It was in the year of 1510 that the Portuguese seafaring mariner by the name of Alfonso-de-Albuquerque vanquished the native Goa rulers and commemorated his victory on the Goa soil, by building the Arch of Viceroys which can still be seen near the Chapel of St Cajetan. With the idea of converting the Goa people to Roman Catholicism, the Portuguese rulers in Goa, reconstructed the whole Goa Townships by bring down mosques and temples and by constructing churches and chapels in their place. The City of Old Goa Township, which is shows a close reminiscence of Lisbon gives Old Goa a beautiful and unique Portuguese feel that is not found any other states or cities in India.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus
Sightseeing the city of Old Goa, is all about visiting several chapels, churches and cathedrals, which ranks as the largest conglomeration of Roman Catholic architectures in Asia. The imposing Se-Cathedral of the most revered St. Catherine, which can be found at a southwest direction from St. Cajetan is one the largest church found in Asia. The Se Cathedral has 14 alters and an 80 meters long aisle. This church is also famous for having 5 bells which also includes the famous Golden Bell, which is said to be one of the best of it kind all across the globe.
The Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the famous Se Cathedral in Old Goa are one of the few surviving edifices in India those that have been built in the Baroque and Manuline styles. The Archaeological Museum and also the Portrait Gallery are two notable places which have been setup at these sites and both of them are open to tourists from 10 am till 5pm, except on Fridays.
The Embalmed Body of St. Francis Xavier
It is mandatory that while booking for Goa tourism packages one must never forget to see the 16th Century Basilica of Bom Jesus which lies close to the St. Francis convent. The richly gilded altars of the Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Catholic world. This cathedral is, in fact, a pilgrimage for both Hindus, Muslims and the Christians who come to pay their homage to the mortal remains of Goa’s embalmed patron saint St. Francis Xavier, who passed away in the year1553.
The Weeping Cross at the Convent of Santa Monica
Last but not the least while staying at the best hotels in Goa, one can also take a short trip to the Holy Hill where one can visit the Chapel of our Lady of the Rosary and the Convent of Santa Monica, which has a miraculous Weeping Cross at the alter and was also considered as the largest convent in the bygone Portuguese empire.
One can visit Goa during any part of the year and in any season, but still the best time to visit Goa is in the month of March in order to enjoy the Goa Carnivals in the city. New Year and Christmas is also celebrated in Goa with a hue of full colors and are so extremely enjoyed by all tourists who visit Goa during these months which falls during the year’s end. The state of Goa, which is located in the western coast of India on the Konkan coastal belt is often referred to as the “Tourist Paradise” or “The Pearl of the Orient” in several travel magazines around the globe. The architectural splendor of the Goa churches, Temples and old colonial Portuguese buildings along with the magnificent scenic beauty of the Goa beaches, have made Goa a firm favorite with all travelers around the globe.
Festivals in Goa
But then again Goa is much more than just the Arabian Sea and its beaches. Goa does also has a soul of its own which goes deep into the rich culture and unique history of its past colonial days during the Portuguese rule. In fact, much of the real Goa can be found in its interiors, in the hinterlands away from its coastal plains.
Images of Shigmo Festival Parades in Goa
If one is looking for a Goa tour plan in the month of March, it can be noted that the Shigmo Festival in Goa is just around the corner which shall kick start from 16th of March and the whole state of Goa is already feeling euphoric in wild anticipation of the event. The Shigmo Festival is a Hindu Festival, which is accompanied by Shigmo parades in the streets where vibrant colors, music, floats and dance lifts the spirit of the entire state. Shigmo Festival in Goa is indeed an experience that one just cannot afford to miss, where the street parades depicts the Goan life through elaborate folk performances. During this festival local men and women in Goa dance tirelessly in a huge procession that accompanies the Shigmo parades.
Participants dressed as a warrior in the Shigmo Festival Parade
Traditionally the Shigmo festival or the ‘Shigmotsav’ was celebrated as the biggest festival of the spring in Goa, whereby the Goans honored the homecoming of the warriors who had left their humble abodes and their near and dear ones at the end of Dusshera which falls in October to fight the invaders. The Shigmotsav is quite akin to Holi (which is a festival of spring, observed in several places around India), but Shigmotsav unlike Holi is celebrated for 14 days, and so shall end on 31st of March.
One can always find the best hotel deals in Goa, during this festive season if one is keen on visiting Goa for enjoying the fun of seeing Goa in a bit different way.
Goa has always remained as one of the most sought for honeymooning destinations in India. Blessed with an easy going laid back populace, Goa is famous for its miles of scenic beaches, old colonial Portuguese Heritage buildings, swaying coconut palm trees and last but not the least, its delicious cuisines.
