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Tour Destinations - India - Goa

Goa:
Goa is a verdant natural paradise bounded on the one side by the foothills of the Sahyadri range and on the other by the Arabian Sea. Goa, a tiny green land surrounded by azure waters on the West Coast of India, with its natural picturesque beauty, attractive beaches and famous architectural temples, grand parties and festivals and its rich Anglo-Indian heritage is a great attraction for all tourists. The most important places of interests are the beaches of Goa which are filled with millions of tourists every year as visitors all over the world flock to this natural paradise to bathe in the pleasant sun and crystal clear azure-green waters of the sea.

To gorge on the lip-smacking and mouth-watering Konkan and Goanese cuisine like chicken rechado and xacuti and to rock and rave in the night parties by the fire-lit sea beaches. The vast collection of diverse rocky and sand, golden or silver sand beaches spellbinds the tourists with their awe-inspiring scenic beauty.

   

Candolim Beach:
Located 14 kms north of Panaji in the state of Goa, the Candolim Beach is a part of a long extension of beach coastline along the Arabian Sea that begins at Fort Aguada and ends at Chapora Beach. This place is also famous as it is the birth place of Abba Faria, considered to be one of Goan freedom fighters and the Father of Hypnotism.

The white sandy Candolim beach naturally beautified by the scrub-covered dunes draws a lot of tourists these days. Candolim beach offers various water-sports activities-right from parasailing to water-skiing, wind surfing and so on. Fishing is an activity for those who love peaceful and quiet environment. Yoga & meditation has also gained popularity here because of the idyllic atmosphere. Special beach excursions are also arranged in Candolim beach wherein a tourist is taken right to the core of the sea from where he can capture some memorable sunsets. Candolim's nightlife is very calm, giving a break from the chaos and commotion of other beaches.

     
Miramar Beach:
Miramar Beach is situated 1 kilometer ahead of the confluence of Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea. It is situated on the way towards Dona Paula, about 3 kilometers from Panjim, the capital city of Goa. Miramar Beach of Goa is also known as 'Gasper Dias'. The Miramar Beach in Goa begins at the gulf and then culminates in the Emerald Coast Parkway. It is a golden beach fringed with palm trees. The soft sands of the beach makes it the best site for evening walks. Moreover, 'miramar' in Portuguese implies 'viewing the sea'. Tourists can get a glimpse of the majesty of the Arabian Sea from the Miramar Beach at Goa. Furthermore, the Miramar Beach of Goa possesses a 2 kilometers long coast and silvery sand bed. The silver sand beds of the beach are said to sparkle in the moonlight. The beach also provides a kaleidoscopic view of the Aguada fort, which is known for its peaceful surroundings and solitude. A large number of migratory birds come to the beach. One can see migratory birds such as gulls and plovers at the beach from November to March. The beach also provides a various options for accommodations. Tourists coming to Miramar Beach can put up at the hotels and resorts located at the beach. One can also come across many shopping and tourist destinations at a proximity to the hotel. Thus, Miramar Beach seems to be the perfect location for holidaying in Goa.
     
Majorda Beach:
Majorda Beach is situated in the southern part of Bogmola. It is one of the marvelous beaches in Goa that is located about 18 kilometers from Dabolim Airport. Marjorda Beach in Goa is connected to Margao with an excellent network of roadways, including buses, auto rickshaws and taxis. It is one of the most popular beaches of Goa. Majorda Beach of Goa has a strong bearing upon the Indian mythology. Legends believed that Lord Rama was kidnapped and brought to the Majorda beach in his childhood. It is also said that Lord Rama came to the beach in search of his wife, Sita. He is said to have come to Cabo-de-Rama, which lies in the southern part of the beach. Majorda is also famous for its bakery and toddy. Besides, the tourists can enjoy a wide variety of sea-food at the beach. One can also enjoy steaks and schezhuan specialties at Marjorda Beach in Goa.
     
