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Tourist Attractions
Goa Tourist Destinations

More than some exotic beaches, Goa is about throwing caution to the wind and soaking in the unconventional. This Ibiza of India is one of the hottest destinations for bohemian raves, which have thrown up some avant garde eateries. With a history as vast as the sea itself, the Portuguese influence can be felt everywhere in Goa, in the churches and chapels, and unbroken sun-soaked beaches. A fun-and-feni kind of place - Goa is the destination for a lazy yet freaky holiday. This is where ocean-lovers can really get their fill - surfing, yachting, swimming or simply reclining on the golden sands with a drink. Goa is just 600 km south of Mumbai, situated on the slopes of the Western Ghats (Sahyadri ranges).


By Air - Some airlines fly directly to Dabolim Airport at Goa, but most international flights arrive via Mumbai. Goa has daily flights to and from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune (no flights return to Pune) and has flights twice a week to Chennai and Cochin. There are international flights to Kuwait and Sharjah twice a week and charter flights to London and Germany.

By Train - Goa has train service from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mangalore, Ernakulam and Thiruvanantapuram. There is a daily express train service from Delhi.

By Road - From Goa you can take a sleeper bus (which allows for a good nights rest in the bus) to Hampi. There are normal buses to Mumbai (sleeper bus also available), Pune, Bangalore, Mangalore and other cities.

Goa is full with with tourist round the years, but the September to March is the period when you can get best of Goa. That time so many activities happens like water sports, carnivals and festivals etc.


Panaji - is the capital of Goa. Literally, the word Panaji means 'the land that does not flood'. The main attraction in Panaji is the carnival held here every Sabada Gordo (Fat Saturday). The carnival is basically all about forgetting one's worries and having a fun time. There's a lot of singing and dancing, as well as a procession of heavily decorated floats.

Church of the Lady of Immaculate Conception - The main place of worship in town, this church holds Mass every morning in three different languages - English, Konkani and Portuguese.
Church of the Lady of Immaculate Conception

Chapel of St Sebastian - Built in the 1880s, the Church of St Sebastian is known for its crucifix of Christ, which shows Christ with his eyes open.

Chapel of St Sebastian
The Secretariat - This was the summer palace of the Muslim ruler of Goa, Adil Shah. It is also the oldest building in this part of Goa. The Portuguese rebuilt it in 1615 and used it as the residence of the Viceroy.
The Secretariat


Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary - Located near Panaji, on the western tip of the island of Chorao along Mandovi River, this sanctuary is spread over 2 sq km. Local and migratory birds can be seen here in abundance.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary


Old Goa (Velha Goa) - Old Goa, the second capital of the Adil Shahi dynasty, could rival Lisbon with its magnificance in olden days. At that time, it was a fortress surrounded by a moat and had temples, mosques and a large palace for Adil Shah. Wracked by epidemics of cholera and malaria and the Inquisition, Old Goa has deteriorated from a vibrant city to a dying one with a handful of architectural relics.

Convent & Church of St Francis of Assisi - Contains gilded and carved woodwork and murals depicting scenes from the saint's life along with a floor partly made of carved gravestones. The original building was built in 1517, and the new structure dates back to 1661. A convent behind this church is now an archaeological museum. Open Saturday to Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, the entry is free.
Convent & Church of St Francis of Assisi
Se Cathedral - The largest church in Goa, its construction started in 1562 during the reign of King Dom Sebastiao (1557-1558). The style of the building is Portuguese-Gothic with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. The tower houses the 'Golden Bell', the resonant rings of which can be heard thrice daily.
Se Cathedral
Church of St Cajetan  - Built in 1655, this church has been modelled on St Peter's Church in Rome. It was built by Italian friars of the order of Theatine, sent by Pope Urban III to preach Christianity in the Kingdom of Golconda.
Church of St Cajetan
Beaches Fort Aguada & Candolim - The beaches of North Goa extend from Fort Aguada in an uninterrupted 30 km stretch right upto the border with Maharashtra. Fort Aguada was built in 1612 on the mouth of the Mandovi River to protect the shores from the Maratha and Dutch raiders. One can find many natural springs at the fort. A lighthouse nearby can be visited from 4 pm to 5.30 pm everyday. Sinquerim beach, which is just below the fort, has facilities for para-sail and jet skiing at the Taj holiday resort.
Beaches Fort Aguada & Candolim
Mapusa - Just 13 km north of Panjim is the small town of Mapusa (pronounced Mapsa). It is a collection of modern buildings and has little to offer other than its marketplace, where one find strings of spicy Goan sausages (chorizo), toddy (fermented palm sap), spices and exotic fruits. Friday is the best time to see the local market in all its glory.
Calangute & Baga - Calangute is a 45-minute bus ride from Panaji and was once famous for its hippies and cheap accommodation. The road between the town and the beach is lined with stalls selling Kashmiri handicrafts, Tibetan textiles and jewellery. The Kerkar Art Gallery (Tel: 276 017) at Gaura Vaddo in the south end of the town has shows of classical music and dance on Tuesday and Saturday from 6.30 pm to 8 pm. Baga is a small village 10 km west of Mapusa. The beach here is better than that at Calangute.
Calangute & Baga
Anjuna - Anjuna is famous for its Wednesday flea market. The coconut palm-strewn beach is quite clean, making it one of the few good beaches in Goa.
Chapora & Vagator - Coconut groves cover most of this rocky hill that holds the ruins of a Portuguese fort. The other major landmark is the estuary of the Chapora River. The Big Vagator Beach is also here. The Orzan Vagator Beach further down south is somewhat isolated from the area. There are lots of secluded beaches, sandy coves and rocky cliffs to explore and enjoy.
Chapora & Vagator
Arambol - Located 32 km from Mapusa, the village of Arambol is a tranquil and friendly place with just a few hundred locals, mostly fishing folk. Only the very basic amenities are available here but the two beaches here offer a quiet and calm atmosphere — very different from most other Goan beaches.
Bondala Wildlife Sanctuary - This small wildlife sanctuary, located 50 km south-east of Panaji in the foothills of the Western Ghats, is a good place to escape to from the beaches of coastal Goa. A botanical garden, a fenced Deer Park and a zoo are things one can check out here. The sanctuary has accommodation in chalets and dorms.
Bondala Wildlife Sanctuary
Terekhol Fort - An interesting small fort on the banks of the river Terekhol built by the Portuguese. It has now been converted into a heritage hotel. The Querim beach is close to the fort.
Terekhol Fort
When in Goa, you must try its local cuisine that includes pork vindaloo, chicken xacuti, fish/prawn/chicken caldine, sorpotel, bebinca and balchao. The seafood is, of course, the freshest fare in the town. Megson's on June Road (alongside Moti Mahal) for some Goan food. Venite is a local favourite for its laid-back ambience, good music and superb seafood.The lobster and crab are recommended Nandan is for those who either are vegetarians or prefer something other than typical Goan cuisine. On the ground floor of the Rajdhani Hotel, it offers pure vegetarian food from all parts of India as well as some Chinese dishes. Miramar Restaurant at the Cidade de Goa Beach Resort is one of those posh, up-market restaurants where you get your food with a special helping of romance and entertainment. Dine on some delicious Indian, French or Portuguese cuisine in the candle light while listening to live Portuguese guitarists.
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