Goa's touristy appeal is popular the world over - its beaches, cuisine, the slow pace of life, the unique architecture...all these combine to create a most enjoyable experience and not far behind, are its everyday sunset stories...
Almost everyone you ask about Goa will mostly give the same response…“beaches”, “churches”,“hills”, and “fields”. These are Goa’s best scenes and are not without their favored escort – the setting sun mixing in some silhouette drama.
Even for someone who is a native of the place, like all other locals here, I also find these scenes quite commonplace and sometimes bordering on the boring, but its quite another thing when these so-called “cliche” Goa themes are accompanied by silhouettes created by the setting sun.
Take for example the sunset on Cansaulim Beach in the south of Goa. Cansaulim is a typical village by the Arabian Sea and has one of the few beaches around here, relatively free of the big star resorts and other commercial developments that dot most of Goa. This has allowed for the existing topography to remain fairly intact, with views to the beach and sea framed in-between its coconut trees and sand dunes. To capture the sunset in this ambiance is something like a game of hide-and-seek! And the sun will tease you with that famous line…“catch me if you can” and if you do, I guarantee that it will make for a most beautiful postcard from this part of the world.
Another such memorable experience will be at Old Goa, which is UNESCO’s World Heritage Site here. Old Goa is a name synonymous with the arrival of the Portuguese and those monumental churches and convents that they built when they first reached Goa. Once you time your arrival here to be around half past five in the evening, you must walk up the sloping road to the ruins of the Church of St. Augustine. In the glory days of Old Goa, this Church of St.Augustine is said to have been the biggest church in the whole of Goa and very recently, some relics were unearthed here, that are rumored to belong to St. Keteven, Queen of Georgia who died from torture at the hands of Shah Abbas I of Iran for refusing to change her faith.
What remains of this magnificent Church is only a part of the original belfry, still standing tall at a height of 46 meters and it is this tower in ruins that will give you the best sunset drama. Observe this belfry as you come up the road and enjoy its changing moods from being calm in the clear evening light to its almost foreboding imagery in the twilight.
A brisk walk from here and a similar sight awaits you at the forecourt of the Church of St.Francis of Assisi, next to the Se Cathedral, where an aged cross, set on an even older laterite stone pedestal, seems to domineer and almost force a reverence from all those who come close in the fast approaching sunset.
And last, but certainly not the least, of these sunset delights that must be had, is the ever popular scene of the setting sun over the hills in Goa. A popular place is the Carambolim Lake, near Old Goa, that is a bird watcher’s paradise, also doubling as a sunset spotting point from its banks, looking towards the hills surrounding it.
To photograph the sun setting behind those hills, with the lake in the foreground, and the sky turning its color is a treasure, one that will keep you happy for a long, long time. And of course…its not rocket science to figure out that you must always carry your camera when setting out to explore these and Goa’s other sunset stories…
Yes, we all know the “numero uno” of those 10 golden rules, ”take your camera everywhere you go". My choice without any hesitation would be the Sprocket Rocket and the pretty La Sardina.