Welcome to Goa
The Land of Beaches
Goa- The Land of Sun, Sand and Beaches..Nestled on the western coast of India and sharing its borders with the Arabian Sea lies Indias smallest state, Goa. Smallest in terms of area, the Konkani state tops the list when it comes to tourism. From frantic to frolicis a phrase that best describes a sojourn to Goa. The state has become a tourist hotspot from the turn of the century and is thronged by both Indian as well as International tourists every year who come to the serene state to get out of their busy, mundane and monotonous lifestyles. Goa is known for its flawless and captivating beaches.
Goa's beaches cover about 125 kilometres (78 mi) of its coastline. These beaches are divided into North and South Goa.Influenced by over 450 years of Portuguese rule and Latin culture, Goa presents a somewhat different representation of the country to foreign visitors. Major tourist attractions include Bom Jesus Basilica, Fort Aguada, a wax museum on Indian culture, and a heritage museum. The Churches and Convents of Goa have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Goa Beaches at a Glance...........
North Goa Beaches : Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach & Flea Market, Candolim Beach & Colonial Aguada Fort
South Goa Beaches : Beetalbatim Beach, Arossim Beach, Cola Beach & Sernabatim Beach
ITINERARY :DELHI-GOA-DELHI (5 Days/4 Nights)>>
DAY 1 & 2: NORTH GOA TOUR
DAY 2 & 3: SOUTH GOA TOUR
DAY 4: GOA TOUR
DAY 5: GOA TOUR
Places to Visit in Gao with Short Descriptions:
'The Enamour of Downtown Calangute" Holding the spectacular beauty and charm with all the frantic nightlife of an ocean paradise, Calangute is your way to heaven. Calangute Beach is the longest beach in North Goa, stretching from Candolim to Baga. Encircled by palm and coconut trees, the beach is spread four miles along the Arabian Sea and nine miles from the Panaji.
Accompanied by Candolim village that wings it towards south and crossroads of Baga towards north, Calangute Beach forges the real attraction of Goa tourism. Here, the charms are multiplex like the exotic jewels hanging from the storefronts, local's warmth, or it could simply be the orphic sea-breezes that bring an imminent adventure. Due to its incredible beauty and serenity, it's known as the 'Queen of Beaches'. It's among the top ten bathing beaches in all over the world, which remains crowded during daytime with tourists & locals.
Fort Aguada traces its origins to 1609 when its construction was started by the Portuguese who were ruling over the region. The construction continued for the next three years and was completed in 1612 under the supervision of Viceroy Ruy Tavara. The word Aguada means freshwater in Portuguese language and the fort derives its name from a freshwater spring located within it. It is recorded that crews of sailing ships used to replenish their stock of potable water from this spring.
Aguada Fort is a splendid example of the Portuguese military style of architecture. It was constructed using laterite stone, which was found in abundance in Goa. the hilltop fort of Aguada is one of the best places to visit in Goa. Its magnificent architecture as well as the breath-taking views it offers of the Arabian Sea come together to make it a top tourist attraction. It is also a great spot to watch sunsets.
Aguada Fort was built to guard and defend the Portuguese stronghold in Goa against the Maratha and Dutch invaders. Owing to its location at the confluence of the Arabian Sea and the Mandovi River, it became the most prized fortress for the Portuguese back in the seventeenth century.
In 1864, a four-storied lighthouse was erected within the fort’s premises. Currently, the fort houses a statue dedicated to the freedom fighters of Goa. Every year on 18th June, a ceremony is observed within the fort premises to remember and honor those brave souls who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Goa.
Things to See in the Fort Aguada Complex Aguada Fort holds a lot of attractions for visitors, which include the following:The lighthouse , The series of prison cells , The colossal water reservoir , The ammunition room , Church of St. Lawrence , located on the outskirts of the fort (about 1 km)
Popularly known as the freak capital of the world, Anjuna is just the right place for lazing holidaymakers. Besides the calm waters of the Arabian Sea lapping softly on the Indian shore. Anjuna is a small village in north Goa, on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It lies 18 km away from Panaji (the old name for Panjim), the capital of Goa.
