Tell your intimate colleague that you and your family are planning a short trip to Goa on a casual talk. Your friends will give you a whole lot of description about Goa for free, though not asked for. For a first time visitor to know about a few things about Goa is thrilling and fun loving. Upon informing that Goa is bestowed with an indescribable coastline stretching along the Arabian Sea and got its independence in 1961 from the Portuguese clutches the first time visitors eyes will blink. Some foreigners name Goa as ‘Rome of the East’. Portuguese architectural beauty can be seen in stone carvings even today and there is a saying that Goa is a replica of Lisbon.
Some of the famous beaches include Baga and Palolem. You can reach Goa by air, railway and through road ways. Visitors to Goa are cosmopolitans. Some are horticulturists, Ayurvedic students, some to explore unexplored interiors, temple or church visitors and so on. Apart from enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of the land, hillocks, mountainous terrains given under are 10coolest things one can do on your trip to Goa depending upon your inherent interests.
Glimpse of Goa’s history – a visit to different museums
Goan lifestyle is the unique blend of Indian and Portuguese traditions. This can be traced in the architecture and the culture of the people. Culture is a broad and a dynamic concept which has influences in all walks of life. Ancestral Goa is a place where one can find the beauty and culture of local people. It is a miniature Goa’s village located at verdant hillock at Loutulim in South Goa which is about 10 km from Margao. At the reception, there are beautiful swans with decorated beams at the deck. This place gives important information on the roots and culture of Goa. Local feast and festivals are celebrated in a traditional manner. Konkani is the state language and is spoken by the majority of people and its capital is Panaji.
Situated at Velha Goa in old Goa, this is the 2nd wax museum in India. The figures in this museum are normally sculpted of paraffin Wax. This museum currently accommodates over 30 life-size statues of great Indian personalities depicting the culture, heritage, and religion as well. ‘The Last Supper’ is considered as the main attraction to this wax museum.
This museum takes the credit of being the one and only one in India dedicated to Naval Aviation and is situated along the Vasco-Bogmalo road; approximately 6 k.m from the port city of Vasco-da-Gama. Established in the year 1998, this museum is built atop a plateau overlooking the Arabian Sea. ‘Super Constellation’, an aircraft once used by Indian Airlines for transporting passengers is seen at the main entrance itself as though it is welcoming travelers and tourists at large.
The State Archaeology Museum
The initial location of this museum was in rented premises at St Inez in Panaji. Now it is shifted at EDC Complex, Patto Plaza, Panaji, Goa. The president of India inaugurated the new building of this museum on 18.06.1996.
Having gained the knowledge of museums of Goa, let’s turn our attention to beautiful waterfalls.
SPEND BEST TIME AT DIFFERENT WATER FALLS
The magnificent Dudhsagar Waterfall can be reached by a train journey from Vasco or Margao. There is a railway station at Collem in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary near Mollem. There are 2 trains that stop at Dudhsagar railway station during the day. People can board morning train up and spend many hours at the falls before they take their back in the afternoon. Apart from this, there is a number of private operators who offer special trips to the Waterfall. This water falls on the Goa-Karnakata border attracts a steady stream of visitors from many parts.
The railway line from Vasco to Londa crosses the mountainside giving one an excellent view of the waterfall. Nearby the waterfalls there are also a couple of good pools where you can swim and get more merriment. Dudhsagar is a great place where you can spend making fun and frolic.
Dudhsagar waterfall is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers. The waterfall is accessible by jeep through the sanctuary, but a prior permission is needed from the department of forests.
We cannot compare Harvalem(arvalem) Waterfalls to that of Dudhsagar Waterfalls. However, it is interesting. This waterfall that descends from a height of 70 ft. from the temple of Rudreshwar forms a sizeable lake at the bottom, giving seasoned swimmers a tempting attitude to do swimming.
Village Sanquelim lies at a short distance from the town Bicholim. Sanquelim is reachable by bus from Mapusa, but half an hour walk to reach caves or the falls. Arvalemlies is at a distance of about a mile from the south-eastern end of Sanquelim village. Harvalem waterfall which is worth visiting after monsoon is only a 10-minute drive from the Arvalem caves. This Arvalem waterfall is set amidst beautiful surroundings with Rudreshwar temple in its periphery. A park is also developed by Government to enjoy the waterfall peacefully.
This waterfall is set amidst attractive atmosphere, with the Rudreshwar temple in its vicinity.
Towards the south of Benaulim lies Varca, Cavelossim, and Mabor is the most beautiful beaches that give pride to Goa. These beaches have achieved a unique representation of being cleaner and quieter than some other famous beaches of Goa. And whenever you are at the beach you can notice shacks offering a variety of Goan dishes and seafood at reasonable prices. Food isn’t a problem. Around Dona Sylvia, there are several food joints. You can get the entire package of good food, good drink at quite reasonable rates. If you have the proclivity to watch Dolphin, then there are facilities for Dolphin watching up river Sal.
The resorts in this beach, especially in the south circuit, is equipped with all modern amenities like air-conditioned resort complexes, tourist cottages, discos, seashell artifact stalls, refreshment stalls, eateries, guest houses etc to meet the demands of tourists at large.This village area is expanding enormously due to the inflow of tourists.Our Lady Of Mercy chur chat Colva is famous for its miracle statue of Menino Jesus.
