It’s not just the sand and the sea that draws people from all over the world to Goa. With stunning natural beauty and cultural heritage that dates back to when the Portuguese first landed on our shores, Goa’s charm is enhanced by the art, music and culture brought to the tiny state by thousands of tourists seeking an Indian vibe and mysticism. The Saturday Night Market (TSNM) represents this potpourri of cultures and a visit to the market is like a window to a village of global residents.
Situated at Arpora in north Goa with Baga Beach on one side and Anjuna on the other, TSNM kicks off in November every year and carries on till the last week of April. With almost 600 stalls lined up forming little lanes, the market is divided into three tiers — the first section is near the entrance, the second is located in the centre, where food stalls sell cuisines from across the world along with a space for live performances and the third, is again lined with rows of stalls and a mini food and dance section. The wares sold include jewellery (the silver jewellery is quite stunning but pricey), clothes mostly eccentric and hippie styled, quirky footwear, spices and teas and a few unique stalls selling fire pois, herbal and faith healing therapies.
Most stall owners are non-Indian residents and hence the products on offer are culturally varied too. Organisers give preference to artisans for stalls hence TSNM is a great place to find handcrafted products that are not mass-produced. Live performances add a heady vibe to proceedings.
Mouth harps: This stall epitomises the feel of the market, a mix of various cultures. The World Harps is a stall dedicated to different mouth harps from around the world. We were lucky to witness an impromptu jam session of the owner Neptune Chapotin — an avid mouth harp player and collector himself — on a Hungarian harp accompanied by a flute and didgeridoo. Pics/Dhara Vora
Feather accessories: Feather earrings are trending, and one will find them at Colaba Causeway or at branded accessory stores around the city. But the ones available at several stalls at The Saturday Night Market are unique. Available in several colours and sizes, some stalls also sell feathers you can clip on to your hair. We found the cheapest earrings at Indian-owned stalls; non-Indians quote as high as Rs 750 for a pair.
Lighter covers: One can find these embroidered patches all over Goa. From the Decepticons of Transformers to Doraemon, there is a patch for everyone. But we loved these patches stitched to make lighter covers. Hare Krishna, Hare Ram!
The shawl jacket: This one’s not for the faint-hearted. The Shawl Jacket is a great buy for the summer as the one sleeved piece is as airy as it gets. But don’t mistake it as just a hippie apparel. The garment is well constructed and the metallic detailing on the neck makes it even more stylish.
Carved earrings: This stall, located at the end of one of the many lanes on the lower level, sells handcrafted bone and wood earrings. There are just three or four pieces in every design so you’ll hardly bump into anyone wearing what you buy. The designs range from beautiful floral pieces to Mayan-inspired patterns. They also give an illusion of your ears being gauged out! We bought this pair as soon as we laid our eyes on them.
Animal print shoes: Apart from catchy beats, one thing that stands out in the videos of band LMFAO is their dressing style characterized by animal print pants and shoes. These pink leopard print shoes are party rockers to the core. Do we here Red Foo saying aye?
How to get there
>> By Air: Dabolim is closest, and is 40 km away.
>> By Rail: Thivim is closest, and is 12 km away.
>> By road: Hire a two-wheeler and hit the road. Avoid your four-wheeler as parking can be a nightmare in the area.