Goa often called as the pearl of the east, is known for its gothic churches, age old ruins, palm fringed beaches, coconut groves, ferry rides, and bubbly folk music. Goa's 80 mile long coastline is adorned by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. In fact many people think of Goa as synonymous with beaches and sun and golden sand. Goa is an important destination in every tourist's itinerary. Sun, sand, food, wine, old churches and sea being the major attractions.
Activities & Attractions : Places to Visit in Goa, India
Swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters: the three essential elements that attract 2 million visitors annually to Goa's balmy shores are plentiful in this tiny, glorious slice of India hugging the country's western coastline and bounded by the Arabian Sea. The beaches aren't as gorgeous as Thailand perhaps, but they’re still beautiful and have largely avoided the ravages of development.
Goan Beach Party
Nowhere else in India will you find the laid-back languidness of a Goan lunchtime, the easy charms of its people or the soothing serenity of a day on its beaches and various fairs and festivals.. For all the fuss made about Goa most of the action comes down to a stretch of 3 or 4 beaches that are only reached by roads that wind their way between hills and paddy fields.
FOR many, Goa is synonymous with hippies, hedonism and all-night dance parties held under a full moon. But India's popular seaside destination offers more than deadheads and clichés. For one thing, Goa offers 63 miles of coastline along the Arabian Sea. Beyond the beaches lies a lush landscape that conceals ancient temples, rich ecosystems and the hilly farmlands that proved irresistible to European spice traders.
Goa is a state on the West coast of India and used to be a Portuguese colony and the Catholic heritage lives on. All is not perfect in paradise, however, and Goa has problems aplenty – the state's environment, in particular, is sorely taxed. Nevertheless, with a slowly growing group of environmentalists and ecofriendly individuals on the scene, the picture remains relatively rosy for this most magical of miniature states. So, come, minimise your impact as much as possible, and unwind to the swaying palms and Portuguese rhythms of Goa's still-irresistible charms.
A diverse tourist locale, Gorgeous Goa is celebrated the world over for its laidback culture, sun kissed beaches, gothic churches and rocking nightlife. What's more, Gorgeous Goa's exotic seafood will have you licking your fingers and asking for more. So come and sip a beer, enjoy bird watching, relax with a massage or indulge in water sports.
Activities & Attractions : Places to Visit in Goa, India
- Old Goa
Shiver in the shadows of grand cathedrals, once the ecclesiastical wonder of the Eastern world
Anjuna is a small village in north Goa, It lies 18 km away from Panaji, the capital of Goa. Observe the hip and the hippies at Anjuna's lively Wednesday market on the beach, where one can find anything from Indian souvenirs to Trance music.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus
Located in Old Goa. Famous throughout the Roman Catholic world, the imposing Basilica of Bom Jesus contains the tomb of St Francis Xavier, the Apostle of the Indies.
- Anjuna Flea Market
You can find just about anything here, ranging from clothes and silks to bags, shoes or other trinkets.
- Mapusa Market
Get right to the heart of a local market, with all its rush and bustle
- Goan Carnival
February heralds the carnival at Goa. For three days and nights, the legendary king Momo takes over the state and the streets come alive with colour. The Carnival is a truly Goan celebration. That means it has a Portuguese flavour with continuous singing, dancing, loud music, lots to eat, floats and processions. The week long festivity marks the period February March before the beginning of the austerities of Lent.
- Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Hole up in a forest watchtower and wait it out for the indigenous beasties
Take a tour of a colonial mansion masterpiece, a relic of Goa's grandiose yesteryear
- Mandrem Beach
Salute the sun at this laid-back yoga-friendly beach bolthole
- Dudhsagar Falls
Trundle out to India's second-highest falls, spectacular after the monsoon
Splash about at this traveller-friendly, picture-perfect white-sand beach
- Usgalimal Rock Carvings
Marvel at ancient rock carvings in their barely visited countryside setting
Explore picturesque laneways lined with crumbling Portuguese buildings and age-old charm
- Velsao to Betul
Explore pristine coastline on a pot-holed, palm-treed coastal drive
Treat yourself to dinner at one of the state's chicest eating spots
- Anjuna Beach
Anjuna Beach remains an enclave for expat hippies and relatively well-behaved societal dropouts. Along the laidback beach road (a sandy path, really), several open-air restaurants advertise pizzas and other Western fare. Seek out the paneer tikka cooked in Moon Star Restaurant’s brick oven (north of Andy’s Tattoos, North Anjuna Beach). The grilled cubes of curd cheese are served kebab-style with onions and green peppers, firm but not overcooked, and liberally spiced. Maybe the hippies have had the right idea all along — what’s better than a delicious cheap meal, cooked to order and served overlooking the tranquil Arabian Sea?
Colva is on the northern end of this long, continuous strip of coastline. It's broad and beautiful, has a stream coursing through it and is backed by palms. Sadly, its beauty has made it popular and its popularity has cheapened it its off-beach shops and restaurants, brightly lit and crowded, give it the feel of a funfair rather than a serene, unwinding beach.
- Dona Paula
On the other side of this headland is the little bay and tiny beach of Dona Paula. Water scooters and speedboats buzz across the bay and, at the drop of a hat, guides will embroider on the woeful tale of a star crossed maiden who fell in love with a handsome man below her status. Conventions could not be breached in those distant days and so she leapt into the sea and to her death.
- Watersports and Adventure Sport in Goa
With such a beautiful coast, it's easy to see why water sports are the most popular adventure pursuit in Goa. Since the early 1990s, they have spread from an exclusive feature of star hotels to a wide range of offers from private operators. The coast is dotted with beautiful locations for water sport. The most popular is the stretch from Calangute to Sinquerim. The big hotels on South Goa's serene Arossim and Mobor beaches offer many choices in quieter locales. Beaches in the north are more crowded, where you can club the partying with sporting - not highly recommended since most extreme sports require that you don't have a hangover. You'll also find plenty to do off Dona Paula, near Panjim.
Parasailing, Jet-Skiing, Water-Skiing, Knee and Wake-Boarding, Windsurfing, Speedboat Rides, Banana, Bump and Ringo Rides and Catamaran Sailing
Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km² (1,430 sq mile). It lies between the latitudes 14°53 54 N and 15°40 00 N and longitudes 73°40?33 E and 74°20 13 E. Most of Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 meters (3,827 feet). Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 miles).
Goa's main rivers are the Mandovi, the Zuari, the Terekhol, Chapora River and the Sal. The Mormugao harbor on the mouth of the river Zuari is one of the best natural harbors in South Asia. The Zuari and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa, with their tributaries draining 69% of its geographic area. Goa has more than forty estuarine, eight marine and about ninety riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa's rivers is 253 km (157 miles). Goa has more than three hundred ancient tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty and over a hundred medicinal springs.
Facts about Goa
- Main languages Konkani, Marathi, English and Hindi
- Staple lunch dish fish-curry-rice
- Strangest historical relic St Francis Xavier's fingernail, Chandor
- Goa State Capital Panaji (Panjim)