Updated: Jun 7, 2021
Goa is a state located on the western coast of india. The coastline of goa is far stretched beside the Arabian sea. The state has been a very important historical and cultural centre since ancient times. In a Hindu scripture Mahabharata it is referred as Gopakpattan or Gomant and in Sutra- Samhita it was mentioned as Govapuri. Located on India’s West coast, Goa is a former Portuguese colony with prolific history.
One of the most visited tourist destinations in India is Goa, which has plenty to offer to all travelers visiting from across the world. Goa Tourism is proud to promote its beaches, national parks and hills, churches, forts, markets, backwaters, and much more. The state is not very diverse and the majority numbers of people are Christians so there are hundreds of churches present in Goa. The well-known destination is also famous for water sports like Jet skiing, kite surfing, parasailing, water boating, and more.
Perfect vocation trip for all
It is honeymoon vocation for newly wed couples, a relaxing family vacation, a vacation with friends, chilling out on the beautiful sandy beaches under the pleasant sun, visiting the old and heritage sites, go for an evening cruise — glittery, crowded and noisy.
Guidelines for Tourists for visiting Goa
All tourists visiting the state, irrespective of their vaccination status, will need to produce mandatory RT-PCR negative report within 72 hours of testing.
Pre – booking of accommodation has been made mandatory to vacate in goa.
COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.
HOW TO REACH
Dabolim Airport, approximately 26 km away from Panaji (capital city of Goa), is the main domestic as well as international aerodrome. This airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 is the domestic terminal and Terminal 2 is the international terminal. All major domestic carriers including AirAsia India, Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet have regular flights from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, Indore, Chennai and Pune, among others. Serving international destinations such as Muscat, Doha and Copenhagen are the airlines such as Novair, Qatar Airways and Oman Air, to name a few. Travellers can hire taxis from outside the airport to reach anywhere in Goa.
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and KTC are some of the prime operators providing bus services from nearby cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Besides, those driving to Goa from Bangalore and Mumbai can take NH 4 route, which is extremely smooth and well maintained while those coming from Mangalore can steer their wheels through NH 17.
Reaching Goa by train is quite convenient as there are two main railheads serving the state, namely Vasco da Gama and Madgaon. These two railway stations are extremely well linked to other parts of the country via an extensive train network. There are regular trains from Delhi for Madgaon, where Goa Sampark Kranti Express and Trivandrum Express are the most prominent ones. While Madgaon railway station is about 38 km away from Panji, Vasco da Gama railway is approximately 29 km away. Travellers can avail of taxi services from outside the railway stations.
GOA BY SEA
For all the water babies out there, cruise ships coming from the UAE and travelling between Mumbai and Maldives are available. However, if you are travelling from Mumbai and want to stay amidst the water for a while, a new cruise ferry service functioning between Mumbai and Goa will be there at your beck and call. Known as Angriya Cruises, this is a one-day journey reputed to be an overnight pleasure. It comprises two restaurants, a spa and an infinity pool. The ship sets sail from Mumbai’s Victoria Docks at 4pm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and reaches Goa’s Mormugao cruise terminal at nine in the morning the following day.
TIP: The service functions from October to May and online bookings open one month in advance. Hence, make sure that you book your tickets well before time.
INTER CONNECTIVITY WITHIN GOA
Make use of the few remaining passenger or vehicle ferries which were once a widely used transport by the locals. These ferries run from seven in the morning to nine in the night with an interval of thirty minutes. Pedestrians have free access to these ferries. If you wish to head to North Goa, you can hop on to the Panaji to Betim ferry that will take you to the northern beaches.
A vast network of buses travel to and from every village and town in Goa. However, the central pick up or drop-off points are located in Panaji, Margao and Mapusa. If you plan to travel between North and South Goa, you will have to change buses at either Margao or Panaji.
If you would rather holiday at your own pace and take your own sweet time to gallivant around Goa, we suggest you hire a car. You could go for a self-drive hire car.
Talking about motorcycles, we are sure you will spot tourists whizzing by you on a scooter or a motorcycle. You can do the same by hiring a motorcycle.
This is also a good way to travel around Goa. It is also cheaper than a taxi and suitable for short trips.
BEST TIME TO VISIT GOA
Winter Season in Goa
Winter season is from November to February and is the best time to plan a visit to Goa.
Summer Season in Goa
The summer season between March and June in Goa is quite hot with temperature.
Monsoon Season in Goa
Monsoon in Goa is between July and August. Goa receives medium to high rainfall leaving beaches closed but the state greener.
POPULAR PLACES TO GO IN GOA
Beaches in Goa are its highlight and people from all around the country come here to spend the time of their lives and unwind themselves at the beaches.
Best Beaches in North Goa
· Baga Beach
· Anjuna Beach
· Calangute Beach
· Candolim Beach
· Arambol Beach
· Sinquerim Beach
· Vagator Beach
Best Beaches in South Goa
· Palolem Beach
· Agonda Beach
· Colva Beach
· Benaulim Beach
· Butterfly Beach
BAGA BEACH FOR BANANA BOAT RIDE
Baga Beach is the centre of tourist attraction in Goa. Majestic white waves rushing to wipe out the feet imprints left by you on the white sand while the wind continues to flirt with the palm trees. Amongst all the activities, parasailing, banana boat rides and sun-basking are highly enjoyed at this beach.
