The small former Portuguese enclave of Goa is still one of the India’s most important tourist places. Goa which shines as the lodestar in the firmament of tourism is a multiphase destination. Known as the “Pearl of India”. The ambie of Goa is unique and vastly different from the rest of India. Goa is the land of sun – soaked beaches, palm fringed shores and a lively people is the ultimate destination for thousands of tourists both from India and abroad who through its beaches from a holiday away from the bustle of every day life. It is located at the western coast of India and it lies between the border of maharastra and Karnataka, standing proudly next to the Arabian Sea.
How to Reach Goa :
By Air: Goa is well connected with the various cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Goa international airport is at Dabolim it is about 30 km away from the capital city Panaji and it is owned by the Indian navy.
By Train: Margao and Vasco d agama are the two major railheads of Goa.along with two railway station karmali and trivam.there are direct rails to Goa from the various cities of India.
By Road: Goa has a very well organized road system where the roads are well connected with the other important states like Mumbai, Bangalore Pune.Local transport
Taxis: For tourists, taxis serve as the main means of traveling between resorts. One will find them lined up outside most charter hotels, where a board invariably lists the destinations in and around the region. The fixed rate fares only apply to peak season and at other times one should be able to negotiate a hefty reduction from the demanded fare.
Motorcycle Taxis: Goa's unique pillion-passenger motorcycle taxis known locally as "pilots" are ideal for nipping between beaches or into towns from the resorts. Bona fide operators ride black bikes with yellow mudguards and yellow number plates. Fares which should be settled in advance are almost half the auto-rickshaw rates.
Rented Motorcycles: Renting motorcycles in Goa offer a lot of freedom to tourists. Officially one needs an international driver's licence to rent or ride anything more powerful than a 25 cc moped. Rates vary according to the season, the vehicle and how long one wants to rent it. Most owners also insist on a deposit and passport as security. The range is pretty standard and the reasonable choice is a 100cc motorbike. These are fine for buzzing to the beach and back, but to travel further the stalwart Enfield Bullet 350 cc is popular for its pose value and its British origins. The smaller Kinetic Honda 100cc which has automatic transmission is a good choice for the novice as well as the all-rounder.
Ferries: If autorickshaws are the quaint, essentially Indian mode of transport, flat-bottomed ferries are their Goan equivalent. Crammed with cars, buses, commuters and scooters, fisherwomen and clumps of bewildered tourists, these blue painted hulks provide an essential service, crossing the coastal backwaters where bridges have not been built. They are also incredibly reasonable and run from dawn till late in the evening.
The most frequented river crossings in Goa are Panjim to Betim, across River Mandovi, Old Goa to Divar Island, Siolim to Chopdem across the Tiracol river and Cavelossim in the far south of Salcete taluka to Assolna.Beaches of Goa -
The 105 km coastline of Goa is blessed with beautiful palm-fringed beaches. The blue water that reflects a soothing calm, the golden sunshine and gently taps the skin leave a memorable impact on the minds of the holidayers.The vast variety of beaches in Goa offers equal beach space for the tourists. Some of the famous beaches of Goa are:-
Main Atttraction of Goa -
Calangute Beach - Calangute is the most popular beach with thousands thronging it in both the peak and off-season. The waves rise high above as you wash away your city blues, though swimmer need to be a trifle cautious because of the sudden drop and the rising waves. Experienced swimmers will, however, revel in the seas here.. The beach is fringed with popular restaurants and hotels, including the Calangute Residency operated by GTDC. This long, seven-km sweep of sand located 15 kms from Panaji, is called the 'Queen of Beaches'. All the travel agencies and tour operators have a base here from where bookings are done for most of the other beaches
Baga Beach - A few kms down the beach is another—Baga.-- part of a 30 km stretch of beach coastline along the west coast of Goa which begins at Fort Aguada, continues as Sinquerim Beach, moves on to Candolim which merges into Calangute Beach and then stretches on to Baga, Anjuna and on to Vagator, finally ending at Chapora beach. Truly a veritable feast of beaches.
Aguada Beach - Aguada beach is almost synonymous with the top-notch Fort Aguada Hotel complex, a superb hotel that is built on the cliff, around the remnants of the early 17th century Portuguese fort. Although access to the beach is not possible through the hotel grounds, which are private, you can walk along Aguada beach, for in India private beaches do not exist.
Majorda -This small stretch, about 5 kms north of Colva Beach, is as pretty as a picture, studded with several hotels, the most prominent being the starred Majorda Beach Resort.
Majorda is the village where the Jesuits, fond as they were of the good things of life, discovered the best Goan toddy (sap from the coconut palm), which they used to leaven the bread. Naturally, then, Majorda is the place where the Goans were first trained in the delicate art of baking European breads. The Majordans are still Goa's best bakers.
The most imposing of all the churches at Old Goa, its vaulted interior overwhelms visitors with its sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells, among them the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St.Catherine of Alexandria..
Masses – Sunday 7.15 a.m. 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 pm Weekdays : 7.30 am and 6.00 pm.
Church of St.Francis of Assissi
The entrance and the choir were built in the Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. First built in 1517, it was later rebuilt twice, in 1521 and in 1661. The interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings and the floor has a large number of tombstones with coats-of-arms. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.
Ruins of Church of St.Augustine
Close to the Nunnery is a lofty tower, defying the vagaries of the weather. The tower is the only surviving one of the four that once stood there. The Church when intact was perhaps the biggest in Goa. Another chapter to its history was added recently with the unearthing of the tomb of Queen Ketevan of Georgia.
Margao: Margao is situated in the hinterland of southern Goa in Salcete taluka. It is famous for its ancient cultural heritage and traditional customs of the people of Goa. Margao is known for its bazaars and restaurants,
Panaji: Panaji is known for its idyllic beauty and rich tradition and culture. A must visit by all. The Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church on the main square, Menezes Braganza Institute, Kala Academy cultural centre, Old City and Miramar Beach
Dudhsagar water falls: The Dudhsagar Falls are amongst the top 100 highest waterfalls in world. Dudh Sagar, literally means a Sea of Milk, It has a total height of 306 meters and a width of 30 meters
Goa State Museum: Museum was opened to the public on September 29th, 1977. The museum at present has the collection of about 8000 objects, which includes Stone Sculptures, Wooden objects, Bronzes, Paintings, Manuscripts, numismatic collection, anthropological objects, clay models
Churches: Most of the churches in Goa were built during the Portuguese rule time. And today along with the LD churches old Goa is a heritage site. Goa witnesses a huge inflow of the visitors who visit this holy place to pay homage to some of the most brilliant pieces of religious significance.