Goa; 'the queen of beaches', is known for its Gothic churches, palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, Gin and Feni; and the Great Carnival. With its 131-km-long coastline, Goa represents the perfect trio of sun, sand and sea. Goa is a state blessed with fabulous weather, fantastic beaches, cooperative people, good food, hilltop forts making Goa tour one of the most wanted tours in India.
If the tourists coincide their Goa tour with the most happening month of February, then the great Goa Carnival awaits them in full flair of colour and music. The most attractive part of the Goa Carnival is the mask dance, rhythmic music and thirst quenching Feni.
For the travelers fond of village life; the ancestral Loutolim village takes them away from the flamboyant celebration of Goa carnival in the main city area. The tourists can also visit the tranquil and snow white beaches of Goa, churches, temples, markets and enjoy the water sports as well. The nightlife of Goa also becomes vibrant with the onset of the late evenings. The discotheques, bars and nightclubs in the hotels provide enough scope for the entertainment.
History of Goa
People relate the Goan history only with Portuguese but the seldom known fact is that it was also a part of the Mauryan Empire, around third century BC. The Satvahanas of Kolhapur, and the Chalukyas of Badami, took over the governance later. Other dynasties followed until the entry of Vijayanagar Empire for almost a century. This Mughal era ended with the reign of Sultans of Gulbarga, from whom the rule passed on to Adil Shah of Bijapur. In the tussle of power between the Dutch, English, French and Portuguese; in 1510, the Portuguese conquered Goa. Having ruled for around four hundred years, in 1961, the Portuguese left Goa making it an independent state.
Tourist Places in Goa
A tour to Goa is a gateway to a fascinating experience on the Goa Beaches, which are over forty in numbers. The Goa beaches are silver white with soft sand and are among the best beaches in the world. The most famous beaches in Goa are Anjuna, Baga, Calungute, Colva, Cavelossim, Benualim, Majorda, Dona Paula etc.
The beach resorts situated on the beaches ensure your comfortable and luxurious stay. Amongst the leading Deluxe Hotels in Goa are Hotel Taj Exotica, Fort Aguada Beach Resort Goa, Marriott Resort, Park Hyatt Goa Spa and Resort, Cidade De Goa Resort, The Renaissance Goa Resort, Majorda Beach Resort, Inter Continental, The Grand Resort and The Leela Palace Hotel. A range of economy hotels is also available at Goa.
A number of old Forts in Goa narrate their own story dating back to a bygone era. After the fun and frolic at Goa carnival, these Goa forts and monuments refresh your perception of beauty and elegance. The famous forts in Goa include Fort of Aguada, Cabo Raj Niwas, Cabo De Rama, Chapora Fort and Tiracol Fort. These forts elevate the French and Portuguese art and architecture dominant in those times. When you visit the forts in Goa, the concoction of different cultures-namely Portuguese, Hindu and Muslim- strikes you at the first instance.
Some old temples of Goa that have survived the ravages of time have remarkable natural beauty and unique architecture. As in the days of yore, betel nut trees, coconut groves and lakes with crystal clear water surround them. Among the oldest, Saraswat Temples in Goa are the Mangeshi temple of Priol, the Shanta Durga Temple at Kavele, the Ganapati temple at Khandole, the Maha Laxmi temple at Bandewade and the Sri Nagesh Maharudra Temple at Bandora. These temples project the Hindu roots in Goa where even now the converted Christians of the state perform pujas and donate money for their Hindu brethren.
The architecture and intricate designs on the churches in Goa make them worth watching. Most of the churches in Goa display a tiered frontispiece and are framed with columns and pilasters. Built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, most important churches in Goa are: Basilica of Bom Jesus and Goa Se Cathedral.
Water Sports Goa
The water sports and the related activities are quite developed in Goa. The water sports in Goa give you the adventurous thrill and flexibility to your fatigued muscles. The various alternatives available in Goa for the water sport lovers are: Windsurfing, Dinghy Sailing, Scuba Diving, Speed Boats, Parasailing and Swimming.
Shopping in Goa
Shopping in Goa, India, can be an enchanting experience as you get not only Goan memorabilia here but also souvenirs from various corners of India. Goa is one place in India where you have customary shops as well as the beach shops. The beach side shops offer exclusive souvenirs reminding you of the colonial history of Goa. The famous Goan market is the Goa Flea Market at the Anjuna beach. The exclusive Goan craft items at the Government of Goa Emporia and the Handicrafts Emporium in Panjim are just right for the art lovers.
How To Reach Goa
Goa's international airport is Dabolim, 29 kms away from Panaji, on the coast near Vasco Da Gama. The air network in Goa connects various places of India through domestic airlines. A number of international airlines are also available.
Goa's two main stations are at Margao and Vasco Da Gama. Reaching Goa by train is easy from Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi. The Frank Shipping operates a boat service between Mumbai and Panaji giving you an opportunity to enjoy a sea voyage. For the local transportation one can easily find bus, car and the native mode of transport in Goa - the motorcycle taxi. Several ferry services are also available.