Aashyana Lakhanpal's blog

The Goan Jungle Book

You can have a lot of jungle time in Goa. So if you have only explored the surf and the sands, then no one told you that 60% of Goa’s land is a forest. The jungles of Goa are amazing in a different way each season - a great place to visit at anytime.

It has several wildlife sanctuaries, birding areas, turtle nesting sites and dolphin bays. From coral reefs, to mangroves, to evergreen forests, Goa has an astounding range of ecosystems compressed between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Goa is a biodiversity treasure trove! 

Take a Deep Breath

Breathe in long ... and deep, let it out slowly, very slowly. Take in another swing, savour it, let it fill you. You are in Goa and the air is fresh and clean mixed with the sea breeze, blowing in from the vast oceans, filtering through the swaying trees and the flapping of butterfly wings.

The wind carries the incessant ebbing of the sea - a rhythmic, cyclical, pulsation of the Earth - in union with the beat within you. Tune in, and you are connected to yourself and to mother nature. You become one with Creation. An experience that is truly humbling and enlightening.

The Great Goan Bazaar

Everyone visiting Goa knows of its famous Saturday Night Market. The old Anjuna Flea Market is also well known. Then there is the lesser known and more traditional Mapusa Market. There is the Annual All India Lokutsav Festival of traditional crafts. And more recently numerous Pop Up Bazaars can be seen across the city, while the street market is always reinventing itself. The Earth Keepers Market is a rage.

The Enchanted Garden

A walk through the lush greenery of Goa is no ordinary thing. The vibrance of colours and multitude fragrances, the coolness of the breeze and the soft moistness of the mud, all combine to give you the most fresh experience of mother earth. This part of the map is blessed with teeming biodiversity. The flora is rich, the fauna is diverse - mother nature is present in all her glory.

Flavour of the Feast

There is a feast round the year in Goa. A feast day is generally the birthday of a Catholic saint and with hundreds of churches and chapels dedicated to different patron saints, there are a couple of feasts virtually every month. And believe you me that it is a must visit - your Goan experience is truly incomplete without one.

Wet your taste buds in Goa

Go for it, that crispy bit of prawn, that cheeze resois, rus-omlette, sausge pao, mirchi bhajji… You are in Goa, might as well… Just a small bite. Snack time is important time in Goa. Come sundown and small ’gaddas’ (mobile carts) open up everywhere dishing out the most delicious and freshly made crunchy snacks; little cafes and tea shops start buzzing; bakeries get very busy; and, goodness, what a range of small bites they put out on offer. The regular tea time snack across Goa is batter fried mirchi or vada or bhajji, else samosa and patties, crisp and sharp, with a hot cup of chai.

Mystic Asia Blogpost: Aashyana Lakhanpal, Goa

Ive seen Aashyana Lakhanpal grow from its inception to this beautiful sprawling property that is cared for, yet looks uncared for. That is the unique magic of this place. Owner Ajai Lakhanpal has been a dear friend over the years and has often invited me to enjoy his home -turned -resort on one of Goa's most popular beaches, Candolim. He is a man of good taste and little fuss. He wisely decided that instead of having a manicured garden he would allow the garden to be natural and grow organically.

All soaked up

“Goa is the best in the monsoons,” every seasoned visitor to Goa will proclaim with that ‘all knowing’ air. But to a newbie, Goa without the beaches and the beach shacks, is like arriving at a dance party without a DJ. So, how are they expected to play ‘antakshari’ while the rain decides to stop? No. Well, that too, but no. There are other things, other than the usual - things full of joy and delight. And we at Aashyana encourage you to indulge. Go out preparing to soak it in. Not literally. Carry an umbrella; wear light clothes, rain shoes and shorts. Sling on a waterproof bag to tuck away the phone, wallet, a towel and a dry shirt. Pack a snack and carry something to drink. This is going to be off the beaten trail.

'Wandering For Wellness' - Jia Speaks

There’s something magical about Goa when it isn’t awfully crowded and it doesn’t take forever to get from one beach to the other. It is peaceful and you can have your own stretch of private beach as you contemplate whether you are going to sunbathe or whether you are going to practice your asanas on the sand. Don’t get me wrong but I sleep a lot better when I don’t hear clubs blaring loud commercial music until the wee hours of the morning. I love visiting this beach town either in the monsoon or just around spring before most establishments shut for the season when I need some R&R.

Carnival Colors

Spectacular floats adorn the streets with people dancing without inhibition in their brilliantly coloured costumes while rainbow coloured masks and feathers adorn the faces of passers-by. Scores of entertainers from diverse lands and color are aplenty and the atmosphere is that of merry making twice over. Eager tourists can’t believe their luck as they take to their hand held smart phone cameras trying to capture the perfect ‘SELFIE’ and update their joy on social media saying – ‘It’s that time of the year again!’