The distinctive individuality and exciting combination of lifestyles and culture contribute to the lure of Goa, India. Historically, Goa is recorded as the port of landing for many traders and invaders, including the explorer Vasco da Gama and the Portuguese and English colonials. It’s location in West India, between Bangalore and Mumbai, is ideal for the tourist seeking sun-fun and beaches to enjoy a tropical holiday.
The colourful Indian bazaars with vendors selling souvenirs and other items of garish colours stand out among the Portuguese buildings and colonial structures saturating the city. Unlike most large cities in India, Goa is a state, yet it is comparatively smaller and easier to explore. Whether a tourist is on foot or taking an auto-rickshaw around the city, all of the points of interest in Goa are conveniently clustered in one area, contributing to cheaper travelling expenses and easy journeys.
Carnivals, flea markets, temples, monuments, churches, water sports - the essence, the life, the beauty of Goa.
Also known as the Old Goa, this is the nine-acre village located atop a hillock. The village is a reconstructed area, to resemble the Goa of over 100 years. Ancestral Goa exhibits the Art and Handicrafts Centre, Mirabai Sculpture, Big Foot Dance Floor, Casa de Dona Maria, Anand Lotlikar’s Ghor, Legend of Big Foot, The Farmer’s House, Cross, Spring and Rakandar, The Fisherman’s House, Escola da Musica, The Bathi Distillery, Tinto Village Market and much more.
Beaches in Goa
North Goa Circuit
This stretch of beach begins from the base of Fort Aguada to the border of Maharashtra. Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim and Arambol are the beaches covered by the North Goa Circuit.
South Goa Circuit
Stretching from Margao to Cabo de Rama, this includes Velsao, Majorda, Betalbatim, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim, Mobor and Betul beaches.
Churches in Goa
The Convent and Church of St Francis and Assisi
A magnificent place of worship during the Portuguese rule, the church is currently a small archaeological museum. Built of laterite blocks and plastered with limestone, the church has three chapels. The paintings of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus are of darker skin colour, conforming to Indian artistic impressions.
Basilica of Bom Jesus (The Cathedral of Good Jesus)
A fine example of Jesuit architecture, the basilica is in mostly in ruins, but a beautiful remnant of simple elegance. As Goa’s most revered church, the basilica has no plaster on the exterior, as the result of the actions of a Portuguese conservationist. The church is marked as a World Heritage Monument.
The Reis Magos Church
Two of the famous landmarks in Goa are located in the small hamlet of Reis Magos. The Reis Magos Church and the Reis Magos Fort are located on the banks of Mandovi River. The unique feast of the Three Wise Men is held here.
Church of Our Lady of Rosary
A little further away from the Basilica of Bom Jesus, atop the Holy Hill, stands the Church of Our Lady Rosary, imposingly watching over the area. Built of laterite blocks and lime plaster, this church has a two-storey portico and feature round towers in both the portico and façade.
Dedicated to Saint Anne, this church is the best example in Goa to illustrate the colonial era architecture. Restorations completed in 1965 have preserved the originality and charm of the church.
Among the most prestigious and venerated religious structures in Goa, this 16th century church of the Roman Catholic Order is the largest church in Asia. Dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, because Alfonso Albuquerque captured Goa by defeating the Muslim army in 1510 on the day of the saint's feast, this church is also a monument for the Portuguese architecture.
St Augustine Tower
Once a part of a magnificent church, this tower stands 46 metres in height, and was the belfry of the church. A landmark and a spectacular structure, the tower is among the many attractions worth visiting in Goa.
Church of St Cajetan
Located between the Se Cathedral and the ruins of the Viceregal Palace, this large and charming church is modelled on the design of the Basilica of St Peter in Rome. The interior and exterior of the church is of Corinthian architecture and the altars and carvings are saturated with Baroque styles.
Church of St Paul
Regrettably, the only section remaining of this once impressive sturcture is its facade. Built in Doric style, the church was demolished by the government to use the material for new constructions.
Forts of Goa
The largest and well-preserved defensive stronghold built by the Portuguese, Fort Aguada dates back to the 17th century. It was built to control entry from River Mandovi and to ward off potential enemy attacks.
