Not everyone asks themselves this question, what to do in Arambol. Not that many people even know where it is. For us, it is our home away from home and we absolutely love the place! (p.s. we took our baby there)
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World music central
Arambol is in the northernmost part of Goa, the former Portuguese colony on the west coast of India. While Goa has a reputation for being a dance party and wild lifestyle cesspit, Arambol, for a short while, becomes the world music centre of the world.
For 2-3 months of each year, incredible musicians from every corner of the world. In my opinion, it has settled a lot these days and is much more mainstream. They turn up in Arambol to sing, play, drum and share their talents and mostly for free. If you like alternative and world music, it is the Mecca and probably should be yours!
Once you have spent even just a few days in Arambol, you will know there is never any need to ask yourself what to do in Arambol.
“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.”
Every night of the week, there are 8-15 events on around town. These events range from a quiet little gathering of just a few people in the know to big festivals. There are restaurants that stage special concerts. There are gatherings that seem to be running continuously, some for mouth harp players, others for contact dance, to name just a couple.
Play the video as you read this, listen to the music. It takes me straight there and reminds me of the endless amount of beautiful and exotic music I enjoyed night after night in Arambol.
Sultry night and sweet tunes
I remember nights or whirling dervishes. Iranian princesses sharing their tales of torment in their war-stricken homes. Hot curries and Ukranian sweets are just a tiny sample of the wonderful array of foods to be found in this amazing little town turned world music festival.
Every evening there is a wonderful beach market, Many travellers converge on the beach and display their handicrafts.
Dancers come and dance, drummers drum, and others run around on stilts just grooving to their own tunes. There are literally thousands of people walking on the beach each evening. A drum circle forms each night, the biggest drum circle we know of and all ages gather to dance to their rhythms.
The locals build elaborate restaurants and cafes from mostly driftwood and coconut leaves. They build them on the beach, in the parking lots, in vacant blocks in the town, pretty much anywhere they can.
In typical Indian style, there are cows wondering everywhere. They are on the streets in herds and sometimes on their own. You can find cos on the beach even. Some are painted and clothed elaborately by their owners and paraded around town in the hope of garnering a donation from the people in the street.
Street vendors sell sugarcane juice, fruit, pastries and more for just a few cents each. Everyone is doing something and everyone is smiling it seems.
And then there are the sunsets
They are what first brought the people to the beach in the evenings, they keep them coming. They are what bring so many smiles to so many faces. The sunsets are stunning.
They are a feast for the eyes. The water is warm and the waves are gentle. People ease themselves into the warm dark water and float gently out to sea as it swallows the sun. The music from the beach pulses and the smell of roasting corn, khachapuri, incense and people flows across the water. It has to be experienced to be understood.
When I think about what to do in Arambol, my only thought is everything!