Stretched over the golden coastline, the southern and northern end of Anjuna beach offers a plethora of activities. While the southern end consists of a rocky headland, the northern end host water sports like bungee jumping, bumpy banana ride, and much more. Anjuna beach is Goa’s local “multidimensional entertainment hub”.
One of the most carried out activities include jet skiing and para gliding.Anjuna beach provides you with some of the stunning scenery and photographic view during sunrise and sunset. The combination of the white sand and the scintillating blue sea create an unbeatable view. It captivates a large number of tourists to crowd this place every Wednesday. You’ll get an excellent deal if you’re an expert in bargaining.
It is situated on the absolute northern fringes of Bardez Taluka, on the opposite side of the river Chapora, which starts from Morjim in Pernem. Towards the south of the Vagator Beach lies Anjuna, one of the oldest tourist destinations in Goa.
Vagator beach is adorned with picturesque red cliffs that look down to two freshwater springs that are a stone’s throw distance from the sea. The beach is mainly divided by a seaside headland which acts as a prime spot for car parking and several small stalls that sell clothes, food and an assortment of trinkets and souvenirs. When facing the sea from the headland, on the right lies the North Vagator Beach or locally known as ‘Big Vagator’, while on the left lies the Ozran Beach or what is known as ‘Little Vagator Beach’.
Baga Beach is situated in North Goa, 9 kilometers (6 miles) from Mapusa and 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Panaji, the state capital. It's bordered by Calangute Beach to the south, and Anjuna Beach to the north on the other side of the river. Baga Beach starts right where Calangut. This bubbly beach is one of the best in Goa that stays awake the whole night. Called as "The Hometown of Nightlife," Baga beach is reputed for its cranky music celebrations by late-night, mouth-watering food, designer shops, and adventure sports.
Baga town is surrounded by the Baga river, and spotting the place where the river and the “sea meet, is a beautiful view to bait your eyes. Dolphins can also spotted deeper in the blue ocean and there are some spotting trips organized by local ship owners to spot the sea mammal.
Sinquerim Beach boasts of an amazing shoreline with and extent of sand. The beach is located north of the popular beaches of Goa including Calangute, Baga, and Candolim. The waters of Sinquerim are perfect for a refreshing swim with your family or friends and you must not miss the breathtaking water sports when vacationing here. .
Sinquerim is popular among tourists flocking to this beach from all over the world. The beach is close to some of the best nightclubs in Goa. One of the key attractions of Sinquerim Beach is the popular Sunburn Festival held each year in December. Another key attraction is the Aguada Fort, just next to the beach. Sinquerim is home to many restaurants and shacks that serve fresh seafood and cocktails to pamper your taste buds.
Chapora Fort is especially a favourite evening haunt for people to chill out. The fort overlooks the Chapora river and hence its name. The Chapora Fort is in North Goa, 21.7 kilometers from Panaji and just 700 meters from the Vagator beach. It is located on a hill just above the Vagator beach, with the Chapora beach on the other side.
The Chapora River meets the Arabian Sea here However, there is a more interesting name given to this fort i.e. ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Fort. The name literally translates to ‘the heart yearns’ and the reason for this quirky name is that a Bollywood film with this title (Dil Chahta Hai) was shot back here in 2001.
As highlighted earlier, the best time to visit Chapora Fort is evening time because sunset sky looks spectacular from here. Moreover, when the sky paints everything around, especially the Chapora River and beaches of Chapora, in its sunset colour, ah! the sight is just out of this world.
Basilica Of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus Church located in Goa is one of a kind in India and is known for its exemplary baroque architecture. Built in 1594 and consecrated in 1605, the building of this church coincides with the beginning of Christianity in India. The church is located in Old Goa in Bainguinim about 10 km away from Panjim. The oldest church in Goa, it holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). Even after 400 years, the remains are in good condition and are taken out once every decade.
