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Goa Tourism

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Beaches of GoaGoa is the blend of the east and west, with Christmas and Carnival are celebrated as enthusiastically as Diwali and Durga Puja. In its Latin architecture there is also a preference of a fish-meat cuisine. The prevalence of cheap beer blends perfectly well with the traditional tipples of Feni, the local hooch and toddy. Tourism is the main money-spinner business in Goa. But on the coast, coconut cultivation and fishing are still the main sources of income. Goa Tourism happens all over the year but if you want to enjoy the Carnival better visit in Feb-March.

The Indian state of Goa, also known as 'the pearl of the east', is known for its Gothic churches, age-old ruins, palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, ferry rides, and bubbly folk music. With its 131-km-long coastline, Goa is an important tourism destination in every tourist's itinerary. Sun, sand and sea being the major attractions, Goa is a perfect tourism heaven for the ones who need and want relaxation.

Goa is one of India's special tourism places, a State seemingly blessed with fabulous weather, even more fabulous beaches, delightful people, good food, hill-top forts, little white-washed churches, soaring Portuguese-era cathedrals, a unique cultural legacy-small wonder, therefore, that Goa is one of India's prime tourism and holiday destinations. Come during the holidays or just about any long weekend, and Goa is packed with jaded yuppies hoping to switch off and unwind for a few days, and sun-starved Europeans, soaking up all that glorious sun and food.

The earliest known inhabitants of Goa were the people of Mhar tribe. Around 4000 BC, a pastoral tribe migrated to Goa who had the skills needed to tame animals. This is perhaps the reason why so many names by which Goa has been known contains the term, Go (cow). Later other tribes like the Asuras, Kol, Mundaris and Kharwas came and settled in Goa. This was around 3000 BC. 600 years later, the first batch of Aryan set their feet on the grounds of Goa followed by Sumerians who came after another 400 years. The Sumerians were a part of well developed civilisation and hence brought about numerous significant changes in the culture, lifestyle and thought process of the people. Some of the important changes made by them are still seen in Goa.

Art & Craft in Goa
Among the crafts of Goa, there is no end. Its difficult to pick what is best, the exquisitely carved rosewood and teak furniture, the terracotta work or the 'visible everywhere' sea shells work. Even in today's Techno driven world, these hand made souvenirs look so inviting on the counters of shops.

Beaches of GoaRiver Cruises
River Cruises on the Mandovi river is tremendously enjoyable experience which you should not miss out during your trip to Goa. Though there are a number of private operators running river cruises, the best way to enjoy the beauty of river Mandovi is to undertake a cruise conducted by the GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation). There are variety of cruises for you to choose from - daytime, sunset and moonlight. Day cruises itself can be categorised into two types - the first one is down the Mandovi river into the Zuari bay while the second one is up the Mandovi to Aldona and a mineral water spring.

The People
Goans, that's how people of Goa love to address themselves. In contrast to the prevalent traditionalism in the rest of India, flamboyance marks the character of Goans. They are friendly, full of life people and nothings seems to dampen their spirits. The holiday spirit of Goa reflects in their attitude. They are easy going people and don't believe in getting into rat race. Most Goans practice 'siesta' i.e. pull down the shutters from 1 to 4 pm and retire in the afternoon. Long isolation due to Portuguese occupation and Sahyadris range on land has led to this distinct identity of Goans.

Famous Beaches in Goa
  • Anjuna Beach
    Situated eight kilometers west of Mapusa, Anjuna beach is the most happening of all beaches, one rather say its the mother of all beaches in Goa. This freak capital of the world is on holiday round the year. Bordered by red laterite cliffs and white sands, the beach presents a contrasting color view. And ever swinging with winds, coconut plantation just adds to the serenity of enjoying a cool breeze on the beach. People flocking this beach are so varied in their interests, yet they all come to Anjuna for the same reason. No one wants to miss the sensation of being on a beach that has been the hub of trance parties since decades. The magic of Anjuna beach can't be put to words, only experienced, maybe in a hopping beach party under a moon lit sky.
  • Baga Beach
    Ten kilometers west of Mapusa, Baga beach is an extension of Calangute beach. In fact, it is difficult to mark where one ends and another begins. A rocky wooded headland marks Baga beach. It is less congested in comparison to Calangute beach. The scenery here is unspoiled. The land and sea meet here in a picture perfect manner. White waves rush towards the brown sand to sweep the feet marks. Unlike other beaches, Baga beach is free from any hustle bustle.
  • Benaulim Beach
    Forty one kilometres away from Goan capital, Panaji and two kilometres away from the longest beach Colva is Benaulim beach. Legend has it that this is the place where an arrow shot by Lord Parshuram, sixth incarnation of Vishnu landed. The arrow shifted back the hills hence forming the Konkan. The place was hence named Banavli (ban means arrow) and later got corrupted to Benaulim by Portuguese. The place is also special for Christians as it's the birth place of the venerable Father Joseph Vaz. If you wish to be at some place close to nature and totally untouched, than Benaulim is the place for you. Though it gets fairly crowded in evenings and weekends.
  • Calangute Beach
    It was hippies who first discovered Calangute in late 1960's and there on spread word about the beach. 1970's saw tourists from Europe coming in large numbers. The beach was even quite popular among the movie stars back then. Shashi Kapoor rented a house here and Raj Kapoor got inspiration for his blockbuster film 'Bobby' here. Over the decades the hippie culture has vanished but not the popularity of the beach. Round the year there are hoards of tourists coming to Calangute for that perfect escape from their hectic schedule.
  • Candolim Beach
    Fifteen kilometers from Panjim, the Goan capital, is Candolim beach in north Goa. Beginning at Fort Aguada and merging with Calangute beach towards the end, it is one of the longest beaches in the state and is located in the Bardez taluka. The beach in itself is very calm and peaceful, at times tourists come here from Rajneesh Ashram in Pune to take a break. What adds to the scenic beauty of the sand and sea are the scrub covered dunes at the back of the beach quite popular with tourists.
  • Colva Beach
    Colva is forty kilometres from Panaji, the Goan capital and two kilometres from Benaulim. Adjacent to Colva is its secret suburb, Sernbatim beach. Longest among all beaches in Goa, Colva stretches twenty kilometres along the Arabian sea, about six kilometres west of Margao. Lined with coconut palms throughout, Colva has Bogmalo in north and Cabo de Rama in south. In the pre colonial era, Colva had the honour of being the retreat zone of Margao's high society. While speaking of history of Colva, the name of Our lady of Mercy Church invariably comes up. More about the church in the later paragraphs.
  • Dona Paula Beach
    With romance is in the air, the beach is bustling with activity throughout the year. Just seven kilometers from the Goan capital, Panjim is Dona Paula, the most happening beach of the state. Dona Paula is nestled on the southern side of the rocky headland dividing Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. The greenery to the beach is lent by palm trees and casuarina groves and it presents an excellent view to the Mormugao harbour. The beach has the obvious advantage of being in proximity with the capital city. During festivals like Janmashtami and the feast of St. Lawrence, Dona Paula is immersed in the colours of festivity.
How to Reach
  • Road
    Goa is well connected with major Indian cities. Regular luxury buses operate between Mumbai and Goa.
  • Cruises
    Regular ferry service between Mumbai and Goa available.
  • Railway
    Madgaon station in south Goa is the well connected with Mumbai and other major stations.

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