Goa Tourist Attractions
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN GOA Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Its long history as a Portuguese colony prior to 1961 is evident in its preserved 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. Goa is also known for its beaches, ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to those in laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda.
Land area: 3,702 km²
Founded: May 30, 1987, 3:00 PM PDT
Population: 1.817 million (2012)
Capitals: Panaji (Executive Branch), Porvorim (Legislature), Mumbai (Judiciary)
Clubs and Teams: FC Goa, Dempo S.C., Sporting Clube de Goa, Salgaocar F.C., Goa cricket team, Laxmi Prasad S.C. Etc...
TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN GOA
Goa is the smallest city of India, yet it is considered as one of the most beautiful places of the country. This is also a dream destination for majority of people to spend their holidays. Goa offers several tourist attractions for everyone.
It has beautiful beaches, churches, temples, rivers, wild life sanctuaries and forts etc. All these places are more than enough to make your Goa Holiday a life time experience. Goa beaches offer peace of mind to the tourists. People of Goa are habitual of having many tourists and they do not interfere in the fun activities of people who come to enjoy here.
Basically, Goa is divided into two parts North Goa and South Goa. Both the parts offer many places for the tourists. Let us start with the South Goa. This place is the main city of the state. Here, you can find several commercial places to do shopping; you can also go on the cruise ride and make you evening more happening. Besides this, there are several beaches also present here like Dona Paula, Miramar, Varca, Palolem and many more. You can see beautiful sun rise from Dona Paula beach. This beach is also famous for several types of water sports.
South Goa is also popular for its famous and magnificent churches that are the legacy of Portuguese colonization. You can start by visiting the St. Cathedral Church. This is a great example of beautiful architecture. Then you can explore the Ruins of Church of St. Augustine, The Church of St. Anne, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Reis Magos Church, St. Cajetan Church, Church of St. Francis of Assissi and the Church of St. Paul. All these churches reflect the rich Catholic culture of Goa.
Additionally, you can also explore several beautiful temples in Goa like Shri Anantha Temple, Shri Nagesh Maharudra Temple and many more.
After exploring the South Goa, it is turn to hit the North Goa. This part of Goa is the hot favorite place especially for foreign tourists. You can have some larger than life experience of Goa in this part of the state. It is popular for several beautiful beaches, forts and water sports.
You can start your trip of North Goa from Fort Aguada. This place is famous for several beautiful structures built by the rulers Portuguese. It is also famous for the light house that reflects the rich and the beautiful culture of Goa. You can also see some beautiful sceneries as this fort is surrounded by the sea and several green plants.
In order to get a view of some breath taking water falls, you can visit Dundhsagar Waterfall. This is one of the major tourist destinations in Goa.
The best time to visit this place is in monsoon when these water falls are on their fullest.
There are some beautiful beaches in North Goa as well. You can visit Calangute beach, Baga beach, Anjuna Beach, Arambol beach and many more. All these beaches are famous tourist destinations in Goa. You can also enjoy different types of water sports like Para Gliding, water rides, under water diving etc.
So, what is to wait for? Just call your tour operator today and book you tickets to Goa.
The Forts in Goa
One of the major places to visit in Goa, the Chapora fort offers an amazing view of the Anjuna and Vagator beaches. Today the fort lies in ruins. There aren’t any specific visiting hours to the fort, however ideally you should visit the fort earlier during the day to get some spectacular views from there.
Cabo De Rama Fort
Its existence prevails from the time of Ramayana, and is named after Lord Rama. He stayed here along with his wife during the 14 years of their exile. The fort has been invaded by several armies during different time periods and has seen several battles especially of the navy. There’s a church in the premises of the fort named Santo Antonio, which is frequented by the devotees.
Almost 5 centuries old, Corjuem Fort is smaller in size than other forts in Goa. There are wide walls, many gun ports and murder holes. The fort lies in the embrace of lush greenery and you can get a complete sight of beautiful villages and islands from there. The Fort is built out of pitted laterite stones. In the early 1800s, the Fort was used as a Military School and had in its defenses a battery of four guns. The Corjuem fort has a connecting cable suspension bridge, which is a popular source of attraction among tourists, and also the only suspension bridge in Goa.
Reis Magos Fort
The Reis Magos Fort is located on a hill and it is accessible through a ramp or a narrow staircase. You can catch a spectacular sight of River Mandovi from here. There are sloping walls, underground rooms, passages, cylindrical turrets in the premises. The water supply of the fort originates from a fresh water spring, inside the Fort.
Mormugao Fort was one of the most important coastal forts of Goa. You will find some spectacular views of the sea from here. The major attraction of this fort are the inscriptions on gates of the fort and many tourists come to scour the historical treasures that lie within the premises.
Ancient trees encircle the fort, which is home to the memorial of the freedom fighters, who fought for the liberation of Goa. Today the remains of the fort have converted into a hotel named Terekhol Fort Heritage.
Built by the Portuguese colonial rulers, the Aguada fort got its name for the fresh water spring that originated within its premises. Aguada means Water. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name ‘Aguada’ meaning Water. The fort holds the pride of being the first ever light house in Asia.
The Churches in Goa
Se Cathedral, Goa
Built in the Portuguese Gothic style, the Se Cathedral is the oldest, and amongst the most celebrated religious structures in Goa.
