Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Shanta Durga Temple
Welcome to Goa City,
Goa is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
If you continue driving towards Panaji from Palolem, the next beach is Agonda.It's long and lonely, fringed with palms and casuarinas and dominated by a large hill to the south. It's not safe to swim out too far as here on this beach. There are very few facilities available here and you are needed to carry all the essentials.
Agonda is a three-kilometer long beautiful cove of white sand, safely secluded in the palms. There are no tourists, no souvenir stalls, no restaurants, nothing. Just the trees, the beach, the big beautiful ocean and you. It also makes for a great day trip from Colva and Covelossim. For real adventure, hire a tent and camp for the night, listening to the crashing of the sea waves.
Aguada beach is almost synonymous with the top-notch Fort Aguada; Hotel complex, a superb hotel that is built on the cliff, around the remnants of the early 17th century Portuguese fort. Although access to the beach is not possible through the hotel grounds, which are private, you can walk along Aguada beach, for in India private beaches do not exist.
The hotel has been constructed in three parts, consisting of expensive cottages on the upper reaches of the hillside, the fort jutting out to sea, and a delightful Goan village, with individual cottages. Drawn by the clientele of the hotel, Aguada beach has cafes, itinerant vendors of everything from Kashmiri carpets to massages, and a good range of water sports.
The Fort of Aguada was built by the Portuguese to control the entry into River Mandovi and to protect old Goa from enemy attack. The fortification skirts the seashore. At the center is a circular lighthouse tower. The Fort presently houses the central jail.
A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there, giving it the name "Aguada" (meaning 'water' in Portuguese). On the northern side, it provides a harbour for local shipping. The fort, at present, houses the central jail. A 19th century built lighthouse is situated inside the fortress.
Immediately south of Candolim, a long peninsula extends into the sea, bringing the seven-kilometre white sandy beach to an abrupt end. Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs, the first source of drinking water available to ships arriving in Goa after the long sea voyage from Lisbon.
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. Also famous for "Wednesday Flea Market", "The Acid House Party", "Mascarenhas Mansion"
Anjuna Beach is popularly known as the freak capital of the world and not without reasons. It claimed popularity for its Trance Parties and the Hippies who tried to synthesize the spiritual traditions of the East and the art, ideas and the music of the West. Sometime in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, the area was "discovered" by a group of travelers, including "Eight Finger Eddie," and a small international psychedelic scene began to meet there to party during the dry season. Anjuna is just the right place for lazing holidaymakers. Besides the calm waters of the Arabian Sea lapping softly on the Indian shore, Anjuna comes live with its ever-famous full-moon parties and the Wednesday flea market to take one on to a trance trip.
The Cavelossim beach in Mobor holds various attractions and is famous for its party scene. The Aqua Bar is extremely popular with the party crowd due to its charming environment which grows with every passing minute in the evening. Beautiful trans music fills the corners of the Dance club and the heady mix of cocktails and techno music is sure to entrap any sane person. Add a dash of Goan cuisine to the scene and one is looking at a perfect party place which can transform any dull evening into a hip and happening night of numerous possibilities.
A large and sprung out village near the seashore, Arambol can be approached by a road which winds across the plateau and down through the cashew trees. The beach is an uninterrupted and stunning stretch of curving sand, still unspoilt in comparison to other beaches. The beach is quiet except on Sundays, when a large crowd of local picnickers gather here for holidaying.
The villagers are friendly and the place is less touristy allowing you to have a close experience of local life and culture. There is relaxed environment and peace and tranquility attracts many day-trippers from other beaches nearby. There are miles long uninterrupted beaches with well-made track running around. The second beach is even more secluded and little used. There are sulphur pits and freshwater lakes that you can use for swimming.
The beach is a heaven not only for the party and leisure seekers but also for the adventure seekers who look forward to some water adventure and sport activities along the beaches of Goa. Arossim beach offers various water sports activities viz. water surfing, scooting and sailing. The equipment required for the activities as well as the training for undertaking the activities is available at the beach. Operators are also willing to train and signal the newbie in the task and also ensure a safe and secure adventure. However, it is advised to avoid adventure activities during rough seas.
Long stretches of silver sand, as far as one can see, disturbed only by a few huts and shacks which cater for some amazing Goan as well as continental food - this is the of Ashwem beach located south to Arambol. The long coastline of Ashwem is replete with palm groves which provide a green canopy all along the shore. The water is safe for swimming and being less crowded Ashwem beach comes across as a place for the entire family. Various huts and even tree houses can be seen near the beach which are utilised as accommodation by many tourists.
The innumerable beaches in Goa draw a number of tourists around the globe. One of the stunning beaches in Goa where one can have a wonderful vacation is the Babylon beach. The beach is beautiful and highly popular with the party crowd because of its favorable and charming environment. Party lovers are sure to enjoy at the beach as it offers a good number of party clubs. Soothing Trance music of Goa that fills the corners of the club is sure to entrap any music loving vacationer, letting them have the perfect evening of their life. However, the heady mix of cocktails as well as high techno music can lure any sane person, adding to the scene is delectable the Goan cuisine; thus making Babylon beach the nicest party place to enjoy to the fullest. Close to the beach, there are few lounges with night clubs attached. With a pleasant environment, Babylon beach offers the best party spot to transform any dull evening into a hip and happening night.
The Baga beach is sandwiched between the two bigger cousins, the Candolim beach and the Calangut beach. The beach is somewhat smaller in size but is definitely cleaner and more relaxed and recluse than the other beaches in Goa. Apart from the usual beach activities and tasty food Baga beach also offers an opportunity to enjoy Wind Surfing between January and March. There are operators who are eager to conduct short training modules and provide the required gear to undertake the same. The National Wind Surfing Championship is also conducted every year around September - November at the Baga beach.
Located close to the city of Vasco, Baina Beach is considered to be one of the best beaches in the Port town of Mormugao, Vasco. Being calm and safe, one can enjoy swimming or take a long evening walk and feel the fresh air at the beach. The beach is just a 1 km away from the city. Lies in between the hills, the Zuari nagar hills on the right and on the left is the Dabolim plateau, the beach is a perfect spot to have an enjoyable time.
For water sports lover, Baina beach is the best spot as it offers a wide variety of water sports such as kayaking, wind surfing, para sailing, jet-skiing and more. One can also witness and enjoy the cultural programs as well as beach festivals held here from time to time which reflects the unique culture of Goa. Baina beach is well known for having the facility of an underwater sea walk. Being the first beach in India to have this facility, Baina proves to be a main tourist attraction in Goa. Besides, the beach also has a number of Ayurvedic and Kerala massage centers, so one can have a rejuvenating massage and get relax themselves.
The Bambolim Beach and its surroundings are very famous for the multifarious activities which are an integral part of the beach. Long walks through the well manicured lawns, Beach Volley Ball, Para sailing, Jet skiing, Scuba Diving and many more such fun and thrill filled activities are a regular feature at this beautiful beach. Regular attractions like Volleyball and Cricket also feature on the beach. A fully loaded Health Club providing Jacuzzi, Sauna and a multi station gym is also available for the fitness enthusiasts. Ayurvedic and Kerala massage providers roam the beach with special creams and oil to provide a rejuvenating massage.
Funny as the name suggests, the Banana and Ringo rides have caught the imagination of tourists and enthusiasts worldwide and are proving to be a star attraction at many beaches in Goa. Almost all major beaches have operators who cater for these rides. The Banana rides can be availed by the entire family where the aim is to ride a giant sized inflated banana and try and maintain its orientation while sailing through the choppy waves. Sounds easy, but beware of the fights which may ensue after a free fall in water. The Ringo rides are for individuals riding in inflated rings which are left adrift in the waters. The twists, twirls and bottoms up are sure to chill the hardcore and leave them asking for more.
Visitors from India and overseas flock to the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, built in 1605, and now declared a World Heritage Monument. The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa, who died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2, 1552. The following year, while transferring his remains to Goa, in accordance with his wishes, it was found that the saint's body was as fresh as the day it was buried.
