Tourist places in Goa never fail to amaze any of its visitors. Each of them has something unique to give to their fond travelers. Goa is the perfect blend for the party people and solace-seekers. From raving beaches to artistic churches to tranquil forts to impressive nature reserves – Goa has got it all!
Here are 7 of the places that you must visit when traveling to Goa –
Situated 15 km away from Panjim, it is one of the most popular and largest beaches of Goa, attracting national and international tourists alike. ‘Queen of Beaches’ is a popular name of this one. The beach offers an amazing view of the enormous sea with the beach lines dotted by numerous shops and outlets.
During the peak seasons, it is also the busiest and the most commercialized beach among backpackers and tourists from all over the world. Due to this, it is swarming with eating joints, shacks, and clubs serving cocktails, beers, and seafood.
There is also a plethora of water sports available for the adventure seekers. Some of them are – parasailing, water surfing, banana ride, and jet skiing.
While the days are filled with people and fun, the night time is reserved for rave and upbeat parties.
The word ‘Agua’ literally translated into ‘water’ in Portugal. This fort is a 17th-century Portuguese fort, build as for defending the local people from Dutch and Maratha invaders. The rampart of this fort stands at the convergence of River Mandovi and the Arabian Sea. Aguada was the most prized fort of the Portuguese. Battlements and thick moat surround the whole fort. The sunset from here is breathtaking.
Two places worth visiting the fort are – 13 m high lighthouse and a vaulted reservoir that can store up to 10 million liters of fresh water. The lighthouse is one of its kinds in the whole of Asia. The cistern helped to provide freshwater to the oncoming ships.
Now, this fort stands between the Candolim Beach and the Sinquerium Beach. Here, you can enjoy a quiet afternoon breathing the fresh air and watching an early sunset.
The name literally means a ‘sea of milk’. The 4-tiered waterfall is situated on the Goa-Karnataka border, around 60 km away from Panji. The height of the fall is 310m. It is the 4th largest waterfall in the whole country.
Unfortunately, there is no platform or area for the tourists to observe this majestic waterfall up close but there is a railway bridge. Whenever passenger trains tend to cross the bridge, the train slows down for the riders to get a close up of the cascading milky waters.
Best time to visit Dudhsagsr is in the monsoon season when it is touched by the beauty of rain and the surrounding trees are lush. Though if the water level rises too much, it closes for the public.
More popularly known as the “Dil Chahta Hai Fort”, it claims to fame the 2001 Bollywood blockbuster. Chapora Fort is 10 km away from Mapusa. The highlight of this building is the wonderful view of the Vagator Beach, overseeing the gorgeous Arabian Sea, especially at sundown.
Muslim ruler, Adil Shah fortified this building before the Portuguese even came to Goa. He named it ‘Shahpura’. Reconstructed by Portuguese in 1717, they named it Chapora after the Chapora River that flows nearby.
From the top of this building, it gave an outstanding view of the surroundings thus making it an important site during the battles. The building had had a number of possessors, from the Portuguese to the Maratha. The ruins though have a story of their own!
Although this lateritic fort is almost in ruins now, it still offers a serene escape from the hustle-bustle of daily life. The sensational panorama of coastline and the sunset as seen from the fort is one of its kinds.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
The name ‘Bom Jesus’ translates to ‘Holy Jesus’. This remarkable church is one of its kinds in baroque architecture. Built in the year 1594, the time coincides at the same time when Christianity began in India. The main attraction of this building is the stored mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier in the glass mausoleum. He was a special friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).
The roof is triangular in structure with the carving of initials ‘IHS’. ‘IHS’ is an abbreviation of Jesuit emblem meaning, ‘Jesus, Saviour of Men’. This is the only church in Goa that has not been plastered on the outside. The interior is marble mosaic that gives it a sombre appearance. On the wall, running from floor to the ceiling is a screen that shows St. Ignatius Loyola protecting baby Jesus. Above all, there is an image of the Holy Trinity. There is a gallery of Modern Art that is a must-visit.
The best time to visit is during Christmas when traditional feast and novena takes place.
Due to its rich cultural and architectural significance, it has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary
Being the smallest wildlife sanctuary, it is very different from the rest of the other in Goa. The area of the sanctuary is 8 square metres only. It is set against the quaint backdrop of forest hills. There are a number of varieties of flora and fauna present. Due to which it is particularly popular among children and environmentalists. The species of animals and plants which one gets to see here is some of the rarest one in India.
It is also a heaven for photography lovers to capture the natural wonderment of plants and animals alike!
It offers a lot of trails and activities to indulge in. Bondla is the best place to visit if you want to enjoy a Safari. You can also experience an elephant ride here. If you want to rest amidst the wilderness, Bondla also presents eco-cottages.
One of the most popular beaches in the whole country, Baga Beach is near Calangute Beach; it is around 30 km from Panji. Baga is so named after the ‘Baga creek’ that meets the Arabian Sea. The ‘sea meet’ is a beautiful phenomenon to bait your eyes. Dolphins can also be spotted in the deeper ocean.
Baga is the perfect example to experience the dazzling nightlife of Goa. Some of the signature places are Tito’s, Britto’s, Kamaki and Mambos are located closely. It is rightly called the ‘The Hometown of Nightlife’. It is also famous for its designer stores as well as its street-side markets.
There is also a wide range of water sports for everyone to let loose. Some of them are parasailing, jet skiing, banana riding, bumper rides, bodyboarding, kayaking, paddle boarding and speedboat riding.
If you are not a party person, you also have the option of starting your mornings with some beach Yoga, having a nutritious breakfast by the sea, and then just spend the day reading quietly on beach recliner. There is something for everyone!