Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vagathore Beach & Chapora Fort - Very Very Special (Goan Odyssey Part 3)

Day 2 - The North Goa Trail continues..  

It seems God has bestowed many boons to the place Vagathore. A beautiful beach, a cliff, rocks, boulders, green veiled hills, an estuary all form part this small beach town. The beautiful hill right near the beach also has made it a strategically important location, which resulted in making this place a battleground, when yesteryear rulers tried to get control over this place for positioning their army. May be because of all these it seems like the nature is silently telling a story if we listen closely.

After spending nearly half a day in the Baga beach, we had lunch on our way to Vagathore. From the cab driver we got to know that Vagathore has got a beach and a small fort on top of a hill nearby christened Chapora fort owing to the Chapora river and according him most of the tourists spend atleast 1 hour sight seeing here. But the moment he told that this is the place where the Aamir Khan flick "Dil Chahta Hai" was shot, we got lot more excited and we knew that it is not a one hour place. Most probably we will be spending the rest of the day here.

When the vehicle came to halt in an open parking lot towards the dead end of a road, it seemed as if there is nothing special. Stepped out of the vehicle and we could see that there is a hill with the walls of a fort on top of it.

We were swarmed by a group of road side vendors trying to sell some fancy jewellery rekindling the Baga beach experience. 

This time instead of telling a blank no, my wife quoted a price of Rs.20 for something which the vendor's asking price was Rs.200. Surprisingly he went away and here unlike the baga beach the number of guides and road side vendors were less.

Meanwhile I took a closer shot of the hill which can be seen at a distance.

Instantly I felt like we need to get on top of that rather than being at the beach coz the morning was completely spent in the beach. But we decided to first take a rest near the cliff enjoying the surroundings before starting the trek up, which will also allow our tummies to complete the digestion process.

The parking space is on top of a cliff. As we approached the end of a cliff the view was spectacular with strong wind blowing across making us feel lot more comfortable even though sun was out.

Towards the northern side of the cliff lay the beautiful Vagathore beach. The height at which we were standing, has dwarfed the homosapeins taking a bath at the beach. The hill which stations the Chapora fort also can be seen in the backdrop. The estuary formed by the Chapora river flowing into the Arabian sea is just behind the hill.

To be frank this beach is not so beautiful like the Baga beach, mainly owing to the color of the sand. If the Baga beach sand was golden and was radiating a shine around, this was a mix of black and golden and the shine was missing. This beach is not as long as Baga beach. But then we cannot have everything together. What makes up for the long beachline and golden sand is the diverse landscape around. The cabbie had told that there is a resort right behind this beach (Sterling resorts) , but I could not see it from here, may be coz of the abundant coconut trees.

Right in front of us, ie towards the Western side the cliff goes down to a series of beautiful rock formations positioned to kiss the lashing waves creating a beautiful sound and sight.

Towards the southern side also there were only rocks forming the coastline, the jet black colour of the rocks forming a contrast with milky white colour created by the lashing waves. There was another hill in the backdrop.

So a 180 degree scan starting from north to south through west reveals a beautiful hill, the estuary, a beach, the sea extending to the horizon, the cliff with rocks protruding to the sea, the rocky coastline and ends up with another hill.

As my wife and younger daughter lied down on the grass topped cliff to get some rest, me and my son decided to just be active.

I tried to climb down the cliff through the rocks, at the southern side which is not so steep.

My son was happy climbing up on small rocks on top of the cliff, the balancing act was really fun when there is a strong wind which was strong enough to disturb our balance.

I made him to taste a rock too and he was exited to see the photo.

I had a difficult time is making him understand that lack of third dimension in photography, gives us this perspective and hence a photo should not be completely believed eventhough there is a saying that seeing is believing.

We enjoyed the activities going on in the beach and here also like the baga beach there were all kinds of fun rides in the beach. The scooter boat ride seem to be the most interesting one.

It was almost after one hour that we decided to move out to next place - the trek up the Chapora fort. We all had a good rest and our body was refueled and ready for another trail.

The foot of the hill was around 800meters away from this point. The cabbie took us towards the foot of the hill through narrow roads with thick dense vegetation on both sides, a la Kerala effect.

