Variously known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist Paradise", the state of Goa is located on the
western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan.
The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world.
But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.
Much of the real Goa is in its interiors, both inside its buildings and in the hinterland away from the coastal area.
Legends from Hindu mythology credit Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the creation of Goa.
Over the centuries various dynasties have ruled Goa. Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Silaharas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims and most famously the Portuguese have been rulers of Goa.
Goa was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese colonisation on December 19, 1961 and became an Union Territory along with the enclaves of Daman and Diu. On May 30, 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and became the 25th state of the Indian Republic.
Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures of East and West over the centuries, Goa has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of India. Hindu and Catholic communities make up almost the entire population with minority representation of Muslims and other religions.
All the communities have mutual respect towards one another and their secular outlook has given Goa a long and an unbroken tradition of religious harmony. The warm and tolerant nature of the Goans allows them to celebrate and enjoy the festivals of various religions such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Easter and Id with equal enthusiasm.
The state of Maharashtra borders Goa on the north, the state of Karnataka on the south and east. The vast expanse of the Arabian Sea on the west forms the magnificent coastline for which Goa is justly famous.
Terekhol (Tiracol), Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and Talpona are the main rivers which weave their way throughout the state forming the inland waterways adding beauty and romance to the land besides being
used to transport Goa's main export commodity of Iron and Manganese ore to Mormugao Harbour. Along the way to the coast these waterways form estuaries, creeks and bays breaking the sandy, palm- fringed coastline behind which lie the fishing villages among the coconut groves.
Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks of the Mandovi river and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are the other major towns. Goa is serviced by an international/national airport located at Dabolim near Vasco. An intra-state and inter-state bus network also plays an important role in getting locals and visitors alike in and around Goa.
The vast green expanse of the Sahyadri mountain range ensures that Goa has an abundance of water. The sea and rivers abound in seafood - prawns, mackerels, sardines, crabs and lobsters are the most popular with the locals and the visitors.
Along with English which is widely spoken all over Goa, Konkani and Marathi are the state languages. The national language Hindi is also well understood in most areas around the state.
Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the Goans had to endure during the centuries. The staple food in Goa is fish and rice, both among the Hindus and the Catholics. Unlike the Christian food the Hindu Goan food is not strongly influenced by the Portuguese cuisine.
Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has been a major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic tourists.
The tourist season in Goa begins in late September and carries on through early March. The weather in these months is usually dry and pleasantly cool.
Then the weather gets fairly hot around May and by end of June, Goa receives the full blast of the Indian monsoon with sudden downpours and tropical thunderstorms. However it is also during the monsoon that Goa is probably at its most beautiful, with greenery sprouting all around.
Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax.
|When to Visit||:||Oct - -May
|Climate||:||Temp: 32c to 21c
Monsoon: June To October
Festivals: Christmas- New Year(Dec/Jan). Carnival( March/ April/ 3 Days Before Lent)
|Festivals||:||Christmas- New Year(Dec/Jan).
Carnival( March/ April/ 3 Days Before Lent)
Located in North Goa, the Baga Beach is one of the happening beaches in Goa that hosts
everything from water sports to fine dining restaurants, along with a pulsating nightlife. The
major attraction at Baga Beach in Goa is water sports, which includes parasailing, wind surfing,
kite surfing and Jet Ski.
Moreover the Baga Beach in Goa is popular for its rejuvenating nightlife. The Tito's Lane - home to the infamous Club Tito and Cafe Mambo are mostly frequented. The pulsating DJ nights and pouring cocktails fetches in tourists from in and around Goa to these lounges.
The Baga Beach in Goa is a perfect getaway for you to tan. The ideal tourist season is during the winters. Nonetheless the weather at Baga, Goa is warm throughout the year. Temperatures rarely reach more than 33 degrees during the day or drop below 20 degrees at night.
Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the Baga beach arrays many resorts as well as restaurants. It offers a perfect holiday with a fusion of the local Goan culture and modernity. The closest railway station to Baga Beach is Thivim and the Dabolim Airport is approximately 50 kms away.
One of the most famous churches of Goa, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a finest example of Baroque
architecture. Though partially in ruins, it is highly revered by Christians from all over the country and
world. Dedicated to Jesus, it is aptly named as Bom Jesus which means ‘good Jesus’ or
Located at Old Goa, at a distance of 10km east of Panaji, its foundation stone was laid on 24 November
1594. It houses beautiful paintings depicting scenes from the life of St. Francis Xavier.
The Calangute Beach is one of the popular beaches in Goa and is often
of the Beaches”. It is a perfect getaway for the hippies and the best time to visit this beach is
during the Christmas season and in the month of May. The Calanguate beach portrays a perfect
environment of the local Goan culture and it is said that the beach was discovered by the hippies
themselves in the early 60s.
