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Exploring the Offbeat Beauties of Goa on E-Bikes with BLive

Goa, the party destination of India, is a lot more than what you think or have heard about. There are
different sides of Goa to satisfy every kind of traveller and tourist. Apart from the clubs, pubs, beaches,
and pool, Goa is also about beautiful Portuguese culture, coloured house lanes, gorgeous villas and
bungalows, palm trees, church, ancient architecture, shacks, water sports, and so much more. There is
never enough time to visit Goa. Though it is the smallest Indian state, it is big enough to surprise you
with experiences from every corner.

From the must-visit destination for the collegiers to a relaxed plus a weekend party spot for adults, Goa is for everyone and welcomes everyone with an open heart and awaits
lots of experiences for them to cover.

BLive

Talking about some of the experiences in Goa, one of the experience boards is B Live. B Live is an official
tourism partner of Goa. B Live has a lot of tour packages for people to explore Goa in different
ways. But the unique part of BLive is that they offer rides through electric bikes. This is such a fantastic
and environment-friendly way to explore the gorgeous city.

The founders of BLive believe that the essence of Goa is in its beauty and relaxing atmosphere. The vibe
of Goa is that of a paradise where you could just sit beside the beach and enjoy the azure clear blue sky,
clear water, and soothing breeze. Though with the love and craze of this state as a tourist place, has
hampered the beauty to a great extent and business has evolved tremendously here. Whoever comes to
Goa either hires a scooter or a car to explore the place. This is dealing with the cleanliness of the place
and messing up with the greenery.

So, the idea of BLive came and the founders started working on it.
BLive was introduced to give people the joy if exploring the place without messing up with the Goa’s
ambience. They came up with the idea of introducing E-bikes and taking tourists to explore the place.
Their aim is taking the tourists to the offbeat places of Goa and explore the hidden gems of the place.

BLive Packages

They have a lot of different packages based on different kinds of experiences. Some of the packages that
they offer are
1. Cultural trails of Panaji
2. Escape to Divar Island
3. The making of Panaji
4. Lost City of Old Goa

Being a resident of Goa for some time now, I am always up for such incredible and offbeat experiences.
And recently I got the opportunity from the team B Live to explore the hidden gems of Goa with BLive.
And the package that we took was the cultural trails of Panaji. To be quite honest, I was extremely excited
about this one because I haven’t done any such activity in Goa. No doubt about the fact that I have been to
some offbeat places of Goa but I was looking forward to this experience.

What are Cultural Trails of Panaji?

Cultural trails of Panaji is one of the popular packages of Blive. They take you on a tour to Panaji on e-bikes
and let you explore the hidden, offbeat, and not so popular places. Some popular places are also
included in this package but they make sure that the way you explore them is different. You would be
riding through the Serpentine lanes and explore the history and heritage of the place. Fontainhas is one
of the popular Portuguese house lanes of Panaji and you get to ride through this beautiful colourful lane.
The best part is exploring and viewing the bird’s eye view of the Panaji city when you climb the top of
Altino Hill.

Going on this particular tour makes you transparent with the culture of Panjim. You go ahead to explore
the places like art galleries, government offices, and grand residences that were previously a thick forest
and things have changed likewise in these years. After reaching and exploring the top, you descend
down to explore the places where the heritage of Panjim is reserved till date. It is the place where artists
and intellectuals live now and once the working population of Panjim was settled. The best part of this
trip was that there were so many surprises, anecdotes, and fascinating facts awaiting us at each step.

Details about the Package

Difficulty Level: Easy
Time Taken : 3 hours for the whole tour
Architecture: Portuguese House and Lanes
Cost: Rs 1500 per person
No. Of Stops: 8

Highlights of the Trip

1. Ride through the beautiful Panjim on your e cycles and explore the hidden places of the city.
2. Enter into Fontainhas and explore the colourful Portuguese streets in an eco-friendly way.
3. Learn about stories, facts, anecdotes, culture, and heritage of the place.
4. Meet the locals and spend some time with them. Learn their personal stories on having lived and
survived in Panjim.
5. The best part is enjoying coffee and snacks in the oldest ward of Panjim.
6. See the best view that is the bird’s eye view of the city after reaching the top.

In detailed Itinerary of the package

Stop 1: Tobacco Square

The first stop is a rather interesting one and a totally offbeat one. The place is called as a Tobacco square
because tobacco imported from Brazil is imported and kept here. It is now a post office. Casa De Moida
which also means the Mint House will also be covered in the first stop as it is situated here. Other than
this, the statue of Surgeon General Miguel Caetano Dias can also be viewed here.

He was a native Goan who studied medicine in Portugal and then rose through the ranks of the army. Also, he was the man behind eradication of the plague in Goa during the 1910 outbreak in Panjim. He has credited this post.
St Thomas was one of the 12 apostles who came to India and died near Chennai. He is informally
referred to as Doubting Thomas because he doubted Jesus resurrection when first told. A small chapel
of Sao Tome was built here marking the Sao Tome era.

Stop 2: Adil Shah Palace

The very next stop after that comes after exploring the heritage of Tobacco Square is the Adil Shah
Palace. Adil Shah’s palace is the oldest buildings in Panjim which makes it one of the oldest architecture
to explore and experience in the area. Other than attracting tourists to explore this old masterpiece, the
place is currently used to host art festivals like Serendipity.