Beach side shacks and cafes which serve you with delectable Goan delicacies and music to soothe your senses. One could indulge in artificial tattoos & braids too.
ANJUNA BEACH (FULL MOON PARTIES)
One of the most popular tourist place FOs in Goa – the world renowned freak capital of the world – Anjuna beach is known for its full-moon (acid house) parties, 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.
The beach is known for full moon parties.
CALANGUTE BEACH FOR PARASAING
Calangute beach is also known as the Queen of beaches. Bringing hordes of European tourist calangute beach is the haven for hippies. You can also have you full of adventure with parasailing, water-skiing, wind-surfing and dolphin trips. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa in 2 days, especially if you’re travelling with friends, alone or with your partner.
With a mind-blowing nightlife, bustling flea markets and generous contributions of history, you can let your spirits scale high on the sky of experience.
CANDOLIM BEACH FOR WAKEBOARDING
Candolim Nightlife is something that you should not miss during your stay. It's one of the interesting places to see after the sunset. The nightlife combines with gauzy surprise and entertainment. Discos and clubs like SinQ, Shiro Nightclubs, Club LPK-- Love Passion Karma, Pharaos, are the main attractions in Candolim, where a large number of tourists flock this place to enjoy drinking, dance and music. These are the best place to listen to some hip hop and rock type DJ's music. The party over here goes overnight ensuring perpetual fun and craziness. During your stay, you may try the Stone House on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for cocktails & live music, raffles for the karaoke/Neil Diamond-sort of experience or if you want listen to Indian music, you may go 'Over the Flames' that is held on Monday & Thursday.
ARAMBOL BEACH FOR KITE SURFING
With its Bohemian atmosphere, Arambol has long been a tourist attraction in Goa for many of the long-term hippies & youthful backpackers. The relaxed environment at the Arambol beach coupled with peace and tranquility attracts many vacationers from other beaches of Goa.
Over here, one can indulge in water sports in Goa such as paragliding and kitesurfing.
SINQUERIM BEACH FOR DOLPHINE SAFARI
Sinquerim Beach with an amazing shoreline and perfect views that can make anyone fall in love with this place. If you are traveling with your friends or families, then you must head to this beach which is perfect for swimming and a few water activities.
Vagator Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in north Goa. It is located in Bardez taluk of Goa about 21 km northwest of Panaji.
Located away from the other touristy places in Goa, Vagator is clean and quiet. Vagator is split into two as it is separated by a headland. When you stand on the headland facing the sea, the beach on your right is the Big Vagator Beach or North Vagator Beach and the beach on the left is Ozran Beach which is popularly known as Little Vagator Beach. The beach is a good place to spend some time in peace and helps recover from the glitz and crowds of Anjuna
BEACHES IN SOUTH GOA
PALOLEM BEACHFOR KAYAKING
The most popular beach of South Goa, Palolem is also one of the most picturesque beaches in the state. Enclosed by a thick forest of coconut palms, Palolem is popular amongst family vacationers as well as backpackers and young crowds. The beach is as perfect for a quiet laid-back holiday as for partying.
The north side of the beach is where one can find family vacationers enjoying their quiet and relaxing holiday. In the centre and south of Palolem Beach, backpackers and young crowd can be seen hanging out at the beach shacks or enjoying watersports.
While Fort Aguada is known to soothe your eyes with delightful views of Aguada beach, it allures the travellers with pristine landscape and the background of ancient citadels.
The beach is famous amongst honeymooners. It offers some gorgeous views of the beach from a height.
CLOVA BEACH FOR JET SKIING
This beach is located 33 kilometres away from the Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand and is at a distance of 8 kilometers from the Margao Railway Station. This beach of South Goa is considered to be one of the must-visit tourist attractions. This beach is considered to be the largest and oldest amongst the beaches lying in the southern region of Goa and is also counted amongst the best beaches in the entire state.
Colva Beach is famous for its pubs and bars and all the party lovers must head to this beach to have a lit night!
BENAULIM BEACH: INDULGE IN WATER SPORT ACTIVITIES
Located very close to Colva Beach, Benaulim Beach is a great beach with plenty of things to do apart from sitting back and relaxing. Indulge in various water sporting activities like jet skiing, parasailing, and wind surfing. Go on a candlelit romantic beach dinner or enjoy sightseeing froma range of options – Sernabatim Lake, Ramola Super Market, Sernabatim Beach, Copelwaddo Chapel, St Anthonys Church. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa.
Enjoy candlelit dinners at beach side restaurants like The Farmhouse Restaurant, Li Bai, Dinha’s Restaurant and The Pavilion.
This beautiful Butterfly beach situated towards the north of the Palolem beach. It is very suitable for those seeking peace and isolation and is one of the quietest and unexplored beaches in Goa. The Butterfly beach is surrounded by a lot of rocks. One can enjoy the thrilling ride by the paddle boat towards the beach and also see some dolphins on the way.
The Butterfly beach is known for its clean water and a lot of tourists visit it to spot Dolphins.
EXPLORE THE MAJESTIC FORTS IN GOA
Forts in North Goa
· Fort Aguada
· Chapora Fort
· Reis Magos Fort
· Corjuem Fort
Forts in South Goa
· Cabo de Rama Fort
· Mormugao Fort
With a historical legacy of about 400 years, Fort Aguada is a massive and marvelous citadel defining the landscape of Goa. The fort together with its lighthouse is one of the most visited attractions in Goa. Situated in Candolim, a major tourist hub in North Goa
one looks out at a panoramic ocean vista, witnessing the confluence of the Mandovi River and Arabian Sea, over which the fort has kept watch for more than four hundred years.