Located 15 kms from Panjim, the Calangute beach in Goa boasts of an enthralling nightlife that continues till dawn. There are countless shacks serving the local flavour of Goa which includes Feni and sea foods. Nonetheless, one can even grab a chilled beer to energize oneself for the nightlife. Thus, the Calangute Beach can well be considered as one of the most happening places of Goa pulling in tourists from all over the world.
The Calangute Beach also offers several thrilling activities like parasailing and motor boating. Down the shore, arrays numerous shops exhibiting handcraft items and foods can be spotted. During summers, the beach also hosts several art exhibitions organized by the Kerkar Art Complex.
The Candolim Beach is one of the most happening and frequented beaches in Goa that is also
one of the longest beaches in the state. Nonetheless the Candolim Beach is also famous for
hosting India’s biggest electronic music dance festival, the Sunburn Festival, which is organized
by Percept, an Entertainment, Media and Communications conglomerate. The Sunburn Festival
is organized every year in the month of December.
The Candolim Beach in Goa offers a peaceful environment but it also indulges tourists with many beach and water sport activities like snorkeling, fishing, and diving. Moreover there are many shaft bars that offer the local taste of Goa. Tourists can stop at a small taverna (bar) for a drink of feni - a locally brewed drink made from cashew or coconut.
Overlooking the Candolim Beach, the Aguada Fort is one of the major places to visit in Goa. In addition the Calangute Beach is also a nearby and popular attraction. The Candolim Beach also offers many spa, resorts and homestays where one can spend an ideal and rejuvenating beach holiday.
The Candolim Beach in Goa is easy to reach. Daily buses ply from Panjim, Calangute and Mapusa.
Colva is one of the historical towns in Goa that dates back to the early 17th century. The
popular Colva Beach is approximately 6 kms from Margao and is graced with 25kms of the fine
white sand and is bounded along its coast by coconut palms that stretch from Bogmalo in the
north to Cabo de Rama in the south along south Goa's coastline.
The Colva Beach in Goa is one of the most secluded beaches in Goa and thus offers a tranquil ambiance making it a perfect holiday destination for the runaway couples and honeymooners. Apart from the Colva beach, the “Menino Jesus" statue at the local church of Our Lady of Mercy founded in 1630 is one of the major places to visit in Goa. Nonetheless the indigenous culture, having an influence of the Portuguese, is also a major tourist attraction in Colva. Today the area that is reminiscent of the luxurious lifestyle of the aristrocratic class has the beautiful houses or villas that dot the village. Moreover the nightlife at the Colva beach in Goa is more vibrant than that of other beaches in Goa. Though the Colva beach doesn’t host rave parties and not an ideal destination for the hippies to shake, but the local trance music and dance attracts many tourists.
Located close to Panjim and overlooking the Arabian Sea, Dona Paula is one of
hangout destinations in Goa. During the tourist season, between the months of November and
March, Dona Paula beats the clamour of tourists from different parts of the world which is
otherwise a calm beautiful place during monsoons.
Named, during the late 17th century, after the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam in Sri Lanka, Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior,Dona Paula beholds a tragic history. It is said that the Portuguese Viceroy’s daughter fell in love with a local Goan fisherman but the match was unacceptable to the Viceroy. Later in the year 1682 Dona Paula threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea and thereafter the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute. Today the waterfront of Dona Paula in Goa is a popular hangout to couples.
At the confluence of the Goan rivers Mandovi and Zuari, Dona Paula is a mustplace to visit in Goa. The ruins of Cabo Fort, which was erected in 1540 and National Institute of Oceanography are some popular attractions close to Dona Paula.
Today, the Dona Paula area is home to many industrialists. The black stone statue of the young Dona Paula and her Goan lover on a rocky promontory jutting into the sea with a sweeping view of the Marmagoa Port in the background is also a popular attraction.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: The Dudhsagar waterfalls are one of the prime attractions in Goa which is located in the Sanguem district of Goa. These waterfalls are located near the Goa-Karnataka border. These beautiful waterfalls are located at a distance of approximately 60 kilometers from Margao. One can easily reach the tourist spot by hiring a taxi or taking a bus from Margao or you can take bus from Panaji but the best way to get here is by train and the best time to see it is the monsoon.
