IF…. your heart beats to a different drumbeat….
you can enjoy the cacophony of birds, farm and other animals
you’re relaxed with the sounds of singing from a distant temple or chapel
you’d rather haggle with vendors of every race in colourful fleamarkets than shop in air conditioned malls
you prefer rambling old Goan Portuguese houses and cottages to modern concrete blocks
you’d rather ride motorcycles and small taxis on dusty back roads than take a coach tour
you prefer a “copa” in local bars, “thalis” in beach shacks, small eating places and small happenings on beaches, coconut groves and cliffs to ” lounge bars”, “resto-bars” and ” sound proofed” night clubs and discotheques…….
WELCOME TO ANJUNA! LET YOUR HAIR DOWN AND HAVE A GREAT TIME!
Dip into Anjuna’s “alternative” scene, known for its Wednesday flea market and (erstwhile?) full moon parties. Its Goa’s original hippy hangout.
Discovered by the flower children in the late sixties, Anjuna is a picturesque little seaside village with a colourful past. Today Anjuna continues to attract free spirited travelers from all over the world.
Anjuna has a welcoming, friendly and tolerant profile, and is an enchanting mix of good sense rural tradition and world savvy. The village has had years of exposure to international travelers, and the people have, like many Goans, traveled and worked all over India as well as the world.
Anjuna beach is great at any time of the year. The months between June to September see a very heavy rainfall of over 100 inches; nevertheless most Indians and long term foreign residents aver that Goa is at this time at its romantic greenest best. Take part in local festivity you’ll experience true hospitality and warmth of Goan family and community life during the Ganesh festival. The period from November to March is the main tourist season.
Bathing is generally safer at Anjuna than most of the nearby beaches. South Anjuna beach is really pretty, and a rocky headland keeps the sea calm and the undertow to a minimum. Soaking up the sun, refreshing oneself on tropical fruits, juices and “chai” at the beach shacks, watching spectacular sunsets to the sounds of ambient and “world” music and fire jugglers, and taking long walks under the moon on the silver sands would be most visitors’ view of ” sossegado”. Further north, Ozran beach off the cliffs of Vagator, also called Spaghetti beach, Tel Aviv beach or small Vagator, is beautifully set and unspoilt because its unapproachable except by clambering down the cliffside.
On Wednesdays the fields off South Anjuna Beach are home to the Flea Market. Once a flea market for returning hippies to sell their belongings to jeans starved youngsters, today its vendors are Tibetans, gypsy Lamanis, Rajasthanis, Europeans, Goans and representatives of just about every race living in or visiting the sub continent. Find everything from handicrafts, spices, incense sticks, pizzas, leather moccasins, stitched clothes, beach wear, silverware, hammocks, books on philosophy, Goa trance party recordings, fortune telling bulls with their colourful owners, tarot card readers to Enfield motorcycles. Haggle, walk away, haggle again and have a great time. And come away with a couple of completely useless drums.
Take a look at the magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920 and modeled after the palace of Zanzibar, where many Anjuncars worked and lived. Its an architectural delight with its rich, classic balconies and stained glass floral etchings. For more history climb up the hill above the Chapora fishing village to the Chapora fort, once the domain of the Muslim invaders, before they were displaced by the Portuguese. And at least once in the eighties the scene of a full moon party! Today it’s a protected heritage site. For more recent art find Jungle’s Shiva head carving on Ozran beach.
The fishing village of Chapora on the Chapora river is itself a delight, with its pretty temples, small houses, jetty, markets and winding lanes. Locals, backpackers and long term foreign residents throng the tiny lanes filled with small shops, eateries, local bars, foot massage shop, local “bhaji” (vegetable dishes), fruits, superb Italian desserts and coffees.
Despite the official line, parties (now unflatteringly called “raves” by the press) do happen. Big parties take place around the Christmas- New Year time when the authorities relent and “permissions” are given.
A dissident view: During the “peace brother” hippy times these parties were on full moon nights; they were small, friendly and open to all, with just as many locals, flower sellers, chai selling ladies as foreigners; now the parties have become too big, commercial and
filled with action seeking rowdies and yuppies. We stay out of them.
Another dissident view: Its healthier for all and more fun when they’re banned and somewhat “underground”. It’ll really be all over when they’re sponsored by the drinks companies.
There are no flyers or ads for these parties. Just keep your ears open for the thump thump sounds and follow the other motorbikes on the small country lanes.
At other times Anjuna’s night life centres around places like Curlys and Nine Bar, which have pounding sound systems and play Anjuna’s “traditional” 140 beats per minute Goa trance. In Anjuna tradition no entrance fees are charged though the price of drinks is on the higher side. IF YOU ARE A FREE SPIRIT, YOU’LL LOVE ANJUNA!