Mobor Beach:
Mobor Beach is an ideal location for the adventure tourists. It is one of the most popular beaches in Goa, which enables the tourists to indulge in adventure sports such as water skiing, water surfing, jet ski, banana and bump rides and parasailing. The beach can be visited throughout the year. The Mobor beach in Goa is one of the most popular tourist sites in the city. Every year thousands of tourists come to the beach to indulge in water sports. In fact, the Cavelossium-Mobor is famous for water sports. The water sports at Mobor beach at Goa include speed boat rides, Jet Ski, water skiing, banana and bump rides, wind surfing, parasailing and many others. These water sports take place behind the Betty Palace. Besides the water sports, tourists can also enjoy the thrill of biking in the beach. Biking in the sand seems to be a favorite activity of the tourists coming to Mobor beach. It is noteworthy that the beach was explored till 1980s. Before 1980s, Mobor beach was a barren stretch of land with a few huts.
     
Colva Beach:
The Colva Beach lies about 6 Kms to the west of Margao and is the oldest, largest and the most spectacular beaches of South Goa. The beach consists of about 25kms of the fine powdered white sand and is bounded along its coast by coconut palms that stretch from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south along south Goa's coastline. In the colonial days it used to be the resting area for Margao's high society, who would visit Colva for their "Mundanca" or change of air. Today the area that is reminiscent of the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocratic class has the beautiful houses or villas that dot the village. While taking a stroll on the Colva Beach, silver carpets of bangdde (mackerels) can be viewed sparkling on the golden sands that are laid for drying by the fishermen. Apart from the beach itself, the other main attraction for the tourists is the "Menino Jesus" statue at the local church of Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Piedade ( Our Lady of Mercy) founded in 1630. The church lies in the village square. The church in Colva is famous for its annual religious event-Fama of Menino Jesuse (Child Jesus)-since the 17th century. The predominantly Catholic community celebrates it on the third Monday of October every year. It is one of Goa's most popular feasts and a big fair is held on the occasion at Colva. Although the Colva Beach has never been a hilarious destination for rave parties, Colva's nightlife is livelier and vibrant than anywhere else in south Goa. The two most happening nightspots are down in the dunes south of the beachfront area: splash boasts a big MTV satellite screen and music to match, and a late bar and disco energize and rock crowds around 10.00 pm.
     
Anjuna Beach:
Located about 18kms from Panaji and situated in Bardez taluka, the Anjuna Beach is the part of a 30 km extended beach coastline along the west coast of Goa by the Arabian sea. The Village of Anjuna, a five square mile area is nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Hill overlooking the beach. The beach is famous for its stunning natural beauty with swaying palms trees and soft powered white sands. The beach is marked by an unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of white sand and black rock that juts out into the Sea. This area was known as the Jewel of Anjuna and called "Ozran". Anjuna beach is a favorite haunt of the hippies who used to organize the famous rave beach parties. It was in the late 1950s to mid-1960s that hippies started visiting Anjuna beach and since then popularized the wild rave parties with trance music which have now become the characteristic features of Goan beaches. Anjuna Beach is also an ideal place for full-moon parties held especially during Christmas and New Year. Tourists love enjoying the blissful atmosphere of the luminous full-moon casting a spell and the soft foamy waves kissing their feet. The beach is adjacent to Chapora fort. The "Albuquerque mansion" located nearby is one of the sight-seeing highlights of this beach. At the north of the Anjuna, is its famous flea market, held on Wednesdays, where small cafes, bars and Kashmiri handicrafts stalls are lined. This area offers pleasurable shopping experience with quality products at reasonable prizes. Bathing is generally safer at Anjuna than at most of the nearby resorts, especially at the more serene southern end of the beach where a rocky headland keeps the sea calm. At this place sun -starved European tourists laze around bathing in the pleasant sun. The exhilaration of Bungee Jumping from an 80-ft tower and water-sports facilities like paragliding and windsurfing boosts the fun at Anjuna. The beach area is crowded with a large number of tourists from all over India and the world who come in to enjoy the colorful beach parties.
     
Varca Beach:
Varca Beach is one most popular tourist sites in Goa. It is one of the most beautiful and exotic beaches of Goa and is situated about 2 kilometers from Benaulim. The beach is marked by a number of wooden boats, belonging to the fishermen of the city. The Varca Beach in Goa is known to its soft white sands and its cleanliness. It is one of the cleanest beaches that allow the tourists to spend some time in solitude. Varca Beach of Goa seems to be an ideal location for the tourists looking for tranquility and serenity. Moreover, the beach possesses a number of beach shacks, where the tourists can indulge in the typical Goan cuisine. At these shacks, the tourists can enjoy the wide variety of delicacies, including sea food. Besides, the beach possesses a number of tourist’s sites at its vicinity. The tourists can spend their time watching dolphins or enjoying boat trips on the river Sal.
     
