Arambol is a village in North Goa. This is my favorite place in India, because in Arambol there is everything! There is a long sandy beach where it is so nice to swim and walk, there is a lake, there are hills. You can rent a house and live in it all season, prepare yourself, walk every evening to watch the sunset.
But the most beautiful thing in Arambol is the audience that comes there. There a lot of talented people from all over the world gather there – singers, musicians, dancers, artists, healers, yogis, followers of Osho. As the saying goes: “Each creature in pairs.”
Arambola has many courses. There is a very good dance school “temple of dance”. Another interesting place is the “Magic park”, with a vegetarian cafe, and where many different activities take place – dances for ethnic music, singing bajan and mantras, tea ceremonies. Plus courses on massage and various other healing techniques.
In Arambol, there is a tradition of going to sunset all together (on the beach opposite the exit from the Magic Park). People bring musical instruments and play on them, someone dances, someone juggles, someone turns hula-hoop, someone does tai-chi, someone meditates. You can see all your friends at once and exchange news – it’s very convenient.
In the evenings, there are many concerts in Arambol (usually they are held in restaurants). And the music is diverse and high-quality, and the entrance is either free or minimally paid (3-5 dollars).
Several years ago, the “Ash” space was opened, which Russian musicians created and where they hold many events for the Russian-speaking audience. To learn music, too, is where.
In Arambol, as in general in Goa, there are quite a lot of Russians, so you will not be left alone if you do not know English. There are Russian restaurants, travel agencies, focused on Russian, Russian kindergarten and so on.
Love novels are also often tied up – it is painfully disposed to this atmosphere. Some there also end, and some develop even outside of Arambol.
History, nature, culture of North Goa
If we talk about nature, then the climate is hot, in the summer the monsoon . The best season for coming to Goa is from November to March. In December and January, evenings are a bit chilly and a warm shawl will not hurt.
Goa almost 4 centuries was ruled by the Portuguese. They swam here on ships and declared this land their own. Therefore, the modern inhabitants of Goa are Catholics.
In Goa, many Catholic churches (the most famous are in Old Goa). Plus the Goan old architecture clearly reflects the Portuguese influence. In general, the culture of the Goa people is unique and different from other parts of India.
Goa is one of the smallest states of India, but one of the most beautiful. Groves of coconut palms, beaches (the most beautiful beach of Goa is Palol in the south of the state), small coves and fishing boats at dawn. The sun that sinks right into the ocean.
If you leave the ocean, you will see green fields, forests, grazing cows and banana trees. The atmosphere is generally calm and peaceful, relaxing.
Prices for accommodation, food and entertainment
If you come for a long time, you can rent a house. But the house must be sought, which can take at least a few days. Therefore, it makes sense to settle in guesthouse (the benefit of their here a lot, prices an average of 5 to 15 dollars per night), and then already look for a house.
Under the New Year the house is no longer to be found, and the prices in guesthouses are growing, so this is not the best time to come. Although, it is clear, the Russians still come often at this time, since from 1 to 14 January most people have a weekend.
In general, the sooner you start looking for a house (ideally in October), the more choices you will have. Usually, directly on the homes of ads hanging about surrendering, you can also ask around friends and look into the LiveJournal on ru_goa.
Hearing the price, it makes sense to bargain, there is a chance to reduce it by 25-50 (depending on how much you want to withdraw – if for the whole season, it will be cheaper.) The most expensive in December-January (peak season).
The farther from the ocean, the cheaper. A house a few kilometers from the beach can cost from 10,000 rupees a month ($ 250), close to the beach on average from 15 to 25 thousand rupees – depends on the size of the house and its furnishings.
Usually money is taken on a monthly basis, but some owners can request for the entire season. It is better to take a receipt that the money has been paid.
There are hundreds of restaurants in Arambol, you will not remain hungry. If you rented a house with a kitchen and cook yourself, you will save a lot. Prices in restaurants vary on average one dish from 2 dollars and above.
Good restaurants are “Double Datch” (on the main street), “Cheeky Monkey” (on the beach), “Umbrella Cafe” (on the main street). On the beach there is a Russian restaurant “Hemp”.
If you want to spend your money, you can go to the night market. This is quite an entertaining event, many interesting things are sold, live music, lots of food, freaks from around Goa are going. It takes place on Saturday evening somewhere from 8 pm to 2 am.
True, good things there are not cheap, but still the prices for them are lower than in Russia.
In Arambol itself is also a great variety of shops with clothes, souvenirs, incense and other Indian goods. Prices are moderate, at the end of the season there are sales, you can buy a bunch of things for a penny.
Many massage parlors are mainly Ayurvedic massage, although it is also Tibetan. Prices for an hour of massage from 12 to 20 dollars on average – depends on the specific procedure. Quality is acceptable. If you are a woman, in a self-respecting Ayurvedic salon you will be offered a female massage therapist.
There are various tours of Goa – in Old Goa, on waterfalls, etc. Including in Russian. Announcements usually hang on poles and in restaurants.
In Assago there is a warm pool, where various therapeutic sessions are held in the water (including preparation for childbirth for pregnant women). The place is called “Watsu Goa”. I recommend!
