Top Best Tourist Destinations to Visit in Goa
GOA is a state of India located on the seashore. Eleventh Finance Commission and National Commission respectively ranked the state as the Best place in the field of infrastructure and for the superior quality of life. Goa is ex Portuguese territory. The ancient city of Margao even now manifests the cultural impact of the Portuguese.
Panaji is the capital city of Goa, and it is considered as the most significant city. Goa is one of the most visited states in India by National and International visitors for its famous beaches, religious spots, and world social architectonics.
- Top 5 Beaches to Visit in Goa
- The Best Forts to Visit in Goa
- Churches to Visit in Goa
- Temples to Visit in Goa
- River Cruise in Mandovi River
- Waterfalls of Dudhsagar
Top 5 Beaches to Visit in Goa
It is known as “Paradise Beach” and it is the most popular beach in Goa is located at a distance of 36 km from Railroad Depot of Margao, 65 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G and 70 km from the bus depot of Panjim Kadamba. The shape of the beach is half moon shaped. Both ends of the beach have magnificent promontory. One mile long beach offers an isolated and perfect vista. The beach is capped between two huge rocks, one on each side of the beach.
On the northern side of the beach, there is an undeveloped island which can be easily reached by swimming through the small waves. There is a famous story about the sculpture on the top of the island. The statue is well-known as “Money stone.” It was made by an American artist named as
Jacek Tylicki. The site is considered as a pilgrimage site now. Local slogs the site by calling it as “Give if you can – take if you have to.” The statue is another primary source of attraction at the beach.
The Palolem beach provides the various options for accommodations. Tourists can hire from a Luxurious Villa to a Single bed near the beach.
Some of the Watersports activities are very famous on the beach such as Canyoning, Scuba diving, Water trekking tours and Kayaking.
The largest and the oldest beach of Goa is located at a distance of 8 km from Margao, 25 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G and 33 km from Bus Stop of Panjim Kadamba in the South Goa. This is considered as the most spectacular sight, giving beach of Goa. The beach is 25 km long, filled with soft white sand along with the tall coconut trees, all through its coastline.
In the ancient time of British rule, this beach was used to organize all the rave parties and functions. It was the significant Place of British’s celebration. The area around the beach is highly posh and luxurious. Lane of Villas and Bungalows are of the aristocratic class. Colva beach is free of the hustle bustle of the crowd. You can find an especial group gathering on the main beach during the weekends only. The beach is precisely about the excellent quality of seafood and a perfect view of Sun dawn.
The nightlife of the Colva beach is something that one should never miss if anyone visits Goa as a tourist. Some of the Major water sports facilities are available here are Speedboat rides and Jet Skiing.
The 30 km long and wild beach is located at a distance of 13 km from Mapusa, 19 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus depot and 46 km from Railroad Depot of V.D.G in the North Goa. Nearby the Vagator beach, there is a famous tourist spot of Goa know as Chapora Fort.
The beach lies between two major spots of Goa which are the Chapora Fort and Aguada Fort of Goa. The beach is covered with smooth silk sand and by the high yielding palm trees.
Vagator beach is categorized into three sections as Big Vagator, Little Vagator, and Middle Vagator. The separation of the beach is done finely by placing a few rocks at the starting and the ending of each section. The Big Vagator is Claimed to be the safest among the three divisions of Vagator beach because Lifeguards are always posted everywhere on the Big Vagator. There are many water sports activities on the Big Vagator like Speed water boats, scuba diving, Skating, etc.
Along with the grabbing fun on the beach, tourists can even shop well around the Vagator beach.
The BAGA beach is most famous for the sightseeing and delicious seafood and shacks. It is situated at a distance of 15 km from the Bus Stop of Panjim Kadamba. Baga beach is fringed by two other famous beaches of Goa known to be Calangute and Anjuna beach. The nights are more enjoying in comparison to days on the Baga beach.
Baga beach is the land of sexy girls, and it is famous for its hottest pubs, clubs and Dance bars like Mambos and Tito’s. These clubs are always full of interesting crowd.
