From a fishermen's hamlet to a popular tourist destination, Goa is always changing to keep up with the times. Since a few years it's been turning into a music lover's hub by hosting various musical festivals and concerts. This year, when we were invited to Channel V Nokia Indiafest held at Baga Beach, Goa, on January 27-28, the beach state seemed to be resurfacing as a destination for college students, especially the music buffs.
With performances by singers Edward Maya, KK, Mika Singh and DJ Diamond, the fest was a treat for any music lover.
In the swarm of festivals being held across the country, this one stands out, as it's for the youth. The festival saw participation of nearly 1500 students from 240 colleges across eight cities from India. From street football, skating, DJ wars, jam sessions to graffiti making, street dance, and fashion show, the participants battled it out in 30 eclectic competitions ranging from music, theatre, dance and sport. Each competition was judged by select experts including celebrity enthusiasts from the Survivor Series -- a reality show presently aired on Star Plus.
Star performers and celebrity judges added to the carnival-like feel of the festival, while VJ Manish, VJ Andy and VJ Juhi kept boredom at bay with their witty acts. Amid the glitterati, Mika was the crowd's favourite. Speaking of this pioneering initiative, Prem Kamath, GM, Channel V said, "We realise that there is so much of untapped talent out there just waiting for the right window to showcase themselves. We are pleased to be able to provide that platform for them. The fest has seen overwhelming enthusiasm among the youth and is becoming a destination for all the talent that is waiting to be discovered."
But, when in Goa, how can you not hit the beach? Although, Baga is every bit of a tourists' beach with commercial shacks sprawling across it's length, Anjuna beach is where one can soak in some calm. And once you've rejuvenated yourself with a siesta under the sun, feast at the Curlies restaurant that stands alone right beside the beach. A stopover at the coolest flea bazaar called the Saturday Night Bazaar is a must for a casual shopper. Here you'll find the coolest clothes and accessories for a bohemian getup.
Best time to visit: Between late October and early April.
How to get there: Goa has an international airport at Dabolim, 30km from Panaji. The two main railway stations are Margao and Vasco da Gama. There are flights and trains to Goa from all big cities.
Where to stay: Clarks Inn Aguada Anchorage Resort Goa near the Aguada Fort has beautiful villas with private lawns, and it is close to the beach.