Goa- India is a treasure for any tourist who wishes to enjoy the beach holidays and all the festivities and cultural fiestas during his stay in Goa-India. Goa – India has beautiful and serene beaches which offer you to witness cultural festivities in order to attract tourists from all over the world and India as well. Tourism is the main revenue source for the state of Goa-India. Goa has friendly people who are fond of eating and drinking as per their Goan cuisine.
How To Reach Goa
There are a number of flights available from all major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, and Kochi. As Goa is a prominent holiday destination. Dabolim airport is the major airport of Goa and is located around 30km from Panaji.
Konkan railway has made Goa easily reachable by trains also from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Mangalore, Ernakulam, and Thiruvanantpuram. Also, trains are available from Banglore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Pune.
it is always advisable to book your train or air ticket well in advance in order to avoid any sort of inconvenience at the last minute booking. Also one gets reasonable discounts if you book months in advance for your air ticket.
Goa is rightly called as the paradise for the tourists. As the tourist here is treated as the King. as there are so many hotels and guest houses that they compete with each other and out do in providing facilities for fitness and Yoga sessions, spa treatment, Indoor sports, and some even offer demos on Goan cooking. The list is endless and includes an arrangement for the participation in local events and facilities. Nowadays people are even visiting Goa during the season of rains. As Goa is a totally different and intimate experience during this time of the season.
The first thing to bear in mind is that when you are visiting Goa, you are visiting a whole state, not a city. So there are several towns spread out with considerable distance between them and so it is essential to prepare, or at least have an idea of, what kind of local transportation you will be using while there.
High-resolution maps are not available for Goa. For example, some popular isles are not shown on many maps.
Parts of Goa lack sign boards, so finding your way around could be challenging. When in doubt just ask – usually people are friendly and helpful- but don’t expect precise answers(a so-called ‘five-minute drive’ could take a good twenty minutes).
When driving, expect surprises like domestic animals and little children darting across the road and unmarked speed breakers.
By Motorbike (http://www.travelmorehills.com)
Choice of geared and un-geared motorbikes and scooters can be rented (typically without helmets). Rentals are around ₹400 a day (₹200 in non-peak season) for a Honda Activa scooter and a little more if one is looking for a geared motorcycle (you buy the gasoline as needed). Although in the peak season (November – January) prices may rise up to twice the original price. Many small roadside shops sell gas at ₹80 a liter, while the going rate at a station (these are hard to locate in the coastal areas) is around ₹59 a liter.
For the motorbikes, always ask for a discount if renting long-term (one month or more). You should not have to pay more than ₹100 per day. Ensure that you have all the ownership documents of the bike. Also, avoid taking motorbikes with yellow plates out of Goa, as it is a punishable offense. Hiring a bike with white plates is okay for local travel in the immediate vicinity but if you want to travel further afield than always rent a bike with yellow plates. Wearing a crash helmet is compulsory when you go on any major roads (there is ₹100 fine for not wearing one). Foreigners will need an International Driving Permit (Convention 1949); this is the first thing police will ask you for if stopped. You should also carry your normal driving license with you.
There are some online platforms available where you can get yourself a bike.
- Dolphin Rentals
- Rent Self Drive Bike In Goa from Wheelstreet.
Fares: ₹8-10. Buses are an inexpensive and great way to travel and see the state. ₹10-15 will often get you a 30-40km ride.
There are lots of cars for hire all over Goa. The best place to start inquiring about the service is at your hotel. In general, you are required to book a daily package of 8 hours or 80km at around ₹1,000-1,500 depending on the vehicle’s model and whether it is air-con or not. Extra charges are usually around ₹100 per extra hour or ₹10 per extra kilometer. This is usually the most effective option to explore the region, as there is no taxi you can hail off the street.
Mahindra, Willys or Maruti Gypsy makes are similar to the long wheel base version of the Suzuki Jimny. Some of these jeeps are the open roof. Expect to pay around ₹1,000-1,200 a day.
Goa is famous for its beaches, ancient temples and churches, and the Goan carnival.
- Arambol Beach – A quiet and virgin beach in North Goa.Nature has gifted it a lot of beauty.There are many water sports available for paragliding, parasailing, many massage options, a very big beach market.
The sweet lake is one of the miracle wherein the sweet water lake is touching the sea.The deep forest behind sweet lake is also the attractive point. There are a lot of accommodations in Arambol.Om Lake Resort is one of the popular accommodation there which offers the budget cottages.There are around more than 100 ‘s of a restaurant on the beach.There are live music options also. The water is shallow and good for swimming. Arambol is not what it used to be, there are plenty of shops, eateries, and places to stay. It has in-fact become huge and not as peaceful as it used to be, but it has turned into a cultural hub. It is like goa within Goa now.
- Anjuna Beach- Close to the Chapora Fort, its key attraction is a magnificent Albuquerque Mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and an attractive Mangalore tile-roof. Anjuna was the second home (and main location) of the hippies in Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, after other destinations like Calangute got too “crowded” for them. It is still the venue of a (vastly-changed and more mainstream) flea market held each Wednesday. In the nearby village of Arpora, two colorful Saturday night bazaars are held in the non-monsoon seasons. This is still part of “alternative” Goa, though charter and other tourists also visit in increasing numbers to “get a feel of the hippy years”.
- Palolem Beach-a scenic beach in extreme south Goa with scenic rocks and islands off its shores. Good eating options. It is becoming pricey (by local standards) and getting a bit crowded, but still less crowded compared to other popular beaches.
- Patnem Beach – a small and quiet beach in Canacona Taluka.
- Vagator Beach- a beach in Bardez, neighboring Anjuna.