A site with rich cultural and religious significance, the Basilica of Bom Jesus has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Literally translating to 'Holy Jesus', this is the only church in Old Goa that is not been plastered on the outside. The facade of the church has triangular roofing which is delicately carved with the initials 'IHS', which is an abbreviation for Jesuit emblem meaning 'Jesus, Saviour of Men'.
The majestic white beauty of Se Cathedral in Goa is a shrine dedicated to Saint Catherine. The cathedral is also known as the Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina and is an important centre of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman. It is also the focal point of the Patriarch of the East Indies. One of the largest churches in the whole of Asia, Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to get constructed. It was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers of the city. Owing to such a dignified aura and the grandiosity of this architectural wonder, Se Cathedral has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The edifice of Se Cathedral is an imposing example of imperial Portuguese - Manueline style of architecture. This cathedral has five bells, the most famous among them is the Golden Bell which is the biggest in Goa and one of the biggest in the continent. Apparently, the sound of the bell can be heard all over the state. Se Cathedral is simple in its design and consists of 14 altars, each one beautifully and intricately carved. Out of these, the main altar is embellished with gold plated The reredos which illustrates the life of St.Catherine of Alexandria.
Se Cathedral also holds the honour of being the seat of the Archdiocese of Goa. A popular legend relating to this shrine states that a vision of Jesus Christ appeared in the church after which, the cross has been gradually increasing in size. Believers flock from all over the world to pay their respects to St. Catherine, making it one of the most revered churches in the region.
Shri Mangeshi Temple
The Shri Mangeshi Temple is a beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is considered to be the most important temple in Goa, it belongs to the typical Goan Hindu temple style of architecture. It is very distinctive with its white towers, welcoming at the entrance even though it is small and exquisite.
It is located on a Hillock at Proil which is in the Ponda Taluka, surrounded with lush greenery which creates a separate place in the hearts of the onlookers. It is 22 kms from Panjim and 26 kms from Margao. It is one of the largest, wealthiest and most frequently visited temples in Goa.
Shri Shantadurga Temple
Situated 33 kms from Panajim, Shree Shantadurga temple has an impressive idol of Goddess Shree Durga who mediated between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva and stopped the fiercefull war going on between the two. She is flanked by Vishnu and Shiva on both the sides.The temples of Shree Shantadurga and Shree Mangesh, two of the most revered patron deities of the Hindu Goud Saraswat Brahmin community are located in Kavlem and Mangeshi respectively in the Ponda district of North Goa.
This avatar of Shree Jagdamba devi which had come to make peace [Shanti] between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva, came to be known as Shree Shantadurga devi. The original place of Shree Shantadurga devi was at Keloshi. From there devi was shifted to Kavlem during the rule of portuguese government.
Lying on the shores of a quaint coastal village in Goa, Colva beach is a truly magnificent vacation spot for all tourists. It stretches for an impressive 2.4 km and features striking white sand, turquoise waves, and towering coconut palms. Tourists from around the world frequent the Colva beach for sights of stunning sunsets and remarkable blue waves.
As you tread the beach, you will witness quirky huts and hotels all along the shores. The Portuguese influence on this area has been significant since the 1600s when the wealthy British and Portuguese considered Colva Beach as a prime vacation spot. You will also find numerous beach shacks, hotels, and small shops on the beach along with several ruins of ancient Portuguese villas and houses. You can take on a host of water and beach sports on the Colva beach while basking under the sun and enjoying the pleasant sea breeze.
Ancestral Goa (Big Foot)
The Ancestral Goa museum/ exhibition is situated in the small village of Loutolim which is about 10 km from Margao and 25 km from Panaji. The musuem is also known as big foot. It is privately run by an artist called Maendra Jocelino Araujo Alvares. The open-air museum recreates Goan rural life as it was a hundred years ago.
At Ancestral Goa there are a number of places to visit such as an art gallery where one can see work done by local children and artists of State and National fame. There is a handicraft centre where one can get some locally made Goan artificats, Big Foot dance floor, Big Foot restaurant, a cross, a spring known as Boca da Vaca, a bird habitat, a spice yard, rubber plantations and lots more.