This is so majestic a sight that it is easy to picture a Portuguese galleon or carrack on the horizon, on the last leg of its arduous voyage from far off Portugal around the Cape of Good Hope, finally able to make safe harbor and replenish its supplies.
This is yet another popular destination for tourists and is especially a favourite evening haunt for people to chill out. The fort overlooks the Chapora river and hence its name. However, there is a more interesting name given to this fort i.e. ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Fort. The name literally translates to ‘the heart yearns’ and the reason for this quirky name is that a Bollywood film with this title (Dil Chahta Hai) was shot back here in 2001. When the movie became a blockbuster, a sweeping hit, striking a chord with the young generation, people started indentifying this fort with the name of the movie only.
As highlighted earlier, the best time to visit Chapora Fort is evening time because sunset sky looks spectacular from here. Moreover, when the sky paints everything around, especially the Chapora River and beaches of Chapora, in its sunset colour, ah! the sight is just out of this world.
REIS MAGOS FORT
Standing tall and proud overseeing and protecting the taluka of Bardez, across the river from the capital city of Panaji, this fort was one of the first bastions of the Portuguese rulers against enemy invasion. The structure exudes majesty and grandeur and though it is not the biggest fort in Goa, it still commands respect and awe.
The fort, in its original role, once accommodated Portuguese dignitaries and viceroys and was an important point of defense against the Maratha Empire. It would never fall to the Marathas during its service. It fell to the hands of the British military for a brief period until 1813, and was then converted into a prison. Reis Magos would continue to be used as a prison until 1993, when it was abandoned. WDhat you see today is a restored version of the fort, skillfully done with the supervision of renowned architect Gerard da Cunha. It is now a cultural center, but its old design has been restored as is, and many parts of the fort still remain.
At a distance of 22 km from Panjim Kadamba Bus Stand, 49 km from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station and 12 km from Mapusa, Corjuem Fort is a fortress situated 4 km from Aldona on the island of Corjuem in North Goa.
Corjuem Fort is also known as Khorjuem Fort. The Fort is surrounded by lush greenery and one can get a full view of beautiful villages and islands nearby. The Fort is built out of pitted laterite stones. In the early 1800s, the Fort was used as a Military School and had in its defenses a battery of four guns. The fortress defended the town of Corjuem and also had a chapel under parochial church of Aldona. Corjuem is well connected with Aldona by a cable suspension bridge which is a major source of attraction and it is the only suspension bridge in Goa.
The Corjuem Fort is now in ruins only the Fort walls are in a good shape. There is no entrance
CABO DE RAMA
Also hailed as 'Cab de Ram' beach by the locals, legends note that the fort derives its name from Ram pertaining to Ramayana because here's where Ram and Sita had found shelter during their 14 years in exile. Going by this fact, the fort is considered to be thousands of years old, making it one of the oldest forts in western India.
Established by the local Soonda rulers who ruled from this very spot, it was later overtaken by the Portuguese invaders after their arrival in Goa by defeating the local kings in 1763. The fort was then further refurbished by the foreigners given that it is a hub verdant scenic views overlooking the azure Arabian coastline. Inside the fort you'll find a gatehouse, moats,ramparts, bastions, 21 cannon guns, springs, a watch tower and a water tank- each with its own piece of history and silent yet often visible stories.
This ancient behemoth, still well-preserved and standing proud today is considered to be one of the foremost coastal forts in Goa. Mormugao was an important port for Portuguese ships. It is said that the fortress, which is just a few kilometres away from the Mormugao port, was built to guard the mouth of the harbour.
This fortress is one of Goa’s pre-eminent tourist spots and remains exceedingly popular to this day, probably due to the degree to which it has been preserved. Its formidable bulwarks and bastions are intact and fortify the area to this day.
WATERFALLS IN GOA
When you mention Goa, people visualize the vast and incredible beaches. But Goa is more than these pristine beaches and sea. It is also blessed with varied landscape as it is situated in Sahayadri hills. There are many small and big hills in Goa, from where streams, springs and beautiful waterfalls emerge.
DUDHSAGAR WATERFALLS Enticing Sights
Situated on the Goa-Karnataka border, Dughsagar is definitely the best and the most beautiful waterfall in Goa. It originates from Mandovi river. Dudhsagar translates to ‘sea of milk’ and the water that falls from a height of 130 m resembles just that. It looks as if a huge vessel of milk has been poured from above. It is the fifth largest waterfall in India and the greenery surrounding it makes it all the more beautiful.
Distance from Panaji 30 km.The amazing beauty of Hivre Waterfalls attracts tourists and adventure seekers year after year. If you are a nature lover, the pristine beauty surrounding this waterfall will be a treat to watch.
Trekking to this waterfall, crossing undulating hilly areas and dense jungle, will be a delight in itself.
The waterfalls are best to visit in monsoons.
Located at a distance of 2 km from Sanquelim town in North Goa. the Arvalem Waterfalls is a magnificent fall as it cascades from the lofty mountains and falls from a height of 50 m. Harvalem waterfalls is also a popular picnic spot for it is surrounded by a beautiful landscape. The revered and popular Rudreshwar temple is also close by making the spot all the more popular.
