GOA – MORE THAN JUST BEACHES

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Goaaaaaaa!  This is a place where every group of friends thinks of going. Isn’t it? Whenever we think of Goa, we imagine beaches and beer, but why don’t we think of Goa beyond beaches? Goa has an unusual history. You can see the blend of Eastern Indian culture with the western Portuguese world in Goa. Imagine yourself walking through a lane in Goa with Portuguese houses all around you, wouldn’t be that interesting? Goa has so much to offer! Churches, forts, wildlife sanctuaries, museums, Portuguese houses, shopping markets, nightlife and many more. Here is the list that can help you include a few more places and many more things to do while travelling to Goa.

What to visit:

  1. Fontainhas –

Heritage walks in Panjim to discover the various facets of the Indo-Portuguese homes.

 

  1. A visit to Braganza Pereira House – Historic building in Chandor

The House, built in the 17th century, is the biggest Portuguese mansion of its kind in Goa. The house was granted by the King of Portugal. Mrs. Braganza will tell you better about the house when you will visit.

Here is the address:

Menezes Braganza Pereira House

Culsabhatt, Chandor, Goa 403714

 

  1. Dudhsagar Falls: Witness the Fury of Nature’s Glory

Remember that beautiful waterfall from the film Chennai Express!? Of course, yes! One of the tallest waterfalls of the country and amongst the highest 100 in the world, the falls appears like a heavy stream of milk flowing effortlessly with much pressure from the top to down the hill.

 

  1. Basilica de Bom Jesus

UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Basilica de Bom Jesus church is the only church in Old Goa not plastered on the outside. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier.

 

  1. Fort Aguada

Built in the 19th century, the Aguada fort is presently used as a prison. It is the largest prison in Goa. The fort was named Aguada which means water as there were many freshwater springs at the site.

 

Experience Goa’s Nightlife

Nightlife here is all about loud music, bright lights, casinos and many more which creates a cheerful atmosphere. There are many places to visit in Goa at night and they are:

Arpora Saturday Night Market:

It is an energetic and open-air night market known for its array of goods & food stalls; also for cocktails & DJs. This is a paradise for shopping lovers. Don’t miss it if you are in Goa on Saturday. As this market remains open on Saturday and in some seasons only. So, make sure you ask taxi driver before heading.

The Beach shacks:

The shacks are the best places to enjoy during night time. When the night falls shacks liven up with bright lights, music and cocktails. The beach shacks at night in Goa are for everyone.

Party on Anjuna Beach

Anjuna’s nightlife is more than just a party and especially on weekends tourists really get the chance to integrate with locals in a safe and friendly environment. This place is made especially for party lovers. Here, one cannot miss the full moon party at the beach. It is located near Baga beach and has numbers of famous nightclubs, pubs and hotels.

When to visit:

Mid-November to Mid-February:

This is the perfect time to relax on the beaches and for other outdoor activities in Goa. Since this is the peak season, so prices go way higher than you would imagine. You should book your flights/hotels in advance to save the money. Also, December is the time when Goa celebrates its most popular ‘Sunburn’ festival.

March to May:

This is the non-peak season you can say. The temperature rises, the sea becomes rougher and the weather turns hot and humid. The good thing is that Goa is not too crowded in this season. However, the prices of hotels and homestays become way too reasonable.

Mid-June to October:

If you love the monsoon and the lush green countryside, then July to September is a great time to visit. The festival of Sao-Joao (fertility feast of Saint John the Baptist) is also held in June.

Goa is visited by tourists all year round,

How to reach

By Air:

Dabolim Airport is located near Vasco da Gama, 29 kilometres away from the state’s capital, Panjim. You can easily catch a flight from any part of the country at this airport. There are regular flights from Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai, and Bangalore.

By Train:

There are two major railway lines you can travel by. You can get down at Thivim in North Goa and Vasco-da-Gama or Madgaon in South Goa. These stations are well connected by trains from all over the country.

By Bus:

 There are a number of public as well as private buses available, which offer options for intra-city and inter-city transfer. Goa enjoys daily bus service from important cities like Pune and Mumbai.

Getting Around:

Taxis:

Goa is well-connected with roads so you can easily find taxis and rented cars as well. One can either hire cabs on a direct payment basis from the airport or railway station or book a taxi in advance from tour operators.

Self-drive:

  • Getting around Goa becomes pretty easy if you Hire cars and motorcycles on a self-drive basis, which is a popular transport option in Goa
  • Motorbikes are the cheapest mode of transport and depending on the bike you want and the season (prices are higher in peak season), a rental can cost anywhere between 300 and 600 Rupees per day (not including fuel costs).

Tips:

  • The majority of your expenditures will go on accommodation, transport and food; however, there are still many ways to travel cheaply without compromising on quality. For the best hotels, visiting Goa between March and October (non-peak season) can save you a significant amount of money. Compared to the peak season this will certainly be cost-effective.
  • It isn’t recommended to swim at night time or visit the beach alone in the evenings. Always look out for warning flags along Goa’s beaches that indicate unsafe swimming conditions. Although most beaches in Goa are attended by lifeguards during the day.

By Niha Parmanandani

[email protected]

 

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