Tourism in Goa
The 131 km long coastline of Goa, is set on the golden Konkan coast,
on the Western Ghats, along the Arabian Sea. This small former Portuguese
enclave is one of India's most dazzling tourist mosaics. Goa deserves
every bit of the sobriquet 'The Pearl of the East'. The name Goa
is derived from the Konkani word 'Goyan', which means a patch of
Once a great Hindu stronghold, Goa was a part of the grand Mauryan
empire, around 3rd century B.C. The Satvahanas of Kolhapur and later
the Chalukyas of Badami, took over the goverance. Other dynasties
followed, including a short-lived Muslim invasion, until the Vijayanagar
Empire established itself for almost a century. This era, too, ended
with the arrival of the Sultans of Gulbarga, around 1469 AD, from
whom the rule passed on to the Adil Shah of Bijapur. Goa soon became
the bone of contention between the Dutch, English, French and Portugeuse,
all vying for its possession. Ultimately, in 1510, the Portugeuse
conquered Goa, with Alfonso de Albuquerque leading the invasion.
After ruling for around four centuries, in 1961, fourteen years
after the country's independence, the Portugeuse had to turn their
backs on this fascinating 'Pearl'.
Goa combines old Portuguese architecture, and a distinct Portuguese
flavour to the lifestyle, with a history that abounds with Indian
mythology. Its unending beaches, the pristine beauty of the seascape,
its mystical hills and groves, the rhythmic pounding of the sea,
its swaying palms - all make it a fairytale land for the traveller.
Places to see in Goa
Not for nothing is Goa known as 'Goa Dourada', Golden Goa. With
a coastline studded with some of the world's most beautiful beaches,
Goa is India's answer to the Mediterranean.
Goa's capital Panaji has some fine beaches. To the north of Panaji,
lie two of Goa's most popular beaches - Calangute and Baga. These
two beaches together stretch for more than 7 km. Stroll along in
the morning, as the brilliant rays of the rising sun fall upon the
sea, and you wouldn't know the difference between the sea and the
sands. Watch fishermen taking in the morning's catch. Visit any
of the quaint eating places sprinkled along the stretch from Calangute
to Baga, and discover the delightful ambience of old world Portuguese
culture merging with modern Goa. You can also go to Candolim, one
of the lesser known beaches of Goa. Or you can explore and discover
your own beach, north of Baga, with secluded coves, swaying palms
and the azure skies.
It is one of the best beaches in Goa with international class facilities
for water-skiing, para-sailing, fishing, scuba-diving and wind-surfing.
You can stay either at the Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Taj Holiday
Village or at the Aguada Hermitage which is situated on the hillside,
overlooking the sea. Sinquerim also has a magnificent 17th century
fort, which has now been converted into a prison.
It is, undoubtedly, the most popular beach in Goa. You can stay
here in any one of the many resorts and hotels that dot the beach,
or you can spend your vacation with one of the families, which own
houses near the beach.
It is a secluded and pleasant beach, with good recreational facilities
like river cruises, water-skiing, yachting and fishing. Staying
here is no problem, as there are many small and lovely cottages
This beach is known mainly for its free culture.
Chapora / Vagator
Just a 3 km stroll from Anjuna are these beautiful stretches of
land, that are mesmerising, to say the least.
Arambol / Terekol
These are the northern - most beaches of Goa. Terekol has a wonderful
fort, which has now been converted into a resthouse.
Another of Goa's irresistible beaches, Bogmalo is a secluded, crescent
- shaped cove. An exclusive beach, it has a single luxury hotel,
the Sarovar Park Plaza Resort. South of this beach are the Velsao
and Majorda beaches. The latter boasts of another fine resort -
the Majorda beach resort.
Virgin white sands form Colva, the longest beach (20 km) in Goa.
There are small hotels as well as five star ones, like the Goa Renaissance
Resort and the Leela Beach Resort.
A pretty fishing village, with quaint old Portuguese houses and
a secluded beach. Perfect for a quiet little break. You can get
the 'family house' accomodation here, which besides being easy on
your budget, can give you terrific insight into the local tradition.
Completely untouched by tourism, Betul offers total seclusion and
Time seems to stand still as you enter the SeCathedral, the largest
church in Asia. Dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, this church
has 15 altars.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Here you can view the embalmed body of Goa's patron saint, St.
Francis, perfectly preserved, since his death almost 450 years ago.
The Ponda district has a 15th century Shri Mangesh temple, dedicated
to Lord Shiva. Mardol has the Shri Mahalsa temple, dedicated to
How To Get There
By Air: You can fly to Goa from Mumbai, Delhi,
Bangalore, Cochin and Thiruvananthapuram. For overseas travellers,
Mumbai has the most well - connected airport.
By Rail: Getting to Goa, by train is fairly convenient
from Mumbai (490 km), Bangalore (430 km) and Delhi (1874 km).
By Road: Driving down by road from Mumbai (582
km) is smooth as well as picturesque, as Goa is situated right on
By Ship: Damania Shipping Corporation operates
nonstop catamaran service between Mumbai and Goa, from October to