Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goa - the land of Sun, Sea, Sand & S....?

Goa – the land of Sun, Sea, Sand & S….?

Goa is the smallest state in India, area wise and has Panjim or Panaji as its capital. However, the biggest township in Goa is Vasco da Gama, which is also a port city. Geographically, Goa is bounded by Maharashtra on its North and by Karnataka on its East & South and parts of the Western Ghats also separates these two States, whereas the Arabian Sea touches the States’ Western frontiers and is also termed as the ‘Konkan’ region. The place finds mention even in the Puranas and name suggests that it was a region of Cows and referred to as ‘Govapuri’. After having been ruled by several rulers, it finally came under Portuguese rule in 1510 and remained under its rule till liberated in 1961 by India. Goa can be segregated into a few categories as per their geographical locations, as follows -

Old Goa

Was in the past acted as administrative capital of the Portuguese empire, Old Goa is blessed with old churches, chapels and convents. The conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 led to the advent of several religious orders like the Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans and Carmelites, who left their legacy in form of many monuments that they had built in Old Goa. The most well known amongst them are -

Basilica of Bom Jesus - Built in the 16th century, it is the most popular and famous of all the churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. Dedicated to Infant Jesus, this church is now a World Heritage Monument.

Se Cathedral - It is housed in a huge complex and is the biggest of all the churches at Old Goa, its mesmerizes visitors with its sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells, among them the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria.

Apart from the Churches in Goa, there are quite a few well known temples in the State and one of the most visited ones’ is the Shree Manguesh temple situated about 22 kms from Panaji, at Priol Ponda Taluka. This famous temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located on a hillock surrounded by lush green hills. The temple is built in a typical architectural style that is prevalent in this region.

However, Goa is most popular state for the various beaches that are strewn around in this region. The beaches can be segregated as per their geographical locations as follows -


Calangute - is one of the most popular beaches in Goa. The beach is fringed with popular restaurants and hotels. This long, seven-km sweep of sand located 15 kms from Panaji, is called the 'Queen of Beaches'. The village of Calangute has all basic facilities like post office, banks, foreign exchange offices, resort companies, all kind of bars and restaurants, besides medical facilities. A large number of small & big showrooms, filled with exquisite handicrafts from Kashmir, Tibet, Indonesia, Rajasthan and other exotic places, line up the main road running towards the beach.

Baga - A few kms down the Calangute beach is another beach known as the Baga beach. It is a part of the 30 km long stretch of beaches along the coastline along the west coast of Goa, which begins at Fort Aguada, continues as Sinquerim Beach, moves on to Candolim which merges into Calangute Beach and then stretches on to Baga, Anjuna and on to Vagator, finally ending at Chapora beach. However, as compared to Calangute, Baga is quieter and also more isolated. Its scenic beauty, with the creek, the Retreat House perched on the hill.

Anjuna - Anjuna beach was made famous by the ‘flower power and peace’ generation of the sixties and early seventies and later by the ‘trance’ parties. Located about 18 kms from Panaji, the beach is known for its breeze-catching palms, soft sand, and the unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of whitish sand juxtaposed with black rocks that jut into the sea. It is now famous for its weekly Flea Market, which draws legions of visitors every Wednesday and bargains can be had on apparel, footwear, jewelery, footwear, chess sets etc.

Aguada - Aguada beach is almost synonymous with the Fort Aguada that is built on the cliff and now only the remnants of the early 17th century Portuguese fort remains.

Miramar - This beachis located only 3 kms from Panaji and just across the Government Office complex. It lies adjoining the estuary of the river Mandovi as it opens into the Arabian Sea. It was originally known as ‘Gasper Dias Beach’, named after Gaspar Dias, a prosperous landlord and where a Portuguese fort once stood at the fag end of the 16th century. Miramar beach is one of the family beaches with lot of eateries and the local ‘Cruises’ nearby. The beach is crowded with locals and tourists alike on most days.

Dona Paula - is the place where two famous rivers of Goa, Zuari & Mondovi, meet the Arabian Sea. In this spectacular place lies the once secluded bay of Dona Paula, with the fine view of Marmugao Harbour. This place carries with it an aura both romantic and mythical. Here's a peek into this enigmatic scene, where Dona Paula is nestled on a rocky, hammer shaped headland. This former fishing village has now become a commercialized location for beach resorts and restaurants. With the romance and myth attached to it, tourists throng the Dona Paula beach and Jetty in search of the mystery, besides indulging in water sports. There are a number of legends behind the alleged Dona Paula Sculpture. The tourists coming here are often told fascinating stories and misguided by tourist guides. The Dona Paula Sports Club offers water-scooter, cycle, and motorboat rides. Other water sports include windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting.
For watching a video please click on the link below -


  1. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of the popular beaches, churches and rivers in Goa.
    Stay at Luxury hotels Goa and explore the Goa with great leisure and comfort.

  2. very nice piece of information you have provided in this blog. one thing want to tell you i was there in goa just few months back i spent most of the time at calungute. Calungute beach is one of the best beach in north planning to visit again..Read More

    anyways thanks a lot for sharing wonderful blog
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