Honeymooning at Goa
It is a natural that once couples go for honeymoon at Goa the first thing that they do after checking into their Honeymoon suite, is to find out how many beach in Goa are there to head for. There is nothing more pleasurable and romantic in Goa than to walk hand in hand across the several miles of beaches in Goa. Goa has several kind and a wide variety to beaches to offer to the tourists. Starting from the perennial busy beaches in north Goa, to the unspoiled and untouched beaches in the southern parts of Goa, honeymooning couples are often spoilt of choices in finding better beaches while travelling through Goa. As the honeymooning couples sit close to each other in the Goa beaches, and find the time to admire the expanse of the seeming endless Arabian Sea, the trip to Goa find meaning in their loving souls.
A Birds Eye View of the Beach Resorts in Goa
However Goa is not only all about beaches. The nearly 400 years of Portuguese rule in Goa has left its indelible mark in this state in India. It is historically true that after the Portuguese were forced from leaving Panaji or Panjim to escape the water contamination in Old Goa, the Portuguese did set up residences and offices in and around the neighborhood of ‘Fontainhas’, which are as beautiful as the buildings found in Old Goa. While some of these buildings built by the Portuguese in New Goa are heritage sites, some of them have been converted to Goa High Court and several other administrative buildings in this new Goa Township. The Old Goa city buildings like the Old City Library or the Medicine University in Old Goa are architectural sites to behold as the honeymooning couples would like to walk along the Mandovi Pier watching the twinkling lights of the casino ships and the luxury yachts moored on the Arabian Sea.
The neighborhood of Fontainhas (which locally means in Portuguese “The little Fountain”) is the the place which is still the last resort of the Portuguese families living in Goa. This place has been declared as the UNESCO Heritage Zone and the Churches over here dates back to the middle of the 19th Century in the past.
Goa has always been the most popular honeymooning tourist destinations in India. There are several people who travel from far and wide to this small beachside state in India which caters to nature, seascape, adrenaline filled activities, beaches and of course history. One of the best way one can see Goa after finding a suitable place for stay in the best resorts in Goa for honeymoon is to hire ascooter or a motorbike and explore Goa at a leisure in hand.
Beaches in Goa
The long stretch of sandy coastlines in Goa is renowned globally for its multitude of exquisite beaches. To find out about the list of best hotels in Goa it can be said that Goa has something for everyone, starting from super luxury resorts to makeshift huts and small hideouts for enjoying trance parties in tranquility of the travelling soul.
The Anjuna Beach Flea Market is another unique attraction at Goa. This market is held on ever Wednesday morning, and it remains open up till late evening. This market has presently 500 stalls where one can find a myriad assortment of goods which can easily make the travelers shop till they drop and head over to the nearby beach to enjoy the sunset in the Arabian Sea.
If one market is not enough for the travelers while visiting Goa, one can also visit the Saturday Night Market, which is held at Arpora Baga area in Goa. The Mackie’s Night Bazar is another wonderful night shopping haunt in Goa, which offers beautiful entertainments like live music and mouthwatering range of food stalls in its vicinity.
Church of Saint Francis of Assisi at Goa
The older parts of Goa boast of the once magnificent Portuguese edifices which are the remains of the Goa history when it was the Portuguese Capital of India. There are several imposing Churches and Cathedrals in Old Goa where some of them are acknowledged as the largest in Asia. Built in 1521, The Convent and Church of Saint Francis of Assisi still preserved the remains of the body of Saint Frances Xavier, who is the patron saint of Goa is a must see for all those who visits this land. The body of Saint Frances Xavier, which is shown every ten years shall be shown to the public once more this year in 2014.
Apart from its historic buildings, churches and beaches, Goa is also home to an array of birds and animals. It can be statistically said that 20% of the Goa territories is considered as a part of Indian wild life sanctuaries. The Bhagwan Mahvir and The Cotigao are the two most famous national wildlife preservation sites in Goa, which just cannot be missed even while honeymooning at Goa.
The Anjuna Beach, which is often one of the most popular places found in the Goa tour packages, is a village in Goa, which falls under the 12 Brahmin Comunidades of Bardez. The Anjuna village boasts of the St. Michael’s Church which was founded in the year 1595 and is dedicated to St. Miguel whose feast is celebrated every year on September 29th. Nossa Senhora Advogada is another festival that is celebrated in this church during the second week of January. There are three main chapels in the parish of this church which are known by the name of Nossa Senhora de Piedade (Grande Chinvar), St. Antonio (Praias) and Nossa Senhora de Saude (Mazalvaddo).
Anjuna Beach- The best place to visit in Goa
The Anjuna Beach is a world renowned place for trance parties which are conducted on the Anjuna village during the peak tourist seasons. This village is also a popular destination for the tourists for its flea market which is held on every Wednesday wherein one can purchase several items ranging from jewellery to local hand loom clothes, electronic items, fruits, wines and others.
The Anjuna Beach resort in Goa is situated on the north of Calangute and Baga beaches and south of Chapora and Vagator beach in Goa. The nearest popular township close to this village is Mapusa, which lies just a few kilometers away from the Anjuna beach resorts.