This miraculous phenomenon continues to attract the devout from all lands, and an Exposition or public viewing of his body every ten years attracts lakhs of pilgrims. During the 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa, St. Francis Xavier was believed to have accorded protection to the rulers who handed over their symbols of office to the saint during every changeover of the office of Governor General. The Saint had miraculous healing powers which were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.
Two km ahead from Colva is Benaulim Beach in the South Goa. The beach is located at some 40 km from the Panajim - the capital of Goa.
It is also famous for the "The Bull Fight". Nossa Senhora de Merces (Our Lady of Mercy) Church is situated near this beach.
A vast stretch lies to the northern direction of the famous Colva beach, where the wanderers from Colva beach discover that the endless strip of white sand just keeps getting better and cleaner as they move away from the more famous cousin. The beach is clean and beautiful and is surrounded by greenery from the land side wherein mango as well palm grove providing for scenic views.
Goa has an amazing charm to it not only due to the vast ocean in the vicinity but also due to the criss-crossing of rivers through it. The Sal River is one such river which crosses Goa and meets the Arabian Sea near Betul. The village, largely occupied by fishermen is situated on the banks of the river and boasts of long stretch of beaches starting from the Mormugao peninsula. The cool ocean breeze ensures a pleasant climate throughout the year for this fruit tree roofed beach of Betul. The amazing Mobor Peninsula provides a breathtaking aerial view of the Betul hillock and the adjoining beach.
In Bogmalo, the Oberois manage a property built by Trade Wings. The building is right on the sea. As the waves lash the parapets of the open-air restaurant, the drone of the restless Arabian Sea lulls to sleep even the most insomniac. Beyond are mysterious little islands, shipwrecks in the silt and, around the hotel, plenty of pleasant eateries-each one of them claiming to be Osibisa's favorite. That pardonable selling trick began about 10 years ago when the Oberoi hosted the group.
Towards the north along the waters lies a natural marvel called the Butterfly Island. The distance from the main land is not more than 200 m and a short boat ride is good enough to reach the island. The isolation acts a blessing in disguise as the island offers a secluded beach to the visitors all with its solitary charm and the thrills of any other Goan beach sans the overcrowded and over polluted stretches of sand. The dolphins are extra acrobatic in the waters surrounding the island. Low tides would create a vast canvas on the beach which is painted by the designer footsteps of crabs and goldfishes. Canoe ride along the tiny water streams on the island provide a thrilling ride.
Cabo de Rama Fort has a long history and as the name suggests, it starts with Hindu warriors who constructed it initially and surrendered it to the might of the Portuguese in 1763. The fort which took its name from lord Ram from Ramayan was later renovated by the Portuguese by providing more bastions and citadel. However, the fort fell from grace and was lying in ruins till the State took notice and has prevented any further damage and deterioration of the fort. The fort affords a grand view of the entire length of Colva beach and the Canacona stretch. Some of the turrets of the fort still house the Portuguese cannons.
Caf? Mambo, located at the Baga beach, is within walking distance from Calangute. The caf? started as another run of the mill joint, gained immemnse popularity immediately. However, the crowds started dwindling after some time. Efforts are being made to develop into hip and hop place, by creating great ambience and some creatively, performed music. The caf? has made efforts to attract the younger crowd by scheduling different genres of music on different weekdays. Thus, Mondays and Wednesdays are Hip Hop and House music, Tuesdays bring in the House music, and Thursdays are reserved for Salsa and House music. Fridays for Corona Nite with Guest DJ while Saturdays and Sundays are Karaoke Nite and Retro music.
One of the most understated and secluded beach, the Canaguinim Beach lies south of the magnificent Betul beach. Though the total stretch of the beach is much smaller than its famous cousins, it is the beautiful combination of Greenery, crystal clear waters and calmingly pristine beach environment, which mark the Canaguinim beach apart from the other beaches. The Cabo de Rama fort lies towards south and the beach affords a magnificent view of the fort. The regular Goan beach activities of carnival atmosphere are absent and it is a pleasant experience to have the entire stretch of the silver sand beach without any disturbance.
Arossim, Cuelim and Cansaulim beach consortium form a formidable stretch of beaches which is considered as the second longest stretch of beach in India. The Cansaulim beach situated at around 16 Km from Margao is a vast stretch of clean and tidy beach which is mostly secluded, however well served by the local restaurants and shacks which cater for the needs of the relaxing tourists. The palm groves along the coast provide a perennial green roof which is a respite for those who had enough of the sunshine. The Cansaulim railway station is situated nearby and the only disturbance to the relaxing tourists on the beach is the infrequent movement of trains.
Goa is replete with religious places a plenty and is not actually tilted towards any particular religion. If there are numerous temples, an equal or perhaps more churches can be traced in and around the state. The Cansaulecim church which was founded way back in 1581 is one such wonderful piece of monument which draws numerous tourists towards itself due to its ancient history and the typical Portuguese architectural style in which it was build. The church was renovated in the year 1632 in order to restore the old glory damaged by age. The Cansaulim Lharam lists all the old vicars and history of the church and is also a major draw.
The lure of ocean waves excites many and draws them for a swim, however very few beaches can boast of an undercurrent free shore like Caranzalem beach can. This 3.5 Km long stretch of heavenly white sand and crystal clear blue water lies between Miramar and Caranzalem. The beach has been maintained well and is clean and tidy. The surrounding area has been developed by creating well manicured grass lawns. Though water sports and amazing Goan food is available all along the beach the main attraction of this beach is undoubtedly safe and clear sea which has a magnetic effect on the tourists.
Catamaran Sailing activity or more popularly referred Hobie cats sailing is an activity with fun and frolic. The catamaran is made up from joining two different boat hulls. The hulls are tied together with a trampoline and a mast is attached on the top for sailing. With capacity to seat four occupants the Catamaran sails under the guidance of a coxain. The Benaulim, Calangute, Colva, Dona Paula and Utorda beaches offer the facilities and expertise for Catamaran sailing. The guides and operators train the enthusiasts with the basics of sailing as well as the distress and emergency signaling procedures.
If you leave Mabor behind you, you could turn into the casuarina-shaded beach of Cavelossim. It. s a fishing beach which ensures a good supply of fresh seafood and which in turn could account for the fair sprinkling of shacks-on-hire. The beach seems to shelve rather steeply and visitors should be careful of swimming here.
The Chapel of St Lawrence situated in Cansaulim was constructed and founded in the year 1598 by Father Gonsalo Carvalho S.J. who was the second vicar at the St. Thomas Church, Cansaulim. The Chapel of Three Kings was also founded during the same period on the Cuelim hill. The Chapel built in Portuguese architectural style is a remarkable sight. Though the chapel has suffered damage and destruction due to vandalism and neglect, it was repeatedly restored to its old glory. The chapel was renovated in 1783 and was expanded to accommodate more space in 1863 as well as in 2001. St. Stephen chapel at Pale village in Velsao is also considered to have been constructed along with this chapel.
The Chapora Beach lies amongst some of the most well known places in Goa and that maybe exactly the reason why it has been reclusive for such a long time and neglected by general tourists. Flanked by Vagator, Anjuna, Siolim and the Old Portuguese Fort, Chapora beach holds its own charm with clean and tidy white and golden sea beach and verdant green foliage of palm groves along the stretch. Located at a distance of 8 km from Mapusa, the Chapora beach has been relegated to back room due to its more illustrious cousins alongside. However it has made its presence felt and it is possible to see many tourists enjoying the isolated charm of this beach which also takes care of all logistic requirements through the well maintained hut and shack restaurants.
At a distance of approximately 12 km from Mapusa lies the Fort of Chapora. The fort is easily accessible from Vagator over the hill leading to the fort. The towering fort perched atop a rock hill, was constructed in 1617 by the Portuguese invaders by demolishing an earlier Muslim structure, in the village of Shahpura, which was meant to be a watch post.
Though the fort was lying in ruins due to neglect, recently efforts have been made to restore the lost heritage and recreate the old magic. It is possible to observe the entrances of two long winding tunnels which served the purpose of supply of logistic requirements to besieged fort defenders. The fort affords an amazing bird's eye view of the surrounding ocean and beaches.
