Goa


Long a famous port, Goa was known to Arab seafarers. It had been ruled by Kandamba dynasty for more than a millennium when it was conquered by Muslim forces in 1312. Goa became part of the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar in 1370 but was recaptured by Muslims 100 years later. The Portuguese under Alfonso de Albuquerque annexed it in 1510 from territory belonging to the sultan of Bijapur. Goa was invaded by Indian troops in 1961 and incorporated into India in 1962.

Places of Interest in Goa :

Mapusa
It is 13 Kms. from Panaji.

The capital of Bardez Taluka, on the national highway, it is the cross roads of the network of highways covering whole of Northern Goa. Weekly fair on Friday, is held at the modem streamlined market, attended by large crowds.

Margao

It is 33 Kms. from Panaji.

The Capital of South Goa District in the hinterland of southern Goa in Salcete Taluka. It is a thriving commercial metropolis linked by rail to the rest of India & Mormugao Harbour and by national highways, with Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has imposing old mansions and modern buildings.

Mormugao Harbour

It is 34 Kms. from Panaji and 4 Kms. from Vasco-da-Gama.

It is one of the fine natural anchorages on the West coast of India and the hub of intense maritime activity.

Panaji

The capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District, a small charming city on the left bank of silvery Mandovi River, with beautiful red-roofed houses, built in Latin style, also boasts of many modern houses, well laid garden, statues and avenue's lined with Gulmohar, Acassia and other trees. Enchant it panorama unfolds from atop Altinho (Hill Top).

Pilar

It is 11 kms. from Panaji.
It has important religious and educational centre of Christian Missionaries. The Church, Seminary and School atop hillock command a magnificent panorama of the country side around and a fine view of Mormugao Harbour & Zuari river
A modem, well laid out city close to Mormugs Harbour, has beautiful and extensive avenues. The air terminus of Goa at Dabolim lies on the outskirts of the city. It is also the railway terminus for passenger service in the South Central Railwa


Calangute Beach
16 Kms from Panaji.
It is the most popular holiday resort in Goa popularly known as The Queen of Beaches. Excellent accommodation facilities are available, particularly at the tourist resort and cottages. Calangute lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea of North Goa in India. It is encircled by Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao and Candolim, in the Bardez taluka. Being a popular holiday resort, the small houses amidst the coconut groves behind the beach are always in constant demand. Calangute seems to be a distortion of the local vernacular word—‘Koli-gutti’, which means land of fishermen. Some people connect it with Kalyangutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit of the coconut tree) because the village is full of coconut trees.

With the advent of the Portuguese, the word probably got distorted to Calangute, and has stuck till today. Seemingly not all that long ago, Calangute was the beach all self-respecting hippies headed for, especially around Christmas when psychedelic hell broke loose. If you enjoyed taking part in those mass poojas, with their endless half-baked discussions about `when the revolution comes' and `the vibes, maaan', then this was just the ticket. You could frolic around without a stitch on, be ever so cool and liberated, get totally out of your head on every conceivable variety of ganja from Timor to Tenochtitlan and completely disregard the feelings of the local inhabitants. Naturally, John Lennon or The Who were always about to turn up and give a free concert.

Calangute's heyday as the Mecca of all expatriate hippies has passed. The local people, who used to rent out rooms in their houses for a pittance, have moved on to more profitable things, and Calangute has undergone a metamorphosis to become the centre of Goa's rapidly expanding package-tourist market. It isn't one of the best Goanese beaches: there are hardly any palms, the sand is contaminated with red soil and the beach drops rapidly into the sea. There is, however, plenty going on, especially if you don't mind playing a minor role in this stage-managed parody of what travelling is meant to be about. Try heading off the beaten track unless you need a bit of R 'n' R to recover from life on the road, or want to mix it with the Simons and Sandras of this world who are visiting India to pep up their winter suntans. The best time of the year to visit this area is between September and March.

Colva Beach

About 6 kms from Margao Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scenic splendour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. Has good accommodation facilities, particularly at the tourist cottages. It is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute in scenic splendor. Here sea, sand and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony. Colva is one of the most popular beaches in South Goa.The beach offers good accommodation.


