Goa

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Introduction

Goa is a charming paradise that abounds in scenic beauty. It is located amongst lush greenery with the waters of the Arabian Sea lapping at its edges. For travelers across the globe, this is a dream destination. The sumptuous sea food, the exotic beaches and glistening sand can tempt anyone. It is located on India’s western coast along the Konkan coastal belt. It is bordered on the east and south by Karnataka, on the north by Maharashtra and Arabian Sea on the west. On one side it is bounded by the Arabian Sea and on the other side by the Sahyadri Range foothills.

Rivers like the Sal, Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora and Talpona weave their ways all through this beautiful destination and play a major role in trade and commerce. Goa has a fascinating and rich history. Charming and interesting aspects about the life and culture of the Goan people is often revealed in its history. Historical events of Goa can be traced once you set your foot here. The local people are warm and friendly and English, Konkani, Portuguese, Marathi and Hindi are the languages spoken commonly in Goa.

 

Best Time To Visit

Tourists can access Goa almost anytime during the year. However, winter time that is October to January, is the best time to enjoy a fulfilling holiday. During winter the weather is ideal and most ideal for enjoying different activities and sightseeing. The famous Goa Carnival hosted in February is worth seeing. Without feeling the heat and getting dehydrated, tourists can enjoy activities outdoors.

 

How to reach

By Road

Long distance buses are offered regularly by the Kadamba Transport Corporation all through Goa from main stands located at Mapusa, Margo, Panjim and neighboring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Another comfortable mode to commute is the regular and affordable private bus services.

By Rail

Cities like Ernakulam, Delhi, Thiruvanthapuram, Rajkot, Mangalore, Ahmedabad and Mumbai are connected to Goa by the Konkan Railways. It is also linked to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune via Londa.

By Air

From Panaji the capital city of Goa, the Dabolim Airport is located at a 30 kms distance. Coach services are offered by many of the major Goa hotels to the airport and back. Daily flights are offered by major airlines to Pune, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore besides international flights to Kuwait, Sharjah and other destinations.

 

Availability Of Hotels And Restaurants

Many of the restaurants serve delicious Goan cuisine which includes oysters, prawns, ladyfish, pomfrets, mussels, lobsters, clams and crabs. Goa’s popular drink Feni, available in two types out of which one is obtained from cashew nuts and the other from coconuts, is served at most bars and restaurants. Also very popular is delicacies made from dried fish.

Cheap and the best of hotels are easily available at many places in Goa. Accommodation of various types including bed and breakfast hotels, cottages, boutiques, house boat hotels, service apartments, villas, spa hotels, shack hotels, one star, two star, three star, four star, five star, seven star, luxury and classic hotels are available in Goa. Bookings can also be made at theme hotels, like romantic hotels, beach hotels, luxury hotels, business hotels and best value hotels.

Rooms are comfortable, spacious and clean and divided into two categories – Non AC rooms and AC rooms. Many of the rooms have balcony area with place to sit out. Rooms are equipped with minibar, TV, refrigerator, solar water heater.

Other amenities to enjoy are parking, laundry services, car hire, doctor on call, rented scooter, travel desk, etc. Boat cruises, water sports and sightseeing tours are also organized. Simple and safe bookings and reservations for hotel accommodation can be made online.

 

Best Places, Locations, Monuments Etc

Main places for sightseeing are located in Panaji, South Goa and North Goa. Old Goa has attained World Heritage status especially for the old churches. Party goers and the younger generation love visiting North Goa. Tourists love visiting the untouched pristine beaches in South Goa. The hottest tourist spots are the lovely beaches like the Majorda, Betul, Arambol, Mobor, Sinqeurim, Betalbatim, Candolim, Morji, Velsao, Varca, Cavelossim, Calangute, Colva, Anjuna, Miramar, Baga, Palolem, Vagator, and many more. The beaches have been witness to modern day tourists who look for adventure, Portuguese cuisine and affordable water sports.

One big attraction in Old Goa is the 5000 year old church – Basilica of Bom Jesus. Another attraction that is truly unique is The Church of St. Francis of Assisi. Dilapidated structures, cemeteries and forts can also be visited. The Se Cathedral is an elegant church with semi gothic architecture. Most of the churches were built during the period 1510 to 1760 AD. Amongst all the churches, the Lady of Rosary, located in Old Goa, is the oldest one. The other churches worth visiting are the Church of St. Cajetan, Church of Our Lady of Grace and Rachol Seminary and Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.

Each Wednesday, the flea market is organized at Anjuna beach to give a thrilling time to shopaholics. The social and historical past is beautifully mirrored at the Goa State Museum – Panaji’s true gem. Not to miss out are the Salim Ali Bird Park, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and the Madei Wildlife Sanctuary. For tourists and bird watchers a favorite destination to head for is the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary situated in Charao Island. Other two wildlife sanctuaries that can grab the interest of tourists are the Bhagvan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary.

The ageing and old Aguada Fort which stands at Sinquerim beach near the Arabian Sea, is truly awe-inspiring. The Cabo da Rama Fort, Chapora Fort and the Terkhol Fort are the other famous forts for tourists to visit. An ideal zone for tourists and couples to party is the Mayem Lake. Another tourist attraction is the Goa’s Spice Plantation which offers traditional, industrial and cultural flavors of the local life. For those who have wild tastes and love trekking, the Lamgau Caves with beautiful carvings are worth the choice. The Panjim Bridge offers panoramic views of the river that flows beneath it. Ferry services are also available at Panjim Bridge. Nightlife is vibrant and extremely energetic rave parties and luxury cruises are also organized in Goa.