The celebrations of Christmas at Goa begin in the evening of 24th December. The festivities begin with decorating the Christmas tree. Decorating the Christmas tree form an integral part of the Christmas celebrations in Goa, which begins on the day before the Christmas. On the eve of 24th December, the people of Goa decorated their Christmas tress with many decorative items including socks, candies, stars, bells, gifts and many small figures of animals and birds. However, the actual celebration begins on the eve of 25th December, which is marked by loud music and dancing. Dancing, pealing of church bells and fireworks form an intrinsic part of the Christmas Day celebrations in Goa. Feasts also form an important part of the Christmas celebrations. On the Christmas day, the Christians organize special feasts. The sumptuous foods and beverages characterize the Christmas celebrations in Goa.
The very heart of Margao is witness to many historical monuments. The Church of the Holy Spirit, is one of them. The church was constructed in 1564 by the Jesuits. The church is located very close to the old market, and is renowned for being a fine example of Indian Baroque wherein the central dome and towers on either side are so similar to Indian style. The surroundings are serene and beautiful with verdant greenery covering the entire stretch and lush green mango plantations providing a green backdrop to the Church. The intricate architectural style which has been utilised for embellishing the altars is a feast for the eyes.
The most remarkable aspect of the Church of Nossa Senhora de Monte at Saligao is its Gothic styled exterior structure, which marks a remarkable shift in architecture from the rigid structures, which were constructed earlier. The church was constructed in the 19th century and was aptly based on the designs of the new era wherein the old and rigid shapes were slowly giving way to a more appealing and creative design. Also famous as one of the modern era monuments, the church of Nossa Senhora de Monte has a large hall and a creatively decorated interior with intricate wall frescoes of nature and religion.
Candolim and Nerul are joined by a bridge which is often considered as the gateway to the heaven called Coco beach. A bay near the village of Nerul Coco beach has gained prominence in recent years with its exquisite location at the amalgamation of the Nerul River with the Arabian ocean. The beauty of the settings is further accentuated by the verdant greenery which surrounds the Coco beach right from the village. Regular boat rides into the Mandovi river and back are considered one of the major draws at the Coco beach apart from the typical Konkani and Goan cuisines that are dished out by the beach restaurants / shacks.
Colva is a small village in south Goa on the shores of the Arabian Sea. It lies 39 km away from Panaji (the old name for Panjim) the capital of the Indian state of Goa.
While taking a stroll on the Colva Beach, silver carpets of bangdde (mackerels) can be viewed shimmering on the golden sands for drying. Fishermen's motor trawlers can be seen anchored in a line offshore. Tourists' Indian and foreigners, as well as locals. can be seen in colorful dresses, coming either for a walk or, for a change of air. . Many tourists can be seen having a sunbath on the golden sands.
Ever dreamt of observing wild animals gazing at you after a hearty gulp of water early morning or late night as you perched atop a Machan / watch tower and safely admire the nature's creativity and grace? The Cotiago Wildlife Sanctuary with its multi-storied forests which block even sunlight from reaching ground is the place to visit and fulfill the dream. Created in 1968, along the border of the states of Goa and Karnataka the park boasts of two rivers the Talpona and the Galjibaga River. With 30 meter high trees, 18 meter high treetop access ladders and numerous water holes Cotiago provides a rare opportunity to observe Wild boars, Gaurs, Monkeys, Deer, Bison, Black Panther, Sloth Bears, Gazelles and Porcupines from a close quarter.
The Aguada fort affords a magnificent view of the surroundings. The view from below the fort, from the Dias beach, is equally amusing and enchanting. The beach which was earlier renowned as "The Gasper Dias Beach", affords an excellent view of the vast ocean, wide river and the Aguada fort in one wide panoramic frame. The natural canvas as viewed from the beach is so full of color and variety that it remains etched in the memory cells forever. With an assortment of water sports making waves at other beaches, the Dias beach comes forth as a clean beach which caters for a relaxing outing while the kids enjoy the sand and waves.
Seven kilometers west of the Indian state of Goa. s capital Panjim (Panaji), Dona Paula Beach is nestled on the southern side of the rocky hammer-shaped headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. Providing a good view of the Mormugao harbour, this beach is fringed by palm trees and casuarina groves. The proximity of the beach to the capital city makes it a popular tourist sight.
With the romance and myth attached to it. haunted by Dona Paula de Menezes. tourists throng the Dona Paula Beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters. The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and buy cheap seaside goods from local vendors.
It is also known for Water Sports, National Oceanography Institute, Cabo Raj Niwas(the Governor. s House).
If you always thought that fishing was one activity which was undertaken by people with lots of time on hand and nothing to do, think again! For once in Goa, you will realize that the fishing adventure is for those with a passion and who learn the art with patience. Sea fishing is slowly catching up as a sport and many enthusiasts can be seen hurling their fishing hooks while holding tightly on to their Spinning rods with hope to catch something worthwhile. The deep-sea adventure may end with prize catch of jackfish, tuna and kingfish apart from various other smaller varieties. The Chapora jetty offers similar adventure in fishing. The Fisheries department of Goa provides Fishing permit required for fishing.
Galjibaga beach is no less than the beach depicted by Leonardo Caprio's famous movie. The secluded beach at first impression presents a picture of an isolated stretch which has never been discovered by the commercialization crowd.
Nestled in between the Galjibaga River and Talpona River, this lush green village of Galjibaga still reminds one of the 400 year old Konkani fisherman hutments. Connected to the world through a small road, the village and its beach is also approachable via a wooden canoe propelled by the locals. The long beach is isolated and free from any commercial activities save a few food joints which are present only to remind their existence. There are no disturbing sports or hawkers and the mesmerizing beauty of the beach soon lulls ever visitor into a deep trans so typical of the secluded beaches.
Adil Shah was a Muslim ruler who once controlled the land of Goa from Bijapur in Karnataka state. The empire of Adil Shah was attacked on numerous occasions by other Kings however, he held on to Goa until the Portuguese arrived and snatched Goa from him. Adil Shah had however, left his mark on Goa by constructing a beautiful palace in Goa. The palace constructed in a mix style of Hindu as well as Muslim architecture was one of the main attractions in Goa until it was demolished in 1820 for construction of better houses. The archway/gateway of pillars carved out of basalts holding up a horizontal lintel are all that was left of the once beautiful palace. The palace, prior to destruction, was the residence of the Portuguese Governer until 1696.
The passion of driving in the fastest lane is surely catching up in India and the facility of Karting in Goa is a right indication towards it. The Go-Karting race tracks in Nuvem, situated towards north of Margao (South Goa) is very popular and is billed to be one of the best in the entire country.
Infact the Nuvem track regularly holds the Goan leg for JK Tyre National Go Karting Championship. The long 482 m track is sure to give goose bumps to the driving addicts. A giant display board displays all the racing statistics to the racing buffs as well as the audience. Whether you are racing alone or with your friends the Go Karting arena is one of the best means to satiate the craving for driving.
- Kala Academy : The Kala Academy of Goa, a state-sponsored autonomous organization, was set up in 1970 to revive and enrich the long traditions of Goan Art and Culture spanning over 2,000 years. The Academy's aims, objects and activities are focused at preserving, fostering and developing dance, drama, music, literature and other arts and also promoting through them cultural unity.
- Promoting Performing Arts : The Academy runs a faculty of Theatre Art, a faculty of Indian Music and Dance and a faculty of Western Music and Dance. It offers scholarships to talented, promising young artists to study and flourish in these fields.
In Goa excellent souvenirs are made for tourists. Goan handicrafts include Creative Pottery, Shell Work, Furniture, Brass Work, Bamboo Work, Papier-Mache, etc. These items are crafted by professional artisans in their ethnic ambience, and also by artisans working at the arts and crafts complex run by the government. They are sold through various handicraft emporia and all major tourist spots.
The major art forms of the state include bamboo craft, woodcarving, brass metals, seashell craft, Papier-Mache, and wooden lacquer ware. Other important crafts of the state include Jute Macrame, Fabric Collage, Plaster of Paris, Crochet and embroidery, fiber and Batik prints, fiber stone carving, Coconut shell carving, metal embossing, silver and imitation jewelry, cotton dolls, soft toys, woolen tapestry, and artistic weaving.
