Goa Tourism Places India
The Alorna fort is situated in the Village of Alorna which is about 30 km from Mapusa and 10 km east off NH 17 from Malpem in Pernem. It was built by the Bhonsles of Sawantwadi in the 17th century. The fort had four guns and in the year 1746, the fort was captured by Marquis of Castello Novo ( later known as Marquis of Alorna ) from the Bhonsles. The possession however was short lived. In 1781, the fort was again captured by Dom Frederico Guilherme de Souza. It was used to defend against the Maratha attacks from the north. The fort is presently in a dilapidated condition. It is however a beautiful site to explore as it is perched on the banks of the river Chapora as it flows peacefully towards Colvale.
Places To Visit In Goa
Amthane Dam Goa
The Amthane dam lies in a splendid location approximately 20 km from Mapusa. It is not yet developed for tourists and picnickers but is a nice place to unwind. The dam supplies raw water to the nearby Sanquelim water treatment plant. It is not a big one but has a scenic view of the catchment and Sahyadri range beyond from the mouth of the dam. The Amthane dam can be visited by taking the left side of the fork from the Assonora bridge, instead of driving to Bicholim. For accommodation here one can get an eco resort in Sal that offers food and stay. Other places to visit include the Tilari dam which is about 20 km from Dodamarg in Maharashtra. The river Chapora also flows nearby.
Ancestral Goa Museum / BigFoot
The Ancestral Goa museum / exhibition is situated in the small Village of Loutolim which is about 10 km from Margao and 25 km from Panaji. The musuem is also known as big foot. It is privately run by an artist called Maendra Jocelino Araujo Alvares. The open – air museum recreates Goan rural life as it was a hundred years ago.
At Ancestral Goa there are a number of places to visit such as an art gallery where one can see work done by local children and artists of State and National fame. There is a handicraft centre where one can get some locally made Goan artificats, Big Foot dance floor, Big Foot restaurant, a cross, a spring known as Boca da Vaca, a bird habitat, a spice yard, rubber plantations and lots more. In this model village one can also see different miniature houses that showcase traditional occupation and social classes such as fishermen, Goan artisans, a Music school known as Escola da Musica, farmers, liquors shops, the village market, and a feni distillery.
The main highlight however at Ancestral Goa is the giant 14 meter sculpture of Sant Mirabai carved in 30 days by MJA Alavres the enterprising artist cum museum owner. This has been cited in the Limca book of records for being the longest laterite sculpture in India. At Ancestral Goa one is accompanied by a guide who explains the exhibits. Also one can purchase souvenirs on the way out from the handicraft centre. The museum is open on all days from 9 am to 6 pm and has a small entry fee.
Churches, Chapels, Temples a varied legacy in Goa
Perhaps nowhere are the diverse influences of Goa more dramatic than in the places of worship. It is not uncommon to come across a temple in the Maratha style, with a distinctively Christian Plan and an Islamic dome! Such contradictions sum up the story of Goa, of the conquistadors and settlers who came and made it their home. They brought with them their languages, their customs, their architectural idioms, and smoothly integrated with the existing traditions. The Churches of Old Goa, built in the 16th & 17th centuries, are basically in the baroque Renaissance style with some Gothic touches. But the insides are all derived from European as well as Indian elements. The SeCathedral, largest church in Asia is a grand example of the form.
The 80 – metre long aisle is a truly imposing sight, with ornamental embellishments culminating in a magnificent gilf altar. Old Goa – 10 km east of Panaji, is the prime tourist attraction of the State. It was built by Adil Shah, the Sultan of Bijapur. Basilica of Bom Jesus, – dedicated to infant Jesus, is the most famous churches in Goa. The mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier kept in a rich casket are enshrined here. Se Cathedral – is the most imposing church in Goa – its vaulted interior overwhelms the visitors by its sheer grandeur.
The Churches of St. Francis of Assissi has its interior illustrated with exquisite paintings. Saint Cajetan Church was built in the style of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Church of our Lady of Rosary – is one of the earliest built churches in Goa. There are more temples in Goa than churches, important among these are Manguesh temple at Mangueshi, Mahalsa Temple at Mardol, Shanta Durga Temple at Kavlem. There are not too many mosques in Goa – the most important is the Jama Masjid at Sanguem. Another notable mosque in Goa is the Safa Shahouri Masjid at Ponda.
Wax World Museum in Goa
Old Goa is the home to India’s second wax museum. Each figurine is carefully sculpted of paraffin wax; the hair used is natural, although the eyes and teeth are artificial. The museum has over 30 life-size, statues of famous personalities of Indian culture, heritage and religion. One of the main attractions is the sculpting of the ‘last supper’ which is 22 feet in length and weights 500 kilos.
A guide talks you through the statues at the musuem, and explains who the statues are of, what they represent and how long it took to make the sculpture. The guided tour is in English and Hindi. Other main attractions include Mahatma Gandhi, Radha Krishna and Bethlehem. There is a statue called ‘say no to drugs’ which shows you the side effects of taking drugs and this really brings the concept to life. The is a small gift shop where one can purchase candles of various designs and shapes and smells. Entry costs 30 Rupees and 10 for cameras.
Anjuna Flea Market Goa
The Anjuna flea market is held every Wednesday from morning until evening, except during the monsoon season, on the southern end of Anjuna Beach. The market has has exploded in size and attracts people from all over Goa. It’s now got over 500 stalls, and is still growing. You’ll find a huge assortment of goods there, but make sure you bargain. After a day of shopping til you drop, head over to Curly’s beach shack and take in the sunset scene there. If one market isn’t enough for you, the Saturday night market in Arpora ( not far from Calangute Beach ) is also worth checking out. It offers entertainment, including live music, as well as an eclectic range of food.
