Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SOUTH GOA – MOBOR - BETUL BEACH

I’m fond of South Goa beaches. These include Colva (my new home to be) and heading south from there to Benaulim, Varca, Mobor (Cavelossim) and ending up at Betul beach where the River Sal meets the Arabian Sea. I wrote a bit about River Sal in my previous Goa blog here.

I am not against North Goa beaches that are well known to all like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna and so on but that’s not my game, its too white (population of Brits, European and Russian I mean), too commercialized, too crowded, too many things going on and very happening. For me, I’d like the quieter parts that South Goa offers. I won’t include other famous South Goa beaches like Palolem for now but let me give some glimpses Mobor and Betul here.

Mobor-Cavelossim (as it is known) has some fine hotels in the vicinity of its famous beach. The hotels are mostly for the well heeled and in a way keeps out riff raff. Some of these hotels have beachfront like property that looks like the Hotels own stretches of this beach but that is not true, the beaches are indeed public. Elite Hotels like the Leela Palace are on top of the list in this stretch and moving on down the list to The Holiday Inn and further to budget hotels nearby that are quite good frankly, although without immediate beach access. There’s something good to suit all budgets.


(Fishing boat at the mouth of the Sal and Arabian Sea)

My favorite time at Mobor is in the evenings. I like this a lot, warm waters gently lapping at your feet while you walk on the edge of the water and the soft sand of the beach. The sunset in the horizon, changing hues of orange to somewhat deep red before plunging below. The soft sounds of the waves and the gentle breeze. I like stopping by and watching little birds run behind small crustaceans on the exposed wet sand when the tide goes out and then they come running back when the waves return towards the beach. For me that’s what a piece of heaven would feel like.


(Sunset at Betul)

One can relax by the seaside into the evening and night, there are a few good “shacks” where one can order up cocktails, mocktails and whatever else one fancies. I like the starts showing up as the sky darkens, the breeze still soft and less humid. It is seafood paradise, Goa is, and I’d encourage everyone to try some of the local dishes. Vegetarians don’t despair, there are options available, although it may not be extensive. South Goa beaches are a series of villages by the sea, all very clean and some villages still offering some very fine examples of old Portuguese architectures in their Casas.


(Islets formed by the Sal and the Sea)

I like that short stretch of walk between Mobor and Betul beach, reaching a point where the River Sal meets with the Arabian Sea. The Leela is located at this spot. Its really picturesque. There’s Betul Beach, soft sand bordering the river Sal’s mouth and on the other side is a line of Hills. The beach itself has various small channels that bring in water from the river to the sea and vice versa. One can stand on sand banks in low tide and watch water all around the little “island” that you are on. Some of the pictures accompanying this post would help imagine this.


(Sunset over the sand bar)

I normally just take the village road that runs parallel to the sea, from The Madgao-Colva road past villages and rice fields, going South. In high season this narrow road can have lots of traffic going at high speed, so if you are renting a two-wheeler, wear a helmet and be careful! If you are coming from Madgao side, on the road going to Colva, you’ll see a lot of signboards showing either Leela Palace. Take a left and drive till you see Mobor beach or till you drive into the River Sal eventually because the road ends there! The turn off to the left, facing Colva beach side is at a cross road just before the famous Colva Church of Our Lady of Mercy. If you go past the Church (Church on your right side), you have missed the turn. Never mind, take the next left and that road joins up with the road that you missed!

Betul is famous for this "river meets sea" location. I have also seen tour operators who take people out in boats to watch for Dolphins in the area and also motor up the river to a fishing village and take a look at the fresh catch of the day. I’d just go there to un-clutter my otherwise cluttered brain and let the feeling of peace and tranquility wash over me.

42 comments:

manysuchthings.com said...

"Your new home to be"! Oh, if my home were anywhere near beaches, I wouldn't be at home at all! That Betul beach looks very peaceful. I have been to Goa only once and spent most of the time in Calangute, I agree that it is very crowded. After reading your post, thinking of visiting North Goa once.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Vishwas Krishna. You need to visit South Goa to see the difference, even in "high season" it's a lot quieter than the Northern Beaches for sure. North Goa has a different mind set and seems busy. South Goa is laid back. I'm with you on that, I am a beach bum as well.

Mitr - Friend said...

