Goa

Places of Interest

Goa Calangute beach is a haven for the hippies. It was the hippies who discovered this beach in the late 60s. The exquisite beauty of the Calangute beach in India's Goa soon spread around, bringing hordes of European tourists. And this trend has still been continuing.tourists come down to this small Indian state of Goa searching for this lovely beach. Once you reach Calangute beach in Goa, then you can spend your vacation soaked in the serenity of the sea, sun and sand. Goa Calangute beach is often crowded with people, children making sand castles, colorful crowds surging towards the sea, hippies busy remembering the good old times and the young and old alike lazing on the golden sands. This picture of a perfect tourist haven is completed with shacks and stalls under the shade of palm trees selling everything from fried prawns and beer to trinkets made of seashells.

Baga Beach is part of a 30-km stretch of beach coastline along the west coast of Goa by the Arabian Sea, 10-km west of Mapusa, is basically an extension of Calangute beach. The beach begins at Fort Aguada continues as Sinquerim beach, then as Candolim Beach and merges into Calangute beach and then to Baga beach and then Anjuna Beach and then to Vagator Beach finally ending at Chapora Beach and Fort.

At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagoa Harbour. This beach of Goa carries with it an aura of both romance and myth - haunted by Dona Paula de Menezes; tourists throng the Dona Paula beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters. The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and enjoy water scooter and motor boat rides.

Panaji or Panjim perhaps does not have great buildings or well-known attractions but what it has is its character and that is more than enough for a willing visitor to have a look around. Panaji is also the travel hub of Goa and this is the first place to be touched up while you are landing in Goa. Dabolim Airport located on the outskirts of Panaji connect Goa with other places in India and also welcomes good number of charter flights directly flying from Europe. The town of Panaji is laid out in typical grid pattern, centered on a church square. It is a charming city on the left bank of the silvery Mandovi River. It has beautiful, red roofed houses with stucco walls built in Latin style, well laid gardens, statues and avenues lined with trees.Largo da Igreja

Anjuna Beach is popularly known as the freak capital of the world and not without reasons. It claimed popularity for its Trance Parties and the Hippies who tried to synthesize the spiritual traditions of the East and the art, ideas and the music of the West. Sometime in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, the area was "discovered" by a group of travelers, including "Eight Finger Eddie," and a small international psychedelic scene began to meet there to party during the dry season. Anjuna is just the right place for lazing holidaymakers. Besides the calm waters of the Arabian Sea lapping softly on the Indian shore, Anjuna comes live with its ever-famous full-moon parties and the Wednesday flea market to take one on to a trance trip.

Miramar Beach also known as Gaspar Dias is a lovely golden beach of soft sand griddled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, where River Mandovi meets the Arabian Sea and a thick grove of shady palms form a dense canopy over the area. The word 'Miramar' in Portuguese stands for viewing the sea. On account of its good location, the Miramar Beach of Goa is ideal for evening walks. The tourists can spend a nice time in the Palm shaded area that is quite captivating for the tourists visiting the beach.

The 2 km long coast boasts of fine, soft silvery sand bed that sparkle in the moonlight. From here one can have a panoramic view of the Aguada fort just across the Mandovi River. It also offers a captivating view of the well-preserved Portuguese fort across the river, known as Aguada Fort. Not much crowded, it offers peaceful surroundings and the much-desired solitude for those who want few moments of life away from the crazy crowd of the city.

Located 9 km to east of Panaji, Old Goa was the erstwhile capital of the Portuguese dominions in Goa. Before the arrival of the Portuguese on the Goan shores, Old Goa was the regal capital of Sultan Adil Shah of Bijapur. After defeating the armies of the Sultan, the Portuguese led by Alfonso de Albuquerque started building their empire around Old Goa.

As the epicenter of Portuguese territory, Old Goa witnessed the profusion of magnificent churches and majestic buildings befitting the stature of the city. During its halcyon days, Old Goa became famous as the "Lisbon of the East." But soon recurring outbreaks of epidemics like cholera and malaria made the city highly inhospitable and the Portuguese moved their capital to Panaji in 1843.

With the patrons taking shelter elsewhere, Old Goa lost its pre-eminence and the awe-inspiring structures of the city were gradually reduced to ruins. Accorded the World heritage Site status by UNESCO, the opulent buildings and churches of Old Goa today reminds one of the grandeur of a bygone era.

There is the famous temple of Sri Shantadurga the goddess of peace who is said to have settled a quarrel between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu amicably. Sri Shantadurga is worshipped all over Goa and scores of temples have been devoted to this deity. At several places it is known by several names, "Thamai", "Sateri", "Bhumka", "Adimaya" and others. Situated at the foothill of Kavalem, the Shantadurga temple boasts of a huge tank, a Dipa Stambha and Agrashalas. The temple was built in 1728 AD during the reign of Shahu Maharaj of Satara at the request of one of his ministers, Naro Ram Mantri. The original site of Sri Shantadurga temple is Kardelivana of Quelossim in Mormugao Taluka, where the great bard Krishnadas Shama penned the epic "Sri Krishna Charita" probably in the 14th century on the lines of Dnyaneshwari.

A walk through the lively market, gives the visitor a taste of the 'spirit' of the land of Goa. Goanese women from the nearby villages gather to sell their wares. They brawl for a space in the shade of a building and finally settle underneath the shade of a hand-held umbrella if they fail to find any space. Goan customers prefer to buy fresh foodstuffs every few days, thus the Mapusa Market has plenty of fresh fish, a variety of locally produced vegetables, and exotic fruits from jackfruit and mangoes to plantain bananas. Pickles and preserves, spices, earthen pots, glass bangles, channa baskets coir mats, and the famous Goan 'chouricos' (ready spiced Goan pork sausages), dried fish and prawns, clothing, junk jewelry, and the famous Country liquor is all sold at the most reasonable prices one could possibly find