Within no time we reached the foot of the hill and found that the trek up is moderately steep, but what is more menancing is the small round stones which are slippery.

The cab driver was cautioning us that it will be difficult for our kids to go up and we were amazed at how concerned he was.

Slowly but steadily we began to trek up. As we gained more and more altitude, the field of vision increased and this itself was pumping more and more energy for us to climb up.

Surprisingly my son and daughter too enjoyed the trek up. Wonder what they were thinking while climbing up. The rolling slippery stones was challenging them to move up as we heard them talking in those lines.

Now the altitude levels have increased so much that all the tree tops around seemed to form like a green bed.

We took a breather here enjoying the scenery around.

There was barge like thing in the sea which is visible towards the right end of the above picture. A zoomed up snap was taken just to satisfy my kids curiosity.

The parking lot on top of the cliff where we initially had parked our vehicle was visible from here. Initially I had taken a photo of the hill from that point. So now it is the inverse.

As we were approaching the top and could see the top of the wall of the fort, the steepness became too much and we were wondering as to stop or proceed up.

But by now my son was fully thrilled by this trek up and was in no mood to return without reaching the top and he started to walk ahead.

At times it seemed that he was stopping to decide on which way to proceed ahead.

In between I noticed two crickets whose color scheme matched exactly with the colour of the stone. Watch the face and the eyes of these creatures. It looks like an alien featured in some of the movies.

A little more trek up and the Vagathore beach is clearly visible. It seems that the beach is looking more beautiful from this point.

The top of the other hill on the southern side also can be seen from here and it seemed as if trees are shaven off from the top of the hill.

Finally we were within touching distance with the walls of the fort and the joy is quite visible by the reaction of the kids.

We were also feeling happy to be on top and proudly posed for a photo

We were near to the wall of the fort, but there were no entrance in sight and there was no one around to ask too. So I decided to take a stroll around to find out the entrance while my wife and kids will wait here. After a little walk towards the eastern side saw a small entrance. Wonder why the entrance to the vast fort was so small.

Might be a security strategy, so that attackers will not be able to swarm inside the fort all at once thereby allowing people inside to defend. Before I started to walk back to call my wife and kids I saw some water a little ahead. Walked ahead and saw the beautiful Chapora river.

This hill is surrounded by Arabian sea on two sides and the Chapora river on the other side. Soon all of us got inside the fort through the small entrance. Once inside it was a real vast compound. Immediately could relate this scenary to the song in the movie Dil Chahta Hai.

One perplexing fact that, eventhough the place is called Chapora fort, there were not a single building in sight. I wonder whether this fort only served as a place for attacking the approaching enemies who came through the sea. In any case this place might have seen lot of blood shed. But as of now it is a synonym of calmness. There were not a single moving soul around. It was a vast area, with overgrown grass and nice cool breeze. For a moment we all became kids and we ran around, our legs completely immersed in the grass, occassionally jumping high over the rocks. My son was soon seen jumping around and captured his lovely moments in my camera.

The only sign of construction was a small monument right in the centre of the vast area. Even close observation did not reveal any inscriptions on it rather than some random jottings by the name of some lovers who might have had a good time in this area.

The ambiance was perfectly nurtured for the romantic souls. There are no constructions around, but the geography was well architectured, there was no soothing music around, but the wind was creating the most soothing of the music, there are no dancers around, but the overgrown grass dressed in green attire was dancing to the tune of wind. No wonder why it tickled the romantic spirits of a couple who were celebrating there ninth wedding anniversary.

My kids floating around the greenery like lovely little birds enjoying the vastness was a sight to watch and we kept enjoying them play with the nature breathing some fresh air and this picture will remain in our minds for so many years to come.

Meanwhile we walked up to the northern side and there was an small entrance there too. I made an exit through this gate. The estuary formed by the meeting point of Chapora river to the Arabian sea was clearly visible here and what a sight it was. This panoramic shot is not able to completely reliven its true beauty

The hill was extending to the sea at this point. There is a trekking path over this hill too and one can trek towards the Vagathore beach through this route too.