Tucked away in the dense tropical jungle and betel nut plantations, Kesarval Waterfalls, also called Kesarval Spring, is located on Verna plateau, off Panaji-Margao Highway. The waterfall is said to have medicinal properties and healing power.
It is a favourite among bathers, who come here post-monsoon to have a dip in the waters and spend a peaceful time among the serene tranquillity of the surrounding region.
Situated in Sada village on the Goa-Karnataka border, Sada waterfall is an amazing sight. With the picturesque Chorla Ghats in the background, the cascading waters fall from between two hills.
Sada falls lie at a distance of 8 km from a small village in the area. As you walk along the streams taking in the cool and refreshing air, you will hear the gushing sound of the water and as your walk ends, you will find the water falling from a height between two hills, a great view.
It is spread around 211 sq km in Sanguem Taluka and is within the Madei wildlife sanctuary. Situated within Madei wildlife sanctuary, Netravali Waterfalls is a wonderful sight to behold. The whole region is enveloped in lush green forests of the Western Ghats. The waterfall looks even more beautiful after monsoons due to the increase in the flow of water..You will have to trek through waters to reach Netravali falls. There is an island type hill point from where you can get a close view of the falls as well as the surroundings.
TAMBDI SURLA WATERFALLS
Tambdi Surla Waterfalls is at its charming best in the monsoons, when water cascades from a high hill and roars down in spectacular beauty. The trek to Tambdi Surla falls is itself quite adventurous and fun as it is through the Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife Sanctuary.
The dense jungle and an ancient Shiva temple located near the falls adds a mystic charm to the falls. You will have to trek through a dense tropical forest of Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary to reach the waterfalls. The water falls from a height from the hills and makes its way through the rocks. It is a great experience to behold the gushing waters flowing in tranquility amidst green trees and lush bushes. Another attraction of the place is an ancient Shiva temple believed to have been built in the 15th century
The water falls from a height through rocky mountains and as it nears the bottom, it becomes clear and transparent water. The best time to visit it is either during monsoons or just after that, as during summers, the Kuskem waterfalls dries away and not much of it is visible. Hiking to Kuskem waterfalls is a great experience for trekkers and adventure junkies. best visited during monsoons or post monsoons.
Best ISLAND IN GOA
• Chorao Island: Spot Vibrant Bird Species
• Divar Island: Marvel At Portuguese Architecture
• Sao Jacinto Island: Take A Stroll & Relax
• Conco Island: The Picturesque Spot
• Butterfly Island: For Water Sports
• Raneache Zuvem: Savor The Scenic Views
• Vanxim Island: Go For A Boat Ride
• Cumbarja Island: For Mesmerizing Sunsets
• Grande Island: Click Pictures At The Lighthouse
CHORAO ISLAND: LARGEST ISLAND IN GOA
Chorao Island is true to its Sanskrit name meaning ‘Stunning Precious Stone’. From being a mere settlement of Portuguese noblemen, this Goan Island has grown into a quaint place nurturing few church and aged villas.
HOW TO REACH
From Ribandar which is just 5kms away from Panjim, the only way to reach Chorao is via water transport. You can either take a ferry or ride on a canoe to reach. It’s a beautiful experience as the island is surrounded by mangroves and ofcourse the deadly crocodiles.
THINGS TO DO
Cycling, boating, birdwatching (Salim Ali bird sanctuary)
The major attraction is Salim Ali bird sanctuary. The island boasts having an approximate 400 migratory as well as Indian birds. While exploring the island, you will also come across some Old Portuguese houses, out of which some are abandoned. There is a small church in the village. You will be amazed at the age old culture and custom which people still follow in the remote island.
While going back by the jetty, don’t forget to get a glimpse of the Reis Magos Fort and the mouth of Mandovi River
Located only 8 miles away from Old Goa, and 10 kms away from Panjim, Divar Island was once a flourishing town full of Hindus. History says, because of an epidemic, people left the island. Divar Island is still untouched by commercialization and it has retained much of its originality. This small village reprises the feeling of visiting Goan countryside. Bonderamis a much talked about festival which sees a huge influx of tourists to Divar Island. The two major festivals of Bonderam and Potekar which is similar to Halloween.
HOW TO REACH
The only mode of transport which takes you to Divar Island is by ferry. There are three ferry points that take you to the island. If you take a ferry from Old Goa, you will reach the southern side of the island. And if taking a ferry from Naroa, which falls in the Bicholim district you will reach the eastern side of the island. The third ferry point is from Ribandar which takes you to the southwest side of Divar Island.
THINGS TO DO
Bonderam Festival, dine at the shacks, watch the sunset
SAO JACINTO ISLAND
Sao Jacinto Island is the most beautiful nature’s creation. The name of the island is derived from the name of the St. Jacinto’s Church. There is a festival that takes place there. Though it is located in South Goa, it is quite a happening place. A place for the nature lover as well as photographers.
HOW TO REACH
Located at a distance of 22 kms from Panjim and 7 kms from Bogmalo beach. There is a bridge that connects the island to the NH-17 Vasco-Panaji coastal highway. You can also go to the island through a jetty.
THINGS TO DO
Major attraction that’s the church, the next loveable thing about the island is the picturesque surrounding, walk around the Portuguese village.
