. Goa, known as the 'Pearl of the Orient' and 'Rome of the East', is located on the western coast of India. It is an immensely popular holiday destination for thousands of European,domestic and other parts of the world tourists who visit Goa simply for the splendour and beauty it provides.
Goa is not only famous for its beaches, but also for its carnivals and old churches. It's a perfect destinations for fun lovers . Goa has always been a popular haunt for international tourists much for the vibrant nightlife, cruises, and beaches. With miles and miles of beaches and thanks to its unique geographical and historical position, it provides a harmonious blend of Eastern and Western culture and an unhurried pace of life, that is typically bohemian in nature.
The land has a soul that goes deep and that is rich with unique history, culture and some of the most breathtaking natural scenery that India has to offer.
. Aguada Fort is a well-preserved Portuguese fort lying close to the Aguada beach in Goa. It was built in the 17th century and is one of the several Portuguese forts scattered across Goa.
The impressively beautiful Aguada Fort was constructed in way back in 1612 and stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi river. It was mainly built to safeguard Goa from the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. A freshwater spring within the fort served as a good source of water for the ships that halted here. And hence it got its name 'Aguada' meaning 'Water'.
Another historic marvel the 4 storied Portuguese lighthouse is a valued possession of the Aguada Fort. It was erected in 1864 and is one of the oldest in Asia.History says that the Aguada Fort was very precious to the Portuguese. It is the only fort that was not conquered by any invaders during the 450 year long rule of the Portuguese empire.
. If you are a person who loves to know the historical background of Goa then this Terekhol Fort Goa will be the perfect one to fit in. Maharaja Sawatwadi had built this fort that was defeated by a Portuguese Viceroy in the year 1746. The church and the fort were rebuilt after the capture of the raja.
Goa born Viceroy Peres da Silva revolted in the year 1825 and occupied and he utilized this as his base camp to revolt against the Portuguese.After the humiliation the viceroy didn't return to Goa. This fort is named after the river Terekhol which is on the southern part of the fort.Goa is not only about scenic beauty of silvery beaches but history delves in her veins. The rich historic chapters give a different impact to the state and to the tourists.The surrounding plantation and the greenery provide a beautiful background to this historic fort. The fort is surrounded by paddy field of the locals.
. Chapora fort is an old fortress, a worth visiting spot of the beach paradise Goa . The historic place lies about 10km from Mapusa, near to Anjuna beach in Goa. It was also known as 'Shahpura' in the ancient times. The fort has fallen victim to the time and today most of it is ruined.
The giant Chapora fort is constructed of red colored laterite stones. It was built by the ruler of Bijapur, Adil Shah. Hence the fortress was named as 'Shapura' meaning the town of Shah in the olden days. It was destroyed after the rule of Adil Shah and again revived back by the Portuguese in 1617.
During the Portugal times, the Chapora fort was a grand and tough fort, with many hidden tunnels beneath for quick escapes. However after the Portuguese left, the fort was abandoned and never occupied again.
The Chapora fort gives a spectacular view of the Vagator and the Anjuna beach. In fact the beauty of the fort has been trapped in camera and many famous films have been shot over here.So don't miss the Chapora fort on your Goa trip.
Ancestral Goa Museum/Big Foot
. Ancestral Goa museum, also known as Big Foot in Loutolim is around 10 km from Margao. This open-air museum-cum-parkland covers an area of about 9 acres and is the first of its kind in India. The museum showcases large life size statues and structures depicting culture and tradition of rural Goa around 200 years old.The 14 m sant Mirabai sculpture, which is also the India's longest laterite sculpture, is the main highlight of the museum. Believed to be blessed with good luck if the person stepping on it is pure at heart, the big foot at the museum is worth seeing.
The Ancestral Goa museum also features different miniature houses showcasing traditional occupation & social classes of fishermen, Goan artisans, farmers, a music school, liquors shops, village market and a feni distillery. Then, there is a spring called as Boca da Vaca, fruit & spice garden, Big Foot art gallery, handicraft centre, a bookstall and a lot more.
. Candolim Beach is located to the south of Calangute and close to the capital of Goa. It is a beach for people who like to be all alone with themselves. Candolim Beach is a 7km long stretch of golden sand starting from Aguada and ending at Chapora beach. When exploring the beach you can try your hands at activities like fishing, some water skiing or merely get tanned for free and relax.
Historically, Candolim is the birthplace of the Father of Hypnotism, Abbe Faria. It is the place where the first revolt against the Portuguese was initiated. The beach is a perfect place to hide oneself from the crowds and hustle bustle.Candolim Beach has a wide range of accommodation. Some hotels offer yoga and meditation session to make you calm and help you seek the God within. The foodies can taste the various Goa dishes at the many shacks dotting the beach.