"home to be..???!!!" - Wow. You're one lucky chap to live in a wonderful place like this...Nsoy... And thanks for introducing a peaceful and secluded Goa like this... I've got enough of bikini clad foreigners and drug and drink addicts and too busy as u said... I didn't even pay a visit to Goa as of yet... :P
My Travelogue

YOSEE said...

Lucky you ! Setting up home in Paradise ! No wonder you wax poetic.....we stayed in that Holiday Inn once and for 3 whole days stayed put there, because it was so relaxing to be far away from the touristy goa.....oh yes, those lively little crustaceans popping up energetically as the wave recedes - untiring to watch.

While in Cavelossim, we did wander about here and there on foot , but i dont remember if i saw those sand bars ("islands") there or in Porto Novo near Chidambaram.

( Thanx for the Pavlopetri link. Educated myself. )

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Mitr: I invested in a condo in South Goa, going to house warm in November. Although I live in Singapore, I'd end up there in Goa, long term. Its like a retirement nest egg, this place, for me. BTW can't say there won't be any bikini clad foreigners in the South but fewer than North for sure. Colva, Benaulim so on are more family type beaches, you'd see lots of mom's in sarees (even in the water!) and dads trying to thrash about as well, scaring the crustaceans! In the previous blog (and comments section) I mentioned about so many other places in Goa, I am sure you'd like to visit those as well.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Yosee: Wow, I am so happy that you were there in Cavelossim. The sand bars are at Betul, near the confluence of the Sal and the Sea. Usually seen at low tide. Yup, I am a not biased about Goa as you can tell!

You're welcome about Pavlopetri. I wanted to go out there and help a bit but highly unlikely this year given my schedule.

Namita Chandra said...

lovely pictures and Betul beach looks marvelous. all the best for your home to be

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Namitha. I had so many more pictures but seem to be missing them at the moment so I posted the ones that I had. Thanks for your kind wishes.

avdi said...

Just what I would love. A quiet beach. The pics are just marvellous.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Avdi. I have a local chap there who knows other quiet beaches, sort of off the beaten path where the water is clean and beaches are cleaner. Generally these places are safe too, have not heard of problems. The ones I have mentioned are quiet beaches although part of a popular trail.

Kamini said...

Beautiful post! You transported me to lovely South Goa. I'd like to visit these beaches some day.

Kamini said...

Beautiful post! You transported me to lovely South Goa. I'd like to visit these beaches some day.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Kamini, I am glad you enjoyed it. Make South Goa a part of your itinerary next time!

Swaram said...

So lucky Captain!

N u make me wanna go on a beach-holiday na ;) Lovely pics :)

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Swaram, you need to get some "beach therapy"! The sun, sand and sea will do you good!

Dew said...

This is beautiful.... :) Have visited a few in India here, at Vizag I think Rameshwaram Beach..the cleanest of all, Juhu beach, Kihim beach,Alibaug! Oh yes, Pondicherry too ... Alibaug was the most horrible one..it's so dirty out there you know!! Kihim beach was still better, we enjoyed wid frens and I remember had stayed in one of the homes, where they actually rent out rooms for tourists. They serve home made food, which is delicious :)

Its humid but the deep sea, shores, the tides, waves, sun-set at the beach...walking over the sand in a moonlit night is simply blissful!!! :)

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Dew: True, India's got some great stretches of beaches and some very dirty ones too. What is sad is that due to the many ports under development along India's coast, many beaches are losing sand and becoming rocky. NDTV did an expose' on the state of beaches in India and how so many of them are disappearing rapidly. I hope the environment ministry does something about it. Fingers crossed again!

Roopa said...

Hey Anup, I sure am looking forward to sitting on the beach or even in the water sipping that sweet smooth Goan port wine, watching the crustaceans, listening to the steady and calming waves lap the shores and with all of us there I am sure we will be sharing beautiful moments of our childhood and laughing about it and finally the breathtaking sunset and then we can continue the celebration of your acquring the condo. Need a room in it for my retirement too or hope I can afford to buy one by then. Anyway here's to a memorable time 4-7 November ...:)

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Roops, yup we're sure looking forward to that! D Day coming up real soon. You're welcome anytime, there's a room with a balcony for you!

Yogi said...

Hello Capt., I will love to be associated with you from now on. One of my goals in life is to have a home by the beach, sitting in my corridor sipping port wine just as you mentioned! You have shown me the door to fulfill my dream! IT fascinates me.