Good Friday is a day of sincere reverence among Goan Catholics. It is the culmination of Lent, an important observance in the lives of devout Catholics. Lent is observed for 40 days from February to March, beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending on Good Friday followed by Easter Sunday.
The Celebrations in Goa, hundreds of devout Goan Catholics gather in the Panjim Church of Mary Immaculate Conception to listen to mass and participate in the Way of the Cross. During the afternoon sermon, the priests narrate the sufferings that Jesus Christ took upon himself for the sake of humanity. The mass is in Konkani, Goa's state language, attracts a crowd too large for the church itself, and people stand in the doorways and in the premises, dressed in formal clothes with somber countenance.
If the oldest sins still lures you and the cling of the slot machines is music to your ears, then Hacienda de Oro is the place for you to spend a day, an evening or even a night. With a multitude of choices, as far as drinks and gambling is considered, this casino, situated at Mobor Beach at the Holiday Inn Resort, Cavelossim is a gambler's paradise. The availability of 15 slot machines, health club facility, 3 bars, conference and meeting halls kids park and restaurants makes the Hacienda de Oro an irresistible place. Party zone and Saturday discotheque are additional attractions of this Casino which is located hardly 38 km from the airport in Goa.
While moving from Sancole Beach towards Campall one comes across a long stretch of beach which is almost uninhabited. Well, no wonder since most of this beach stretch is owned by the Indian Naval unit of INS Hansa. The sea beach is extremely clean and even the waters are crystal clear since the Navy regularly checks for the status of the beach and cleans it up. The unspoiled beauty of the beach can however be accessed in case the patrolling sentry is in a good mood and permits a small portion of beach for use. The Indian Navy has a large presence in Goa and literally controls the Goa airport since it has its own flying squadrons positioned at Goa.
If you go by the name then you would be disappointed. However if you are expecting a calm and disturbance free beach, then the Hawaii beach is the place for you. Unspoiled by the commercialization drive which has engulfed most of the Goan beaches the Hawaii beach affords a peaceful and private enjoyment of sun sand and the splendid sea. The beach is practically empty in the mornings and is just about notably inhabited in the evenings by the sunset lovers. Few shacks along the coast cater for food and drinks and the ever shy dolphins play peek a boo all along the shores of the Hawaii beach.
Generally, the beaches in Goa are associated with relentless and limitless fun, frolic and enjoyment. The atmosphere at these beaches is always carnival and the crowd is in the mood of boisterous celebrations. However, there are quiet a few beaches which are famous for their silent and leisurely pace and isolated identity and offer the tourists with the intention of leisure and relaxing a place all to themselves where the disturbance from holidaying crowds and vendors is minimal. The Issorcim Beach is one such peaceful stretch of clean white sand which provides an unwinding opportunity with minimal interference.
The Colva, Calangute, Candolim, Mobor, Miramar, and Rajbaga beaches offer an amusing array of adventure water sports and jet skiing is beyond doubt the most thrilling experience of them all. Normally preferred around winter season, as the waves go easy the instructors and operators on the beach are raring to go with their life jackets and wet suits. The high adrenalin sport involves towing at high speeds generated by 150 hp engines which drag you on your ski behind the boat. The turns twists and falls are all to be endured at those speeds! Proper training and right gear is available with these operators.
A walk along the Querim Beach and its beautiful surroundings would bring one to the tree-lined beach named Kalacha. The Kalacha beach, sprinkled with silver and golden powder sand, is lined with palm and coconut trees all along the coast. The beach is blessed with a fresh water lagoon, which is near the shore at the very end of the beach. The credit of the discovery of this beach and blue lagoon goes to the Hippies who came here in hordes and settled for along down time. The beach is lined with a few bars, shacks and eateries.
The village of Verem is famous for its natural beauty and its strategic location at the mouth of the Mandovi River. The Indian Navy realized the importance of the place and constructed its Naval Academy on a hillock at Verem. Just at the base of the hillock is the Kegdole beach.
The beach is in series with the Coco beach and affords a magnificent view of the open ocean on one side and the Reis Magos fort on the other side while the greenery-filled land blocks the view to the village. The beach being away from the regular beach lists is not frequently visited by the tourists and is generally not crowded. The available shacks and stalls take care of all logistic requirements.
The northernmost tip of the state of Goa holds a marvel called the Keri or the Querim beach. The beach is situated at a distance of 28 km from Mapusa and is one of the steepest slope beaches in Goa. Though, the waters are clear and alluring, it is advised that the opinion of the local folks as well as the lifeguards may be taken into account prior to the plunge. The Tiracol fort lies to the north of the beach and a trek to the fort from the beach is a memorable one. It is also possible to take a ferry and cross the river for a nice ride. However, it must be kept in mind that sometimes the low tides make the ferry useless for 3 to 4 hours and the chances of being stranded are high.
Knee boarding is sometimes also referred to as the modern and more adventurous cousin of water skiing. However, the enthusiasts who enjoy the sport will vouch that it is much simpler than water skiing and doesn't require a skilled technique to begin. The board used for the purpose of knee boarding has slots for holding the knees and this reduces the necessity to focus on creating and holding a grip on the board or balancing the board. The water waves play spoil sport all the time and are in a constant race to run you down. However the need of the hour to hold your own and fight back the waves and use their energy to propel your knee board to glory.
The Lakshmi Narasimha Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi is an exquisitely carved stone, and wooden shrine, originally located in Sankhavali or Sanchole village near the town of Salcette. The shrine was later shifted to Sylvan environs along with other Lords such as Vijaydurga and Shanthadurga. The wooden pillars and bars as well as the stone carvings depict the Narsimha puran wherein Lord Vishnu reincarnated as half man half lion. The carvings are beautiful and depict the entire life cycle. The sanctum houses the idols of Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu and the atmosphere is calm and peaceful. The annual Jatra is an event one must witness.
Pub is a place where the liquids flow freely and the Liquid Lounge Pub near Mobor beach in South Goa is no different. The pub due to its vicinity to the beach is generally crowded with Indian as well foreigners who jump across the beach in the evenings to enjoy a pint of beer and some good music belted out by the talented DJs at the pub. The pub is also seen by many as a stepping-stone to future rave parties, which have been planned across the South Goa beaches. However, due care should be taken to avoid drinks and smoke provided by strangers.
Mabor: very beautiful, very clean and, in spite of warning notices put up by a luxury beach hotel, it is a public beach. All beaches in India are public beaches. Private enterprise has, however, responded well to the needs of visitors: there are beach umbrellas and chairs and tourists happily broiling themselves in the Goan sun.
Mahalasa is the Mohini avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. She is also known as Mhalshi and Mahalasa. In Goa and elsewhere, Mahalasa is considered as the Mohini form of Lord Vishnu and hence she is referred to as "Mahalasa Narayani". The deity, it may particularly be noted, also wears the holy thread, which is its unique feature. Some believe that the main temple of Goddess was originally located in Nepal during the Kaliyuga. She was moved to Aurangabad in Maharashtra. During the Mughal domination, Aurangabad fell under the Muslim rule and the idol was moved to a secret location in Goa. Later, a small temple was built at Verna. Roughly, a few hundred years later, the Portuguese conquered Goa, and the temple was moved to Mardol.
The temple is famous in Goa for its huge brass bell. The bell does not have a ringer. The ringer was attached only when somebody wanted to testify. It was believed that the goddess will punish the person who lied while ringing the bell. The belief was so strong that during the Portuguese rule the testimony in the temple was considered acceptable in the court of law. It is also famous for its Brass Divli/Samai (oil lamp). The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason.
From Bogmalo down south, there is Majorda beach and the Majorda Beach Resort. Majorda is the village where the Jesuits, fond as they were of the good things of life, discovered the best Goan toddy (sap from the coconut palm), which they used to leaven the bread. Naturally, then, Majorda is the place where the Goans were first trained in the delicate art of baking European breads.
The Majordans are still Goa's best bakers. The delights of the beach, however, were discovered much earlier, in the mythic times when the gods above went through a lot of turmoil. There is a Goan version of Ramayana and therein Lord Rama was kidnapped as a child and brought up at Majorda. Later, in pursuit of Sita, he camped at Cabo de Rama-a headland further south-where the stretch of developed beaches ends.