Conco Island is another mind-blowing island which attracts mainly foreigners. Located in the Canacona region, at the bay of Palolem Beach. Conco Island is popularly known as Monkey Island is a major attraction for foreigners. The boat ride from Palolem beach is yet another opportunity to view some shiny dolphins in the Arabian Sea.
HOW TO REACH
There are a lot of boats which are available from the Palolem beach that takes you to Monkey Island. The name has derived because of the presence of monkeys in the forests of the island.
THINGS TO DO
You can spend the day on the island with some chilled beers and delicious food. You can play on the beach too. If you want enjoy some interesting watersports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, dolphin watching, boat ride etc.
The name of the island is Butterfly Island because of the shape of the island. When viewed from a boat, it looks exactly like a butterfly which is ready to fly. The people visiting the island feels the same urge of flying just like butterflies. The island is also popularly known as ‘Honeymoon Island’.
HOW TO REACH
Butterfly Island can easily be reached by boat. You can easily get a boat from Palolem beach or Agonda beach which takes you to the island. Located at a distance of 80 kms from Panjim and 44 kms from Madgao via road.
THINGS TO DO
Butterfly Island (Boat View), Watch the sunset, boating, photography,You can easily spot dolphins from this place as dolphins love to hang out around such pristine and isolated locations. Canoe is the most popular activity of the place. You can also enjoy trekking and rock climbing here.
RANEACHE ZUVEM: SAVOR THE SCENIC VIEWS
Revora is a small village in the Bardez Taluka of Northern Goa. Locally called as the Zuvem (island in Konkani), this island is just the place to fade into the sunset. Considered by many as one of the most beautiful islands of Goa, the small islet of Raneache Zuvem is Best For backpackers who are looking to escape from the grasp of the bustling crowd. Nestled in the beautiful Chapora River, this island comes with a length of one and a half kilometers and a breadth of only 0.5km, which makes it the smallest isle in Goa. Apart from enjoying the natural scenic view of the island, you can also get involved in numerous water activities here to create some great moments with your loved one.
HOW TO REACH
There is a tiny bridge in Goa, which connects the rest of the state with this sumptuous island. Therefore, if you want to come here, then all you have to do is to take a small car ride from the mainland.
THINGS TO DO
Water sports, fishing, relaxing, Watching Sunsets from the bridge along the backwaters of Revora
VANXIM ISLAND, NORTH GOA
Alone and forgotten lay a deserted island on the banks of River Mandovi not measuring more than a few square kilometers. Ilha de Capao (Island of Capao) or Vanxim as it is locally called. Get lost in the absolute silence amidst an island that Goa forgot. The island is pretty much unheard of and in fact off the map.
A church and a chapel built hundreds of years ago, a sea of mangroves, old Portuguese Goan houses surrounded by lush greenery and lots of peace are what this little island has to offer.
HOW TO REACH
After reaching Divar, take a ferry to get across the Mandovi river to reach Vanxim. Beyond that you will have to traverse the island on foot as the roads for the most parts don’t exist or have broken down.
THINGS TO DO
Sunset ferries from Divar to Vanxim are one of the most amazing visual treats one has to experience when in Goa
Especially known for being a home of Indian crocodiles, Cumbarja Island is widely counted as a must-visit place for first-time travelers. For being located quite far away from the mainlands, it enjoys a pleasant ambiance to entice its visitors with a fresh and calming aura.
HOW TO REACH You can reach Cumbarja Island by taking a boat from the Cumbarja Canal.
THINGS TO DO Fishing, boating, watch the sunset.
GRAND ISLAND FOR SUBCUBA DIVING
Grand Island is true to its name. It is amongst the most offbeat yet adventurous tourist places in Goa. It offers a grand experience to the lovers of watersports as it is home to excellent Scuba Diving sites. Visiting this island is undoubtedly one of the best offbeat things to do in Goa. Grande Island is widely considered as one of the most popular isles in Goa. Owing to its calm and serene weather and the overabundance of water activities, this beautiful place is also broadly admired by tourists from all over the world. Due to the excessive amounts of bats in this place, it is also known as the Bat island Goa. During your journey to the island, you can catch views of the iconic Aguada Fort, Central Jail, and the famous lighthouse. Apart from these, you will also get the rare chance of accompanying the dolphins of the sea. So, if you want to spend your days of vacations in a grand way, then make sure to visit the Grand Island Goa at least once in your lifetime.
HOW TO REACH
Once you have reached Panaji, you would have to take a boat ride from there to arrive at beautiful Grande Island.
THINGS TO DO
Snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, or just relaxing
FAMOUS TEMPLES IN GOA
Goa has a rich history and an assimilation of so many foreign cultures and religions, you are sure to find many nice combinations of various activities such as prayer and various festivals. Those who are religiously inclined should take out some time to visit these beautiful temples that are true testaments to the rich cultural and beautiful religious history of Goa
Mangeshi Temple – Fusion of Art
Shantadurga Temple – Synonymous to Peace
Mahalasa Temple – A Bizarre Temple
Mahalaxmi Temple – North Goa’s Popular
One Mahadeva Temple – Gem of Tambdi Surla
Shri Kamakshi Temple – An Exotic Jewel
Shri Ramnath Temple – Lord Rama’s Prayer Spot
Maruti Temple – For Lord Hanuman’s Blessings
Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple – A Famous Hindu Temple
Shri Damodar Temple – With Healing Powers
Shri Nagesh Temple – A Strong Temple
Brahma Temple – A Stunning Temple
Laxmi Narasimha Temple – A Unique Temple
Shri Bhagavati Temple – One Of The Oldest
Shri Rudreshwar Temple – Lord Shiva’s Sanctuary
Goa is majorly full of Hindu temples and another significant one among the Hindu temples in Goa is the Mangueshi Temple in Goa. One of the best places to visit in North Goa, this temple is known for the Deep Stambha to the North of the structure which is at its best when lit with hundreds of diyas in the evening. A beautiful combination of modern day art and traditional Hindu pattern, The Mangueshi Temple is must visit on your list of famous temples here.