A session with a water therapist costs $ 50, lasts an hour.
By the way, about pregnant women. Goa is a popular place for pregnant women and women with young children. It’s warm, there’s an ocean, living conditions are better than the average in India. Some even give birth here.
You can give birth in a paid hospital in Panaji (it will cost about $ 1000 together with the conduct of pregnancy, the quality is good, give birth certificate in English). There is also a center of natural birth in Assagao, led by a German midwife, childbirth into the water. Reviews are also good – if you are ready to give birth in this way.
In general, Hindus sincerely love children. So if you are with a child, you will be helped. In any restaurants, shops and so on with children start up without problems.
About the budget.
Depends on your needs. But I would say that to save money, you need $ 700 per person per month, if you come for a long time.
If you save – rent a cheap house, cook it yourself, especially do not get involved in shopping, and live with someone (family, friends and just those who want to share a house in order to save on rent), then with a scratch you can live dollars for 300 in month.
Although the prices in Goa are rising. What will happen next season, I do not know.
What should beware of in North Goa (Arambol)
The cause of the number one mortality among tourists in North Goa are accidents on bikes. Although every season thousands of people ride quite safely, yet the bike is an unsafe mode of transport.
The movement is left-handed, the roads are narrow. Plus many unexpected obstacles on the road – then the cow will stand in the middle, then the dog will run out, the cyclist will go, then the Indians go along the curve of the trajectory.
Therefore, if you still want to ride a motorcycle or scooter and at the same time live happily ever after, – drive slowly and carefully. And in any case, do not drive behind in the state of alcohol or drug intoxication.
And remember that you must have the rights of an international model (without the right to be fined, although not much).
Drugs also create a lot of problems for those who use them. It is clear that if after my article everyone stopped taking drugs, I would be given a big medal from the Indian government.
But, if you still can not imagine your life in North Goa without having to get stoned, then at least:
- do not try to take the “grass” from India to your homeland. This is the direct way to find yourself in an Indian prison;
- do not buy anything from unverified people. They can take you to the police;
- Do not smoke “grass” in public places (in restaurants, on the beach, etc.). By the way, last season the authorities of Goa officially banned smoking in restaurants (and cigarettes too).
- Do not use drugs and alcohol in a company of strangers or unfamiliar people – you can then, for example, rob, using your unconscious state.
Therefore, it makes sense to address them in extreme cases, if something really serious has happened. Stolen things are usually not found.
Theft in North Goa is quite common, close the house, do not leave valuables at the window, and generally look after the money.
It is better to keep money and passport separately – documents here do not steal specially, but can be stolen together with money, and without your passport your journey will end.
In the Russian consulate, at best, a certificate will be issued to return to Russia (for money and after filing a certificate from the police that the passport was stolen), and even look askance – they say, there are a lot of you here, so do not expect help from the Motherland.
Dear ladies, I appeal to you. Do not go late at night alone on the beach and in remote places and do not even ride a bike – recorded cases of attacks on women (robbery and rape).
Goa – and the Indian resort too. Unfortunately, the Hindus, who at home quieter than the water below the grass, come here to rest, get drunk and begin to behave disgracefully. A lot of people, you can not follow everyone.
Again, I do not want to intimidate you. I (and many of my friends) lived in Goa for a long time and everything was fine, but foresight and caution here will not prevent.
How to get to North Goa (Arambol)
In the season from Russia to Goa, the airport Dabolim fly charters. You can buy a ticket to one side. But consider – if you flew charter, you can fly back either by the same charter, or by regular flight.
A ticket for another charter will not be sold to you (so with the benefit for yourself, but with extreme inconvenience to the buyers, chartered companies from Russia agreed).
Regular flights are available all year round. I recommend “Qatar airways” – in my opinion, the best combination of price and quality.
Remember that you must obtain an Indian visa before you arrive in India. Earlier in Goa, those who arrived for 2 weeks, were given a visa at the airport, but now this is not practiced.
If you are already in India, then there are domestic flights to Dabolim from different cities of India – from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, etc.
You can reach the station of Margao by the Indian railway (although the plane is much faster and more pleasant). There is also a bus from Mumbai and from Pune (the city where the Osho Ashram is located).
Further from Dabolim, Margao or Mapes (buses come there) it’s easiest to take a taxi to Arambol. From the airport it costs 1000 rupees (25 dollars approximately). Go an hour and a half depending on the “traffic jams”. And – you are in Arambol!
Why do I want to return again to North Goa (Arambol)
I want to see Arambol, my friends, the tender sea, the hot sun, to walk through the seminars, to feel the fullness of life.
To dance contact improvisation, to hear the sound of a heng-drama (a musical instrument, similar to a flying saucer in appearance, with a meditative sound).
Sit on the beach in the evening and look at the stars. Meet the New Year in the company of friends under the New Year palm tree (Christmas trees here are only artificial and that is rare).
Walk along the beach from Arambol to Mandrem (neighboring village) at 7 am, see the dawn, stray dogs and sleepy Indians. Plus the early rising yogis meditating on the beach. Eat hot Indian dishes and fruit salad with ice cream at local restaurants.
See you in Arambol!