The Shri Mandodari temple is in the village of Betaki, about 5 km from Marcel, Ponda, India. This is a temple for the "gramdevata" or the village deity of Betaki. It is not a temple for Ravana's wife Mandodari. The word mandodari is from mand (water) with udar (stomach). It means someone who is born in the water. This temple was built to worship the great human beings whose children were sacrificed in the past to ensure that this village had a flowing stream of water. This is how the village started worshiping this deity.
Being a fascinating tourist destination in India, Goa boasts of having many hotels and restaurants in and around the beaches. One such famous beach shack is Mango Tree, it is situated at the Vagator Beach of North Goa. It boasts of one of the best bar and restaurant of the area.
Designed like a traditional Goan shack, Mango Tree is admirable for its calm ambiance and colorful as well as lavish interiors. The restaurant is well furnished for lazy bones with cozy cushions! For the active visitors a game of pool is to leave you energized for the rest of the night! Mango Tree serves many cuisines including Chinese, Continental and Multi cuisine delicacies. Like any other eateries, hotels and restaurants, the seafood dishes serves in Mango Tree is worth a try. Already popular among the locals, Mango Tree is a perfect place to dine out and have fun.
Mapusa or Mhapsa is one of the five major towns of Goa. Famous for its market and Parade, Mapusa is no different from the other major towns as far as laid back attitude and enjoyment quotient is considered. The Friday market of Mapusa is considered as one of the best. Crowd from far location arrive in Mapusa even on Thursday for the market which specializes in everything, ranging from fish (sea food products), spices, handicrafts, old coins, beach articles and electronics goods etc. The Parade of Mapusa is famous as it brings out the carnival mood and revelry in the Goan populace.
Being Goa's largest and most connected railway junction makes Margoa the gateway to south Goa. The city is replete with various sights and attractions such as the 'Closed' Market (Mercado de Alfonse de Albuquerque), Anna Fonte or the famous natural springs, the Church of Holy Spirit, the Monte Hill chapel and mansion. The city suburbs such as the Pajifond, Gogol, Navelim and Comba present various religious and tourist attractions. The famous St Sebastian chapel which is situated in Aquem, the 'Damodar Mandir (Saal), the 'Hari Temple' as well as the 'Maruti Mandir' and the 'Saibaba Temple' at Davorlim are a must visit in the city of Margoa.
Margoa, or Mudgaon as the local call it, is one bustling city, which is full of life and activity. Being a busy railway junction the city witnesses an influx of crowd arriving from all parts of the country daily. Further being a busy commercial and financial center, the activities are urgent and pressing. It appears as if Margoa is always on the move and so it comes as no surprise that the Municipal market located close to the station is one of the busiest hot spots of the city. Large varieties of stores are available for trading at the market. With separate sections demarcating the items, it is easy to identify the necessities and enter a deal. Moreover, the vastness of the market provides an opportunity to explore the unknown commodities and indulge in some soft shopping for local artifacts and handicraft.
There is no pleasure like soaring high in the air and watching the familiar ground beneath reveal its unknown face. The joy of flying in open air is totally different and exhilarating than that in an aircraft and the Microlite flight provides just that to the enthusiasts. Operated by motor machine with two wings spanning 40 feet the microlite machine affords space for three persons including the operator who takes care of all the technical and operating requirements as the riders enjoy the scene beneath. The Calangute beach was the first one to provide the facilities to the tourists and it became an instant hit with the visitors.
The Morjim Beach opens up its colors right from the time one has its first sight from the Anjuna. The beach is situated near the mouth of Zuari River, which joins the Arabian Sea. The beach is natural and bereft of any commercialization. farers Moreover, being a constant breeding ground and nesting site for the protected species of Olive Ridley Turtles the beach gains prominence amongst the scientists, naturalists as well as the tourists. The fantastic palm fringed beach with silver sand and crystal clear waters is any beach and nature lover's dream come true.
Bainguinim town has numerous fishing villages all along the coast that are mostly hutments of small communities of fishermen. However, the long stretches of beaches along these villages are largely unspoiled and present a great opportunity to relax and enjoy a virgin beach, which has been left untouched by the great commercialization drive, which saw many beaches deteriorate. The sandy beaches are palm fringed and with minimum interference from the vendors and sports enthusiasts, the Odxel beach is a perfect beach for loungers and lazy bones.
The clustered beaches of Goa are the best sites to get a glimpse of the rare Olive Ridley turtles. These rare species of sea turtles are also known as the Pacific Ridley. Olive green in color and heart shaped, these turtles can be seen in few beaches of Goa like Mojim beach, Agonda beach and Galibag beach during the months of October to March. They visit these Goan shores to lay their eggs.
Olive Ridley turtles feed on marine life which includes fish, crab, jellyfish and oysters. Having a burly homing beacon, these rare species of sea turtles travel vast distances from the place of their birth. Mojim beach is the perfect site to catch the glimpse of Olive Ridley nesting their eggs. The breeding season is from October to March; if you want to catch a sight then you can visit the beach during the breeding months and have a perfect view of these sea turtles.
The zing and festive atmosphere on the beaches of Goa is promptly transferred to nearby shacks, bars and pubs. The party mood and celebrations continue at these places with full gusto. The Outback Bar is a favourite hot spot for the beach dwellers frequenting the Colva beach in South Goa. The bar is famous for its amazing bar and the experienced bartenders who serve an innovative mix of heady cocktails. This coupled with some great ambiance and retro music belted out by the DJ make the Outback bar a great place to visit and continue for a night of revelry and fun.
The Ozran Beach is actually hidden behind a hill and the hillocks, which host the Chapora fort. In fact all these beautiful surroundings make the Ozran beach a real attraction. Indian nationals mostly visit this small but beautiful and naturally exquisite beach since it has not been advertised and remains reclusive to the group of foreigners who are always on the lookout for such isolated beaches.
The area surrounding the Arambol village and its beautiful beach is full of volcanic rocks as well as sand stretches, which present a pristine and pleasant picture when viewed from the top of the adjoining hillock of Waghcolomb Hill. A quiet and peaceful stretch of silvery sand called Paliem beach lays at the footsteps of the hillock. Dolphins love the zone bound by the Paliem beach and are frequently spotted playing games amongst the white waves and porpoising along the coast. Adventure activities like kite surfing and paragliding have been recently introduced at the beach and the view presented during these flights is mesmerizing.
The Waghcolomb hill affords a magnificent view of its surroundings replete with greenery and white sand. The road leading from Arambol lined with hotels, beach shacks and restaurants is also visible. However, the most eye-catching sight is that of an untouched small stretch of white sand beach of Paliem and its fresh water lake. This tiny and secluded Paliem beach and its freshwater lake is beautifully situated within the greenery and is an amazing example of nature's fancy for this place since the fresh water lake just near the sea is no less than a miracle. It is possible to swim in the lake and relax on the beach after the Vetal Temple and its famous paintings of tree of life have been witnessed.
If you drove in from the southern state of Karnataka and wanted to discover the nearest, reasonably well-known Goan beach, the chances are that you'd be directed to Palolem. Palolem is a beach of white sand facing a blue bay between two headlands. The little wooded islands on the northern headland look interesting but as we've never ventured onto any of them we don't know what landing on them would be like. If you're interested, try to persuade one of the fishermen ? this is also a fishing beach in Palolem Goa? to ferry you across. They do offer to take you out to spot dolphins. Tourists have discovered Palolem and so there are a few shacks selling seafood snacks, souvenirs and clothes of the shapeless, bright, informal kind. Panaji, the capital, is more than 70 km away from Palolem Goa.
The land of Goa has historical connection right upto the Ramayana and Mahabharata periods. If Lord Rama is supposed to have visited the Cabo de Rama Fort then the Pandava's drum situated near Intercontinental Grand Resort traces its origin to the visiting Pandava brothers. The Western Ghats and valleys provide an ideal backdrop for this historical association where a cup shaped rock amazes the visitors by creating strange echoes when pelted upon at some points. The southern end opens up to a stream of water, which flushes out into the great cup, shaped valley where the brothers have supposedly stayed during their visit.