Sinquerim Beach:
The Sinquerim Beach of Goa is located some 13 km away from Panaji and is stunningly beautiful and quieter than the other beaches of Goa. This long, extended sandy terrain that runs incessantly along the coast is ideal for taking a walk. The feel of the glistening sands and the cool water caressing the feet gives you out of the feeling. The beach is one of a series of tranquil and spectacular stretch of sand and an ideal place for swimming. The tourists come down to this beach and prefer it for its pristine and serene setting. The lovely beach of Sinquerim is one of the oldest preserved beaches in Goa. The famous fort Aguada is located near the beach. Fort Aguada was built by the Portuguese in the early 17th century Portuguese fort that was built by the Portuguese to defend them against any foreign attack and to control the entry of the intruders through River Mandovi.
     
 
Vagator Beach:
The Vagator beach located near Mapusa Road, North Goa and 22 km far from the state capital Panaji is less crowded and isolated compared to other Goan beaches. It boasts of pure white sand, doted with black lava rocks and swaying coconut and palm trees and lies within the backdrop of the 500-year-old Portuguese Fort and takes the visitors down the memory lane depicting the Old Portuguese era. Vagator's broad white sandy beach - Big Vagator Beach also known as "Little Vagator" is undeniably beautiful and offers picturesque vista with the red ramparts of Chapora Fort.At the southern end of the beach, a row of makeshift cafes provides shade and sustenance for a predominantly Israeli crowd. Like Anjuna, Vagator is a relaxed, comparatively undeveloped resort that appeals, in the main, to budget travellers with time on their hands. Accommodation is limited, reaching there.
     

Morjim Beach:
The Morjim Beach, popularly known as the Turtle Beach, is located in Pernem, north Goa. The beach is bestowed with elegant vistas, including a blossoming, green environment. The Morjim Beach is special as it serves as a hatching and nesting habitat of the Olive Ridley turtles, which are an endangered species. The sight of the tiny hatchlings, turtles and crabs makes your experience at the beach an unforgettable one. Kite surfing is another activity popular at this beach because of its shallow depth.

However, a ban has been imposed on beach parties at turtle-nesting sites, so that the breeding patterns are not disrupted. Another of the beach’s popular attractions is a cross on the rock podium on the shores. One can escape the hustle-bustle of city life and relax in the small huts at the Morjim Beach. Huts also popular as shacks have been built to offer you everything required, whether it is chicken, beer or pancakes for enjoying the visit. A non-commercial beach, the Morjim Beach provides you harmony and tranquility on its silvery sands under the golden rays in midst of the sound of the waves. The serene atmosphere on the shores of the beach is enhanced with the sight of a majestic sunset, when the beach shines with the last bits of rays and the sky becomes a spectacular sight in itself.

     
Betalbatim Beach:
Each one of us has definitely been lucky enough to witness beautiful sunsets sometime but the beauty of the sunsets at the Betalbatim Beach is beyond imagination. Located in the south of the Majorda Beach, Betalbatim Beach is one most beautiful beaches of Goa. Owing to the spectacular sunsets it offers, it is popularly known as the “Sunset beach of Goa”. Not only is it more peaceful than the other beaches but is also much cleaner. The quiet and secluded location of this beach makes it all the more attractive and inviting. As a long stretch of golden sand, the Betalbatim Beach looks gorgeously divine. Unlike the other beaches of Goa, this beach is covered with cold pine trees swaying musically in the air. The beach beds which are offered on rent here, just add to the pleasure one gets in laying in the shade of the pine trees and spending some quality time with you. Not just this, one can also have fun watching the dolphins dancing through the sea waters. Exclusive Dolphin Trips are also arranged by the local fishermen for you to see them from near. A number of beach houses and resorts offer good accommodation to those who want to stay. The Betalbatim Beach is also lined with a number of shacks that offer mouth-watering sea food and interesting drinks. It is also one of the most popular picnic spots in Goa. When only the description of this place can evoke so much excitement, imagine how would it be to experience everything yourself? Don’t just keep thinking about it, go feel yourself!
     
