Thursday, May 22, 2014

Crocodile stalking in Goa and beach delights in South India


Goa reminds me with seducing beaches, medieval churches (World Heritage Sites), forts, thrilling water sports, raving beach parties and a laid back attitude, but most of travelers miss the wilderness of this part of world. Well, if you don’t know that Cumbharjua Canal is one of the most thick mangrove canals in India where you can spot large, ferocious looking crocodiles then you are still very much ignorant about Goa.

In Goa, crocodiles normally make their homes in the Cumbharjua Canal, which connects the Mandovi and the Zuari, two of the state’s biggest rivers.

Right to Ride

At early morning I came under the Zuari Bridge to step into the boat bobbing in the waters. I was not alone, three more travelers, a couple from Germany and our guide John Rodrigues were accompanied me. We were mainly gathered to spot ferocious reptiles, but beauty of scenic Chorao and Dirar Islands floored us with their splendid charm.

Cumbharjua-Banastarim canal
Cumbharjua-Banastarim canal
After 45 minutes, we had reached our destination, the canal locked by mangroves where we spotted our first hunt, a 1.5 m long crocodile lazing on one of the rocks protruding from the water. It seemed dead, quite oblivion of the passing boat.

Our guide told us the crocodiles found in Goa were actually freshwater crocodiles adapted themselves to survive in the saline water. John was an experienced guide, conducting excursions for more a decade. According to him, he never witnessed any violent behavior from this reptile.

Crocodiles here are scavengers, who prey on sick fish, dead crabs, dogs and cats. The big ones prey on buffaloes and deer. According to Goa’s wildlife officials, there are around 60-70 crocodiles int eh Cumbharjua Canal. While there are no reports of crocodile killed humans, still they warn tourists not go close to this reptile. In the village Durhatwadi, a festival Maange Thapnee is celebrated in the January to pay homage to the reptiles, considered to be the guardian spirit of the community.

5 things you don’t want to miss in South India beaches

1.    Yoga at Varkala Beach, Kovalam

Yoga at Varkala beach, Kovalam Kerala
Yoga at Varkala beach, Kovalam Kerala
If you want solitude, this beach in Kerala is least crowded and perfect for solitary living, at least for a few days. You can also enroll in Yoga classes or just stay here for a week to relish solitary life for a while.  If you are interested, you can take a short course on Kalaripayatttu, a martila art training near the beaches. The training is done in an arena, which is dug into the earth and lit by oil lamps.

2.    Fishing with locals of Mangalore

Fishing experience with locals
Fishing experience with locals
Being a fisherman for a short time is fun. In the beaches of Mangalore you can try your hand in fishing with friendly locals. You can explore a bit of fishing experience in the ocean also.

3.    Watch River meets the sea at Pondicherry

Paradise Beach, Chunnambar
Paradise Beach, Chunnambar
Chunabar beach is less known to tourists, this place is not just good for peace but also to witness the river meets the sea. You can take 20 minute beautiful ride to reach a boat terminal where small boats take tourists and locals on a secluded beach where you can see the intermingle of river and see.

Read More about Goa

Offbeat beaches of Goa
Goa Carnival

4.    Beach wedding in Kerala

Goa has always been the favorite destination for a beach wedding but many couples are now heading to Kerala to celebrate their unions. The simplicity of the pristine beaches ensures that the only witness required is the ocean and the only blessings needed are from the starts shinning above. Perfect place to start the honeymoon immediately after the ceremony.

5.    Wednesday market at Anjuna

Wednesday market at Anjuna beach, Goa
Wednesday market at Anjuna beach, Goa
The famous Anjuna market, known more popularly as the flea market, is held every Wednesday in a grove of coconut palms between the rocky beach of Anjuna and the fallow rice paddies in Goa. Strategically situated on the sandy stretch overlooking the Arabian Sea, the vast and bustling market, practically takes up the entire stretch of the beach.

The market is said to have originated on Valentine’s Day 25 years ago by an American hippie, Eddie Mazmaniam, for raising small scale funds. Thereafter, many foreigners decided to sell their electronic items or barter their stuff for the next leg of their trip.

Currently both Indians and foreigners sell their merchandise here. Everything from Indian crafts, silver Jewelry, wooden chess sets, wide brimmed straw hats and bags, trinkets of shells and beads to the hottest London Clubwear, is sold in this resourceful market. Tattoo artists and piercers studios are the most sought after places.

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  • juliana juan says:
    June 24, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    Many time I planned a tour to Goa but every time I failed to go there because of their transportation. In this blog I find the actual charm of Goa. The writer has beautifully describe the information about Goa Carnivals, beach information and others interesting activities about Goa. I’ll definitely go there to explore new things after my niagara falls trips. Hope I’ll enjoy this trip too.

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