The Anjuna beach is carved out from a small hillock adjoining it, thus the hillock overlooking the beach gains prominence and so does the swinging trance bar Paraiso de Goa or Paradiso which is located right atop the hill. Sipping cocktails at Paraiso de Goa while watching the waves wash the Anjuna beach is a pleasure not to be missed. The bar offers some great trance music and shaking a leg is not an option but a compulsion once the atmosphere is soaked in. The cool breeze from the Arabian sea blows off the heat generated by the swinging crowd at the bar and the Paradiso does not waste a moment before regenerating the heat with some great music and a heady mix of cocktails.
Imagine being whisked by a motorboat at very high speed, when your legs barely touch the waters in vain attempt to find a holding as you soar in air and the sail behind you tugs with full force of gushing winds. That is Parasailing adventure for you. A high adrenalin pumping adventure, which leaves one breathless with excitement and thrill. The 350 feet rope pulls the parasailor with full force as the motor boat zooms into the sea. The sailor and his harness are firmly attached to the sail, which takes cue from the speed and takes off on the wings of gushing wind. Dona Paula, Majorda, Oberoi Beach resorts and Anjuna, Bogmalo, Calangute, Colva, Candolim and Vagator beaches provide the facility for the sport, which is a bit costly, but the experience is not to be missed.
The Patnem-Colomb Beach is situated very close to the Palolem beach. It is a combination of two beaches, the Patnem beach, which is 1 km long, and the shorter Colomb beach. The curving beaches form a horseshoe shape and the palm grove covered landmass being encroached by the sea makes a wonderful sight. The beaches are clean and the water is safe for swimming and clear. Few shacks dot the shoreline and display their culinary skills to the visitors. However, the only attractions at the beach are relaxation and peace. Do not expect a carnival atmosphere and adventure sports to lure you. Visit if you need peace, privacy and personal space.
The Polem Beach is located near the southern most stretch of Goa. Resting only a few miles from the neighbouring state of Karnataka, the Polem beach is a spectacular beach, which has remained untouched by the tourist and presents a calm and peaceful stretch of golden sand beach all for yourself. The mornings and noons are perfectly silent except for the incessant waves. The evenings bring forth a number of visitors and the local for enjoying the magnificent sunset. Dolphins have shown a liking to the beach and eagle fish can be spotted near the beach. However, beware of the stares of the local who are very unaware of the western style of sun bathing.
Ponda is an important business center of Goa which has a religious prominence and is one of the most revered religious sites in the state. Ponda city is located at 29 km from Panjim and provides an opportunity to be blessed by no less than 50 sacred Hindu Gods residing in their temples. These shrines and the pious surroundings have also given rise to the flourishing trade of oil, fruit, flowers, diyas and coconut as offerings to these Gods. The famous mosque of Safa Shahouri, the six-storeyed 'deepstambha', the magnificent 'Garuda' pillar and the churches are strong indicators to the thriving secular culture of the state and the country.
Primrose Caf?, or the Prem Rose caf? as the locals loving calling the place, is one of those places in Goa which have attained legendary status due to rapid growth in party circles and popularity amongst the party hoppers and the younger generations. Believed to be a small tea stall in the past, the Primrose Caf? came into prominence once the hippies made it their second home along with all the flower power. Situated near the Anjuna beach and its heady atmosphere the Primrose Caf? is one of the famous landmarks of the North Goan beaches. The psychedelic lighting suits the reflective clothing, which is sometimes sold outside the Pub.
The Rajbagh Beach acquires its name from the famous hotel, which has always prided itself for keeping the beach clean and tidy. The hotel does deserve a pat on the back since the beach can be undoubtedly termed as one of the best and tidiest beaches in Goa. Located at a distance of 12 km from Palolem beach the Rajbagh beach is an absolute stunner. Green palms and coconut trees create a natural roof over the area merging the land with the sea and the sea beach is the wafer thin stretch that separates the green canopy and the blue sea.
The Goan thirst for adventure does not end with the beaches and all the adventure sports and championships that are organized at these places. Goa plays host to numerous rallies wherein vehicles as per their categories participate in the fun revelry and compete for coveted trophies and prize money. Huge crowds surge near the rally zone to cheer the contestant and enjoy the atmosphere. Cars, autos, bikes and even bullock carts in rural Goa, participate in these rallies, which signify the carnival atmosphere that Goa is all about. Numerous foreigners also participate in these rallies and with easy availability of vehicles on hire in the state, the rallies are great fun.
The Reis Magos fort was constructed in 1551 in order to provide protection to the location where the Mandovi River becomes narrow and permits entry of sea faring vessels into the river. The Portuguese, realizing the importance of the strategic location constructed the fort overlooking the Reis Magos church and studded it with laterit walls and turrets. Though the fort was in ruins a few years back it was renovated and has since been converted into a security prison where entry is not permitted. However, it is possible to take a closer look at the fort by climbing the nearby hill. The spot also affords a direct view of the Mandovi River and surroundings.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is an important bird sanctuary in India. The local and the migratory birds make it an ideal destination for the bird lovers and nature lovers. Panaji, the capital city of Goa, is the best place from where tourists can hire buses or cabs that will take them to the Rabandar Ferry wharf. From the ferry wharf, ferry services are available that will take you to the island named Chorao.
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, North Goa is at walking distance from the ferry ghat. Mandovi River is the nearest river to the island. Along this river, the western tip of the island is the best place to spot birds and to enjoy the wonderful aspects of the nature and the colorful birds. The bird sanctuary is named after India's famous ornithologist, Sir Salim Ali. The sanctuary remains open throughout the year and prior permission is needed from the Chief Wild Life Warden of the Forest Department, Panaji.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary consists of mangrove forest plantations and mangrove scrubs along the small stretch of land of Mandovi and Mapusa River, and also along the Cumbarjua Canal. These water bodies are the homeland for various amphibians and crocodiles. Starting from water fowls to migratory birds, all kinds of birds can be found here. The cheerful chirpings of the birds and their colors, make the air vibrant and lively. The watch tower is the best place from where tourists can have a good view of the birds. There are some resident birds and these birds are looked after by the sanctuary, so that they can grow and regenerate in their natural habitat.
The Bogmalo beach offers the visitors a string of adventure sports and relaxing atmosphere. However, the main attraction of Bogmalo lies 5 km into the sea, in the form of the Sao Jacinto Island. This beautiful tiny island lies in the mormugao bay and can be approached by a boat. The ride to the islands is made enjoyable by the plate coral, which can be seen beneath the water surface. The island is blessed with natural beauty and is alluring from a distance and endearing when arrived. An old and picturesque chapel is the main identity of the island, which can also be sighted while traveling form the Dabolim airport.
Goa, one of the world's famous beach destinations in India offers various adventurous water sports and undoubtedly scuba diving is one of the immensely popular ones. An exciting water sport, scuba diving lets you have an underwater diving experience, also giving you a chance to see and experience the magical aspects of under water marine life. Meant for young people, the best time for scuba diving is during the months of October to April when the underwater visibility is at its best and the sea remains calm. If you want to witness these unseen creatures of the sea and have an unforgettable moment of your life then scuba diving is an experience tailor made for you!
Some sites you should definitely visit for scuba diving in Goa include the Grande Island, Devagh Island, Pegion Island, St. George Island and Malvan Shoal. At these sites, you are sure to have remarkable experience of marine life. Diving centers in Goa like Barracuda Diving and Marriot in Panaji also offer courses for scuba diving, which need to be taken before you can take your first plunge!
The Sernabatim Beach can actually be called an extension of the beautiful Colva Beach while one moves down south from the beach towards the Benaulim. The best part however, is that the sandy beach is much cleaner and profound while the sea waves also appear to have had a calming effect making life easier for the swimming enthusiast. The main attraction, apart from a quiet beach and great beauty is the sunset, which is a major draw. The sun setting into the Arabian Sea is a mesmerizing scene, which is not to be missed. The beach being far away from the busy beaches is isolated and does not attract many tourists thus; it is possible to relax without much disturbance from the crowds or vendors.
