Goa – Not just beers and beaches
I have been a huge fan of ancient history, culture, ruins and all things old. Plus, I have always been fascinated about early humans and how they would have lived. Thankfully, my son Vivaan shares the same passion with me and we end up spending a lot of time on YouTube checking out videos on earth’s early history. (This is better than him spending time seeing inane animation videos and playing online games, don’t you agree?!). Our family has an annual tradition of spending the last week of May in Goa since both our parents’ anniversaries come up during this week. So a chill out weekend in Goa, hitting the resort’s private beach, Martin’s Corner for crabs, long walks and teen patti through the night is just what the doctor ordered. And this has been our exact itinerary for the last 8 years that we’ve been going there with my parents.
Well, armed with this knowledge, last year when I was in Goa I drove down to Usgamil (about 80 kms from the Leela) with my son and enjoyed being in the presence of art created by our ancestors 20,000 odd years ago. Getting there is an effort though. I was lucky enough to get a cab driver who kind of knew about the place since he had taken some tourists from japan there a few years back. Otherwise you will be shocked to know that no one knows about this. Not even your hotel concierge. And once you reach Usgamil, there is absolutely no signage to direct you there. You really have to depend on your skill of navigation to find the place. The ASI has no presence there and it is depressing to know that a place that should be on the tourist map globally for these Mesolithic era carvings is totally left deserted. Once you reach the place, you will just see a stony plateau. What you must do is walk over to the river bank and fill a couple of bottles with water. Start pouring this water all over the stone floor and all the carved designs will come alive like magic! Vivaan was thrilled at this activity and helped me pour water over all the carvings. There are engravings on the rocks of deer, cattle, elephants, humans, dogs and a massive labyrinth.
There is an interesting part to Goa beyond beers and parties and I hope you discover the same and experience the same joy as we did at Usgamil.