Yogi said...

Hello Capt., I will love to be associated with you from now on. One of my goals in life is to have a home by the beach, sitting in my corridor sipping port wine just as you mentioned! You have shown me the door to fulfill my dream! IT fascinates me.

David hogard said...

There are a number of Goa sightseeing options. Be it the beaches, churches or temples of Goa all attract tourists. Here are few places that you must visit while in Goa.
Margao
One of the best preserved examples of the Portuguese culture that can still be seen in the nooks and corners of Goa, the tiny town of Margao is the capital of the Salcete province of Goa, in the southern part of the state. One of Goa's busiest towns, Malgao is generally seen to be the cultural capital of Goa.


http://travels423.blogs.experienceproject.com/201365.html

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Yogi: Thanks for writing in and thanks indeed for reading my blog and following. We just got back from the housewarming event and it was a wonderful success. We all managed to do a bit of beach bumming too (went to Mobor again and Benaulim - Colva Beach). After a hectic week, I am just recovering from things!

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

David: Thanks for writing in and for the interesting link too. I have always enjoyed Goa as a tourist and now to be back there with a home is great.

BLOG said...

Goa is really a nice place.


Goa-Hotels

navneet_kul said...

North goa beaches are also very nice. Not all beaches are crowded. You can take for e.g. aramabol beach. It seems like heaven on earth though it is at far distance from panaji.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks Navneet. I don't dispute your suggestion. Arambol is indeed nice. I haven't been as far north as Tiracol fort and would that sometime soo. I'm fond of Goa, my bias for the Southern part shows in this article of mine which is more than a year old. Thanks again for visiting my blog.

This is the world ,where we live ! said...

hey captain! really damn informative blog along with the beautiful photos . planning to buy a property in and around Betul soon ; hows life over there ?
debashish-mumbai

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hi Debashish. Good luck with finding a good place in the area! All the best.

preeti said...

I agree that the beaches in North Goa are most crowded but Beaches of North Goa are preferred by most of the visitors. Thanks for sharing information about idyll beaches in South Goa.
Regards
Best Hotels in Goa

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Preeti. I am going to be in South Goa neighborhood in a month or so. I always enjoy the area. Thanks again.

POOJA said...

will be going to Goa soon to view a property near the sea at betul....is it good to invest in a place at Betul?

POOJA said...

Hello captain will be going to goa soon to view a property in bETUL village ?how is the village property as a second home?

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Hi Pooja, since I live abroad and due to lack of opportunity, I haven't been back to Goa since 2010! I don't know how the property market is at the moment but last year things were all headed upwards. Property near Betul would be nice I suppose, depending on location and convenience. It will be good to rely on some local help, if you know people personally, who can guide you better. I am making a visit back to Goa in the next month or so, I may have better feedback that time. Thanks for reading my Blog! All the best with your property hunting!

Joshua Aiyer said...

Holiday in Goa is my dream, I never went to Goa. But after seeing this beautiful scenario is encouraging me to have a holiday in Goa.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Joshua, thanks for reading this blog, although it is information from 2009, not much has changed in that area of South Goa. Best time to visit is after the monsoon, that should be around September/October. High season technically starts from Oct and ends in Feb but the really high season is December-January. There's quite a bit of difference between North and South Goa. North Goa has more foreign crowd, parties, nightlife and the South ones have better beaches and quieter. Have fun visiting Goa, you'll enjoy it!

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Giby Joseph said...

The information about Goa tourism and beaches very informative , The images in Very attractive and use full please continue blogging http://goatourismplaces.blogspot.in

BiAnz said...

An excellent blend of sea, sand and surf, Goa beaches have long been a favorite hunt for beach lovers. Warm golden sand, gleaming sea water and enchanting greenery make these beaches a heaven on the earth. Really interesting article.Goa

Frankie Paul said...

Sir, your post is excellent. Believe me after going through this post, I am feeling like I have been to these places numerous times...please keep writing...La Cabana Beach & Spa

Damodar Patil said...

there are similar properties in patto with such beaches too. this seems to be so peaceful. there have been lot of development taking place here. thanks for sharing this.

anjali gupta said...

Hi..Anup Informative blog and worth reading.Gos definitely hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in India. But there are lots of places to visit in Goa for history lovers such as old monuments, art galleries and gothic churches.