It is not just sun and sand making Goa an idyllic holiday and honeymoon destination. It has lots of happening places for sightseeing. Some are known for their cultural heritage and some for their historical significance. You can relax and enjoy at the alluring beaches of Goa and indulge and swim and take part in amazing water sports. The attractions of Goa are not limited to the coast. It is something beyond shopping, wildlife, adventure and history.
Goa is definitely an idyllic tourist hotspot which is visited especially for its pristine beaches. Goa has huge range of quiet, unspoiled beaches which are the most happening and crowded beaches in India. Some of the most popular beaches are Colva, Calangute, Vagator, Palolem and Majorda. The beaches provide loads of water sports, sunshine and natural beauty. It is true that beaches are mesmerizing in Goa. But there is something you are really missing out. Here are the few places to go and enjoy the complete and perfect beach vacation.
Most of the imposing forts are located around the coast and a few are positioned on the hinterland. These monuments were built for protection against the enemy. Most of such forts were reconstructed, enlarged and strengthened by the Portuguese rulers. Some of the popular forts are Reis Magos Fort, Aguada Fort, and Chapora Fort.
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Goa is known for several magnificent and famous churches and it a legacy of the colonization of Portuguese rulers. The architectural display of stone, wood, ancient workmanship and granite makes it completely exquisite. The churches truly define the architectural workmanship of Europeans and the influence of Portuguese rules of that era. Old Goa is a hub for ancient churches. Here are some of the famous churches located closely to one another –
Positioned in Old Goa, Se Cathedral is India’s largest church and devoted to Catherine de Alexandria. It was built after the Portuguese’s victory over the Adil Shah’s army for Goa. Se Cathedral features a huge bell, the mighty “Golden Bell”.
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This beautiful church is located around half a km from the northeast of Se Cathedral. The building of the church is built of lime plastered laterite blocks. On the left, there are 3 altars devoted to the sacred family, St. Clare and Our Lady of Piety.
Goa also has large population of Hindus and so are the temples. The architecture of the Goa’s temples is built with black stone and in Hemadpanti and Kadamba style. The “Deep Stambha” or the Lamp Tower is the unique part of the temples which is rising from 2 to 6 storied heights.
Anjuna is a very famous village located in North Goa and hosts flea market every Wednesday and attracts lots of tourists. It is a very bustling flea market which has vendors selling huge range of souvenirs and food stuffs. You can buy handicrafts, trinkets, ornaments, Goa’s music, Kashmiri, Tibetan and Gujarati t-shirts and clothing, and get henna tattoo or hair braided.
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Located around a small town Usgao which lies at Ponda junction, Sattari and Sanguem talukas, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known tourist hotspot. School children also gather here for educational tours and school picnics. Here, you can spot several wildlife species like Indian bison, Sambar, peacocks, gaur, wild boar, jackals, porcupines, sloth bear and leopards. It is also nice place for bird-watching and you can spot birds like Ruby and Browl fish owl, yellow bulbul, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and etc. Bondla attracts tourists with its lush green meadows, rose garden, botanical garden, mini zoo, fenced deer park and elephant rides.
Also known as the “Sea of Milk”, Dudhsagar Falls owns its name due to the white foam made due to the force of water when it falls. It falls on the high Western Ghats peaks. It is definitely a sight to behold. The waterfall measures around 600 meters from top to foot. It falls on Goa-Karnataka border. It is just a short hike through the hills. If you want to see it in full form, make sure to take a train ride from Goa to Karnataka during monsoon.
Pay a visit to the second largest Aviation museum of India located off the Vasco Bogmalo road and explore the vintage engines, aircrafts, photo gallery, avionics, armaments and weapons. It exhibits the glimpse of naval aviation history of India over the decades. You can witness the decommissioned aircraft which served the Navy. Some of the aircrafts date back to 1940s. There is a small shed exhibiting 13 aircraft engines. You can get information about several battles participated by Navy and Indian Air Force in the indoor gallery. The gallery also exhibits the attire, arms, and different types of sensors, torpedoes, cannons and bombs used by the navy. You can find a lot of replicas of INS Viraat and INS Vikrant here.
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The caves are located around 9km south of Bicholim town around the route to Arvalem Waterfalls. The cave is categorized into compartments and Linga is enshrined inside. In the second cave, the Shiv Linga is engraved with inscription in Brahmi and Sanskrit characters which date back to 7th century. These rock cut caves are also called as the Pandava Caves. The caves date back to the era of Mahabharata. The Pandavas got refuge in these caves as their hideout. The Harvalem and Arvalem waterfalls are other tourist attractions located 2 km from Sanquelim, which flow down from 50 meters.