not vertical like other waterfalls in our country.
Due to the immense greenery on the way to Netravali, the nature in the vicinity of the waterfall is enchanting and welcomes a traveler in a delightful way for the next road ahead to the pristine forests of South Goa.After visiting the rural villages of North Goa and the Amthane valley I thought that was the best part of greenery that I can capture in Goa. To my surprise, south goa has a different captivating landscape that has so much to offer for the tourists visiting the road to Netravali, which is an hour drive from Palolem. Netravali is a sanctuary situated in south Goa famous for the Bubble lake and stunning waterfalls. In the monsoons, it is almost impossible to enter the sanctuary due to heavy rains and strong winds that uproot the trees. So I chose to explore the villages Avem and Gaundongrim which falls on the state highway leading to Netravali. These two villages offer spectacular views of the mountains and the rice fields, with the entire valley turning green on the onset of the monsoons.
Landscape of Avem village.
There is a small waterfall called Bhupar waterfall that lies near Avem surrounded by dense forests and rice fields. The source of the water is mainly the streams flowing from the mountains due to heavy rainfall in the monsoons. The wide stream just in front of the growling waterfall offers breathtaking views in the valley as it joins further downstream into the Talpona River. Due to incessant rains, the mountains were covered with clouds and the rice paddy fields were flooded with streams of water along the lowlands of the mountains. The forests in the village were covered with trees like mango and sal but due to the presence of the coconut trees in some parts of the lowlands, the landscape delivered the presence of Goa, that we normally see in our desktop wallpapers. The one hour trip from Palolem to Netravali is a must-visit activity in the monsoons in order to capture the green rice fields and the rejuvenated waterfalls which marks the onset of rains in the western ghats
South Goa is mostly about beaches with hills, palm trees and stupendous viewpoints from the seaside cliffs. But very few tourists know that the southern district of goa has some significant historical forts that provide alluring scenes of the Arabian sea from the cliffs of the forts. Cabo de Rama is an ancient fortress named after the legendary Hindu mythological king Lord Rama. So this fortress is believed to be thousands of years old making it one of the oldest forts in western India. It was built by the local Hindu Soonda rulers which were then conquered by the Portuguese and they changed the name to Cabo de Rama, Cabo meaning cape due to the small cape the fortress forms in the western coastline.
The fortress is situated between two beaches which are Cavelossim and Agonda beach, and also has a small beach beneath the fort which can only be accessed by foot. The Portuguese were attracted to this fort mainly due to the excellent view it provided of the entire coastline in between the two mountains of Agonda and Cavelossim which helped them to see the approaching enemies from the sea. The Portuguese renovated the fort after they captured from the local Hindu rulers but later abandoned it and turned it into a prison. The fortress is now in ruins but it still offers some relevant historical remains of the ancient rulers which can be enchanting to any traveller, along with the magnificent views it offers of the south Goa coastline.
View from the fort Cabo de Rama
Due to the monsoon season ,as evening sets in rain starts to downpour heavily in these parts of the western ghats.So I decided to return back to my hotel via the same route from cabo de rama to patnem beach.On my way I came across a beautiful temple called shree ranjani paik temple on the foothills of the mountains. Due to the immense greenery of the rice fields in the villages the bright orange colour of the temple matched perfectly with the greenery of the village.The temple offers great view of the surrounding valley along with the peaceful and calm atmosphere of the surroundings.orange is associated with the colour of the hindu monks so since this temple is dedicated to the hindus .that is why the orange colour.But irrespective of religion the colourful temple looks perfectly positioned with the green surroundings of the western ghats in south goa.
Shree Ranjani paik temple and the surrounding greenery.
My accomodation in South goa was near patnem beach and the name of the hotel was Crystal Goa Emerald. Located just 100 metres on the sea beach road of patnem the hotel offers luxurious spacious rooms with a small cafe at its entrance.The hotel complex is small as compared to the large resorts in Panaji and north goa, but the rooms are perfectly suited to enjoy a calm and serene atmosphere of patnem beach.
Many of the important archaeological sites in South India stands in ruins which need utmost attention for its presentation. Betul fort is one of a such ancient fort built in 17 th century in the Sal river just when the river falls into the Arabian sea. When we reach the fort we get various significant points on this location. First is the Sal river that flows into the nearby village, Betul lighthouse which is located on the other side of the hill and third is the numerous fishing boats that we see on the other side of the estuary parked on the banks of the Betul beach.
The pathway leading to the top of the fort is mostly covered with shrubs and grasses but when I reached at the top of the fort the panoramic views that I was able to capture of the sal river was significant in terms of why the fort was built. The canon of the fort had a relevant target view as it faced directly to the estuary and due to the wide-angle unobstructed view, this fort was of utmost importance for the Maratha rulers to guard any progression from the enemy soldiers.
Estuary of the river Sal and the fishing boats.
The fort is located in a small village which is located 1 hour from Madgaon and can easily be reached by car, as bus services are not frequent. In front of the fort, local people can be seen with fishing rods and nets trying to capture the fish and sell in the local market. Numerous hotels and resorts have come up in this village owing to the natural scenery of the Sal River and its estuary which has led to a significant income for the locals. Besides that rice plantation and fishing is the main source of income for the villagers.
Fisherman with his fishing rod in betul beach.
Concluding my south goa exploration of offbeat places with Bigfoot Goa near Madgaon was a relevant experience of knowing ancestral Goa. Bigfoot Goa is a museum depicting about the culture and living lifestyle of the Konkani people, in the form of man-made models. There is a recorded commentary at numerous part in front of the models explaining the society and culture of Konkani people. There are many interesting displays from which we get knowledge about how the Goanese people do farming, process food and wine and celebrate their important rituals.
Konkani festivals and rituals depicted in the form of statues.
Besides such exhibitions, there is an interesting cave which has written on its wall containing the worlds most dangerous animal. But when I went inside I saw my reflection in a mirror inside a cage while there was a growling sound being played in the background. This was quite innovative relating to the symbolic interpretation of human being.
The mystic cave.
After that, the main spot comes where people come to pray and believe their wishes will be fulfilled. Legends say that there was a philanthropic king who lost all his possessions and when God asked him for a boon he asked for a space to stand in one foot and pray. Impressed by his devotion the God marked this space of foot mark of the king as a holy place and declared that any people coming here for a boon, the wish will be fulfilled.
The big foot marked with flower garland.
Apart from such legendary stories, at the last spot that I arrived,there is a 14 meter long Sant Mirabai statue made from laterite soil by MJ Alvares. This statue was carved in just 30 days and is now the largest statue in the world made from laterite soil. Concluding my journey of South Goa district with this museum was perhaps the best way to know about this beautiful state.