Once the magnificant Portuguese capital of Goa India, these days all that remains of Old Goa is a handful of imposing churches and cathedrals. They are amongst the largest in Asia though. Some of the buildings have now become archeological museums, and provide a fascinating display of Goa’s history. One of the most interesting buildings in Old Goa is the Convent and Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, built in 1521. Just opposite is the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which contains the preserved remains of the body of Saint Frances Xavier, a revered missionary and the patron saint of Goa. The body is shown to the public every 10 years, with the next exhibition due in 2014. Old Goa is situated not far from Panaji, Goa’s current capital.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa
Goa India isn’t just all about beaches and churches. The state’s location along the mountainous Western Ghats is home to an array of birds and animals. Around 20% of Goa consists of wildlife sanctuaries. They’re open all year round, although October to March are the best months to visit.
The two main sanctuaries are Bhagwan Mahvir ( of which Mollem National Park is a part ) and Cotigao. On the fringe of the Mollem National Park you’ll find the imposing Dudhsagar Falls, where the water rages down from a huge height during and just after the monsoon season. Accommodations, provided by the Goa Forest Department, are available at both sanctuaries. For a very eco – friendly stay, try a mud hut at the Shanti Nature Resort in Mollem National Park.
Spice Plantations in Goa
Another highlight of a trip to Goa India is the spice plantations around Ponda. Goa’s tropical climate and dense forests makes it an ideal place to grow spices. The spice farms are open to visitors. You can take a guided tour, enjoy the picturesque scenery, and finish with a spicy lunch. One of the most acclaimed spice plantations in Goa is the Savoi Plantation, reached by an enchanting drive through dense jungles and hills from Ponda. Others include the Sahakari Spice Farm, Pascol Spice Village, Abyss, and the Tropical Spice Plantation. Accommodations, and other activities such as elephant or boat rides, are offered at many of the farms.
Arvalem Waterfalls in Goa
The Arvalem or Harvalem waterfalls, which cascades down from the mountains, from a height of 50 metres, is one of the most awe-amazing spots. It is situated at about 2 km from the small town of Sanquelim and 8 km from Bicholim, in North Goa. The Arvalem Waterfall is a very scenic and beautiful picnic spot. This charming waterfall is a mind – blowing experience, with Rudreshwar Temple in its vicinity. The temple holds importance for the Hindus who believe in releasing the soul on the 12th day after death.
While leaving the temple of Rudreshwar, one can descend the staircase to look at a majestic waterfall shedding its exuberant silvery showers. The beautiful Arvalem fall, with a head of about 24 feet high, forms a sizeable lake at the bottom, which offers a sizeable temptation to seasoned swimmers. The best time to visit this site is just after the copious monsoon when it presents a rapturous, ravishing and riotous aspect. The water flow here during the monsoon is quite less. It has a lot of greenery all round with fruit laden trees with various fruits such as bananas, bread fruits and coconut palms to name a few.
The ancient caves in the vicinity adds a touch of antiquity to this picturesque place, which finds a major attraction for the film makers as a favourite shooting spot. The Rock cut caves are just situated nearby. The Government has also developed a park from which the view of the waterfall can be peacefully relished
Arvalem Caves Goa India
Just passing the town of Sanquelim, there is a detour road leading towards Arvalem Caves. These caves from the 6th century, are quite small, with no articulate sculptures or paintings. The origin of these caves is uncertain, some believing them to be of Buddhist origin, although the presence of lingas does not justify this statement claiming them to be of Brahmin origin.
They are also claimed to be known as the Pandava caves, signifying the reign of Pandavas here during their 12 year exile as described in the Mahabharata. The shafts of the four carved lingas inside the cave resemble to those found at the famous Elephanta and Ellora caves. The Arvalem caves are very much patterned in the Buddhist cave style, rock cut into laterite stone, with the sanctuary at the northern end and the vihara at the southern end. The claim of the caves being of Buddhist origin is a justified statement, mainly due to the discovery of a huge Buddha statue nearby and a 4th century Buddha head found in the Mhamai Kamat house now installed in the Goa State Museum.
British Cemetery in Goa
The military or the British cemetery was built in Goa in 1802 by the British. It is considered to be more than 180 years old and is the only reminder of the British occupation of the territory of Goa during the Napoleonic period. During the Napoleonic wars from 1799 to 1813, the British military cemetery was built to serve the purpose of a British garrison of Rs.10, 000 men who were stationed at Fort Cabo to prevent Goa from falling into French hands.
The cemetery has 56 gravestones and 47 tombstones, the earliest that date to 1808 and the last to 1912. It can be reached by taking the road connecting the National Institute of Oceanography ( NIO ) with the Raj Bhawan. Near the British cemetery one can visit the Cabo Raj Bhavan also known as the Governor’s Palace, which is the official residence of the governor of Goa. Also one can visit the Our Lady of Cabo church that is situated nearby.
Other Tourist Places in Goa
- Budbudyanchi Tali
- Cabo De Rama
- Cabo Raj Bhavan / Governors Palace
- Churches, Chapels, Temples a varied legacy
- Dudhsagar Waterfall
- Kuskem Waterfall
List of Beaches in Goa
- Agonda Beach
- Aguada Beach
- Anjuna Beach In Goa
- Arambol Beach In Goa
- Ashwem Beach
- Baga Beach
- Baina beach
- Benaulim Beach
- Betalbatim Beach
- Betul beach in Goa
- Bogmalo Beach
- Butterfly beach
- Calangute Beach In Goa
- Canaguinim Beach
- Candolim Beach
- Cansaulim Beach in Goa
- Caranzalem beach
- Carmona Beach
- Cavelossim Beach
- Chapora Beach
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