Location Dinanath Mangeshkar Rd, Mangeshi Village, Mardol, Goa 403401
Major attractions- Celebration of Ram Navami, Navratri, Maha Shivratri and Jatra Utsav
SHANTA DURGA TEMPLE
Being one of the largest temple of Kavlem village in Ponda Taluka, it is considered a prominent ones. The temple is dedicated to the Goddess of Peace and Santeri is considered as an informal name for the Goddess. If we dig into the back-story, legends believe there was battle between Shiva and Vishnu where Goddess was asked to intervene. She happened to take the form of Shantadurga and placed both Shiva and Vishnu in each of her hands to resolve the fight. This scene is evident in the idol placed in this temple.
Location Kapileswari – Kavlem Rd, Donshiwado, Ponda, Goa, 403401
The mahalasa temple is one of the most bizarre hindu temple in goa. It consists of a small pool of water inside it, which has various different beliefs and stories amongst its worshippers.The divine experience is promised at this place and the idol is just serene. Mahalsa is a hindu goddess. She is venerated in two distinct traditions. As an independent goddess, she is considered as a from of Mohini, the female avatar of the god Vishnu and is called mahalasa narayani.
Location Mardol, Priol, Goa
The Mahalakshmi temple is located near Ponda and is a great place to visit if you are looking for a religious stop during your trip to Goa. Built during the 15th century, the original black granite idol of Shri Mahalakshmi was broken by the Portuguese during the eradication of Hinduism and other religions. A beautiful panchloha idol was made. Panchloha is five metals mixed together, usually silver, gold, iron, copper and lead. The temple resembles the Mahalakshmi temple in Kolhapur, which is one of the main areas where the goddess Shakti worshipers are. The temple is located in a beautiful area and is designed aesthetically well
Location Ponda, North Goa
Often referred to as the Gem of Tambdi Surla, Mahadeva Temple is a historic temple in the beautiful city of Goa. The architectural basis of this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and the structure is made of finest basalt stones. This place attracts nature admirers from all around the globe throughout the year.
Location Sanguem, Surla, Goa
True to its name, the Kamakshi Temple in Goa is dedicated to Goddess Kamakhya or Kamakshi, a much-revered deity in Assam. She is one of the main goddess associated with the tantric cults. The temple attracts attention due to the splendid idol of the goddess that has been made from a Salagrama shila. The main tower of the temple has a spectacular design resembling a Buddhist pagoda. Images of hooded serpents can be seen along the corners of the temple roof. A large water tank enhances the beauty of the temple complex.
Adding to the charm of the temple is the peaceful ambiance and the beautiful surroundings. This temple may not be among the largest or the most popular in Goa among tourists (not devotees), but it is definitely one of the most amazing in Goa.
Location Shiroda, Ponda
SHRI RAMNATH TEMPLE LORD RAMA’S PRAYER SPOT
Historically Ramnath is considered to be one of the forms of Lord Shiva to whom Lord Ram paid tributes and prayed before crossing the waters to enter Sri Lanka. Therefore, Shri Ramnath Temple holds a huge amount of importance in the Hindu culture and this is one of the famous Hindu temples in Goa. What you just cannot miss while in this temple is the deepstambh and the idols of other Gods besides Lord Ramnath.
Location Shree Ramnath Devasthan, Ramnathim, Ponda, Goa 403401
Once you are in Goa, you can’t afford to miss out the blessings of Lord Hanuman at the famous Maruti Temple. This temple depicts an intriguing history of its construction and the Tuesdays at this place is nothing less than a festival.
Location Near RTO Circle, Ponda, Goa
SHRI SAPTAKOTESHWAR TEMPLE
Holding an architectural beauty of the Mughal era, this temple in Goa captivates everyone’s heart through its magnificent craftsmanship. The most important festival celebrated here is the Gokulashtami in which devotees from all around the world visit this place.
Location Narve, Bicholim, South Goa
SHRI DAMODAR TEMPLE – WITH HEALING POWERS
Situated on the banks of the Kushawati River, Shri Damodar Temple is the home to the deity of Lord Shiva’s incarnation as Lord Damodar. A large number of devotees believe that Kushavati River can heal the body ills with its healing power. According to the temple rituals, there is a Palanquin carried out where the ideal of the Lord Damodar is held around the temple premises.
During the procession, it takes around fourteen halts to just stand for a while and sing bhajans. Do your next trip to Goa some justice and visit this one of the famous temples in Goa to witness the colours and songs of peace.