Adil Shah´s summer palace can also be called a fortress and it was built around 1500. The palace formed
an important part of his defence during the war times with an arsenal of 55 canons. This was a very
important place back then. Now, it can be said as the hidden gem of the place. This day is going to be
amazing for the history lovers and photographers.

Stop 3: Immaculate Conception Church

The third stop is probably our super favourite because Goa is famous for Churches and trust us, Goa has
some of the most beautiful churches ever. The Immaculate Conception church is a typical colonial
Portuguese Baroque style church. This beautiful church was first built in 1541. One attractive feature of
this church is that the chapel of the church overlooks Panjim. But later because of the part of
Portuguese religious expansion of Goa, this particular Church was replaced by a larger one in the 1600s.
It is amazing to experience this beauty.

Stop 4: Sunaparanta

Sunaparanta Goa Centre for the Arts is a non-profit education-based arts initiative of Dattaraj V.
Salgaocar. And it is a beautiful art centre to explore for all the art lovers. This attraction is located in the
Antonio hills. This centre houses several exhibition galleries, a large multi-functional space for
workshops and lectures, studios, two residency rooms for visiting scholars, artists and faculty, an open-
air Amphitheatre, an outdoor courtyard that houses Café Al Fresco and a gallery for emerging artists.

Stop 5: Archbishop’s Palace

Hands down, one of the best places of Goa that you need to explore whenever you are around. It is one
of the highest points in Panjim. You surely will get amazing scenic views from the top of the palace as it is
situated in Antonio Hill. It has steps and pathway lined with the Stations of the Cross that leads up to the
Palace. You can totally enjoy some scenic views over here along the woody hills and also admire the
architectural splendour. And on Sundays, you can attend the mass service adjacent to the Chapel.

Stop 6: Maruti Temple

Not just the churches, but also Goa has some incredibly beautiful temples like this one. The Maruti
temple was built around 1930. The Maruti temple is also situated in the top of the Altino hills and the
best part is that it overlooks the picturesque Fontainhas lanes. This makes for such a beautiful sight from
all the sides. The temple is dedicated to Lord Hanuman and looks totally pretty. The architecture is well
done having a bright orange structure and green backdrops. The scene from this temple is so pretty to
miss.
The most attraction for this temple is during the month of February when there is ten days long festival
is conducted.

Stop 7: Fonte Fenix

This is an attraction to not miss at all. It is actually a fountain that is built by natural springs. The water if
the Natural springs were taken from the Antinho hills. This was done to provide drinking water to the
people residing in the Fontainhas area. Mala Lake acts as an overflow water storage for the waters
coming down from the Altinho Hill behind.

Once you reach this spot, then visiting Audiophile becomes a must. This one is situated in old Panjim and
is an extremely delightful place to be around. People who love music should take out some time and
spend some time here and indulge in listening to good music. This is one of the best places and skipping
this place would be so not good. It is worthy by all means.

Spot 8: The Old Quarter

The final spot is in the old quarter. One of the top places to visit here is the Fundacao Oriente.
This is an attractive Indo Portuguese building and it was built in 1995. This place has been the home of
the Fundacao Oriente, a Portuguese body which promotes cultural and artistic activities. Inside there is a
permanent exhibition of the works of the Goan artist who painted in European style in the 19th and
early 20 ty century.

Other than this, the next exciting place to visit is Urban Cafe. Then, the next place to visit is Pousada.
This one is a beautiful traditional house courtyard with a Tulsi plant in the centre. This is such a beautiful
and a typical old age Hindu home setting. The entrance was originally from the other side where there
is now another courtyard. Before it became part of the Panjim Inn, the house was owned by the
Ghanekar family.

The next place to visit is the St. Sebastian Chapel.
St. Sebastian was built in 1888 and the earlier chapel was built in 1818 and it was on the other side of
the square. It was further demolished when they built the road that passes through Fontainhas.

The Ancient and Amazing Christmas feels

So, the original vibe of Christmas is what we relived through BLive and I am extremely glad to have witnessed this side of Christmas.
Anciently, a man used to go to every Christian house and sing Christmas carols in each house. With the time, this community Christmas celebrations got vanished and with the modern way of celebrating the festival in our own private way, we could not pass it through generations. I never knew that Christmas could be celebrated this way too and I am glad that I was a part of BLive to experience this. A man was singing Christmas songs and at the end, we too sang and danced our heart out. It was such a warm feeling.

How we Concluded

The best part about the BLive trip was not over just after we covered and explored all the mentioned places. But, we as a group, sat down together for around an hour after the tour. We made Christmas stars (considering that we took the trip around the Christmas time) that BLive hung and decorated their office with. We had a gala time with each other and it was such a delightful end to the trip.

Totally recommending this silent way of exploring Goa and making the most of it.

Personal Experience

So, the overall experience of us taking up this tour was an amazing one. Being staying in Goa and still not
living up these experiences was such a fantastic one. We went there on a team of 4 and everything went
well. This was such a delightful trek kind of a tour that we took in our own city and explored some
hidden gems. More than anything, it was a beautiful experience that we would recommend everyone.

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