The Shanta Durga or Shanteri Temple is at Kapilpura or Kavele, also in Atrunja taluka. This deity is believed to have been carried by Loma Sharma of Kaushik Gotra when the Saraswats came to Goa from Trihotrapuri (present-day Trihut division) in the Mithila region of Bihar.
The deity Shanta Durga, therefore, is shown holding two serpents, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Shanteri is then said to have gone to Shankawali to kill the demons harassing the Brahmins there. It is for this good deed that she also earned the name of Vijaya. During the Portuguese inquisition, the trustees of the Shanta Durga temple decided to shift the idol to Atrunja taluka. A special feature at this temple is that Harijans are permitted to enter the sanctum sanctorum of this temple.
The Shore Bar on Anjuna beach is sure to remain permanently etched in your memory forever. The beautiful setting and great ambience, which it offers due to its innovative design and creative structure, is an experience not to be missed. The bar resembles an open tent, which has been pegged on the open canvas of the Anjuna beach shores. The creative graphics which are displayed on the walls of the pub and the external extension for the open-air addicts is something rarely seen in the Goan pubs. Great relaxing atmosphere, mixed bag of nostalgic tunes, direct view of the setting golden sun and some lip smacking stuff served make Shore bar an must visit place.
Shri Ananta Temple at Sovei Veram is a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the second god of the Hindu Trinity, whose role is that of preservation, just as Brahma. s is of creation and Shiva. s is of dissolution. This is the only Ananta Temple in Goa and therefore of special interest. Surrounded on all sides by water and beautiful countryside, the aspect of the temple site inspires tranquility and peace. For village folk, the pilgrimage could be undertaken for the purpose of exorcising spells as the belief is that the Lord has the power to do so.
The Shri Chandreshwar Temple atop the Chandranath Hill dates from the pre-Christian era, when this region formed part of the Boja capital of Chandrapur today. s Chandor). The famous Shiva Linga is lit up by moonlight on the full moon night, and is said to become mystically bathed in water. Sri Chandreshwar or God of the Moon is so placed so to offer the visitor a wonderful view of the green valley below.
Imagine the scene from the movie King Kong where the sea wanderers hit the shores of an unknown island which has a vast shore line which ends only to be taken over by lush green forests and beautiful hills within. Enchanting, isn't it? The Sinquerim beach presents a similar sight to behold. Being one of the most scenic beaches, Sinquerim beach attracts hordes of crowd towards it. Starting from Fort Aguada, the Sinquerim beach is the first beach in Northern Goa in the continuing series of beaches followed by Candolim Beach. The beach is also famous for being the first to boast of a luxurious beach resorts.
The Siolim belt of villages have miraculously managed to remain untouched by any external influence and still project the old culture which is so different from rest of Goa. The most alluring aspect of Siolim is the Siolim House, the residence of erstwhile Governor of Macau. This 300 year old mansion has since been converted into a luxury personal guest house sans the regular hustle bustle of bell boys and room service. The idea is to relax without any frills. With only seven luxury airy suites, garden full of greenery and a swimming pool Siolim affords the luxury of a Portuguese villa right from the 15th century.
A huge number of tourists generally traverse the beaches of Goa and it is virtually impossible to spend leisurely time searching for small pleasures such as shells and oysters. The Siridao beach near the Zuari estuary provides one such opportunity with its pearl and oyster rich shore. This beach is a bit odd looking due to the extra amount of rocks and some furtive caves. The beach plays host to the popular Jesus of Nazareth chapel. The beach is peaceful and calm and one can snore away to glory on the sand while the kids splash the waves and scan the sand for some hidden treasures.
Speed thrills and it does so doubly if one is on the water surface. Let loose and ride on the speedboats experiencing the cutting of waves along the water surface at extremely high and fearful speeds!. Being a group activity the operators on various beaches (Calangute, Arossim, Colva, Candolim, Mobor etc.) offer the same for a group of 3-6 members. The rides start with a 10 min trip to an hour or even longer, along the shores and some even fancy a race with the ever-enthusiastic dolphins.
Atrunja taluka in Goa is now called Ponda. It is a land of valleys and mountains. An ideal abode for the gods amidst coconut and areca nut groves, Ponda has many Hindu temples, the Sri Ganapati Temple at Khandole village being one of the most prominent and oldest. As in the case of all Ganapati temples, legends and lore are aplenty here. The idol of Ganapati, who rides on a mouse, was shifted during the inquisition from Elle to Naveli in Dewadi island; then to Khandepar in Ponda; from Ponda to Narve in Dichole; and finally to Khandole village near Mashel town in Ponda taluka.
The Mangesh Linga is said to have been consecrated on the mountain of Mangireesh (Mongir) on the banks of river Bhagirathi by Lord Brahma himself, from where the Saraswat Brahmins brought it to Trihotrapuri in Bihar. They carried the linga on to Gomantaka and settled at Mathagrama, the present-day Madgoa, establishing their most sacred and ancient temple of Mangesh on the banks of the river Gomati or Zuari as it is called today. Lord Mangesh is worshipped here in the shape of a Shiva linga.
When, in the year 1560, the Portuguese started Christian conversions in Salsette taluka, the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra felt insecure and shifted the Mangesh Linga from the original site at the Kushasthali to Priol in Atrunja Taluka, which at that time was ruled by the Hindu kings of Sonde. After remaining in the house of a temple priest for sometime, the Sri Mangesh deity was finally installed in its present site at Priol.
The Saraswats also established the Sri Nagesh Maharudra deity at Bhandiwade. Unlike the other deities, this one found a safe abode right from the start and did not have to be shifted from place to place. The temple, which faces west, has a beautiful tank in front, with a Nandi bull in black granite standing at its entrance. At some distance are also visible the smaller temples of Poorvachari, Betal and Raval Nath. The Palace of the Sunda King stands in the neighborhood.
A peculiar feature of the Saraswat temples of Goa is the priority given there to the local Christian devotees who are said to flock to these temples. Irrespective of having embraced Christianity, many of the present-day Christians still hold on to their pre-conversion surnames and still sponsor and support the deities of their Hindu brethren. It is a measure of how deep their roots run, despite all the Portuguese influence that had been thrust upon them.
Shri Nagueshi Temple is one of the most ancient and most revered temples in Goa. The inscriptions on the temple entrance declare the temple construction in 1413 AD (1335 Shalivahan Shake). The temple dedicated to Naguesh / Lord Shiva has a sculpture of Nandi the Bull vehicle Shiva at the entrance. The worship hall as well as the sanctum have been intricately designed and decorated using wood and carved pillars. The carvings depict stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The five storied lamp tower (Deepastambh) and a water tank (Kund) which displays the reflection of the Lord in the Sanctum when the lamps are lighted. Moreover, being untouched by any invading vandals the temple is also considered as an archeological marvel.
Goa, the top beach destination of India is also well known for having many renowned churches and St. Anthony Church being one of them. This church is located in Siolim, a village 7 km away from Mapsusa in the Bardez Taluka of North Goa. The Siolim Bridge is the landmark and is a great place to have scenic sunset view.
Built in 1568 by the Franciscans, the magnificent church of St. Anthony is painted in slight yellowish color and famous for its architectural brilliance. This Corinthian style church has two steeples on the frontispiece and St. Anthony's statue holding a serpent on a leash. One will always admire the intricate architectures of the Church. The main draw of the church of St. Anthony is the feast, which is celebrated with traditional gaudery and fervor. Another church is located in the same village Siolim, a church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.
The Sunset Beach as the name suggests is a quiet and calm beach which witnesses an exodus of locals and visitors foe early morning walks and for the popular sunset. Located at a distance of approximately 500m from the Candolim Beach the Sunset beach is an unspoilt beauty waiting to be explored. The beautiful palm groves covering the landmasses provide a pleasant hue to the settings, which merge the silvery sand with crystal blue water from the ocean. Clean stretch of sand, soothing ocean breeze and complete privacy is what the sunset beach offers till the sun decides to take a dip in the ocean.
