Top 20 tourist places in Goa
Goa, the Rome of East believed to be the real paradise on earth attracts lot of tourists around the globe amid its romantic beaches, devoted churches and world heritage architecture. Goa is classified as a biodiversity hotspot due to its position in the Western Ghats range and the charisma of rich flora and fauna.
This tiny bizarre emerald land of Susegado, welcomes its guests just to relax and enjoy at the shores and shacks of its pristine beaches and resorts.
Let’s surf through the top twenty tourist destinations of Goa.
- Agonda Beach:
It’s a lovely long pristine stretch of beach and a great spot for sunbath and to have a quiet and relaxed holiday. Agonda Beach on the whole has one long road parallel to the beach line, most rooms and bungalows for rent are located either between them or on the opposite side of the road. To the left, this bigger road crosses the village until the beach road joins it near the river mouth and northern end of the beach, then continues on in the direction of Cabo da Rama.
- Palolem Beach:
Palolem beach is long, pure and crescent shaped shoreline and is inhabited by both local fishermen and by foreign tourists who live in shacks along the shore.
At the top of the island adjacent to Palolem beach there is a stone sculpture created by an American conceptual called “Give if you can – Take if you have to” also called the “Money stone”.
Palolem is one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa and now it’s teeming with a mix of nationalities that follows a unique culture of beach cottage accommodation and day by day its becoming more and more popular as a holiday destination.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus:
The church is located in Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese Empire. This basilica holds the mortal relics of St. Francis Xavier and it is listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as this church was India’s first minor basilica and best example for baroque architecture in India.
The structuring of the church began in 1594 and it was consecrated in 1605. This monument is a landmark in the history of Christianity.
- Benaulim Beach Town:
It’s a town of colossal natural beauty, situated along the picturesque South Goa shoreline. Legends tales that it was known the village of arrow, before the advent of the Portuguese, as an arrow shot by Lord Parshurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu from the Sahyadri Mountains has landed at the site of this town.
Benaulim Beach Town is gifted with two beaches—Benaulim beach, which is the prime beach, and the Vaddi beach, which is less packed and more developed than Benaulim beach.
- Dudhsagar Falls:
This four tiered waterfall literally means Sea of Milk is located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park amongst the Western Ghats.
It is amongst India’s tallest waterfalls with 1017 feet height and it outlines the borders between Karnataka and Goa.
The area is bounded by deciduous forests with rich bio diversity. The falls are not particularly spectacular during the dry season but during the monsoon season the falls are fed by rains and form a titanic force of water.
- Arambol Beach:
Arambol which owes a distinct Bohemian feel, such as Calangute certainly draws many alternative travellers.
Arambol beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa. A short walk north off the main beach ends in a smaller beach having “fresh water lake” close to the sea which has reviving hot thermals, makes it a perfect place to relax.
Arambol is home to a rich live music scene, other activities that are part of the vibrant scene are Yoga, Meditation, Dance and a variety of healing arts.
- Old Goa or Velha Goa:
It is a historical city in North Goa constructed by the Bijapur Sultanate in the 15th century as a port on the banks of Mandovi River, and it served as capital of Portuguese 16th century to 18th century.
The residue of the city is enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The famous churches affiliated to various congregations such as the Se Cathedral, seat of Archbishop of Goa, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Basilica of Bom Jesus are sited here.
- Ashwem Beach:
Ashwem beach, one of the remote beaches of Goa is really beautiful, rocky and a local picnic spot. The North End and the South End of this beach is bounded with other two famous beaches such as Mandrem and Morjim. Despite of several beach shacks, this beach offers beach huts made of palm leaves in the form of little resorts for accommodation.
It is also the nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtle and it is a great place to refresh and relax.
- Bondla Forest:
A petite wildlife sanctuary of Goa, established in the year of 1969. It’s an ideal Jungle resort and miniature zoological park serves as a major attraction for children and nature lovers. The Deer safari park, Formal Gardens, Botanical Gardens, Nature Education Center, Bird life, Wild animals, Nature trails and Archaeological Exhibits attracts people all over the year. The Tourism Department of Government of Goa provides cottages for accommodation.
The Bondla zoo consists of Tigers, Wild Pigs, Elephants, Crocodile, Snakes (King Cobras, Python, Gaur, Leopard, Bear, Peacock, Civets, Barking Deers, Sambar Deers, Fox, and Porcupine etc.
- The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park:
This sanctuary rich in wildlife covers an area of 240 Sq. Meters of thick forest clad slopes of Western Ghats and its valleys and it is the biggest of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa.