When I looked back towards the fort, I could see my too little ones happily perched on top of the wall of the fort akin to the jungle kids lost in a big vast world.

Three hours had passed once we reached Vagathore. Undoubtedly each one of us found this place true to our liking and the reasons might be varied. The diversity of this absolute gem of place is sure to satisfy any soul. The trek up the hill is really worth and one needs to spend atleast half a day just to enjoy the fort itself leave aside the beach and the cliff. All in all this place has all the bells and whistles to keep one engaged for one full day.

While we were carefully trekking down the hill through the rolling stones we were discussing on trekking up the other hill on the southern side. When we reached our back to our cab driver he was wondering what we were doing for this long, but he was proud and happy when we told that this is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited.

By this time it was clear that we will not be able to cover all the locations included in the standard North Goa Trail package, but we are not complaining as we don't intend to just watch and go. Still we have time to take a visit to one more location before calling it a day. The Vagathore for sure has raised the expectation benchmark too high. The cab rolled out to the next destination and our spirits were high. 

Click here to read Part 4 - Fort Aguada

The Goan Odyssey -The story so far...

Part 1. The Konkan Experience - Watch the beautiful pictures of Konkan rail route 
Part 2. Baga Beach - A beautiful beach
Part 3. Vagathore Beach and Chapora Fort - A place with diversified ambiance.
Part 4. Fort Aguada & Anjuna Beach
Part 5. Panjim - A scooter expedition
Part 6. Calangute 
Part 7. The Dolphin Trip


chitra said...

Beautiful posts and photos. Belated W. anniversary wishes.

Saumya said...

whaaaao....exotic place!!

Viper said...

chetta good one..your blogs are like a tv series with "seasons" and "Chapters"...waiting for the next part of this "Season" :-) said...

Hello Chitra
Thanks for the visit and for the wishes!!

Subu said...

Hi Saumya
Thanks a lot

Subu said...

Hey Viper bhai
I liked that comparison. It is Goa season now. hehe

luv n regards

zephyr said...

I had started visiting photo blogs through Indivine and now I have got hooked to the travel blogs, thanks to Anu's and your blog. Lovely travel brochures you have here. Your kids are also lucky to be able to share your passion for travel. My husband and I unable to travel much for health reasons, but this is a great antidote for the travel bug in us. All the best to you and yours!

flyingwind said...

So long diary! Very nice record!

magiceye said...

lovely images and wonderful commentary too!

Framed and Shot said...

Great story - nice to se all the photos, they are telling the story!

....Petty Witter said...

Given that we have had snow here for the last two weeks or so it was especially lovely to see all these wonderfully exotic photos.

Sanjeeta kk said...

Thanks for the visit, in turn I get to know and see virtual Goa. Lovely clicks.

StarTraci said...

Wow! I am always inspired by the beauty of your photographs but now I have seen the real beauty in your life -- your wonderful family. Thanks for sharing and blessings on your lovely brood!

Traci said...

Hello zephyr
Welcome to "Passion for road trips". Nice to hear that you enjoyed the virtual tour.

Have a nice stay here

best regards
Subu said...

Hello Flying wind
Welcome to my blog.. Thanks for leaving a comment too


Hello Magiceye
Thanks a lot !!!


Hello Framed and shot
Thanks for those nice words

best regards

Hello Petty Witter
Nice to hear that you found all the greenery and beaches really soothing to your eyes amidst the falling snow. I have never experienced snow though.

best regards
Subu said...

Hello Sangeeta
Welcome to my blog world !! Hope you enjoyed the virtual tour.


Hello Star Traci
Whatever you said in your comment is true to the core. There is nothing in the world like a truly loving and supporting family behind you. Thanks for the wishes too.
Thanks and regards

Pratibha The Talent said...

OMG! what a place and wonderful collection of pics.simply superb. said...

Hello Pratibha
Thanks for the visit and comment .

Julian Booth said...


I think that is one of the most significant blog today i have seen.And i am glad that you have shared wonderful little story with us with this lovely pictures. I would love too see all this pictures in one personalized photo books to make more attractive all the pics. view more

Thanks a lot for sharing.
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