The Tiracol fort overlooking the Querim beach and the Tiracol River originally belonged to a local King who had constructed it with an aim to monitor and protect the traffic along the river and the shore. However, the fort was captured by the Portuguese 1746. A church (St. Anthony's church) was constructed right at the center of the fort which is perched on the hilltop. This part of Goa is lush green and the same greenery is visible at every nook and corner of the fort and area below. The fort has also worked as a base for the freedom struggle/ liberation of Goa in year 1961. The fort has been converted into a heritage hotel plays host to numerous tourists.
The Baga beach houses one of the most famous discotheques of Goa, the Tito's. Established in 1971, Tito's bar is one of the most modern and well-equipped and acoustically aesthetic discotheque in Goa. This disc offers great time all round the year and prides itself on its non-stop service. In fact, there exist groups of Tito lovers who exhort that "A trip to Goa without a visit to Tito's is incomplete". The Tito's is always on a roll welcoming celebrities from all walks of life viz. Sports, Glamour or Business. So forget all worries and enjoy the festive ambiance at Tito's - Where else ... !
If too much fun, frolic, relaxation and not to forget the booze and some greasy stuff has cast a lethargic gloom after an enjoyable stay in Goa, then its time to shake the lazy bones ad doff the trekker's hat and explore the raw nature of Goa on foot. Without limiting to only trekking, the Goan experience would also offer hiking, rock climbing, jummaring, rappelling, and river crossing as well.
The verdant Sahyadri ranges and forests are alluring and a trek through these jungles is a delightful experience, moreover with packages available froma short trip to an odorous long treks one is spoiled for choices. The climb up the mounts ends up with a magnificent view and refreshing smell of fresh sea wind. Treks undertaken at Mollem, Valpoi, Kalen rock in Sanguem and Dudhsagar Falls are a treat for the tired mind and serrated limbs.
The Utorda Beach located near the more famous Colva beach is a long and isolated strip of shiny golden and silvery sand beach, which has a long and green palm, covered shore. Utorda can be seen as a link between the Arrosim beach to north and the Majorda beach lying south. The best part about the beach is total privacy and some excellent swimming conditions. Though the lifeguards are available, they are mostly content watching the swimmers enjoy the blue waters without any worries of the undercurrents. The beach shacks dotting the shores prepare some exquisite Goan dishes and serve them hot right across the beach so that one can enjoy the sunbathing experience without moving from the place.
The soft white sands, the black lava rocks, the coconut palms, the lush green landscape, nature playing its own music, and the sea turning from aquamarine to emerald green. Vagator and Chapora, overlooked by the 500-year-old Portuguese fort, leaves each visitor awestruck. Yet to be disturbed by the hustle and bustle of tourists, life goes on peacefully, in the background, in Vagator and Chapora. The world-famous Anjuna Beach lies to the south of Vagator.
Located in North Goa, Vagator and Chapora are 24 km from Panaji, the capital of the Indian state of Goa. It lies on the northern edge of Bardez taluka.
Hiking up, the lava-bedecked black rock stepping-stones lead to the 500-year-old Portuguese fort, popularly known as the Chapora Fort. It utters the reminiscence of the old Portuguese times giving a splendid view of the sea and hills covered with coconut trees and rice fields. The remaining battlements and fortifications take one down the memory lane, into the times when Royalty ruled the Vagator hue.
Imagine a small stretch of neat and tidy silver sand beach which breaks out from a lush green forest and runs down the shore to meet a crystal blue bay of Vainguinim! That's Vainguinim beach for you. Sheltered from the landside by heart-warming greenery and some trekker's delight mounts, the beach extends the warmth to the avian species, which honors the call by gathering in hordes. Thus, over 500 bird species can be spotted near the plantation at the beach. Add a touch of offered water sports and the equation of a great vacation is complete. The Catholic basilicas and the nearby Government Emporia (silk articles) are added bonus offered to the visitors.
The soft white sands, the black lava rocks, beaches south of Benaulim. These beaches are much cleaner and quieter than most of the famous beaches of Goa. There are numerous beach shacks offering a variety of Goan dishes and seafood at reasonable prices. There are several food joints around Dona Sylvia where you can get entire package of good food, good drink, nice service, and a pleasant service in quite reasonable rates. There are facilities for Dolphin watching at Betty's Place as well as boat trips for Dolphin watching up river Sal.
Vasco da Gama was never physically associated with Goa or the conquest. Still he finds himself amongst the ex-Portuguese colony, in a city named after him. Mormugao Harbour is the face of Vasco da Gama, which has been depicted in numerous movies, which have equated the beauty of Vasco with that of entire Goa. Crystal clear blue water bay, towering palms, pleasant sunshine and cool ocean breeze mark the city of Vasco from others.
Being the host to the Dabolim Airport, Mormugao Port as well as the naval base, Vasco is the hub of activities and is busier than the rest of the state. The Zuari River, has witnessed numerous historical events and still flows quietly reminding Vasco of its rich past. Numerous towering Portuguese monuments enthrall the crowds with their superb architecture and grandiose. Numerous attractions such as the Pilot Point, Movie location (Gregory Peck and Roger Moore starer), Japanese Garden, Shri Durgamata shrine, Naval Aviation Museum etc. await travelers at Vasco city.
The centre of Vasco city can be termed as the focal of the city with its grand Municipal market. Apart from the serious shoppers, one can find people visiting the market just for the feel good sense, which is generated by watching so many happy and satisfied faces around. Numerous leather, textile and jewelry stores adorn the Municipal market while a long string of eateries and music shops lend the festive glamour to the place. The market also boasts of some designer garment, electronics goods and cosmetics stores, which offer good quality items at affordable prices.
The Velsao Beach offers solace to the tired limbs with its long stretch of relaxing golden sea beach. This beach situated near the southern tip of Goa is near the Bogmalo beach. The long and lonely stretch attracts numerous day picnickers and also some trouble makers who insist on nudity and drug consumption. Though the beach police are on a lookout it is a good idea to avoid the beach during late evenings. The waters are clean and mostly however it is advisable to consult the life guards regarding the ocean undercurrents, which may prove fatal, prior to the plunge.
The Velsao chapel, situated at the Velsao village near Vasco, itself is not a very imposing or elegant structure. However the magical view, which it offers of the surroundings and the amazing rituals followed by the locals on feast of three kings make a visit to this place imperative. The chapel is dedicated to Three Kings. The rare feast of these kings is held on 6th January every year and the festivities and celebrations are grand beginning with the procession of the three horse riding kings who traverse around the village. Don't miss the sunset from the Velsao hills.
One of the thrills of the oceans and beaches is the adventure of water skiing. The experience of gliding over the surface of water at high speeds is sure to knock wind out of the lungs and leave one breathless with excitement. Various beaches in Goa cater for Water Skiing viz. Calangute, Mobor, Arossim, Candolim etc. The operators at the beaches provide the equipment required for the activities as well as the training and expertise required to perform the skiing act smoothly without any injury to self. The operators also teach the hand signals as well as the wave pattern to decide the course of action in case of emergencies.
Goa is a paradise for water sport lovers. The long coastal area offers a wonderful opportunity to indulge in all sorts of water sport activities. A number of government and private organizations including hotels and tour operators conduct regular water sport activities including training courses at a very nominal rate for tourists. Here we list the major water sport activities along with the names of orgnisations or centres involved.
It is also famous for its sports activity in various fields like Football, Trekking, Golf, Bullfights etc.
Windsurfing appears to be one of the easiest and exciting sport when viewed from a distance but ask any surfer he is sure to feed you with a few of his examples of the difficulties faced and the enjoyment thereafter. Colva, Calangute, Baga, Vagator, Dona Paula etc. cater for this high adrenalin sport. The power of wind gushing through the hair and forcing the sail to act weirdly while the surfer tries to control the direction is an experience to be enjoyed and be scared of. Properly trained surfers are a treat to watch. The operators ensure proper training and the right equipment for the enthusiasts.
- Some Temples : Vimleshwar Temple, Mahamaya Kalika Devasthan Kasarpal, Brahma Temple, Shri Bhagavati Temple, Shri Datta Mandir, Shri Damodar Temple, Shri Gomanteshwar Temple etc.