- Morjim Beach- a beautiful beach, inhabited by Russian tourists. This place is popular among kitesurfers due to the shallow depth of the sea and a very wide beach. Prices are high, with many restaurants offering Russian cuisine. Nightlife is vibrant here.
- Asvem Beach – a quieter beach in extreme north Goa’s Pernem Taluka.
- Mandrem Beach – another beach in extreme north Goa’s Pernem taluka
- Candolim and Sinquerim Beaches in North Goa’s Bardez taluka. Once humble fishing villages.
- Colva Beach – This beach’s spectacle of sea, sand and sky blend in an enchanting natural harmony, weaving their magic spell on the visitors. Known for its scenic beauty. This is part of Salcete Goa’s only Catholic majority sub-district. Once a very hospitable area, now relations are getting monetized thanks to tourism. Beware of mountains of trash on the beach and nearby locations, stray dogs and bad odors.
- Calangute Beach – aka Queen of all Beaches in Goa. Once highly rated. Now crowded. Expect traffic jams along the main crowded street. Beach is full of Indian tourists, a lot of noise, a lot of souvenirs and water sports beggar. You won’t get peace here. Many famous clubs are located here. Nice eating options.
- Baga Beach- A family-beach and charter tourist destination just outside Calangute.
- Chapora Home of the Chapora fort. Close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Also site for a fishing jetty where trawlers (introduced into Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, amid protests from traditional fishermen, who were affected by them) bring in their catch. Chapora fort offers a mesmerizing view of the sea and both beaches. It’s a bit difficult to find the way to the fort, but bikers won’t mind it. Built on a hill top, the fort offers some resistance for climbing up.
Chapora village offers an interesting mix, a small street market with lots of eateries, juice center and rooftop restaurants and cheap accommodation. A few places to note would be, Seaview Guest House, Ganesh Juice center, Baba rooftop restaurant.
- Polem Southernmost beach of Goa.
Churches and Cathedrals
It is no exaggeration to call Goa, a city of churches which are a proof of the rich history of the beach city. During the initial stages of the Portuguese rule in the city, the building of church building was a favored activity, mainly because they wanted to spread Christianity and convert as many people as was possible. These churches are world-renowned as they have kept intact the old-world charm and thus are famous as tourist attractions. They are an indispensable part of the culture and society of Goa that has helped in the spread of education also. Here is a list of 5 churches you just cannot miss in Goa:
- Bom Jesus Basilica (1605) – built in 1605, this Basilica has the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, one of the patron Saints of Goa. It is known for its distinctive baroque architecture that has a display of architectural pieces in wood, stone, gold, and granite. Francis Xavier died while aboard a ship and his body was taken to Malacca but it was decided that he should be buried in Goa. After 2 years, it was noticed that his body had not decomposed, that was no less than a miracle. After every 10 years, his body is put on public display in a silver casket designed in the 17th century.
- Se Cathedral – built in 1619, one of the largest churches in Asia, which took around 80 years to get constructed, Se Cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. It was built to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers of the city. The building has a Golden bell that can be heard in the whole of Goa. Located in old Goa, one of the bell towers of the church was destroyed during a lightning storm. The structure also consists of 14 alters inside, with each being beautifully carved.
- Church of St Francis of Assisi – built in 1661, located on the back of the Se Cathedral, this church is a beautiful piece of ancient workmanship. The structure has striking painted panels showcasing the life of St. Francis of Assisi on the walls. The adjoining seminary has been converted into an art museum, which preserves the painting that was previously kept at the Panaji Secretariat. The church also has an octagonal tabernacle decorated in an ornate style.
- Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception -built in 1541, a famous landmark of Goa, it is the oldest church situated in Panaji. The towers of the church have a statue of Mother Mary at the front. Around 450 years old, this church was built to welcome sailors home. This church is largely visited even today by Catholic devouts and has been beautifully preserved. The bell of the church is 2nd largest in the world.
- Church of St. Catejan – built in 1700, Church of St. Catejan has a striking resemblance St. Peters Basilica in Rome. It was built by a group of Greek and Italian priest to initiate a contrast to the other churches built during the Portuguese times. On the left, there three altars dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady Of Piety and St. Clare and the right-side altars are dedicated to St. Agnes, St. Cajetan and St. John. Though the building is 300 years old, but has been beautifully preserved.
[Shree Manguesh Shantadurgai Prasanna Temple]:- The temple is dedicated to the deity of Lord Shiva. Shree Manguesh temple is located at Mangeshi in Priol, Ponda Taluka,1 kilometer from Mardol close to Nagueshi, 22 km from Panaji the capital of Goa and 26 km from Margao. Sri Mangesh temple is famous for its pristine glory, which attracts thousands of visitors every year.In Maha Shivratri Festival here you can see a very big fair.In 1560, anticipating the onslaught of the Portuguese, the devotees had moved Shree Manguesh Shantadurgai Prasanna Shivalinga from Kutthal to a safer place under a Hindu prince. Surrounded by hillocks and covered by forests, the Shivalinga was kept at a place, which now is known as Mangeshi.
The Peshwas donated in 1739, the village of Mangeshi to the temple on the suggestion of their Sardar, Shri Ramchandra Malhar Sukhtankar, who was a life-long devotee of Shree Manguesh.
Since then this little village on the Panaji-Ponda road has become a place of pilgrimage for the followers of the Lord and an attraction for the tourists from rest of the country and outside.
Known for its natural beauty and pleasant surroundings, Mangeshi is still a hamlet with about 1,000 families. But it is a center of culture and the musicians from this place have earned a countrywide reputation as master singers for several generations.