Destination Guide India > Goa
DESTINATION GUIDE INDIA - GOA
stretches back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of
the Mauryan empire. Later, at the beginning of the Christian
era, it was ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur. Control
eventually passed on to the Chalukyans of Badami, who ruled
from 580 to 750 AD. Goa fell to the Muslims for the first time
in 1312, but Harihara I of the Vijayanagar Empire, whose
capital was at Hampi, forced the invaders out in 1370. Over
the next 100 years, Goa's harbours were important landing
places for ships carrying Arabian horses to the Vijayanagar
cavalry at Hampi.
Blessed as it
is with natural harbours and wide rivers, Goa was the ideal
base for the seafaring Portuguese who arrived in 1510. They
aimed to control the spice route from the east and had a
strong desire to spread Christianity. Jesuit missionaries, led
by St Francis Xavier, arrived in 1542.
Beaches are the
most attractive and frequented spots in Goa. In fact, Goa is
almost synonymous with beaches. Nearly the entire coastline is
dotted with world-class beaches, which acquire their names
after the nearby village or locality. Two continuous stretches
of beaches - northern and southern stretches - mark the Goan.
ATTRACTIONS AND PLACES - GOA
The capital of Goa is a
heritage location with many renowned Churches and buildings
constructed in Gothic style, situated on the left bank of the
Mandovi river. The church dedicated to our Lady of Immaculate
Conception, the Chapel of St. Sebastian, the Goa State Museum,
the Secretariat building, the statue of Abbe Faria are
must-see stops on the itinerary of any tourist.
The holy Basilica of Bom Jesus,
houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is a
famous pilgrimage center among Roman Catholics. Other
well-known churches are the Convent and Church of St. Francis
of Assisi, Church of St. Cajetan, Church of St. Augustine
Ruins, Church and Convent of St. Monica, Church of Our Lady of
Rosary, Chapel of St. Anthony and Chapel of St. Catherine.
Dona Paula: This popular beach, which is 7 km from
Panaji, derives its name from the daughter of a viceroy who
chose to kill herself when forbidden to marry the man she
loved. This beach is also called Lovers Paradise. This beach
offers various water sports activities including water-scooter
rides motorboat rides, windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing,
sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and
Calangute Beach: Perhaps the best known of Goa's
beaches, this beach is a stretch of 7 kilometers of golden
sand. Curving across the coastline of North Goa, Calangute
beach is popular with people of all ages. Food and trinket
stalls add to the tourist attractions of the idyllic beach
Colva and Benaulim Beaches: Located in South Goa, 20 km
from Panaji, these beautiful beaches are quieter and more laid
back than the more popular beaches near Panaji. Colva beach is
stretches for 20 km and is Goa's longest beach. The festival
at the local church, bull fights in the vicinity and stalls on
the beach selling trinkets are some of the attractions of this
Please note that there are no nude beaches in India and nudity
may offend local customs.
Temples of Goa: Goa has a number of Hindu temples that
have historical significance. Temples worth visiting are the
Shri Mangesha Temple, the Shanta Durga Temple, the Shri
Ganesha Temple, the Mahalaxmi Temple, and the Shri Nagesh
Maharudra Temple, Shri Anantha Temple, Shri Chandreshwar
Temple and Devaki-Krishna Temple.
Anjuna Beach: Located 18 km from Panaji, this beach,
popular among young revelers, was known for being a favourite
hippie party spot in the 1970's. Even today the Anjuna beach
is the site of trance parties, on moonlit nights. A flea
market on Wednesdays, where trinkets and memorabilia can be
bought is also a popular tourist attraction.
REACH - GOA
» By Air -
Dabolim is the main entry point for Goa situated at a distance
of around 29 km from Panaji on the coast near Vasco da Gama.
Most domestic airlines operate in Goa apart from chartered
private airlines operating from UK and Germany. Indian
Airlines has direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai daily. Air
India also flies to Goa.
» By Rail - It is not difficult to reach Goa by trains,
especially after opening of the Konakan Railway that connects
Margao and Vasco da Gama to major cities in India. You can
take trains from Delhi 1,874 km), Mumbai (490km), and
Bangalore (430 km) to reach Goa comfortably. From the railway
stations, you can hire taxis and motorcycle taxis to reach the
» By Road -
Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka state transport corporations
operate from the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji. Frank Shipping
operates a boat service between Mumbai and Panaji.