The beaches of Goa needs no introduction. But I’m honestly not fond of Calangute, Baga or any of the popular places when it comes for a beach experience because they are too dirty and crowded for the most part of the year. According to me, these are the places to grab a beer and chill or better, shop maybe, but an authentic beach experience here, no, I would prefer others over these beaches.
I was looking to get away from the popular places but still wanted to laze by the beach side. Also, with my purpose of this trip being looking for offbeat experiences in Goa, I had decided to stay in the north, away from the main circuit. At Wanderer’s hostel, I got to know about many things about Arambol beach from fellow travelers, the most interesting being the drum circle.
So what’s this drum circle? Every day, a group of people form a circle at the each shore of Arambol called the drum circle. They have many musical instruments that play, some of them so unique and even unheard or unseen! Most of these are hand-made, customised instruments and everyone is free to pick up, pass and play them. The group begins to gather as the evening sets in and the performance go on until sometime after the sunset.I drove my bike to Arambol on an evening. The hot afternoon sun just waning away, the cool breeze provided a relief as I reached the beach.
People gather in the circle and dance to their heart’s content, and it’s a lively performance to watch. You are free to play music, dance or simply stand by and watch. The crowd grows as it progresses and so does the music which gets louder, beautiful and lively.
This ‘market’ is set up by these sellers every day as well. The interesting thing about this market is that most of the sellers are expats, hippies from different countries who sell their products and skills. In fact, I hardly saw any local or an Indian seller.
Most of these people are long term travelers and backpackers from various countries trying to make an income to sustain their travels. You get many things to buy here – hand-made jewellery, fashionable outfits, musical instruments, herbal products, paintings, local food, antique jewellery, souvenirs and much more.
This part reflects the ancient Goa that was home to a lot of hippies (and is still is). Albeit all the modern amenities or technology, hippie’s market is a place to experience Goa in its 90’s. The rustic charm of Goa that was present decades ago is still intact here at Arambol.
I ended up loving Arambol beach for more than one reason – the drum circle, hippie’s market, a beach that’s clean and the crowd itself, which was so different and unlike any of the beaches that one will notice. The crowd was more of my type – the hippies, gypsies at heart, artists, slow travelers, people writing, reading, taking a quiet walk, hawkers, and a lot of skilled performers – people doing hoop circles, gymnastics, Yoga, playing with dumbells and other objects, performing excellent stunts.
The drum circle is a different experience that’s worth visiting. If you are trying to move away from the touristy Goa, go get a glimpse of the hippie culture here at Arambol.