Even a slight mention of Goa brings gleam in the eyes of the people with wanderlust. Goa is not just another tourist destination; rather it is a passion for those who want to explore something unique. In fact, you will find the new essence of Goa every time you visit there.
There is an irresistible temptation to experience glistening beaches, azure waters, swaying palms, heritage monuments and fun-filled melody of the atmosphere in Goa. People love Goa so much that they fondly call it “Pearl of Orient”. Vast expanses of the Arabian Sea on one side and the Sahyadri Mountain range in Backdrop offer a perfect picturesque setting for this small Indian state on the Western coastline.
Goa truly throws surprises and contradictions; all at once. A heritage to be proud of and a modern lifestyle to yearn for, Goa presents a sweet mélange of cultures. Party loving attitude and religious ethos, both move hand in hand. History buffs can find solace in ancient cathedrals, monuments and temples. And for foodies, Goan cuisine is just tempting!
HOW RO REACH
Home to the best beaches in India, Goa enjoys awesome connectivity with the rest of the country by road, railways and air. So, you need not worry about how to reach Goa.
If you are planning to explore the road route to Goa, board on any private or public bus services available for tourists from Pune and Mumbai.
For within the city transportation, public buses are run by KTC, MSRTC and KSRTC from famous points Vasco Da Gama, Madgaon and Panaji.
Fort Aguada: A must visit attraction; it is a massive structure, located just 18 km from Panjim, on the tip of the peninsula. In Portuguese, “Agua” means water and “da” means a place to collect water. Built in 1612 on Sinquerim Beach, hugging the Mandovi River, the fort and its lighthouse served to guard Old Goa from the Marathas and the Dutch. Also, ships used to refill their supply of drinking water from the fresh water spring in the fort. There is new lighthouse, adjacent to the fort offering an excellent vantage viewpoint to see the beauty of the Arabian Sea.
Apart from its natural charm and other attractions, Goa is a great fun destination for kids as well. A few kids friendly activities to name include Dolphin viewing at beaches, Elephant ride and splash, banana Ride , Turtle spotting at Agoda Beach, Castle making and water parks.
Dolphin viewing: Dolphin viewing at Palolem beach is just a fun for kids and adults alike. If dolphins are in the mood to play, they will make their appearance and spring up to entertain you.
Goa has its own collection of religious sites that belong to different periods. The religious souls can seek blessings by visiting ancient cathedrals and temples which reflect an aura that is a blend of the majesty and sanctity. A few of the prominent cathedrals include Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO world heritage site, Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, and Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.
-Basilica of Bom Jesus, a UNESCO world heritage site is a must visit. It houses the body of St. Francis Xavier in a silver casket.
-Church of Our Lady of the Rosary: Dating back to 1950, this beautiful structure is a unique example of ‘Manueline architecture’ and reminder of the colonial era. The church looks sparkling during the day and awesome in the night!
If you love to explore old historic stuff or wish to peek deep into the culture of a place, you will like the idea to visit rich museums in the state.
Ancestral Goa Museum/Big Foot, Goa: Located at a distance of 10 km from Margao, this is a famous open air museum cum parkland. Meet life size statues in this museum and explore the rich culture and traditions of rural Goa.
Goa is the home to a huge variety of flora and fauna. Various parks and sanctuaries in the state are worth visiting if you are a nature enthusiast.
-Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is filled with both melody and cacophony of chirping of birds. The sanctuary is habitat to a wide variety of birds including egrets, kites, parrots, eagles, cormorants, herons to name a few. The sanctuary is a perfect place to find solace in nature’s lap.
-Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa: If you dare to spot wild beast at a small distance, a visit to this wildlife sanctuary is not to be missed! Get an opportunity to spot Indian bison, leopards, spotted deer, jungle cats, cobras, pythons and monkeys. Phew!
Shopping in Goa is a unique experience in itself. The most popular shopping areas where travelers flock are flea markets and street markets. You can see such markets on every beach in the state. In fact, these are the best place to buy your vacation souvenirs, gifts, junk jewelry, handicrafts, beach-clothes and more. The best part is you can bargain like crazy here! Great place for hardcore shopper and bargain lovers. Some popular flea markets are Anjuna on Wednesday, Friday Bazaar at Mapusa, Ingo’s Saturday Night Market, and Arpora Saturday Night market.
In Goa, you can find a myriad of fun activities and will find something to suit every age and every taste!
Water sports are a big hit among the youngsters and adventure lovers. Beaches like Mobor, Calangute, Candolim offer excellent and well organized water sports activities like water skiing and jet skiing.
Mandovi river cruise offers a beautiful experience of the pristine river among the Gaon folks and songs.
Known as the party capital of India, Goa has to offer a throbbing nightlife and entertainment scene.
-Calangute Road: Flanking Calangute beach, this road is a popular and a busy shopping area, having lots of showrooms, pubs, food joints, eateries, entertainment spots and resorts.
-Nine Bar: If you ask about the best place for most happening nightlife, it’s undoubtedly Nine Bar. For an unlimited dose of fun and entertainment, head towards this joint.
Goa is one such place that is alluring all throughout the year. For fun-lovers, sea-lovers and nature-lovers, Goa offers plenty of options to enjoy in every season.
From November to February, Goa is pleasantly cool and best time to laze on its beaches and bask in the sunshine. However, December and January are most enjoying a period in Goa because of the New Year and Christmas celebrations and hotel bookings in advance are a must.
Although the weather is not that happening from March to May due to hot and humid conditions, it is a good time for backpackers and those who are travelling on shoestring budget as you need not put a hole in your pocket to get an accommodation during this time.
Aha! It’s Monsoon in Goa. Yes, Mid June to October is just the best season to enjoy the natural beauty of Goa at its fullest. Drench yourself in the mystically beautiful rains of Goa!