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Things to do in Goa

Tourist Attractions in Goa

Attractions

Overview

Located on the South Western coast of India within the region known as the Konkan lies, the state of Goa, which is geographically separated from the Deccan Highlands by the Western Ghats. It is surrounded by the Indian states of Karnataka to the east and south, the Arabian Sea forming its western Coast and Maharashtra to the north. It is said to be India’s smallest state by area and the 4th smallest by population. Goa is also known to have the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, which is two and half times that of the country. It was ranked the best placed state by the eleventh finance commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the national commission of population based on the twelve indicators.

Known as a pocket-sized Paradise located on the West Coast of India, Goa is a kaleidoscopic blend of Portuguese-Indian heritage with delicious delicacies and serene beaches. With its susegad philosophy of living the sunshine state is believed to have gained a lot of fame all over the world. With such easy-going vibes this state is said to make everyone carefree and let’s one take time and enjoy the laid-back lifestyle.

With a hundred km long coastline Goa is home to a string of uninterrupted golden sand beaches that propel many tourists all year round. These beaches are said to cater to every tropical need for every kind of tourist. From backpacker’s beaches to laid back enjoyable beaches all the way to private beaches with hidden coves.

Place to Visit

Places to Visit:

  • For the state of Goa, Panaji is its capital and Vasco-da-Gama is its largest city.
  • The historic city of Margo is said to still exhibit the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the subcontinent in the early sixteenth century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter.
  • There are two world heritage sites in Goa, the Bom Jesus Basilica and Churches and Convents of Old Goa. The Basilica is said to hold the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier which is regarded by Catholics as the Patron Saint of Goa although the Patron of the archdiocese of Goa is actually Saint Joseph Vaz. These are both said to be Portuguese Era monuments and reflect a strong European character. The direction taken down for veneration and for public viewing as per the prerogative of the church in Goa, however it is popularly thought and propagated that this is done every 10 or 12 years but that is not the case. The last exposition is said to have been held in 2014.
  • The influence of the Portuguese culture due to the over 450 years of Portuguese rule in Goa, presents to its visitors a cultural environment that is not found anywhere else in India. Goa is also often described as a fusion between eastern and western culture with the Portuguese culture having a dominant position in the state, be it in its architectural, social or cultural settings.
  • The state of Goa is also famously known for its excellent beaches, churches and forts. The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort of Aguada and a new Wax Museum on Indian history, Heritage and Culture in Old Goa are some of the tourism destinations.
  • Arambol Beach – A quiet and virgin beach in North Goa.The nature has gifted it a lot of beauty.There are many water sports available like paragliding,parasailing,many massage options,a very big beach market.
  • Anjuna Beach – Close to the Chapora Fort, its key attraction is a magnificent Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and an attractive Mangalore tile-roof. Anjuna was the second home (and main location) of the hippies in Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, after other destinations like Calangute got too “crowded” for them. It is still the venue of a (vastly-changed and more mainstream) flea market held each Wednesday. In the nearby village of Arpora, two colourful Saturday night bazaars are held in the non-monsoon seasons. This is still part of “alternative” Goa, though charter and other tourists also visit in increasing numbers to “get a feel of the hippy years”.
  • Palolem Beach-a scenic beach in extreme south Goa with scenic rocks and islands off its shores. Good eating options. It is becoming pricey (by local standards) and getting a bit crowded, but still less crowded compared to other popular beaches.
  • Patnem Beach – a small and quiet beach in Canacona Taluka.
  • Vagator Beach – a beach in Bardez, neighbouring Anjuna.
  • Morjim Beach – a beautiful beach, inhabited by Russian tourists. This place is popular among kitesurfers due to the shallow depth of the sea and a very wide beach. Prices are high, with many restaurants offering Russian cuisine. Nightlife is vibrant here.
  • Asvem Beach – a quieter beach in extreme north Goa’s Pernem Taluka.
  • Mandrem Beach – another beach in extreme north Goa’s Pernem taluka
  • Candolim and Sinquerim Beaches in North Goa’s Bardez taluka. Once humble fishing villages. Now the crowded concretised coast of North Goa. Goa’s Benidorm. Or quickly getting to be as crowded.
  • Colva Beach – This beach’s spectacle of sea, sand and sky blend in a enchanting natural harmony, weaving their magic spell on the visitors. Known for its scenic beauty. This is part of Salcete, Goa’s only Catholic majority sub-district. Once a very hospitable area, now relations are getting monetized thanks to tourism. Beware of mountains of trash on the beach and nearby locations, stray dogs and bad odors.
  • Calangute Beach – aka Queen of all Beaches in Goa. Once highly rated. Now crowded. Expect traffic jams along the main crowded street. Beach is full of Indian tourists, a lot of noise, a lot of souvenirs and water sports beggar. You won’t get peace here. Many famous clubs are located here. Nice eating options.
  • Baga Beach A family-beach and charter tourist destination just outside Calangute.
  • Chapora Home of the Chapora fort. Close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Also site for a fishing jetty where trawlers (introduced into Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, amid protests from traditional fishermen, who were affected by them) bring in their catch. Dil Chahta Hai Movie’s one song was shot at this fort. Although in pretty damaged state, Chapora fort offers mesmerizing views of sea and both beaches. It’s a bit difficult to find the way to the fort, but bikers won’t mind it. Built on a hill top, fort offers some resistance for climbing up.
  • Bom Jesus Basilica (1605) – built in 1605, this Basilica has the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, one of the patron Saints of Goa. It is known for its distinctive baroque architecture that has a display of architectural pieces in wood, stone, gold and granite. Francis Xavier died while aboard a ship and his body was taken to Malacca but it was decided that he should be buried in Goa. After 2 years, it was noticed that his body had not decomposed, that was no less than a miracle. After every 10 years, his body is put for public display in a silver casket designed in the 17th century.
  • Se Cathedral – built in 1619, one of the largest churches in Asia, which took around 80 years to get constructed, Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It was built to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers in the city. The building has a Golden bell that can be heard in the whole of Goa. Located in old Goa, one of the bell towers of the church was destroyed during a lightening storm. The structure also consists of 14 alters inside, with each being beautifully carved.
  • Church of St Francis of Assisi – built in 1661, located on the back of the Se Cathedral, this church is a beautiful piece of ancient workmanship. The structure has striking painted panels showcasing the life of St. Francis of Assisi on the walls. The adjoining seminary has been converted into an art museum, which preserves the painting that was previously kept at the Panaji Secretariat. The church also has an octagonal tabernacle decorated in an ornate style.
  • Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception -built in 1541, a famous landmark of Goa, it is the oldest church situated in Panaji. The towers of the church have a statue of Mother Mary at the front. Around 450 years old, this church was built to welcome sailors home. This church is largely visited even today by Catholic devouts and has been beautifully preserved. The bell of the church is 2nd largest in the world.