The main highlight however at Ancestral Goa is the giant 14 meter sculpture of Sant Mirabai carved in 30 days by MJA Alavres the enterprising artist cum museum owner. This has been cited in the Limca book of records for being the longest laterite sculpture in India.
Miramar Beach is situated 3 kms from Panaji in North Goa. A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji. Miramar is an urban beach where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea. It is not a safe beach to swim as there is a strong undercurrent.
The beach in Miramar is one of the most popular Beaches in Goa and tourists are well warned that it can get crowded here, with people from the town strolling over in the evenings. One will often see a mixed crowd of tourists and locals here as there are a lot of activities for entertainment. One can even go shopping here and enjoy some sightseeing.
Miramar beach was originally known as the "Gasper Dias Beach". The best time to visit this place in India is November to March.
Dona Paula Beach
With full of romance in the air, the Dona Paula beach is quite bustling with plenty of activities round the year. Located 7 kms away from the Panaji, this beach has become one of the most happening beaches of the Goa. It is snuggled on the southern part of the rocky headland where the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea.
The beach is very popular as lovers paradise because of a myth attached to this place. As per the legend, Viceroy's daughter Dona Paula de Menezes jumped off the cliff after facing objections from her family due to her love affair with a son of a fisherman. So, the beach is popular by the name of Dona Paula. It's a lover's paradise that offers a splendid view of the Mormugao harbor and fringed by casuarinas woods & palm trees.
At 1,017 feet (310 meters), Dudhsagar Falls is among the tallest waterfalls in India. At the base of the four-tiered falls is a huge swimming area—that’s as as far as most travelers go. A railway bridge crosses right under the falls, and if you happen to visit when a train is passing by you're sure to get some great photos.
The Basics Dudhsagar means “sea of milk,” Once a princess who was the daughter of the king of Ghats was taking a bath in the lake which was near her father’s castle. One day, while a charming prince was riding through the woods, he heard the laughter sound which made him curious as to where the chit chatter sound is coming from.
To his surprise, when he saw the scarcely dressed princess, her maidens in order to protect the honor of the princess poured the milk from the jug. A curtain of milk was formed to protect the princess.
The curtain that protected the modesty of the princess is known as the “Dudhsagar Falls”.it's more likely that the falls got their name from the white color that forms as they plume down to the ground. Hiking up to the falls is popular but dangerous.
Dolphin Fantasy Cruise
Dolphin Fantasy Cruise takes you on an exciting trip to watch the dark graceful water beauties in an ever-playful mood enchanting the tourists with a rhythmic dance of love. The Dolphin Fantasy Cruise takes you close to the playful creatures of the oceans, the Dolphins.
They happily swim along your liner and fascinate you with their playful antics. While on a Dolphin Fantasy Cruise you will closely see the headlands jutting out into the sea along with the Raj Bhawan, Aguada Fort and Reis Magos. This journey reminds us of the bygone era of wars and dominance.
Dolphin Fantasy Cruise trips are conducted from October to May. Dolphin Fantasy Cruise is an economical journey. You need to hire a boat or take share boat cruises. You will find lot of Dolphins jumping around the sea. But make sure, you must take the early trip.
Sahakari Spice Farm
visit to the Sahakari Spice Farm is a lesson in Indian herbs and spices—and a pretty entertaining one at that. About half an hour from Panaji, this tropical spice plantation is scattered across 130 acres of lush vegetation, and you're greeted with a garland and a handful of cashewnuts while an Aarti is carried out to welcome you in.
Moving in, you can pick and taste your way through rows of ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and cardamon in addition to fruit bearing trees like guava, papaya, pineapple and jackfruit among others. It's a great way to school kids on a wide variety of food-bearing trees and plants, and the organisers make the entire experience lots of fun by throwing in entertaining extras like elephant rides (you can even feed and wash the elephant) and folk dances. End your visit with the sumptuous buffet served on the premises—which is the ideal way to culminate your experience.