Besides the dance bar and pubs Baga beach offer a Saturday night market named as Mackie’s market, which provides tourist for shopping at a very negotiable price. The beach is always full of the hustle bustle and different crowd from sunrise to sunset. Baga is a whole year open beach and the tourists can visit during any season throughout the entire year. It is also famous for some unique water sports like water skiing, parasailing, kayaking, and windsurfing, etc.
It is known as the Queen of all beaches in Goa. It is located at a distance of 10 km from Mapusa, 14 km from the bus depot of Panjim Kadamba and 41 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G. This is one of the most famous places in Goa, where every tourist must visit once before leaving Goa. It is said that Calangute is renowned from the time of Hippie, who discovered it in 60’s. Calangute covers the area or 4 miles long which stretches between Candolim and Baga Beach. The sea is rough on the Calangute beach, but the sand is white and smooth like powder. The Calangute beach is not considered suitable for swimming purposes. There are numerous restaurants and stalls on the beach which provide sunbeds near the shoreline so that the tourists can enjoy the quality seafood. Some of the water sports activities that can be enjoyed on the beach are the banana ride, jet skiing, water surfing, and Parasailing, etc.The best time to visit the Calangute beach is from November to March.
The Best Forts to Visit in Goa
Mesmerizing and breathtaking REIS MOGUS fort is situated at a distance of 34 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G, 15 km from Mapusa and 7 km from Panjim Kadamba. Reis Mogos fort lies in the north Goa on the northern bank of Mandovi River. Reis fort is well known for its beauty and astounding and a significant site to visit in Goa as a Tourist.
Portuguese Governor Alfonso de Noronha established Reis Mogos Fort in 1551 and again it was reconstructed in the year 1707. Reis Mogos has also protected Goa as a defense station as it was an armory and outpost against the Marathas. During early period Governor, General and dignitaries of Lisbon used the Fort as an Asylum.
One of the prime and astounding places in Goa is located at a distance of 46 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G, 11 km from Mapusa and 19 Km from the Bus stop of Panjim Kadamba in the North Goa.
The beautiful sightseeing location is established near the seashore and purposely by King Adil Shah of Bijapur. The intention to build this massive fort was to keep an eye and avoid the entry of Hindu raiders who were trying to establish their habitat in Goa. The Chapora Fort is primarily made of red laterite stones, it has a gradual slope around all of its sides, which makes it more attractive for tourists. Anciently it was well known as Shahpura, which means “town of Shah.” The Chopra fort later after was smashed down by the Portuguese and built again in 1617.
Later in 1684 Portuguese relinquished in front of Marathas and handed over the command of the fort to Marathas, but this was unacceptable for the Local, so they pulled out the army of Marathas out of the Fort. The prehistorical factor is an additional point which attracts a lot of tourists towards it. Chapora is one of the prime places in Goa where tourists from all over the world spend a lot of time while watching scenic vistas around the fort.
The massive fort was built to stop the entry of ships into the Mandovi River. Aguada Fort is located at a distance of 49 km from Railway Station of Margao, 15 km from Bus Stop of Panjim Kadamba and 4 km from Candolim in Old Goa. The primary motive behind the construction of Aguada fort was to shield Old Goa from the war strike of Maratha’s and Dutch. It is an astounding prehistoric monument and famous place in Goa, where every tourist must visit.
In the year 1612, Portuguese colonial rulers established the Aguada Fort on the shore of the River Mandovi and in the south of the Candolim beach. The word Aguada is implemented on the fort due to the spring, available within the Fort. The fresh water of the spring was used for drinking purposes by the ship landers nearby. The word Aguada means Water. There are more than two hundreds of Cannons and even a dry moat (A deep, wide ditch surrounding the castle) to a high depth to protect the heart of the Aguada Fort. Tourists still have to cross the moat to have a look inside the Fort. During the 19th century Government of Goa has built a lighthouse and a Central Jail nearby the fort of Aguada.
