GOA - the land of beaches and nightlife; the land of serenity and desires! Goa is probably the only place in India where both Indians and foreigners like to visit in huge numbers and as many times as they can. The reasons are pretty obvious: Goa has some of the most beautiful beaches, a nightlife like none other and it offers you a tranquil environment, where you can leave all your worries and tensions behind to live in the moment!
But if you dare to look beyond these obvious reasons, Goa will show you a different side of itself - one that can leave you spellbound. Goa is also the land of Portugese architecture and hidden places. Goa Tourism is leaving no stone unturned to show you two completely different sides of the India's smallest state: one filled with parties, fun & nightlife and the other filled with serene and historical sightseeing.
All you need to do is rent yourself a 2-wheeler and explore the hidden beauty of Goa. Since Honda Navi is doing really good in Goa, Honda 2-Wheelers India, in association with Goa Tourism, organized its first-ever 'Goa Hunt' event to promote the unknown and unexplored locations of Goa. We were a part of the event and came back with happy memories. Here's our take on the event!
What's Goa Hunt all about?
Goa had a rich colonial past under the Portugese empire who stayed here for more than 450 years, starting early 1600s. Such is the influence of Portugese empire that you see their architectural touch everywhere, making Goa a culturally and historically rich state. Which means, apart from its usual attractions, Goa has a lot more to offer.
Goa Tourism Department, under the Ministry of Goa Tourism, is looking forward to spread this message across India that Goa is for every age group, and not just youths. On the other hand, Honda is a major stakeholder in Goa Tourism too. How so? Well, one of the best ways to explore Goa is to rent a 2-wheeler and Honda pretty much dominates this market with the Activa gearless scooter.
Honda launched the funky NAVI at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi and it is doing good numbers in the state. The whole idea of the 1st edition of 'Goa Hunt' was to explore such unknown, yet beautiful locations on the Honda Navi. Independent travel bloggers, and automotive journalists from all over India were invited to experience and explore Goa.
What all destinations were explored?
If you are willing to look beyond the famous and usual tourist spots in Goa, you will surprised to see how beautiful and rich Goa is. Here are a few spots we explore in our expedition to Goa with Goa Tourism and Honda 2-Wheeler India.
Located in Saligao, Mae-De-Deus Church means Mother of God Church and is a breathtaking place, especially at night. The Church reminds one of a Fairytale Castle, with its Gothic spires and pristine white walls and was built in 1873.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral and St. Francis of Assisi
One glance at the Basilica of Bom Jesus, combined with the Se Cathedral and St. Francis Assisi, and you will be awestruck by its sheer grandness and beauty. The Basilica of Bom Jesus was constructed in 1605 and houses the relics of the body of St. Francis Xavier. The Bom Jesus Church means the Good Jesus or Infant Jesus to whom this Church is dedicated. Red and brown in shade, the Church is a major attraction for locals.
On the other side of the road is the complex of Archaeological Survey of India with the Se Cathedral and St. Francis of Assisi inside the complex. The combination of white buildings is very intriguing to see. While the exteriors are grand, it is the interiors of both these churches that are a gem in themselves. While the St. Francis of Assisi was built in 1661, the Se Cathedral was built in the first quarter of the 17th century.
Fountainhas or Latin Quarters
The Fountainhas or Latin Quarters, is a residential area in Panjim that maintains to this day its Portugese Influence. The narrow, winding streets are a replica of many European cities with villas painted in bright yellow, blue, green shade and roofs made of red colored tiles. The Chapel of St. Sabastian and Geetanjali Gallery are a couple of landmarks at the Fountainhas. The Mediterranean inspired area is the only area in Goa where Portugese still remains a spoken language.
Contrary to the popular and beautiful locations in Goa, the Mapusa market is a crowdy place, much like a local flea market. But once you visit it, you will notice the riot of colors and noise. The market offers some of the best local stuff you can buy in Goa at a dearth lower price. From selling local fruits to spices, Mapusa market has a lot in store for you.
A bit about Honda Navi
We can't forget about Honda Navi, can we? After all, writing about automobiles is our bread and butter! Honda Navi was the official partner of the Goa Hunt and we had to ride on Navi to explore Goa and a way like never before. The Honda Navi is a gearless scooter that shares its DNA with Honda Activa, one of the most successful 2-wheeler ever.
Honda sells Navi in 3 variants - Navi Standard, Navi Chrome and Navi Adventure Edition. All the 3 Navis shares the same powertrain - a 109.19cc four-stroke SI engine that produces 8 bhp of power and 8.96 Nm of torque. With a body weight of 100 kgs, and small dimensions, Honda Navi not only looks funky and cool, but is extremely agile and fun to ride too.
The basic difference between all the three Navis is the body kit only. While the standard Navi offers a standard kit, the Chrome Edition comes with chrome garnishing around the scooter. The most noticeable and good looking Navi of the lot is the Adventure Edition, which comes with a headlight visor, under body cowl, leg guard and body graphics.
All-in-all, the Honda Navi proved to be a perfect companion for our Goa adventures and was extremely competent in all the places we visited. It was agile in narrow streets, stable on high-speeds (even though, we could touch 80 kmph only) and efficient for daily riding (it has a 3.5-litre tank which is enough for 2-day riding or 150 kms approx).
A final word!
If you are planning for a Goa visit, do not refrain yourself to usual beaches and night clubs. Be a little more adventurous and explore the unexplored side of Goa too. Goa Tourism is more than willing to help you out with the routes, destinations and other minute details. Needless to say, rent a Honda Navi to get the most out of your next Goa trip. Bon Voyage!