Church of St. Catejan – built in 1700, Church of St. Catejan has a striking resemblance St. Peters Basilica in Rome. It was built by a group of Greek and Italian priest to initiate a contrast to the other churches built during the Portuguese times. On the left, there three altars dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady Of Piety and St. Clare and the right-side altars are dedicated to St. Agnes, St. Cajetan and St. John. Though the building is 300 years old, but has been beautifully preserved.

When to Reach

When to Reach

Goa is also known for its spiritual side where winter in Goa is known for yoga and the spiritual activities are said to grow more beautiful each year. There are Sunrise yoga sessions on the beach, Reiki healing courses, meditation and just about every other form of spiritual exploration which are all practiced freely here. Many Travelers are believed to come here for a serious yoga experience and find everything from drop-in classes to teaching training courses and spiritual retreats. Goa is also well known for its food that is enjoyed fully here as it is all over India. The scents, spices and flavors of Goa cuisine are known to surprise its tourist whether it be the classical fish curry rice, a morning bhali pau which is a bread roll dipped in curry, a piquant vindalho, with its infusions of wine vinegar and garlic, or a spicy xacuti sauce. The Indo Portuguese influence is believed to be a treat for anyone’s taste buds. There are also back-country spice farms to visit here and learn why the Portuguese were so enamored by Goa.

There are prominent local festivals like Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Diwali, Shigmo, Chavoth, Samvatsar, Dasara, Padvo, etc. The Grand carnival and the Christmas New Year celebrations are also said to attract many tourists.

Why Should Go?

Why should I go?

Situated on the West Coast of India, Goa, is believed to be one of the most delightful states of India. Formerly known to be a Portuguese Colony, it is endowed with a variety of attractions including Palm fringed beaches, miles of golden sands, lush green countryside magnificent churches, forts and the monuments, and incredible mosaic of cultural heritage and unique cultural synthesis of the East and West. With its tropical climate, Goa is known to be a treasure trove of culture, art forms, dance and music that can be enjoyed during local festivals and celebrations. Animal lovers are believed to visit the state’s wildlife sanctuaries all throughout the Year. The city is well known for its vibrancy that retains its pinnacle in the annual Goa Carnival Festival.

Goa is said to be neatly tucked along the Western coast of India with several beaches and an over three-hundred-year-old Portuguese architectural heritage. Goa has characteristic colorful houses, lush green fields and a soothing languidness in the atmosphere. The Churches and Convents of Goa are said to have been included in the list of world heritage sites.

In the National Geographic travel Goa is believed to stand sixth in the top ten nightlife cities of the world. Some of the notable nightclubs in Goa include Chronicle, Mambos and Sinq. It is also said that one of the biggest tourist attractions in Goa is the water sports it has to offer. Beaches like Baga and Calangute offer Jet-skiing, parasailing, water scooter rides, banana boat rides, etc. Patnem beach in Palolem is said to have stood third in CNN travel’s top 20 Beaches in Asia.

Wild boars, foxes and migratory birds are found in the jungles of Goa. The avifauna bird species includes myna, parrot and Kingfisher. There are numerous types of fish also caught off the coast of Goa and in its rivers. Oysters, jellyfish, crab, catfish, shrimp and lobsters are the basis of the Marine fishery here in Goa. It is also known to have a high snake population. While Goa has many national parks some of them are well renowned like the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, on the island of Chorao. The other wildlife sanctuaries include the Bondla wildlife sanctuary, Molem wildlife sanctuary, Cotigao wildlife sanctuary, Mahaveer wildlife sanctuary, Netravali wildlife sanctuary and the Madei wildlife sanctuary.

The colorful chaotic ceremonies and the stunning cathedrals are also believed to give one an insight into the Goan culture. It is believed to have the perfect recipe for holiday because of its perfect amalgamation of culture and experience from the Portuguese colonial times to the current well-known nightlife. Goa is also famously known for its low-priced beer, wine and spirits prices due to its very low excise duty on alcohol which is also seen as growing Goa’s economy.

Getting Around

Getting Around:

Weather

Weather:

Goa features a tropical monsoon climate under the Koppen climate classification. Being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea Goa, is said to have a hot and humid climate for most of the Year. The month of May is usually the hottest with daytime temperatures going over 35 degree Celsius coupled with high humidity. This State’s three seasons are said to be Southwest monsoon period which is from June to September, post monsoon period which is from October to January and the pre-monsoon period which is from February to May. It is believed that over 90% of the average annual rainfall, which is 120 inches, is received only during the monsoon season.

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