. Anjuna Beach is one of the hottest tourist spots in Goa. It lies 18 km away from Panaji, the capital of Goa. The beach is popularly known as the freak capital of the world. Since it is the home to Trance Parties and the favorite of the Hippies, who discovered Anjuna Beach in the late 1950s to mid-1960s.
Anjuna Beach is well known for the magnificent Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920, the Mascarenhas Mansion, and the Chapora Fort. Another main attraction of the beach is its Wednesday Flea market. The Flea market is every shoppers dream. You are sure to find just about anything right from swim suits to water-sports equipments to second hand bikes to cameras to jewelry to t-shirts to books here. Apart from all this, you can also treat yourself to delicious Goan cuisine and relish the seafood.
Anjuna Beach is also known for its full-moon (acid house) parties. The trance party with dance, frolic, and merriment goes all night besides the fire. If you are bored of the noisy parties you can escape to the nearby excursions - the Chapora Fort and the Albuquerque Mansion and take a peep into the history.
. Colva Beach is situated 39 km away from Panaji, capital of the Indian state of Goa. This must see tourist spot is a 20km long stretch of palm tree dotted beach.Colva is one beach which has almost everything to offer for everyone in the family. If it is drinks and great food for the elders and shopping and carnival / festive atmosphere for the ladies, the children are often seen building sand castles or playing beach ball or else paddle waves in the shallow shores. The security and assurance of a life guard and safe waters of the ocean make the trip to Colva an enjoyable and unforgettable event for the entire family.
The beach is practically deserted in the early mornings and a long walk on its silver sands replete with Mackerels spread for drying, is a unique sight. Evenings become romantic with the setting sun and festivities reaching its crescendo.
. The nearest beach from the capital of the Goa - Panaji is the Miramar Beach. It is also called as the Gasper Dias Beach. It is located just 3 km from Panaji and a km away from Dona Paula. It is very close to the point where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea.
Miramar Beach or Gaspar Dias is a lovely 2 km long beach with silvery sand dotted with swaying palms. Since the scenic beach faces the vast blue Arabian Sea it is called as 'Miramar', which is a Portuguese word for 'viewing of the sea'. The beach is peaceful, often less crowded and hence ideal for evening beach side walks.
The reason why tourists flock the Miramar Beach is that it offers a very panoramic view of the well-preserved Portuguese fort across the river, known as Aguada Fort. The beach is also a great place to catch a glimpse of the migratory birds. Each winter the migratory birds, like Plovers and Gulls return to Miramar beach to escape from the harsh winter back home. Here they live in peace and find plenty of food in form of aquatic invertebrates, seeds and insects.
Varca Cavelossim Beach
. The cleaner and quieter beach couple - the Varca beach is located 5 km south of Benaulim while Cavelossim beach is around 12 km from Benaulim in Goa. Varca-Cavelossim beaches are the most photogenic beaches of Goa. These beaches are easily accessible via buses and taxis. Or else, you can hire motorbike to travel to these beaches.
Varca-Cavelossim beaches are eye soothing with their soft white sand carpets facing the clear sea and doted with black lava rocks at certain places. The charm of the beaches is that they give you a chance to spend some quality time in peace and privacy. There is hardly any disturbance at the place. The best feature of the beaches is that you can sail away into the sea to watch the dolphins and if you are lucky, you can even touch these dolphins from close quarters.
The scenic beach couple - the Cavelossim beach and Varca beach offers some of the most luxurious beach resorts in Goa. You can book rooms or villas at the various nearby beach resorts and beautiful inns facing the sea. However these accommodation options are slightly expensive. For the foodies, there are numerous beach shacks offering a variety of Goan dishes and seafood at reasonable prices.
. Calangute Beach is at a 45 minutes drive from the capital of Goa - Panaji. It is popularly called as the 'Queen Of Beaches', because the panoramic view it offers is simply unmatchable.
Calangute Beach is a distortion of the Goan word 'Koli-gutti' meaning land of fishermen. Some also associate it with 'Kalyangutti' meaning village of art or to 'Konvallo-ghott' meaning rows of coconut trees. And why not the beach is heavily fringed with tall coconut trees.
Calangute Beach is one place that actually captivates you and does not let you go anywhere else. The addictive triple combination of sun, sand and sea at the beach is arresting. The beauty of the place attracts hordes of European tourists to Goa. Calangute beach is often crowded with people, children making sand castles, colorful crowds surging towards the sea, hippies busy remembering the good old times and the young and old alike lazing on the golden sands.
Calangute Beach is also a good shopping hub in Goa. The road from the town to the beach is lined with Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewelry. Good quality Rajasthani, Gujarati and Karnatakan textiles can also be purchased. Above all the Calangute Beach has everything right from scenic beauty to shops to eating joints, that makes you a victim of the place.
