Goa – The Land of Beaches


Goa At Glance

Goa is one of the most popular destinations in India and one of the best beach destinations in the world. With over 50 miles of beach, Goa’s location on the Arabian Sea makes it warm and inviting. And while the rest of Goa – its culture, food, inland scenery, and cities – are all well worth visiting, Goa’s beaches are what makes the state one of India’s major tourist attractions. Goa is all of 3,800 sq.  km. It’s a miniscule state, compared to the rest of the country. Perhaps its tiny size has as much to do with Goa’s rather unique flavour, as does its colourful history. Goa tourism holds the attraction of golden beaches and peaceful fishing villages that gives way to colourful markets filled with smiling people, and then to baroque
churches, taverns, and shady winding streets, dotted with red-tile-roofed white villas, canopied in bright bougainvillea bushes. The distinct Mediterranean flavour in Goa is a heritage of over four centuries of Portuguese rule.

Probe the landscape a little further, and you stumble upon cashew-nut groves, temples and quaint little villages. Goa has a laid-back charm and a ‘hard to miss’ happy aura about it. This is perhaps the first heady feeling that lazily sneaks in only to mingle with your system, and creeps out of your mouth, as your lips curve into a sunny smile. A good travel tip to start
with – just flow with the rhythm of this intoxicating azure paradiso.

Goa Has A Great Historical Past

Goa was a part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century b.c. The Mauryan dynasty was the first line of rulers, who reigned from 322 to 180 b.c. over much of the Indian subcontinent under a consolidated Indian Empire. At the onset of the Christian era, the region was ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur. The Chalukyas of Badami, controlled Goa from 580 to 750 a.d. The area successively came into the hands of the Kadambas, the Chalukyas of Kalyani and
then the Vijayanagara Empire in 1370. Goa’s harbours were crowded with ships that imported Arabian horses for the formidable cavalry of the Vijayanagara Empire. Subsequently , Goa became the second capital of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur. In 1510, under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque, the Portuguese drove out Adil Shah, thus marking the beginning of four centuries of rule over Goa.

Goa went on to become the hub of the Portuguese Empire in Asia. The region became the subcontinent’s first Christian colony, and remained under Portuguese dominion till 1961, after which it became a part of the Indian Union. Goa Tourism has preserved the ancient past of the Portuguese culture left behind that is well showcased in some of the fine administrative buildings, convents, cathedrals, churches and some beautiful old bungalows, especially around their first settlement in Old Goa. and more importantly, they left behind an addictive
fusion of the Indian life with the Mediterranean.

Churches in Goa

Not many people know that Christianity originated in India but most of its influence is seen in West. In India, Goa is one such place where you can easily trace the epic of Christianity through charming churches.The word Church literal meaning is assembly and not an edifice, but slowly there were certain changes and the term is now more known as a building. Churches in Goa are listed in World Heritage Sites. In Goa, some of the significant churches are :

  • Se Cathederal
  • Church of St. Francis Of Assisi
  • Chapel of St Catherine
  • Basilica of Bom Jesus

Temples in Goa

The state is more known for its Churches rather than temples. Irony come from the fact that it is considered a Christian state where as there are about 65% of Hindus inhabiting the state
compared to 30% Christians. Some of the famous temples in Goa are :

  • Mahalaxmi Temple
  • Vithal Temple
  • Kamakshi Temple
  • Sri Mahadev Temple

Wildlife in Goa

Catch a Tiger or ride an Elephant! The wildlife in Goa though not popular is worth watch. You can call them hidden treasures of the state. There presence is overshadowed by the popularity of monumental heritage. They are very much a part of the state and definitely in
coming years are going to give strong competions to other tourist spots. Some of the famous wildlife sanctuary are :

  • Catigo Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

Beaches in Goa

Beaches in Goa are priceless marvel of the state. Goa Beaches comes almost on top when one has to list down tourist spots in Goa according to relative significance. Goa States is
surrounded by 75 miles of coast out of which 50 miles of it is beach. Some of the famous and quite popular beaches of Goa are :

  • Anjuna Beach
  • Baga Beach
  • Calanguate Beach
  • Candolim Beach

Other Activities

Goa Water Sports

If there are beaches, water sports cannot be far behind. Man takes out pleasure in everything and when it came to beaches, water sports gradually emerged. Some of the famous water
sports in Goa are Scuba diving, Water Skiing, Parasialing and Wind surfing.

Goa Carnival

Spread colours of fun and gaiety! Goa Carnival gives the exact meaning to said line. It spreads colours and fun. Held in the month of Feburary every year, Goa Carnival is scheduled for 3 days. Street Plays, songs, dances, and unrehearsed farces are some of the facets of this carnival.

Goa Christmas

Christmas is held in the month of December and in Goa, the fest tends to bring forth all the colours of the state. Christmas brings time for merry-making and exchanging gifts.

Goa Shopping

The state has number of markets, out of which the most famous of all is the flea market – Anjuna Market, held on beach. Local handicrafts, brassware forms excellent souvenir which you could collect from Goa.

Goa Connectivity

Goa is one of the best tourist destination of India abd there are plenty of ways to connect Goa to other states.

Air: Goa International Airport, which is located at Dabolim, 29 kms from Panaji is
situated on the coast of near Vasco Da Gama.

Rail: There are number of trains which connect Goa from Mumbai, Bangalore, and other major cities of India. The two major railway station of Goa are Margoa and Vasco Da Gama.

Road: Road is considered to be the best connectivity. There are several tourism busses which connects the state.