A tiny emerald land of
3,702 Sq. Km. on the west coast of India, with its
natural scenic beauty, attractive beaches, churches and
temples, famous for it's architecture, feasts and
festivals and above all hospitable people with a rich
cultural milieu, has an ideal tourist profile. Econced
on the slopes of the Western ghats (Sahyadri ranges),
Goa is bounded on the North by Sindhudurg district of
Maharashtra, on the East by Belgaum, on the South by
Karwar Districts of Karnataka, and on the west by
It's rivers -Tiracol, Chapora, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and Talpona, which are navigable throughout the year, have their origin in the Sahyadri ranges and flow westward into the Arabian sea 60kms. away, breaking the long coastline covering a length of 105Kms. into the enchanting estuaries and bays which mark off idyllic palm-fringed beaches like - Arambol, Vagator, Anjuna, Baga and Calangute in the North, and Colva, Cavelosim, Betul and Palolem in the South.
This is, mostly the lively part of goa but there are plenty of away from it all hotels and resorts too. Tourism started here in the 60's with hippies, most of whom have now disappeared. Maybe they've just cut their hair. Who Knows?. It is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Places of Interest
Anjuna Beach: (18 kms from Panaji). A popular beach area adjacent to Chapora fort. In Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof.
ARAMBOL Beach (50 kms from Panaji). A unique beach in the North Goa, it is a rocky and sandy beach and much sought after. It has a sweet water pond right on the shore.
ARVALEM WATERFALLS - BICHOLIM 9 kms. south of Bicholim town at Arvalem, it is a 24-metre high waterfall, best viewed after the monsoons. The ancient caves in the vicinity adds a touch of antiquity to this picturesque place, which finds a major attraction for the film makers as a favourite shooting spot.
Calangute Beach(16 kms from Panaji). It is the most popular holiday resort in Goa. Excellent accommodation facilities are available, particularly at the tourist resort and cottages.
Sinquerim Beach (16 kms. from Panaji). The southern most beach of the Calangute stretch, this beach has good accommodation and water sports facilities.
SHRI BRAHMA TEMPLE - VALPOI 7 kms. from Valpoi, in the village of Brahma Carambolim, this shrine belongs to the 5th century A. D. It is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma found in India.
MAYEM LAKE - BICHOLIM 35 kms. from Panaji, this artificial lake surrounded amidst rolling green hills is an ideal picnic spot. Good accommodation facilities are available in Cottages. Boating is available in the lake.
TERACOL (TIRACOL) FORT It was a key Portuguese fort for the defence of Goa, on the north side of the estuary of the Tiracol river, the most northern boundary of Goa.
VAGATOR Beach (22 kms from Panaji) It is a popular beach dominated by Chapora Fort to the north, on its imposing headland. To the south of Vagator is Calangute beach.
Baga Beach (18 kms. from Panaji). It is at the northern tip of a wonderful 7 kms. stretch along the coastal North Goa. Accommodation including star hotels are available throughout this stretch.
MORJIM Beach(40 kms. from Panaji). In the mouth of the Chapora river and facing the famous Chapora fort, this is another famous beach of northern Goa.
BONDLA FOREST 50 kms. from Panaji and 38 kms. from Margao, it is one of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa. More than a sanctuary it is an ideal jungle resort, a major attraction for school going children and nature lovers. Its mini zoos, sprawling deer park in natural habitat, botanical and rose gardens attract people throughout the year.
CHAPORA FORT This fort was built by the Adil Shah of Bijapur on the southern headland of the Chapora river. It was known as Shapur and is now mostly ruined.
It is an ideal base to explore Goa and is very near the Capital Panjim. Old Goa is a heritage of the 16th century. The Patron Saint of Goa is St. Francis Xavier. His umembalmed body can be viewed at the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The Se Cathedral has a fantastic gilt altar.There are also many interesting Hindu Temples like Mangeshi and Shanta Durga Temples
Places of Interest
DONA PAULA (7 kms from Panaji). An idyllic picturesque spot, Dona Paula commands a fine view of the Zuari river and Mormugao Harbour. Water Scootering facilities are available here.
SALIM ALI BIRD SANCTUARY - CHORAO, PANAJI Spread over 1.78 sq. kms. and located at the western tip of the island of Chorao along river Mandovi near Panaji, it is fully covered with mangrove species. Varieties of local as well as migratory birds frequently visit the area.
OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION It is one of the oldest buildings in Panaji. Founded before 1541 and rebuilt in 1619, it is the focal point of the city's religious feasts.
MIRAMAR Beach (Gaspar Dias, 3 kms from Panaji). A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji.
SHRI ANANT DEVASTHAN - SAVOI-VEREM This unique temple is situated at Savoi-Verem village in Ponda taluka. The deity carved in black stone is Lord Vishnu (the God of Preservation) who is in his Anantashayya (a sleeping position where the Lord rests on the multi-headed snake king Seshnaga, whose heads shelter the head of the Lord like an umbrella).
SIRIDAO Beach(8 kms. from Panaji). Near Goa Velha in Tiswadi taluka near the mouth of the river Zuari, it is one of the most frequented beaches of Goa for its picturesque scenery.
BASILICA OF BOM JESUS Built in 16th century at Old Goa, the former capital of the Portuguese at a distance of 10 kms. east of Panaji, it is the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. This church is connected on the southern end with the Professed House built by Jesuits in 1585 but was partially damaged in fire in 1663 and was rebuilt in 1783.
AGUADA FORT 18 kms. From Panaji and situated on a headland of the river Mandovi, this strongest fort of Goa was built by the Portuguese in 1609-1612, to command the entry into the river Mandovi, in order to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks.
The Quieter area of Goa with the exception of Colva beach, ideal for those who want to unwind and do nothing. The local village of Margao is a short taxi ride away for those in search of souvenirs and a little taste of Goan living. But essentially choose the South if you want to get "get away" from it all and just be pampered. However there are some bars, restaurants and those ever so popular "Beach Shacks" though they maybe a short taxi ride away.
Places of Interest
BENAULIM Beach (4 kms. from Margao). Situated at Benaulim village near Margao, it is one of the famous beaches of south Goa.
COLVA Beach (About 6 kms. from Margao). Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scenic splendour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. It has good accommodation facilities, particularly at the tourist cottages.
BHAGVAN MAHAVIR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY - MOLEM Situated along the North-East border of Goa at Molem, about one-and-a-half hours' journey from Panaji (60 kms.) along Panaji Belgaum National Highway, the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife sanctuary covers 240 sq. kms. of thick forest clad slopes of Western Ghats and its valleys and is the biggest of the three sanctuaries of Goa. The sanctuary is rich in wildlife.
BOGMALO Beach (5 kms. from Goa Airport). Well connected by road, it offers excellent water sports facilities.
CANSAULIM Beach (15 kms. from Margao). A famous beach in Mormugao taluka near Cansaulim railway station.
DUDHSAGAR WATERFALLS Literally meaning 'The Sea of Milk', it is situated on the Goa-Karnataka border, at a distance of 60 kms. from Panaji and 10 kms. from Colem Railway Station. This beautiful waterfalls is accessible by train and rough road. Water plummets hundreds of feet in large volume, in cascades, forming one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena in Goa and a lifeline of our ecosystem in one of our Sanctuaries.