. Majorda beach is one of the most renowned and attractive beaches of Goa. The natural beauty, clean environs, multitude of water sports, great food & drink make this a perfect sea shore to spend the day.
The beach also boasts of it's own share of history and mythology wherein Lord Rama is supposed to have visited the beach as a small kid as well as when he started the search for his missing wife Sita Devi.
Apart from being a great daytime beach, the Majorda also plays hosts to a numerous rave parties which are an integral part of the evenings of many of the beaches of Goa.
Dona Paula Beach
. This exquisite seashore delight located to the south of Miramar is a small atoll knoll. The long stretches of silver white sand on Dona Paula, promises its visitors a gala time.
Dona Paula de Menzes was the daughter of a Portuguese Governor of Goa who fell head over heels for a local fisherman hunk Gasper Dias. However, fate had decided otherwise and the lovers had to seek solace in death through the vast stretch of engulfing sea. The beach has many legends attached to it and one has it that Dona Paula still emerges out on full moon nights wearing only a pearl necklace.
Vagator & Chapora Beach
. Vagator and the Chapora Beaches are the most beautiful possessions of Goa. The vast stretch of silvery sands, black lava rocks, clear seas fringed with coconut palms makes them the most scenic beaches of the state.
The Chapora beach also houses the major tourist attraction, the 500 year old Portuguese Chapora Fort. The lava black rocks scattered all over the beach makes it more prettier. The soothing sights of the sea and hills covered with coconut trees and rice fields are equally captivating. Vagator and the Chapora beaches are calm and ideal for relaxation at daytime and turn energetic and lively at the nights with several night bars and dance floors.
The market near Vagator and Chapora beaches offer a wide range of items from daily food items to souvenirs like artifacts, antiques, and other trinkets. You can fill your hungry tummy with some yummy foods sold at the near by eating joints. The beautiful beaches of Vagator and Chapora are well connected with the rest of the places.
. The Sinquerim Beach of Goa is located some 13 km away from Panaji and is stunningly beautiful and quieter than the other beaches of Goa. This long, extended sandy terrain that runs incessantly along the coast is ideal for taking a walk. The feel of the glistening sands and the cool water caressing the feet gives you out of the feeling. The beach is one of a series of tranquil and spectacular stretch of sand and an ideal place for swimming. The tourists come down to this beach and prefer it for its pristine and serene setting.The lovely beach of Sinquerim is one of the oldest preserved beaches in Goa. The famous fort Aguada is located near the beach. Fort Aguada was built by the Portuguese in the early 17th century Portuguese fort that was built by the Portuguese to defend themselves against any foreign attack and to control the entry of the intruders through River Mandovi.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa, is the most well known church of Goa. This church is situated in Old Goa. Numbers of people visit this church. This church has great significance among the Christian community of the World. This church is 16th century architecture and it is the first Minor Basilica in India. Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa was built in 1605 and this recently becomes the World Heritage Monument. Inside the church there is the holy remains of St. Francis Xavier who was the pioneer saint of Goa. He was died on 2nd December 1552, during the sea journey to China. The meaning of Bom Jesus is Infant Jesus. The Basilica Bom Jesus is a tribute the infant Jesus. This is a baroque architecture and it is one of the finest designs of India. The church is made up of white marble and alter is gilded and furnished with beautiful frescoes.
St Francis of Assissi
. The Se Cathedral has a prestigious neighbour towards its west where the Convent of St. Francis of Assisi is located. Created in the year 1517 by the famous eight Franciscan friars this Convent started off the block as a small chapel with a few houses belonging to Thanedar Joao Machado which were offered by the Governor to the friars.
Modified in 1521 as a church it was later consecrated on 2nd Aug 1602 to the Holy Spirit. The Convent plays host to a museum of Archaeological survey of India and boasts of some of the best collections of artifacts, sculptures and paintings. The scenes from the Bible are displayed on the wall frescoes inside the convent and the original nine altars and six chapels have been reduced to only three.
Church of St Augustine Goa
. The Church of St Augustine was proposed and built in 1602. Twelve Augustan Friars unified their efforts and resources started the construction of the church on the Holy Hill at Old Goa in September 1572, which was completed by 1602. The Portuguese government afterward issued a prohibitiosn against and the twelve men who had to vacate the church and the convent besides it. The church and the convent both are in ruins now. However, the elevated 46-metre high Bell Tower still remains and forms a foremost segment of the ruins. This highly evident landmark, a 46m-high tower formed part of the facade of an impressive Church and served as a belfry. The prominent St. Augustine's tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa. The ruined Augustans Monastery is still a major attraction in Goa. As you arrive in the church you will see a sight of the imposing retable of the high altar, with its large gilt tabernacle sheltered within an arch, through a screen of arched piers. The nave of the Church can be seen, covering the vast nave was a barrel vault, whose enormous weight unfortunately hastened its collapse. The church was fully vacated in the early 18th century. The church fell into abandon and the vault distorted in 1842. The church's downfall began with the collapse of this vault. The main edifice of the church was soon ruined, but the facade remained untouched.
