Located in Northern Goa, India; Arambol Beach is not a place for your average weekend warrior. Arambol has a distinctly bohemian feel which the rest of Goa seems to have lost or commercialized. This gypsy soul of Arambol has slowly but surely attracted many alternative travellers; hippies, spiritualists, bikers, ‘sing for my supper’ types.
What I love about Arambol is that it can truly be experienced by first timers only if they have a curious mind and explorer’s feet.
The main beach is postcard Goa – all carnival atmosphere and glitter. Crowded, noisy,and flocked by the locals and your average city slicker looking for a good time.
North off the main beach, a 15 minute walk across a cliff lined with quaint little huts available for accommodation, brings you to a serpentine path opening up to-Paradise. Most people, including me knew this as part of Arambol, but to the locals this divine stretch is known as Kalacha beach.
Clean white sand, colorful happy umbrellas, and comfy beach chairs pepper the landscape. A gaggle of coconut trees encircle a beautiful little turquoise green lake.
This is Arambol’s Sweet Water Lake
Birthed from hot water springs deep in the heart of the jungle that encircles it, Sweet Water Lake or Vagkolam (if you’re picky about official names) is an idyllic lagoon cocooned between the beach and lush green hills. The clay rocks found nearby are purported to have magical healing properties and coating yourself with this clay on a summer day and floating peacefully in the lake will heal not only your sunburn but your soul as well.
I definitely recommend a dip when the sun goes down. Bathed in moonlight, the experience is almost ethereal as you lose yourself in the heartbeat of Mother Nature herself. If trekking is more your thing, then a walk into the jungle brings you to The Great Banyan tree
Adjoining the banyan tree is a stone bowl, filled with currency of almost every national and international denomination with the inscription “Give if you can – Take if you have to”.
Created by an American Conceptual and Land Art artist Jacek Tylicki, The Money Stone is a no strings attached line of credit for travellers and backpackers in a bit of a cash crunch. Stealing from it is said to bring bad juju and hence, avoided.
Spend an afternoon here meditating under the Banyan tree, or take a nap. But spare a moment to breathe in the ever present palpable throb of energy. If you’re lucky you might be able to catch ‘Banyan Baba’, a sage allegedly from Uttar Pradesh. He appeared out of nowhere one day and now is the de facto caretaker of the tree.
On the walk from the main beach at Arambol to Kalacha, do stop by this little hand crafted jewelry shack called the “Shiva and Moon Handicraft Store and Café.”
Its run by this amazing man named Shiva and his brother Moon. You can’t miss him – little dude, tigers eye amulet on his right arm, long curly locks. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in soul. The man has energy and a spiritual aura around him larger and stronger than the mountainside his shack is built on. He has travelled all around the country, has the awareness of an oracle and the humility of a saint.
Come over, spend some time, smoke a doobie. You won’t regret it…
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