Offbeat Alert: Explore The Hidden Gem That Is Lake Chicolna In South Goa

Head to Lake Chicolna, a lagoon very close to the headquarters of the Indian Coast Guard, to catch the most beautiful sunset amidst the tranquil waters
The heart-shaped Lake Chicolna
The heart-shaped Lake Chicolna/Goa Coworking

Recently, the smallest state of the Indian subcontinent was a matter of much discussion, owing to the state government’s decision to impose taxes on entry to Calangute Beach. After a short while, this decision was followed by the Goa tourism minister’s revelation that the state was experiencing 80 per cent footfall even during the monsoon season, considered to be off season and not much preferred by travellers. These two announcements shed light on the overtourism that is slowly becoming prevalent in the state, with Fort Agoda, Fort Chapora, Calangute Beach, Panjim and Morjim becoming favoured destinations. The peace, quiet and relaxation and the laidback life that is generally associated with the seaside haven is slowly losing its charm, with increased popularity and accessibility bringing everyone to it shores. If you feel tired of partying till sunrise or going back to the same overcrowded destinations, it might be time for you to explore Chicolna Lake in Bogmallo Village, situated in the heart of South Goa.

Chicolna Lake is famous as the heart shaped lake of Goa, located in the southern interiors near the Bogmallo Beach. Most of the travelogues fail to mention this breathtaking spot, mostly because of the dangerous path that have to be traversed in order to reach it and the fear of littering that comes with overcrowding. The Chicolna region is very close to the Dabolim airport, which is also home to India’s first and biggest naval airbase, the INS Hansa. The INS Hansa was initially established in Sulur, Coimbatore but after Goa’s liberation in December 1961, was transferred to Dabolim. With around 2000 military personnel based here, the area is dominated by the defence forces, making it safe but slightly inaccessible at the same time. Nevertheless, Chicolna Lake is worth a visit for the clear blue waters of the lagoon and the spectacular sunsets that it offers.

The steepness of the lake
The steepness of the lake/Coworking Goa

How To Reach

Reaching the Chicolna lake requires a bit of searching around. The Coast Guard colony should be your first checkpoint, from where a secluded trail takes you to the Indian Coast Guard. From there on, cool, salty ocean breeze will feel crisp on your skin and the shining sun will accompany you through a muddy path to a clearing on a small cliff. From the peak of this small cliff is visible a panoramic view of the Lake, and choosing to take the downwards path from the two ways jutting off the cliff, you can reach the serene but small waterbody.

The View

Reaching the Lake, you will realise that it is actually a lagoon and is blessed with crystal clear azure waters. If this is not enough to satiate your eyes, the lagoon is framed by the vast ocean and the waves crashing on the beach. The sound of the crashing waves becomes the music that accompanies the spectacular views that the sunset will bring in its wake, with the deep orange and yellow sky standing in contrast to the clear blue waters. For the best experience, be sure to take a picnic basket and your friends along and indulge in board games, singing and reading to experience some of the most blissful moments that Goa has to offer.

Sunset at Lake Chicolna
Sunset at Lake Chicolna/ Trawell

Things To Keep In Mind

Sadly, inspite of the relative seclusion of the space, tourists have still managed to litter the area, with empty plastic bottles and beer cans visible on the ground and rocks surrounding the lagoon. Make sure that you clean up after yourself. Wear comfortable shoes, preferably sneakers or sports shoes, to navigate the path to the Lake. Reach a few hours before sunset to take in the best views and carry your own food and water. GPS does not work very well here, so trust your instinct. Vehicles like cars cannot go further after a certain point, so take a bicycle if you do not prefer walking. It is advised that you are surefooted with each step, due to a lack of railings or other safety measures on the way down to the cliff; the mud being loose, it is bound to get slippery, especially in the monsoon. Experience Goa in all its glory but ensure the safety of your loved ones and yourself and leave the place better and cleaner than you found it.

Plastic littering at the Lake
Plastic littering at the Lake/ iStock

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