St. Francis of Assisi Church
This one is Roman Catholic Church located in the main square of Goa. The interiors comprise an opulently ornamental niche with a chest braced by the Four Evangelists on the main altar. Above the chest there are two large statues – St. Francis of Assisi and crucified Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit Church, Goa
This church sets one of the best examples of the Indian Decorative style. The exterior of the church looks immaculate with towers on its either side, and a central dome structure. There are fine carvings on the interiors.
St. Augustine Tower / St. Augustine Church
St. Augustine Church’s ruins are a major attraction among tourists, and one of the spectacular architectures in Goa. Now, most of the remaining of the structure are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Goa
If you want to catch a complete view of Panjim, get to the balcony of this church and see it for yourself. Interiors of the church are pretty simple. Premises of this church have been utilised for several film shoots. One can easily spot the actors here, making it one of the best places to visit in Goa.
Chapel of St. Catherine
The Chapel has a Renaissance style architecture. It isn’t functional anymore and therefore rarely open to the visitors. Archaeological Survey of India maintains the site.
Our Lady of Rosary Church, Goa
This church sets a perfect example of Manueline style architecture of the vintage Portuguese. Due to its structure, the church looks more like a fortress.
St. Cajetan Church
This one is the only dome style church left in Goa. Church of St. Cajetan is the only surviving domed church in Goa. An old wall exists within the premises of the Church which leads to speculations that there was a Hindu temple in the premises.
Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa
The Basilica of Bom Jesus preserves the sacred remains of Goa’s St. Francis Xavier, who died on a sea voyage to China in 1552. Now his body is preserved in an airtight glass coffin, which is placed in a casket. Once in every 10 years, the church allows the visitors to see his body. This is one of the most popular places to visit in Goa among tourists.
Lakes/Backwaters in Goa
Mandovi River Cruise
The river cruise at Mandovi River is truly a beautiful experience, especially during the sunset. The ride is till the Miramar beach point. The cruise includes music and dance, tourists end up partaking towards the end. There are dinner cruises, and full day cruise trips, that are available too. The offshore casino ships can be accessed from Panaji Jetty past the Santa Monica Jetty.
The Temples in Goa
Shri Mangueshi Templ, Goa
Goa may have a long Portuguese history and quite a few famous churches, yet it is also home to beautiful temple s and ornate mosques as well. Ponda region in Goa is famous for the 16th century Safa Shahouri Mosque as well as the 450-year-old Shri Mangesh temple dedicated to Shiva. The highlights of the temple are the seven-story lamp tower (deepstambha), a magnificent water tank, believed to be the oldest part of the temple and there is a prominent Nandi Bull as well inside the temple. Located on a small hillock, it is also one of the largest temples in Goa. Because of its temples and churches, Goa is also a popular tourist destinations in India for religious travel.
Shri Mahalakshmi Temple
The temple comprises a modern architecture. The front is a beautifully decked curve backed by an entrance with sculptures of two elephants around the outer top. The inner walls are accentuated with beautiful paintings and engravings.
Shri Shantadurga Temple
This temple is an artistic blend of Indo-Portuguese architecture. Unlike other temples in Goa, it has a Pyramid -like top and Roman-arched windows.
The Wildlife of Goa
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
This sanctuary, among the most popular places to visit in Goa, is home to several birds including kites, kingfishers, egrets, cormorants, herons, coots, pintails and many more. Additionally, it comprises beautiful water streams and tributaries. There are different kinds of mangrove species, reptiles and much more. There is a lot to look out for over here.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
The Sanctuary is home to an array of wildlife; especially known for its leopards, elephants, deer and Indian bison. King cobras are found here in abundance, and there are other variety of snakes such as kraits, pythons, vipers amongst others. 200+ species of birds reside here.
The Waterfalls in Goa
This one is beautifully scenic spot. People often frequent the spot for picnics. The waterfall forms a big lake at the bottom, which swimmers relish. However, the stream become much slower during summers. The surroundings are just picture perfect.
Literally meaning a sea of milk, Dudhsagar Falls is a 4 tiered waterfall located and the 4th tallest waterfall of India. Located at a distance of 46km from Madgaon, the falls appear spectacular during monsoons after been fed by the rains. There is a railway bridge which passes right in front of the waterfall and passenger train passing through the fall tend to always slow down for passengers to view the fall up close. Unfortunately, there is no viewing platform or site for tourists to take in the full view of the enormous waterfall. Some people do get down at the Dudhsagar station and walk backwards on railway tracks, but that is certainly not recommended.
Best Time to Visit Goa
The winters are the best time to visit Goa but it is also when Goa is the most crowded. Summers in Goa are more popular with families with kids. Goa looks beautiful in monsoon as well and monsoon tourism is fast catching the traveller’s frenzy as well. Though you miss out on some water sports at the beach, which are closed monsoons, you can indulge in some white water rafting which runs only during monsoons.
How To Reach : Goa is easily accessible from all metros and major cities by flight, train and by road as well. The international airport is at Dabolim, at a distance of 29 kms from Panaji and the rail head is at Madgaon and Vasco da Gama are the 2 railway stations in Goa.
Goa continues to remain an eternal favourite with both domestic as well as international travellers because there is no place quite like it in the whole of India. Apart from being a top honeymoon destination, it is also an equally popular family holiday destination. If the sea and sun doesn’t lure you, you still have enough reasons, listed above, to visit this wonderful place.