. The Se cathedral, which took more than 62 years to complete, is an imposing building, commissioned in 1631. The church is dedicated to St Catherine of Alexandria since the Portuguese sailor Alfonso de Albuquerque believed that he could defeat the Muslim armies in 1510 on the feast day of the saint since the Portuguese army had the Saint's blessings. The church was built after demolishing a mosque, which stood on the same grounds.
The half-Doric and half-Tuscan style exteriors present a mesmerizing view, which encapsulates the interiors of Mosiac-Cornithian architecture. The north tower collapsed in 1776 after being struck by lightning and had not been rebuilt however, the south tower still holds the 'golden bell'.
Shri Mahalaxmi Temple
. The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple is situated in the village of Bandode, 4kms from Ponda. The Shri Mahalaxmi Temple is considered the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult. A tour of the temple can be made after offering prostrations to the Goddess Lakshmi - who is the presiding deity of Panaji, the capital of Goa. The Goddess Mahalakshmi was worshipped by the Shilahara rulers (750-1030 A. D.) and the early Kadamba Kings of Goa.
The 'Sabhamandap' in the Shri Mahalaxmi temple has a gallery of 18 images, out of 24 images of emanatory aspects of Bhagvata sect, which is considered one of the few galleries of wooden images of Vishnu in India. The image of Mahalakshmi in the Shri Mahalaxmi temple has a close resemblance to that of the image of the Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur - the main centre of worship. Her special feature is that she wears a linga on her head and is considered a 'Satvik' (peaceful) form of the Devi. The main temple has been reconstructed recently. The main festivals at this temple are Navaratri and Chaitra Purnima.
Shri Mangueshi Temple
. The phenomenon of destruction and desecration of religious places also succeeded the victory march of armies. There is no dearth of places with such history. The Mangueshi temple in Priol tells a similar story wherein the temple, originally located in Kushasthali (Cortalim) was shifted under the fear of destruction (by Portuguese) to Pirolim which was under the control of Adil Shah of Bijapur.
The temple underwent numerous repairs thereafter and the external architecture of the temple amply reflects profound influence of Mughal, Portuguese as well Hindu architecture. The sanctum holds an idol of Lord Manguesh who is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
. Located along the riverside in Panaji, is one of the most striking monuments in Goa - The Secretariat. This is believed to be one of the oldest buildings in the state.
In the ancient days The Secretariat was the palace of the Muslim ruler Adil Shah of Bijapur. Then later the monument was converted into viceroy's official residence in 1759 by the Portuguese. But today it houses Goa's state legislative assembly.
Constant renovations and repair of The Secretariat from time to time has converted an overtly Islamic structure into a giant colonial building, which boasts of a sloping tiled roofs and iron pillars. Being a high profile building today heavy security cordon is guarding the building everyday however, visitors are permitted to enter and check out the exquisite carvings.
. India is place of genuine natural serenity. Moreover nature has generously bestowed Goa with breath-taking natural beauty. Along with dazzling beaches, Goa is also gifted with lakes, waterfalls and springs of supreme beauty. Among its numerous tourist spots, the Arvalem waterfalls, one of the most striking features in Goa, demands a special mention thanks to its supreme beauty.
Arvalem Waterfall in Goa is located Nine kilometers south of Bicholim town. Here the water drops from a height of 70 feet. The first sight of Arvalem waterfall makes ripples in your heart- it is such a marvelous one. You can't resist the temptation to take a dip at the bottom of the waterfall where it forms a lake.
Goa Adventure Sports
. The exhilarating combination of miles and miles of spectacular sandy beaches and the wide and extensive rivers and scenic lakes truly makes Goa a holidaymaker's paradise. Besides, Goa is a perfect celestial home for the wanderlust traveler, an ideal destination for adventure enthusiasts. Naturally, the fabulous beaches, beautiful rivers and lakes in Goa offer excellent options for a wide range of Adventure Sports in Goa.
Adventure Sports in Goa are among the most favored activities of tourists visiting the magical land. Adventure Sports are an excellent way to break away from the daily grind and enjoy complete relaxation and rejuvenation. There are so many options for adventure in Goa that you can explore and have a unique experience each day of your holiday, and that too loaded with adventure.
Goa provides various adventure sports such as Golfing, Jet Skiing, Scuba driving, water scooters,water sports,water skiing etc.