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India is a mystic land full of so many unexplored holiday destinations. So when we planned our honeymoon we decided to hide ourselves away in this quiet nook called Devbagh in India.
They say the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore wrote his first successful play inspired by this hidden recluse in Karwar,called Devbagh. This is where the Kali River merges into the ocean and the white sandy beaches of Karwar remain untouched and beautiful.
On a remote island...
This resort is the only habitation that exists on the island of Devbagh and the shuttle ferry service is its only link to mainland. We took off by air to Goa in first week of January, so while Canada was covered in snow, I was letting my hair open to the fresh sea breeze and getting a tan in the beach sun.
It takes two hours by car to reach the Karwar jetty. Car rental was easy at the Goa airport as Devbagh is getting to be a popular destination. Goa is really packed during Christmas and New year's, and quite uninviting with crowded beaches and no hotel rooms available, so we were relieved to get away from the hustle bustle of tourists to our peaceful cottage facing the beach.
At the Jungle Lodge - Just Us!
The Jungle resort has individual cottages for each guest, giving us the perfect privacy to enjoy a book in the hammock, or wine on our patio. The rooms are very basic with minimal amenities, unlike a five star hotel, so ensure you carry your own toiletries and maybe even towels. However the privacy and solace was worth the trading off with luxury. The rooms are very clean, updated with modern fittings and comfortable.
Evenings are the time when everyone comes together for a campfire, with a barbeque and a bar on the beach, under the stars. This is also followed by a generous dinner buffet. Since we were on this isolated island, all meals were included in our stay, and their seafood delicacies were mouth watering.
The staff plans an itinerary for your stay, which includes an early morning jungle trail with a guide who introduces you to the flora and fauna. Of course, we honeymooners basically skipped it, but joined them after a wholesome breakfast, on a boat ride to sight dolphins. We did not see too much of the dolphins, maybe they were on a siesta, but they gave us a tour of the neighboring islands.
Just doing our own thing!
You can always break away from the schedule and mark your own secluded corner on the island and no one will disturb you. Its a time to bond with your loved ones. You can spend the day scuba diving, para sailing or take banana boat rides. All the water sports or just floating in the cool sea waters gives you enough appetite to dig into their sumptuous meals. I even enjoyed the delicious snacks served at high tea.
They also have a rejuvenating spa with relaxing massages and aromatherapy to take away your stress. Enjoy sipping fresh coconut water and put your feet up on the beach chairs.
Photographers and artists will find this a paradise with numerous shades of nature. You can walk on the beach collecting shells and memories for your scrapbook.
Goa for a day
Go Goa Gone
The best part of this island is it's proximity to Goa. So it gave us the freedom so take off just for a day to Goa. The hotel helped us call a cab from the Jetty which dropped us off somewhere south near Colva beach. After enjoying a wonderful meal of prawns and beer, in a sea facing shack, we took of on our rented bike.
We spent the whole day spanning beaches from Baga to Calangute, stopping to shop, picking up some wine and basically enjoying a taste of the busy tourist season, just for a few hours.
Then happily we returned to our safe and blissful haven, just in time for the evening barbeque. I enjoyed the Goan wine, under the stars.
Sad to say goodbye!
I was sad to wave my cottage goodbye, but we left with a promise to come back on our 25th wedding anniversary to relive each beautiful moment. Devbagh is just a small niche in our incredible India, but it sent me home refreshed and re-energized, ready to get back to the routine of work and home. So if you are heading to Goa, this December, its the perfect time of the year to add this quaint and serene destination to your planner.
This remote island is not so difficult to locate!
© 2009 Snehal Sarkar