Travelers must visit its famous churches as Goa is exactly synonymous with churches. All these
churches are great example of rich historical past of Goa and are living testimonies of ancient
culture. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Reis Magos Church, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Augustine, Church
of St. Francis, Mary Immaculate Conception and St. Anne Church are some of the famous
churches in Goa.
The stunning 400-year-old Shri Mangesh temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is outstanding
with its simple and elegant structure. It is considered to be the most beautiful among the
temples in Goa and among the most importantplaces to visit in Goa. A wonderful seven-
storeyed lamp tower or deepstambha stands in the temple complex. The temple also has a
beautiful water body, which many believe is the oldest part of the temple.
The Sabha Griha is an assembly hall which can accommodate over 500 devotees. The decor includes the chandeliers of the nineteenth century. The central part of the Sabha Griha leads to the Garbha Griha where the image of Mangesh is consecrated.
Shri Mangeshi temple is located at Mangeshi Village in Priol, Ponda taluk, Goa. It is at a distance of 1 Km from Mardol close to Nagueshi, 22 Km from Panaji the capital of Goa and 26 Km from Margao.
This temple is one of the largest, most enchanting, serene and most frequently visited temples in Goa. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason.
The temple is dedicated to Bhagavan Manguesh, an incarnation of Shiva. He is also referred to as Saib (The Bhagavan of Goa) by Hindus. He is the kuldevta of many Hindus in Goa specially of Saraswat Brahmins and Bhandaris.
Home to the Olive ridley sea turtle, an endangered species, the Morjim Beachis one of
popular beaches in Goa that is located in Pernem on the northern bank of the Chapora River
estuary. Being in its ambiance one could easily discover why Morjim is often dubbed as “Little
Morjim is a small village that is a home to a large number of Russian immigrants. There had been some major political issues against the Government of Goa and Russian immigrants. The Indian bureaucrats’ have become concerned with the Russian mafia involvement in drug trade, prostitution, and land ownership in the formerly quiet beach village. [Thus it is advisable that tourists should be aware of these incidents and must check into recommended hotels by trusted travel agents.
The Government of Goa has also aided the turtle conservation efforts and has set up a Turtle Conservation Interpretation Centre at the Forest Office in Pernem and also restricted a portion of Morjim Beach in Goa for the tourists. It is to note that in any manner disturbing the turtles or their habitat is an offence punishable under Indian law.
This is the most famous temple of Goa and holds a special place in the heart of every Goan Hindu and also in Goans as a whole. This is one of the most important tourist places in Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu - The battle was so fierce that Brahma prayed to Parvati to intervene, she did this by assuming the form of Shantadurga. Goddess Shantadurga placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left and thus settled the fight. The deity of Shantadurga is shown as holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Shantadurga is the Kuldevi (family Goddess) of many Konkani Saraswats, Karhade Brahmins, Maharishi Saraswatis.
Along with Bogmalo, also in the Bardez district, the Sinquerim Beach is one of the few beaches
in Goa where you can rent windsurfers, water skis, and other water toys without having to be a
guest at a hotel. It's much cheaper to rent equipment from these places but check the condition
of the equipment and make sure life jackets are provided; also check, if possible, with others on
the beach to verify adequate supervision. Stretching in front of the Taj resorts, this small, sandy
beach can get crowded with tourists and vendors.
The closest railway station is Carambolim and the Sinquerim Beach is approximately 16 kms away from Panjim. The natural inward curve of the beach makes it a great place to tread more into the waters safely. Also, you can really start a long-long walk from here to Candolim to Calangute to Baga beach as well as they are all on an unbroken stretch.
The Vagator Beach is one of the most happening places in Goa. It is one of thebeaches in
Goathat is the center of Goa's trance party scene. Nonetheless theVagator Beach in Goa is
divided into three sections, the Big Vagator for the Indians, Little Vagator for the Israelis and
Ozran for the Italians.
The Vagator Beach, which is close to the Anjuna beach, offers a breathtaking ambiance. The main Vagator Beach i.e. the Big Vagator Beach is bit crowded. The Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone's throw of the sea.
Being in Vagator Beach one can also step inside the 9 Bar, which is atop the Ozran Beach and bustle their evening with music, drinks and the spectacular sunset at the horizon. The Vagator Beach in Goa is approximately 22 kms from Panaji and the closest railway station is Thivim.