Location Fatorda, Margao, Goa 403602
NAGESHI MAHARUDRA TEMPLE
A temple in Ponda dedicated to lord Shiva, Nageshi temple is a beautiful spectacle. It has made a name for itself as many devotees claim that after they prayed at the “swayambhu” or naturally made shrine to lord Shiva, many of their prayers were answered. It is said that a temple had been in this location for thousands of years and a cow herder found the idol of Shiva after witnessing one of his cows regularly showering milk in the area. This temple was also untouched by the Portuguese religious and cultural eradication during the 17th and 18th centuries. The temple is small and beautiful and has a convenient tank in the front. Many people cool off here during the summers
Location Bandiwade, Donshiwado, Ponda, Goa 403401
Major attractions: Celebration of Shivratri
The Brahma temple in Carambolim is one of the oldest temples in Goa. Attracting many devotees from around the area. The idol that is inside the temple is said to be from the 12th Century and is very intricately made. The temple’s name is Brahma Karmali, and is named after the nearby village. During Goa’s struggle for freedom, many sessions were held here by Mr. P.P. Shirodkar, one of the members of the National Congress. The simplicity of the area and the temple will surely relax you and the history behind it is very fascinating
The Brahma statue in this temple stands tall and elegant. The statue of Lord Brahma blesses all those who come to see him. The beautifully chiseled image of Brahma is dated to the Kadamba period and belongs to the 12th century.
Location Brahma Taluka Carambolim, Satari, Goa 403506
Shri Laxmi Narasimha temple courtyard one can see a beautiful water tank that has a lot of coconut palms at the side. It has a nice ceremonial gateway by which one can enter and the locals often use the stepped sides for communal bathing. One can also see a musician's gallery nearby.
The main festivals celebrated at the Laxmi Narasimha temple include the Manguirish Zatra in mid-February, Sri Ramanavami and Navaratri. A palkhi (palanquin) of Sri Laxmi Narasimha can also be seen on every Shukla Chaturdashi. However non-believers are allowed only to have a darshan (look) at this as the entry to this temple is restricted to believers and devotees
Location Veling, Mardol, Goa 403404
The temple of Rudreshwar which is half a km away from the Arvalem caves where the ancient linga of Rudreshwar is venerated is located in the Bicholim Taluka at a distance of 45 kms from Panaji.
The Shree Rudreshwar Temple is newly built on the site of an age old ancient site and is also known as the temple of Lord Shiva.
The idyllic Harvalem waterfalls is close by. The image of Rudreshwar is facing the waterfall. While leaving the temple of Rudreshwar, one can descend the staircase to look at a majestic waterfall shedding its exuberant silvery showers.
The festival of Mahashivaratri draws big crowds and is celebrated amongst much gaiety and splendour wherein the temple is open to all Hindus, irrespective of caste and creed. However, the temple assumes importance as Hindus perform rites for the dead here.
location: Rudreshwar Colony, Sanquelim, Goa 403505
Major attractions on the occasion of Mahashivratri.
SHRI BHAGWATI TEMPLE
The entire complex of this temple has 5 small temples, with the main one dedicated to Devi Bhagwati. The other temples are devoted to Lord Brahma, Shri Sateri, Shri Dev Ravalnath, and Shri Devi Bhivangi Panchakshari. The main attraction of this temple is its festival during the Marathi month of Kartika, when flocks of devotees fly to this temple. This temple is important historically as well, since it is believed to have survived the Portuguese onslaught against other religions and cultures
Location Dhavali, Yashwant Nagar, Ponda, Goa 403401
Major attractions Celebrations on Dussehra
TOP 5 CHURCHES IN GOA
Goa is also home to some of these beautiful churches that you must explore for its architectural beauty.
BOM JESUS BASILICA
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bom Jesus Basilica is one of the oldest churches of Goa located in old Goa. Old Goa used to be this place's capital during the Portuguese ruling. The beautiful church is considered to be one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture which is a style of building that had begun in the late 16th century. The interiors of Bom Jesus Basilica are very simple yet beautiful and the floor is made with marble and precious stones. You will find a mausoleum at the top that has the body of St Francis Xavier in a silver casket. This mausoleum was designed by Giovanni Battista who was a sculptor of the 17th century. And it took almost ten years to complete the construction of this mausoleum.
Se Cathedral de Santa Catarina which is also known as Se Cathedral is located in Old Goa. Se Cathedral is one of the largest Churches in Asia and is dedicated to St. Catherine. Built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers of Goa, it took almost 80 years to build. Legend has it that the Golden bell of this Cathedral could be heard all over Goa. One of the bell towers was destroyed during a lightening storm leaving the Church with a unique asymmetrical structure. Don’t judge a book by its cover as this Church contains 14 alters on the inside, with each being more intricately carved than the next.
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Located in Panjim, the church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is one of those churches in Goa that conducts mass every day in English, Portuguese and Konkani. Like most of the other churches, this one too is the greatest example of Baroque style and was first built in 1541. It was built as a chapel first and then made a church by enlarging the premises and building. The chapel was built to serve the religious needs of the sailors in India at that time. However, in 1609, the chapel was enlarged which is now the church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The stairways of this church hat are in a zigzag form were added later to the church.
CHURCH OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
This impressive Roman Catholic church was built by the Portuguese in 1661, and is located in Velha, Old Goa. This along with a convent adjunct to its structure promises a twin attraction to tourists. The convent serves as a museum, and you can see several paintings, intricate sculptures and artifacts portraying the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Stand in solitude to feel the energy vibes recharge your spirit.
