: 8-km West Of Mapusa, North Goa
Main Attraction : Anjuna Flea Market, Chapora Fort
Best Time To Visit
: November To March
Anjuna is a small village in north Goa and is universally called the freak capital in the world. Its important tourist spots are the superb Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920 (flanked by octagonal towers and an attractive Mangalore tile-roof), the Mascarenhas Mansion, and the Chapora Fort. Anjuna is the least likely place to find peace and quiet.
The Wednesday Flea Market of Anjana os famous for its bric-a-brac and the eclectic items that are on sale. Any and everything under the sky can be found here, and lines of vehicles full of tourists start virtually raising clouds of dust. Form used paperbacks to haircuts, everyone can shop to their hearts content here. The flea market is a heaven for shopping addicts and good bargainers, to bid on wonderful blends of Tibetan, Kashmiri and Gujarati trinkets and handicrafts, European snacks, cassettes of a noisy brand of music called 'Goa Trance', artificial ornaments carvings and T-shirts. Elephant rides, photographs with fake sadhus or fake snake charmers can also be found here.
Anjuna is also known for the full-moon (acid house) parties that are held here for young tourists. Famous all over the world, they are a major source of tourist attraction around the world. Campfires burn bright all through the night and the music and merriment carries on till the wee hours of the morning. Facilities for bungee jumping are also available here due to the initiative of a private tour operator. Anjuna Beach has been the haunt of the flower generation in the sixties and is now popular with the younger generations. It became popular because of its Trance Parties and the Hippies who tried to fuse the Eastern spiritual traditions with Western music, ideas and art.
There are plenty of guesthouses around the Anjuna village, and even a couple of hotels. If you are planning to stay for a long time, you should consider renting any one of the many houses that are on rent there.
The Visiting Season
The season in Anjuna starts in early November, when most of the long staying regulars show up, and peters out in late March, when they drift off again. During the Christmas and New Year rush, the village is inundated with a mixed crowd of round the world backpackers, refugees from the British club scene and revellers from all over India, lured by the promise of the big beach parties.
Outside peak season, however, Anjuna has a surprisingly simple unhurried atmosphere- due, in no small part, to the shortage of places to stay. Most visitors who come here on market day or for the raves travel in from other resorts. That said, a couple of large package tour hotels have appeared over the past couple of years, and this is bound to radically alter the mix of visitors here.
Leisure Night Life
Thanks to the kill-joy attitude reputation, Anjuna is a rave-venue for big parties that take place over here from time to time, especially around the Christmas-New Year full moon period. Smaller events may also happen whenever some occasion or celebration comes up.
At other times, nightlife centres on the Shore Bar, in the middle of the beach, which has a pounding sound system. The biggest crowds show up accompanied by the latest ambient trance mixes from London. The music gains pace as the evening wears on winding up around 11.00 pm, when there's an exodus over to the Guru Bar, further up the beach, or to the Primrose Café in Vagator, both of which stay open until after midnight.
When it eventually gets it act together, The Alcove, over looking Ozran Vagator Beach, will be another worthwhile nightspot. More mainstream musical entertainment is on offer at Temptations, in the Red Cab Inn just below Starco's crossroads, where Indian classical recitals and guitar based cover bands feature with fire dancers on Mondays, starting at 7.00 pm.
How To Get There
Road : Buses from Mapusa and Panjim drop passengers at various points along the Tarmac Road across the top of the village, which turns right towards Chapora at the Main Starco's crossroads. The Starco's crossroads has a couple of small stores, a motorcycle taxi rank, and functions as a de facto village square and bus stand.
Places To Stay
Most of Anjuna's very limited accommodation consists of small-unfurnished houses. Some of the resorts and guesthouse can be found at the main Starco's crossroads area. But the best choice for accommodation is available in Calangute, Baga or nearby Vagator or Chapora.
Both the beachfront and village at Anjuna are awash with good places to eat and drink. Most are simple semi open air, thatched palm leaf affairs, specializing in fish and western food. All serve cold beer, invariably with thumping techno music in the background. On the beach, one'll also be approached every ten minutes by women selling fresh fruit, including watermelons, pineapples and locally grown coconuts.