Besides the flora and fauna, this sanctuary holds many significant geological and historical features and it’s haven for bird watchers.
Dhudsagar Waterfalls, The Devil Canyon and the famous lord Mahadeva Temple are cited in the vicinity of this sanctuary.
- Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary:
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, spread over an area of 1.78 sq. meters is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along the river Mandovi and fully covered with mangrove species.
The whole region has mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary has colourful resident and migratory birds and it is a habitat for plankton, shrimps, prawns and small Fish.
Varieties of local as well as migratory birds frequently visit the area. This sanctuary can be visited anytime for the year with permission.
The sanctuary is amicable by walk after crossing over by ferry from Ribandar to Chorao.
- Pomburpa Spring:
Pomburpa Spring is one of the very famous springs in Goa. The medicinal value of the spring waters attracts many tourists. The place has been built up now with cement and stones.
Two water pipes are fitted in through with the spring water flows and make it more convenient to have a bath. Pomburpa is situated at a distance of 6 kilometers from Panjim.
- Carambolin Lake:
It maintains large inhabitants of herbivorous birds. The male Pintail Ducks remain segregated in locations rich in tall emergent Oryza in shallow margins of the lake, while the females feed on leaves and flowers of nymphea in the central region of the Lake.
The ten most abundant birds at Carambolim Lake are Pintal, Lesser Whistling Teal, Cattle Egret, Pond Heron, Purple Moorhen, Red-rumped Swallow, Little Egret, Bronzewinged Jacana, Pheasant Tailed Jacana, Coot.
- Mayem Lake:
This fresh water lake is also known as Maya lake and a famous tourist destination in Goa. Good accommodation and boating facilities are available at the lake.
- Harvalem Caves:
These 16th century caves, locally known as Pandava Caves is said to be of Buddhist origin with the lingas installed in the four shrines, but after the decline of Buddhism this is not certain. They are excavated into the laterite hill consisting of two major caves and a residential chamber.
- Museum of Christian Art:
This museum founded in 1994, was initially located in the Seminary of Rachol, Salcete and now it is relocated within the confines of the Convent of Santa Monica in the vicinity of the Old Goa World heritage monuments.
The Museum houses a very important and unique collection of Christian art stuffs from the 16th century to the middle of the 20th century.
The Museum is open to the public 7 days a week (Monday – Sunday) from 09.30 hours to 17.00 hours.
The Entrance Fees are priced at Rs. 30/- per Adult, Rs. 10/- per Student. Children below the age of 12 years – Free.
- Pilar Seminary Museum:
The Society of Pilar owns the Pilar Seminary Museum and has been recognised by the Department of Culture, Government of Goa.
The Museum is divided into three sections namely, Pre Portuguese Govapuri, Pilar under Capuchos and Carmelites and Pilar collections today respectively and consist of stone sculptures and artefacts of the pre-portuguese Govapuri; Stone tablets of the 17th Century; Treasures of silver, Gold and pottery; Wodden carved statues of 15th and 18th Century; Paintings in wood and canvas; Priceless ivory pieces; Handwritten manuscripts, Silver Coins dated 185 bc and 11th to 18th century, It has a collection of very old and rare postage stamps. It also has a collection of postage stamps released in the memory of Blessed Joseph Vaz during the Portuguese Rule in Goa.
- Fort Aguada:
Fort Aguada constructed in 1612, to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It comprises of a lower fort with bastions all around and an upper fort and It skirts the seashore and ascends the summit of the bare rocky, upland called “Aguada Point” 260 feet above the sea level.
A lighthouse built in the year 1846, is circular in shape and 42 feet high is a four storey structure and it was Asia’s first light house.
The central jail of Goa has been made at one end of this fort. Next to the Fort and along the Sinquerim beach there are two of the best hotels in North Goa, the Taj Holiday Village and the Fort Aguada Hotel.
- Corjuem Fort:
It is situated on the Island of Corjuem and was constructed in the year 1551. Though it is smaller compared to the other forts, it gives a good view of the surrounding river and land and it more like a solitary settlement.
- Ponte Conde de Linhares:
It is also called Old Patto Bridge built in 1633-34 under the direction of the then Viceroy of Portuguese of India, and it is the oldest bridge in Panaji and said to be the longest in the world when it was completed in 1634. It is a long causeway connecting Ribandar to the main city of Panaji. It runs along the flood plains of the Mandovi River and is surrounded by various salt pans and there are ducts which act as tide controls.