If you are from India or you from an international destination holding a foreign driving licence, the best way to travel around the Anjuna village is to hire a scooter or a motorbike which charges anywhere between INR 150 to 400 on a daily basis. There are several Goa travel agents who also includes the bike tariffs inside their Goa hotel offers, though Goa is not a safe and good place to learn how to ride a scooter or a motorbike.
Glimpse of the famous Anjuna Beach at Goa
Anjuna beach is the home to the most popular night clubs in Goa. The best way to arrive at the Anjuna beach is to get down at the Mapusa train station which is located at Thivim in Goa. From Mapusa one can take a bus ride to the Anjuna beach resorts which often costs even less than 10 Indian Rupees. One can also hire an auto-rickshaw which is a three wheeled vehicle for travelling between Mapusa and Anjuna, which certainly costs more, but provides enhanced comfort to the travelers on this route.
There are also several intra-state bus services that ply between Anjuna and rest of Goa and are comfortable for the travel of the backpackers who often visits this wonderful seaside land.
Goa is a very famous tourist destination in India. It is a small and indeed the smallest states in India. Goa is a famous holiday places in India. The Goan taste in any food or art eccentricity in art is always appreciated for its forms. The places in Goa and the beaches are inspiration for many artists, poets and orators. Thus, giving it’s a stature even in famous TV channels as well as publications. Listing a few famous as well as quiet destinations in Goa:
The Terekhol Fort: – This fort is also called the Tiracol Fort. It is situated in the Northern tip of Goa. It is situated at the mouth of the River Tiracol. It is reached by a commuter boat from Querim, Goa. It was constructed by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle.
Goa Art Museum: – Promoting the Art and the tribal folk art of Goa is the Goa art museum. The museum complex stands in the EDC Complex in Patto, Panjim (capital of Goa). It unveiled by the then President of India on the 18th of June, 1996. It houses the historical facts of the place through the unique collections that prove the existence of the place.
Museum of Christian Art: – It is based at the Convent of St. Monica in Old Goa. The famous publication, Lonely Planet elaborates the place as “Within the Convent of St. Monica, the excellent Museum of Christian Art contains statuary, paintings and sculptures transferred here from the Rachol Seminary. Many of the works of Christian art during the Portuguese era were produced by local Hindu artists.”
Fort Aguada: – This fort was made in the 17th century. It was a lighthouse and a fort. It is perhaps the oldest. It is based at the Sequerim beach. This fort gives a view of the Arabian Sea. It was built to guard the Portugal base from the Dutch and the Maratha armies, who were enemies to the Portugals. Acreation of the 1613, it still stands the test of time, beautifully and gracefully.
Talking about the holidays, to look at dangerous species is also to be mentioned. The olive ridley sea turtle is the most dangerous species in the world. It is a mid-sized sea turtle. In India, it is found in the Goan waters.
Olive Ridley Sea turtles
An ideal spot for tourists, Goa places electrifies each tourist who takes a halt on the sands of Goa.
Staying in a very tourist friendly place can be a little hard on your pockets. Especially if it is Goa…you are going to have a hard time. Backpackers, motels, eco-lodges, name it and Goa has it. Since it is so tourist-friendly, there are hotels that are pretty pocket-friendly too. Let us talk about each of these kinds of places to stay in. I am choosing on an eco-beach resort, a resort and a guest house but there are many more.
First, an eco beach resort, Dwarka eco beach resort. Wow! The spirit of Goa in beach is truly experienced in such a place. 10 modernly facilitated cottages in the middle of the expansive palm orchards. A small lake besides it, overlooking the ocean. Drive through pretty little rural communities and get here to this beach resort. Since Cola Beach is not a very well-known beach, it is calm and romantic.
Then, a resort. Opt not for biggie’s and wait for the reservations to be done, but ask for Art Resort, small and splendid. Though Palolem beach houses many hotels and resorts, this one is special. The Art resort is special because it has an Indo-Austrian management. The cottages here are famous too. It has a spacious balcony for you to enjoy the view of the beach day or night. One room, a huge balcony is what the resort offers you. This resort also promotes arts by presenting an art gallery for art enthusiasts and like many other resorts; this art gallery is a non-profit one.
Another is a guest house we must speak about. The name of the guest house is Villa Susegat. In the local accent it Susegat means to relax. This hotel is the most unbeaten guest house in the vicinity. It is run by a British couple. Small huts on the beaches of Goa, a well-structured and well-maintained place and a beach café to enjoy, what more would you ask for?
Goa places to stay are many, in fact so many that often tourists are confused which one to choose. A wide variety of places to stay, luxury, beauty and comfort combined. What more would you ask out of a vacation spot? It seems highly possible that this small state entices you into coming and staying here for a day or two and when you have stayed here for a day or two, you do not feel like returning back home.
Goa is a place of surprises but why would want to go where all the others go? Goa is generally mentioned as the “Pearl of the East”. Escape the crowd in certain places to see in Goa. Make a list of Goa places to visit where one can experience true calm as it is “far from the maddening crowd”.