For a true feeling of being at home, book the Devaaya Ayurveda & Nature Cure Centre, Goa. Browse for other options here.
CHURCH OF ST. CATEJAN
Defying the norms, this Church was built by a few Greek and Italian priests at the turn of the 17th Century. This Church was modeled on St. Peters Basilica in Rome and stands in start contrast to the rest of the Churches built in the Portuguese era. Despite being over 300 years old, the structure is well preserved, presumably due to the lack of tourist attention to this masterpiece.
VISIT THE NAVAL AVIATION
The museum of Naval Aviation in Goa is located near Bogmala, on the Vasco-Bogmalo road about 6km from the port town of Vasco da Gama, more commonly known as Vasco. The museum is built on a plateau which overlooks the popular Bogmalo beach and gives one an unimpeded look at the splendid ocean vistas.
The outdoor gallery has an impressive display of 13 aircrafts, both planes and helicopters as well as a display of aircraft engines and parts.
Location: Bogmalo Road, Dabolim AP Vasco da Gama, Mormugao, Goa 403806
Timings: Tuesday - Sunday(9:30 AM - 5 PM)
TOP SPICE PLANTATION TOUR IN GOA
In Goa there are some major spice plantations, where visitors can see how spice plants look in their natural environment, and how they are grown and processed. A walk through the plantations of black pepper, cardamom, cloves, and several other spices can be a therapeutic experience in itself.
· Tropical Spice Plantation
· Pascoal Spice Farm
· Savoi Spice Plantation
· Sahakari Spice Farms
Best time to visit
The best season to visit these plantations is from July to March. The monsoons in July and August really enhance the beauty of these plantations.
TROPICAL SPICE PLANTATION
Located in keri (ponda), a village untouched by pollution, 6 km off ponda, Tropical Spice plantation can also be reached from Panjim via Mardol.
Here there are also hectares of agricultural plants, groves of fruit trees and forests where you can observe the King Fisher bird and monkeys in their natural environment. In this tropical plantation live over 75 species of exotic birds. Punctuating its green cover are small multicolored flowers. The whole atmosphere has a forest like feel. A refreshing change from our concrete jungle.
SAHAKARI SPICE FARM
Located in the midest of lush green surroundings at curti, in the talka of ponda. At Sahakari Spice Farms, one of the most visited, in addition to all the above attractions, they offer the guests a bathing with elephants.
A Coconut palm roof and a wooden seating add a rustic touch to our restaurant which serves authentic goan-hindu food cooked and served in traditional earthen pots.
PASCOAL SPICE VILLAGE
Located around 7 km east of Ponda, Pascoal Spice Farm offers cultural shows, boating and water biking, along with tours around its spice plantations. After the tour, visitors can spend some time in the restaurant built within the complex of the farm to provide refreshments and other necessities. The experience will be an absolute delight for those wanting to spend some calm time away from the chaos of the city.
SAVOI SPICE PLANTATION
Located in the village of savoi, it is almost 25 km from Panjim and 40km from Calangute,spread over 100 acres in ponda on the bank of mandovi river.
Within the property there is a pond that attracts many wild birds. Guests are greeted with the traditional greeting and then are shown spices, herbs, fruit trees and their fruit. In Savoi you can get advice from a doctor and a specialist in Ayurveda. The farm also offers accommodation in guest houses, and there are evening music and dance programs and festive events on request.
GO FOR CRAB CATCTHING
If you are a seafood lover, then catch your own fresh crabs and ask the locals to cook them for you The backwaters of Goa are calm and perfect for catching crabs with the help of trap. The trap is called ‘Kobblem’ in the local language. There are exclusive crab catching tours that happen in different parts of Goa that you can take part in. the best time to catch the crab is october to may.
Best Things to Do in Goa
· Water Skiing (Baga, Majorda, and Mobor Beach)
· Kite Surfing (Arambol Beach, Morjim Beach, Mondego Bay)
· Scuba Diving (Grand Island, Pigeon Island)
· White Water Rafting (Tilari River, Mandovi River)
· Windsurfing (Calangute, Vagator, and Colva Beach)
· Wakeboarding and Kneeboarding (Candolim Beach, Mobor Beach)
· Kayaking (Hollant Beach, Dona Paula Beach, Backwaters of Zuari, Sal, and Mandovi)
· Jet Skiing (Calangute, Candolim, Majorda, and Miramar Beach)
· Banana Boat Rides (Anjuna, Candolim, Vagator, Miramar and Agonda Beach)
· Parasailing (Arambol, Baga, and Dona Paula Beach)
· Snorkeling (Grand Island, Bat Island, and Navy Island)
· Best place to spot crocodiles: Cumbarjua Channel, Zuari River Best Things to Do in Goa
· Silent Noise Club, Palolem Beach foot massages by the sea: Candolim Beach, Ashwem Beach, Calangute Beach, Baga Beach
· Enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Assodla, Quepem taluk, south goa
· Watch a Tiatr (traditional drama)
· Get a tattoo permanenat or temporary tattoo
· Go on a Jungle Safari at the Mollen National Park
· Shop at the Anjuna Flea Market
· Try Your Luck at a Casino
· Have a Tryst with Dolphins on Baga Beach, Sinquerim Beach, Morjim Beach
· Go pubbing and clubbing at sinQ night club, café mambo, cantare, cohiba, leopard valley, egde