Colva stretches sun-drenched, palm fringed and virtually deserted for kilometers. 20years ago precious little disturbed its soft white sands and warm crystal-clear turquoise their waters, except the local fishers who pulled their catch in by hands each morning, and the few of the more intrepid hippies who had forsaken the obligatory drugs, sex and rock and roll of Calangute for the smoothing tranquility of this corner of paradise. It is the main evening and weekend day-trip destination for the people of Margao, so it becomes packed with cars, motorbikes, scooters and pedestrians.

On the road into Colva from Margao you pass the large Church of Our Lady of Mercy (Nossa Senhora das Merces, 1630, re-built in the 18th century). The statue of Menino Jesus housed here is said to have miraculous properties. Colva is at heart of the longest unbroken stretch of beach (25 kms) in Goa from Mormagao peninsular in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south.



A hot-season retreat for Margao's mediocre classes since long before Independence, Colva is the oldest and largest - of south Goa's resorts. Its leafy outlying vaddos, or wards, are pleasant enough, dotted with colonial lection of concrete hotels, souvenir stalls and fly-blown snack bars strewn around a bleak central roundabout. Colva is pleasant and convenient place to stay, swimming is relatively safe, while the sand, at least away from the beachfront, is spotless and scattered with beautiful shells.


Dona Paula Beach


7 kms from Panaji. An idyllic picturesque spot. Command a fine view of the Zuari river and Mormugao Harbour. Water scootering facilities are available here. It is near the rocky point between the Mandovi and the Zuari is Dona Paula, a secluded bay with a fine view of the Marmagao harbour. This is an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scootering facilities available. On the northern banks of the River Zuari, a little away to tie south east of Cabo, lies a large escarpment with a bay and two small beaches which in the old days was part of Oddavel. The Dona Paula bay is at the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea.

Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, this place is called the Lovers Paradise due to a myth which has been attached to this place. At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea is the Dona Paula bay. Dona Paula takes its name from a viceroy's daughter who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman. Located 9kms south west of Goa's capital, Panaji.


Dona Paula divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries and provides pleasant views of Marmagao, the port city of Goa. Due to its proximity to the capital Panaji, Dona Paula is a popular stop for the sight seeing tours. This has lead to mushrooming of hotels in and around Dona Paula. There are boating facilities for those who dare to venture in the waters. The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa.
Miramar Beach

Miramar (Caspar Dias) is 3 kms from Panaji. A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji. Miramar is almost part of Panaji. It is one of the most popular beaches. If you wish to watch the sunset from Panaji then the best location would be this beach, which is fifteen minutes' walk along the riverfront avenue called Dayanand Bandodker Marg. Miramar is an urban beach where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea. It is not a safe beach to swim. There is a strong undercurrent.

Anjuna Beach

Anjuna, 18 kms from Panaji is a popular beach area adjacent to Chapora fort- it was the haunt of the flower generation in the sixties - and is still popular with the younger generation. In Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof. The Anjuna band plays for the beach party at night. Palm trees stand motionless in the warm air. To the east is a mountain. If you want to return to civilization, climb the mountain to get to Baga where you can catch a ferry out.
This is the Goa Freak capital of the World. Anjuna becomes a fair of colors. Lines of vehicles full of tourists start virtually raising clouds of dust in this area. Anjuna attracts a weird and wonderful collection of over monks, defiant ex-hippies, gentle lunatics, artists, artisans, seers, searchers, sybarites and itinerant expatriates who normally wouldn't be seen out of the organic confines of their health-food emporia in San Francisco or London.
Full moon, when the infamous parties take place, is a particularly good time to be here if you want to indulge in bacchanalian delights. Only a Brit would think about raving about the main beach, but it's worth the walk to the small, protected sliver of sand at South Anjuna where the area's long-term house-renters tend to gather.

Vagator Beach

Vagator is 22 kms from Panaji. It is a popular beach dominated by Chapora Fort to the north, on its imposing head land and popularly known as 'The Sun Kissing Beach'. To the south of vagator is Calangute beach. For what the Goa is known very well reflected in Vagator which is one of the most beautiful of the soft golden sand beaches that Goa is famous for. Whenever you see a picture of a beach typically dotted with palm trees and sea green water with people in swimming suit and having fun in water, you will see all this and much more in the Vagator beach. This beach is just like one out of a picture postcard.
The skirt area of the beach is lush green, dotted with coconut palms, friendly farmhouses and pictorial Portuguese bungalows. On the north-west corner of the city are the remains of the Chapora fort. The fort is well preserved and offers some splendid views from its ramparts. A ten minute walk south of the Big Vagator is Ozran, also known as Little Vagator. This end of the beach is relatively secluded and has a row of cafes catering to the tourists who are here during the day. One who visits Goa cannot miss the Vagator beach. Vagator is a fine vacation option for sea enthusiasts.
It is an ideal place for people with small budgets but lots of time with them. It is an attractive little bay between rocky headlands with a series of small beaches with shady palms. Chapora Fort is on a hill at the northern end. Now in ruins, the fort stands on the southern bank old the Chapora River. It was originally made by Adil Shah. Later on the Mughals and Portuguese used it.