Churches to Visit in Goa
St. Francis of Assisi
One of the significant places to visit in Goa is situated at a distance of 22 km from Mapusa, 27 km from Railroad Depot of V.D.G and 9 km from the Bus depot of Panjim Kadamba in Old Goa. SE Cathedral and St. Francis of Assisi is very close to each other, both of the monuments are the best places in Goa, to which every tourist must visit. As like many other it is also a part of UNESCO world culture site. It is a Roman Catholic Christians religious house.
In the year 1517, Eight Portuguese Franciscan cenobites entered in Goa and constructed the Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi. A small Worship house and a Chapel and an organized group of Singers were established by the eight Portuguese in the same year in 1517. Afterwards, in 1521 the choir was altered, and in the year 1602, it was devoted to the Holy Ghost. The present building is not the same as the Portuguese built, it was smashed down after a long decay and in 1616, and the present holy house was constructed again.
St. Augustine Tower
The Monastery and Church are situated at a distance of 27 km from Railroad Depot of V.D.G, 23 km from Mapusa and 8 km from Bus depot of Panjim Kadamba in Old Goa. St. Augustin Church is a division of UNESCO World Heritage site.
12 Augustine started the construction of the Church in 1572, the year when they came to Goa, and in 1602 the building was finished. A convent along with the St, Augustine Tower made by 12 Augustine. The site holds the remembrance of Portuguese, who foisted a prohibition on the site to counter the Augustines. The ruined bell tower is visible from a quite far distance, which attracts a lot of tourists towards it. The height of the four-storied is 46 m, the front of the church is made up of laterite. The church consists of four altars and eight fully decorated chapels. The church is also well known as the Nossa Senhora da Graca, which is a trendy and most prime spot in Goa.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
A world heritage site under the supervision of UNESCO is situated at a distance of 27 km from Railway station of Vasco Da Gama and 9 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stop. The basilica is a prime site to visit in Goa. There is another monument nearby or opposite to Basilica, named as SE Cathedral. The basilica is renunct for Unique architecture and old constructing format.
The building is devoted to St. Francis Xavier. The word Bom Jesus means” Baby Jesus,” or “Good Jesus.” Bom of Jesus was established during 1594 to 1605; it is the well known for its elaborate design and is it is the first Minor Royal Palace in India. Black Granite, one of the most expensive material, is used to build the impressive Front, which immensely reveals its beauty and simplicity.
One of the most Beautiful and Largest churches of Asia is located at distance of 27 km from Railroad Depot of V.D.G, 23 km from Mapusa and 9 km from the Bus depot of Panjim Kadamba in Old Goa. It is situated opposite to the one other prime site to visit in Goa named as Basilica of Bom Jesus. This is the best place that you must visit as a tourist in Goa, which is undertaken as the world heritage site by UNESCO.
SE Cathedral is a well-known church and one of the most prominent religious monuments in the State of the beaches. According to the history or mythology, it is stated that the possession of Goa was taken over by Alfonso Albuquerque in 1510 on the holy day of St. Catherine of Alexandria after defeating the Muslim army.
The SE Cathedral started to build during the existence of King Dom Sebastian in 1562 and in the year 1619 the construction got completed.
Temples to Visit in Goa
The most prime and biggest Temple in an area of Goa is located at a distance of 34 km from V.D.G Railroad Depot, 28 km from Bus Stop of Panjim Kadamba and 20 km from Railroad Depot of Margao in the North Goa. It is claimed to be the biggest temple of Goa.
The temple is devoted to Goddess of Peace, Shantadurga. The Locals call it as the temple of “Santeri.” It is believed that when Lord Shiva And Lord Vishnu had a battle with each other, then Lord Brahma pleaded Goddess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) to interfere in between to stop the fight. Parvati came down to the earth from heaven to the Land of Goa to prevail peace between the fighting Lords, and for doing so, she placed Vishnu and Shiva on the sides of her hands separately. The sculpture in the temple of Goddess shows her holding two serpents in her hands separately. The right serpent indicates the presence of Lord Vishnu and left reveals the presence of Lord Shiva.