Fort Cabo da Rama
Named after the hero, Rama, of the Hindu epic Ramayana, this fort was built long before the Portuguese arrived in India and captured the best of the country. The legendary fort is said to be the place where Rama and his wife Sita took refuge after been exiled from the kingdom of Ayodhya.
Built by the Portuguese in 1617, the fort was originally intended to be a border watch post, but was constantly attacked and raided by the Hindu rebels. The Portuguese deserted the fort in 1892.
Located close to the famous Rachol Seminary, the Rachol Fort is mainly a collection of ruins at present. Once encircling the entire hill on which the seminary stands, only a single gateway of the fort remains today.
Mosques in Goa
Safa Masjid is one of the only two 16th century Islamic monuments to survive the Inquisition. The imposing structure was built in 1560, by the Sultan of Bijapur Ibrahim Adhil Shah. Extended to include a complex of gardens and fountains, the main focus of the land area is the mosque.
Museums in Goa
State Archaeology Museum, Panaji
The state museum has seven galleries - the Christian Art Gallery, Banerji Art Gallery, Religious Expression Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Cultural Anthropology, Contemporary Art Gallery and Western Bronzes Gallery. The museum's collection includes wooden objects, coins, manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, statues, clay art and various other objects totalling over 8000 in number. Some objects and items are borrowed for special display from the Menezes Braganza Art Gallery and the Kala Academy of India.
Houses of Old Goa
Salvador Costa Mansion
Architecturally keeping a balance of both worlds, the 19th century mansions are built in Indian style with low pitched tiled roof and wide veranda and European affixtures such as Gothic-style windows and cluster columns.
Solar dos Colacos Mansion
Located between Old Goa and Panjim, on the left bank of River Mandovi, the mansion provides panoramic views of islands and historical churches of Old Goa. Built in Baroque style, the mansion has an impressive facade and carved scenes on a side of the dining room depict incidents from the Ramayana. A private chapel is located at the mansion.
Pinto de Rosario Mansion
More than a taste for elegance and sophistication, the original owners of this mansion seem to have had an odd desire for valuable possessions. The collection of rare cut glass, silver, blue china, ivory, Indo-Portuguese furniture, European and Chinese knick knacks is exquisite, and is yet to be categorised or dated even though they are undoubtedly of great value. The Italian floor tiles of the parlour, elegantly carved sofa, Dutch tapestry showing a replica of Rembrandt's Night Watch and the 200 year-old love-chair are among the highlights of the mansion.
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Co Fort Aguada Beach Resort,Goa,India
Hotel Description: This deluxe resort was specially built as a retreat for the Commonwealth Heads of Government. Perched on top of a hill above the Fort Aguada, there is miles of the golden Calangute beach. The Aguada Hermitage is comprised...
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Hotel Description: Awarded Best Resort 5 times in the last six years. Fort Aguada Beach Resort is one of Goa's best known beach resorts approximately 45 kms from the airport. The hotel is built on the ramparts of a 16th century Portuguese...
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Hotel Description: The Hotel is Beautifully Built in a Portuguese Style With Terracotta Work Overlooking the Arabian Sea, Palm Flecked Gardens, Freshwater Pool and a Mini-Golf Course. A Sprawling Complex of 88 Acres On the Sands of Calangute,...
MIRAMAR PO BOX 64 PANJIM IN 403001 Goa India
Located On Miramar Beach Facing The Arabian Sea. Designed To Meet The Demands Of Both The Business And Leisure Traveller, The Resort Boasts 155 Superior Rooms And 10 Suites. A Variety Of Dining Options From Its Multi-cuisine Restaurant To Its Specialty Chinese Restaurant... more
DUELMOL, SIRVOI, Quepem, Goa, 403705, India
The Best Western Peace Valley welcomes you to paradise on earth - Goa. Bestowed upon by innumerable natural gifts, such as picturesque landscapes, sun drenched beaches, historic monuments, pleasant climate and above all, hospitable people. In addition to the lakes, wild... more