Arambol Beach

Arambol Beach is 50 kms from Panaji. A unique beach in the North Goa, is both rocky and sandy beach and much sought after. It has a sweet water pond right on the shore. Arambol is along the Goa border with its fresh water lagoon. Due to its isolation, some tourists has been unable to reach this beach.It is the 16-km-long sea beach. The main beach has adequate body surfing and there are several attractive bays a short walk to the north. Beyond an idyllic, rocky-bottomed cove, the trail emerges to a board strip of soft white sand hemmed in on both sides by steep cliffs. A small fresh-water lake extends along the bottom of the valley into a thick jungle,just behind it. Fed by boiling hot springs, the lake is lined with sulphurous mud, which, smeared over the body, dries to form a surreal, butter-coloured shell. The resident hippies swear it's good for you and spend much of the day tiptoeing naked around the shallow like refugees from some obscure tribal initiation ceremony - much to the amusement of Arambol's Indian visitors.

Agonda Beach
Agonda is about 37 kms.

from Margao.It is a small, picturesque and secluded beach much sought after for its serenity.
Churches in Goa
Basilica of Born Jesus

Located at Old Goa, 10 kilometres east of Panaji, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument.
Built in 16th century is the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. This church dedicated to Infant Jesus is now a World Heritage Monument.

Timings:
Sunday: 10.00 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays: 09.00 to 18.30 hrs
Masses: Sunday: 08.00 & 09.15 hrs. Weekdays: 07.00 & 08.00 hrs.











Se Cathedral is located in Old Goa, 9 Km from Panaji.
Most imposing of all churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior overwhelms the visitors by sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells of which one is the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine.
Church of St. Francis of Assissi

Old Goa, 9 Km from Panaji, in the same compound as the Se Cathedral. The entrance and the choirare in Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. The interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.
St. Cajetan Church

The St. Cajetan church is located in Old Goa near the Se cathedral church. The church is visited by numerous tourists because of exquisite architecture. This vast and strikingly beautiful church has been constructed on the primary design of the Basilica of St. Peter located in Rome. The architectural style is basically Corinthian in nature and is used generously inside as well outside the church. The Saint Cajetan church of India was originally named as Church of Our Lady of Divine Providence.

The church has been constructed using laterite blocks and has been plastered with lime. The stunning altars are golden and are decorated with lovely carvings in the Baroque style. The architectural style of the temple is very famous all over the world and never fails to amuse tourists who visit this place. Inside the church, you will find three altars at the left that are dedicated to Holy family of Our Lady of Piety and St. Clare. On your right, you will find the altars of St. Cajetan, St. John and St. Agnes.


Temples of Goa

Goa,inhabits numerous ancient Hindu temples which in themselves narrate a history of Portuguese domination & are a witness of the changing times. A visit to these temples fills one with the feelings of spirituality, purity and sanctity.The simplicity of architecture and natural beauty are the main eye-catchers.


Mahalaxami Temple
4kms. from Ponda.

Situated in the village of Bandode. It is considered the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult. The Sabhamandap has a gallery of 18 images, out of 24 images of emanatory aspects of Bhagvata sect, which is considered one of the few galleries of wooden images of Vishnu in India. It is the very famous place of worship for Hindus in Goa devoted to Goddess Laxami, goddess of wealth.


Mangeshi Temple
Located in Ponda.


It is the very famous temple of Goa.
The temple is a modern piece of architecture blended with traditional Hindu pattern. The entrance to the temple bears an image, which wards off every thing impure from the inner precincts of the temple and maintains its sanctity.

In front of the entrance but slightly to the north stands the Deepa Stambha, the column of lights. History does not record when it was built, but judging by the pattern of its construction, it might have been built during the first half of the eighteenth century. It is the tallest and most imposing column in Goa and looks most beautiful on festival nights when illuminated with traditional oil lamps.

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