A famous Hindu pilgrimage venue located at a distance of 37 km from the Railroad Depot of V.D.G, 27 km from Panjim Bus Stop and 22 km from Railroad Depot of Margo Railroad Depot and lies in North Goa. This is one of the most visited spots in Goa by tourists from all over the world. The Temple is devoted to Goddess Mahalaxmi.
She was said to be the Life Partner of Lord Vishnu and Goddess of wealth. Basically, according to the mythology, the Temple is pondered as the accommodation of persuasion of Devi Shakti. The icon of Goddess Mahalaxmi with four hands clutching a club, a dagger, a sickle and vessel full of flowers and sweets (Prashad) has a very parallel appearance to the iconic Mahalaxmi of Kolhapur.
Not just only the icon made of black granite is present up in the Temple, there is also another idol of a Goddess assembled by panchaloha. There are 24 images originated from theories of Bhagavata section out of which 18 are present in the Gallery of Sabhamandap, making it one of the most extensive galleries in India consisting wooden images of Lord Vishnu.
Shri Manugeshi / Mangeshi
A primary pilgrimage site of Goa is situated at a distance of 34 km from Mapusa, 37 km from Railroad Depot of V.D.G and 2 km from Bus top of Panjim Kadamba in North Goa. The site is highly visited every year by thousand and Lakhs of people. It is one the most visited pilgrimage sites in Goa. The Beautiful white and creamy gold colored temple is situated on a small hill in a village named Mangeshi in Ponda Taluka. Temple of Shri Mangeshi is famous Hindu house of God know for its most abundant and wealthiest component.
There is an engrossing holy epic behind the Name allocation of the place. According to the beliefs and myths, it is said that Lord Shiva came to the land of Goa after losing everything and getting defeated in the game of dice from his wife, Goddess Parvati. Afterward, in search of Lord Shiva, Parvati came to the Land of Goa, and Lord Shiva took the Avatar of a tiger and frightened Goddess Parvati.
Afraid Parvati shouted “TRAI MAM GRISHA,” which accurately means “Save me, O Lord Of Mountains.” Randomly Lord Shiva reverted to his real avatar and came back with Parvati. The above story is associated with the Temple of Shri Mangeshi, as “MAM GRISHA changed to MANGESHI.”
River Cruise in Mandovi River
A memorable and must experience a place is located at a distance of 1 km from Panaji Kadamba Bus Terminal. It is one of the prime locations to visit as a tourist in the Goa. River cruising is the most enjoyable activity performed by visitors in Goa.
The starting point and ending point for a river cruise in Mandovi River are from Panaji Jetty and Santa Monica Boat Jetty to Miramar beach. Evening river cruise attracts more tourists in comparison to a daytime river cruise. There are a bunch of activities such as rural dancing, singing, and music play performed by the cruise faculty, and most of the tourist’s love’s to join this event.
Waterfalls of Dudhsagar
One of the highest waterfalls in India is situated at a distance of 10km from Kulem, 50 km from Railroad Depot of Margao and 71 km from Bus stop of Panjim Kadamba. It is one of the most visited sites in Goa. Tourism Federation of Goa represents the fall as a promotion Goa Tourism. It is the tallest fall in Goa of 1017 feet in height and 100 feet wide. It is the jewel of Bhagwan Mahavir sanctuary which is the border place between Goa and Karnataka. Dudhsagar is locally well known by two more famous names which are Tambdi Surla and Vajra Sakala fall.
The word Dudhsagar exactly means the “Sea of Milk.” The fall holds a legendary tale behind its name allocation. According to the mythology, it is believed that fall was a house of a gorgeous princess in ancient time. Princess always uses to drink milk in a Jug of Gold after an everyday bath. Once, while she had a shower, she found a prince peeping at her while she was drinking the milk from a Golden Jug.
Frightened princes poured the milk towards the prince to form a sheet of milk to hide self-effacement. The waterfall is categorized in four section; different ways can reach each section. Each of the way to waterfall offers an astounding trek through the immense and thick Jungle. The best way of trekking to reach Dhudhsagar Fall starts from the village Kuveshi, which takes about 10 km to reach the fall.