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary:
Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is a picturesque location with a beautiful landscape and and lush greenery all around. This place provides a very soothing natural environment to its inhabitants. The sanctuary provides habitat to a large number of wild animals and a variety of bird species. Some of the occupants here are panthers, Asiatic lions, a variety of deer, crocodiles, snakes, wild cats, etc. Birds like Kingfishers, Hornbills, Yellow Bulbul, Woodpeckers, etc., are also sighted here. The Nature Education Centre, exclusively set up here, imparts useful knowledge about the wildlife to its visitors by showcasing a number of exhibits, books and videos. The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is much popular among school children and animal lovers, and a favorite destination for the schools and families. The impressive collection of a variety of plants also proves beneficial for researchers and the students of Botany. Being an Eco-tourism destination, it is looked upon greatly by the state. One can even choose to stay at the sanctuary, as comfortable accommodation is provided by the forest department. The Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary provides an exquisite experience to its visitors, especially during early mornings and evenings.
     

Baga Beach:
Baga Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. This beach is basically an extension of Calangute Beach Holydays and is a part of 30 kms coastline along the west coast of Goa. This coast line begins at Fort Aguada continues as Sinquerim beach, then as Candolim Beach, then as Calangute beach before merging into Baga beach. It then again continues as Anjuna Beach, then as Vagator Beach and finally ends at Chapora Beach and Fort. Goa Baga beach is also called a fishing beach and is an attraction for both foreign and domestic tourists. Baga Beach offers breathtaking scenic beauty, luxurious resorts and miles of pink sand. The sunset and sunrise of Baga Beach are also very mesmerizing and is a treat for a nature lovers eyes.

The curvaceous coastlines of Baga Beach with sun-soaked beaches suit everybody's desires. The beach offers excellent swimming, surfing and snorkeling facilities, as well as abundant opportunity for less energetic pursuits like sunbathing, taking a walk on the palm fringed beaches, building sand castles, collecting seashells or just watching the sea play with the sand.

     

Arvalem Waterfalls:
A thunderous spurt of water beautifully cascading down a rocky terrain of a mountain! This is the picture of the splendrous Arvalem Waterfalls in Goa. Popularly known as the Harvalem Waterfalls, it is located at Arvalem, around 9 km from Bicholim, North Goa. With water falling headlong from a height of 70 meters, it makes up for an absolutely breathtaking view.

The Arvalem waterfall is at its glorious best right after the monsoon, with eye-catching beauty that exhilarates the tourists. A huge lake is formed at the bottom which is much popular amongst the swimmers. The color of the waterfall becomes muddy brown because of the monsoon rains and the water flow is quite less. The area has lush greenery all around it with fruit laden trees adding to the beauty of the scenery. The Arvalem waterfall is one of the most crowded tourist spots in Goa. The Government has, therefore, developed a park at the site where one can peacefully sit and adore the charisma of the waterfall. In the vicinity of the waterfall lies the temple of Rudreshwar which holds great importance for the Hindus. Another major attraction of this place is the rock-cut caves that give it a historical touch and are also popular amongst the film-makers. The astounding charm of this secluded place with a mesmerizing view of water descending into the lapse of mother nature, makes this place an ideal location for rejuvenating the soul.

     

Arvalem Caves:
Apart from the admirable beaches and waterfalls, Goa is also one of the most sought after destinations for heritage architectures. Goa is an ancient state and so is the architecture found here. A beautiful example of the historical monuments present in Goa is the Arvalem Caves or the “Pandava Caves”. Located in the Bicholim town of North Goa, these caves are ancient rock cut caves that give us a chance to step into the mythological tales. The origin of these caves dates back to the 6th century.

Popularly known as the Pandava Caves, these caves have derived their name from the five Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata. As the legend has it, the Pandavas sought refuge in these caves during their exile. The presence of five compartments and Shivlingas in the cave complex provides relevance of this fact. However, the caves have also been claimed to be of Buddhist origin due to presence of a huge statue of Buddha near the place. The architectural style of the caves also speaks loud of the Buddhist possession. The opinions regarding the origin of the caves have been ambivalent from years. The architecture of the caves is simple yet appealing. The walls are plain with no paintings on them. The mysterious look of the caves has been attracting the tourists over long years. The presence of the famous Rudreshwar temple and a waterfall in its vicinity, makes this place a must visit in Goa.

 
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