There are many other beaches that are worth seeing and enjoying. These include Majorca beaches, Bogmalo Beach, Betul Beach, Benaulim Beach, Agonda Beach, Vagetor Beach, Sinquerim Beach, Miramar Beach, Calangute Beach, Baga beach, Anjuna Beach, Aguada Beach, Candolim Beach to name a few.
In Goa, you will find temples, mosques, and churches. You can visit them if want to explore the spiritual side of Goa. For example, the TambdiSurla Temple was itself built in the main style in the 12th century. Sri Chandranath temple is another temple which extolls Linga worship of Shiva. This temple was designed in such a way that it receives moonlight on every full moon and is situated at Paroda. The name is derived from the word Chandrashewar which was diety of Bhoja king. Shree Bhagwati Temple which is in North Goa is around 500 years old and has around 25000 devotees at the time of Bush era. Other temples include Saptakoteshwar temple, Naguesh temple, Mangueshi temple and much more.
There are three famous mosques which are Jama Masjid, Namazgah, Safa Masjid. Jama Masjid is situated around 26km from Margao and was built in the last century. Namazga Masjid is located Ia TPO oda area and is around 2 km from Safa Masjid. The Safa Masjid is a 16th-century Islamic monument.
There are few exotic churches namely Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of Saint Talaulim, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception church, Our lady of Rosary church, Saint Augustine tower, Reis Magos church, Francis of Assisi and much more. All this can be found in Old Goa which was the then administrative capital of Goa city. It is blessed with churches and chapels and is called the golden Goa or the Rome of the east.
Goa is endowed with nearly 1512 documented species of plants, more than 275 genera of birds, 48 genera of reptiles and over 60 genera of reptiles. Few of the wild sanctuary includes Dr. Salim Ali Bird sanctuary, Cotigoa wildlife sanctuary, Bondla forest, and Bhagwan Mahavir wildlife sanctuary. Several plants and trees are unique to Goa and some were introduced by the Portuguese. The forests are mostly deciduous in nature. The most famous green chilies are grown in the Western Ghats is an essential part of the Indian curry.
There are two famous caves which can be explored by the adventure loving people which are Rock cut caves of Khandepar and the second cave is Arvalem cave. These caves were carved back in 12th century AD. The Arvalem caves were also called as Padavas caves where they stayed during their exile.
The Portuguese built forts to protect the river mouths in the east. The Goan forts are very small in size. It shows a great specimen of military, political and economic importance. The ruins of Fortress of Colville are located on the northern frontier of Bardez, on the banks of Bardez River. This Fortress was built in 1681. A Terekhol fort was built by the Raja of Sawantwadi and was built in the 17th century. Reis Magos fort was built in 1551 by the Portuguese. The Rachel Fort is located at a distance of 7km from the Margao. Other forts include Corjeum fort, Chapora fort, Cabo De Rama fort and Aguada fort. The Aguada fort is the largest political bastion of the Portuguese.
Vasco, Ponda, Margao, Mapusa, and Panaji are the different towns which can be explored in Goa. The town of Ponda is regarded as the Hindu heart of Goa. Margao is called the commercial capital of Goa and Maps is the third largest town in Goa.
The Heritage mansions were built by the Portuguese while they were trading with India. Their mansions represent exquisite Portuguese style which can’t be found anywhere in the sub-continent. Some of the Heritage mansion are Colaco mansion which is situated on the façade of the Mandovi river, Palacio de Deao was built by a Portuguese noble man and is around 213 years old, Braganza house was built in the 17th century and the Fernandez house located at Chandor village, Mascarenhas mansion is located in North Goa and has a classic description of balconies, Salvador Costa mansion and many more which you can explore by yourself.
The Portuguese built 4 seminaries out of which only 2 are surviving today. The Rachel Seminary and the Christian Art Museum are the two which are surviving today. The Christian Art Museum, the fabulous, first and only one of its kinds in Asia is situated at Santa Monica, Old Goa. This museum was relocated from the famous Rachol Seminary at Rachol near Margao. Housed with cultural heritage and history of Goa, this museum was originally set up in 1994 with technical and financial assistance received from CalousteGulbentian foundation of Portugal and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi. A special mention about this museum is that most of the statues were brought down by the Portuguese. The museum also houses rosaries and items made of gold, silver and precious stones. A silver plaque etching St Francis Xavier popular theme on the panels of a silver casket is considered as one of the best collections in this museum. This museum has some ivory images.
Adventurous Activities in Goa
If you are one of those people who love to go for adventurous activities without having any second thought in mind then Goa will prove to be the best destination for you when you plan for tour and travel. In Goa you can go for scuba diving then you must visit Grande Island, which part of the state. Further, you can also choose for enjoying in hot air balloon flight in Assolda Ground in Goa. In addition, in order to accelerate thrill inside you can go for White Water River rafting, which attracts tourists at Madovi River in Goa.
Enjoy the Quad Bike Riding in Goa
In case someone has told you that Goa is just famous for beaches and beautiful sights then they must not have visited the state yet or may not discovered it properly. In Goa along with enjoying all the preceding mentioned activities, you can also have loads of fun by enjoying quad bike riding on in the jungles of Goa, uneven roads, mud, and even on up and downs of uneven roads. The activity will offer you the experience of spending your vacation may be in overseas. Thus, if we inculcate each and everything you will never find any reason to miss to spend your vacation at the wonderful place like Goa.
Learn more about travelling to Goa by reading “The Complete Travel Guide For India’s Hottest Tourist Destination Goa” For Explore the best accommodations in goa, take a look at our Homestays in Goa to help you to plan a visit in this fantastic place of India.