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Goa as tourists know of is not a city but a collection of towns and cities. For the convenience of tourists we have broken down by areas  or places of interest, with majority falling under North Goa or South Goa and Panaji being the capital . Old Goa is the location of World Heritage for its old churches and the beaches of North Goa are the popular rendezvous for party goers  whereas  the beaches of South Goa are 

untouched but without much inhabitants  and infrastructure ( generally speaking).

Situated at the mouth of Mandovi River, Panjim (also known by its Marathi name Panaji) is the capital of Goa, which only became one in 1843 before which the capital was Old Goa. Panaji was earlier a port for the kings of Bijapur and later became a military landing stage and warehouse after the arrival of the Portuguese in 1510.
The area around Panjim harbors pretty paddy fields and wooded valleys, which attracts tourists.

Old Goa and the temples around Ponda are also as appealing as Dudhsagar falls on the lower slopes of the Western Ghats, where one can reach only in a Jeep.

The Town
Church square or the Municipal Gardens, a rectangular park forms the heart of the Panjim. On the South-East is the sparkling white façade of the Church of the Immaculate Conception. North to the church is the Secretariat which is the oldest surviving building.
To the east is a fascinating statute of a man holding his hands over the body of a reclining woman which shows Abbe’ de Faria. Next to Abbe’ de Faria statue is the Menezes Braganza Institute which again is a reminiscent of the colonial period in Goa.
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There is also the town’s Central Library, which is open from Monday to Friday 9.30am to 1pm. It was erected in the early 19th century. Its entrance has panels covered with mesmerizing hues of blue and yellow painted ceramic tiles known as Azulejos.

Fontainhas is the oldest district of Goa and is host to more than a dozen neoclassical houses that rise up on the sides of Altinho Hill.
At the Southern end is the absolute white colored Chapel of St Sebastian.

Old Goa
Located about 10 kms east of Panaji, the Old Goa beckons.
Goa’s former capital was one thickly populated place but because of the spread of some epidemics here in the seventeenth century, this place was virtually deserted leaving behind scores of cream and white painted churches and convents.

Old Goa has been given the World Heritage Status by UNESCO and is one of the main tourist attractions as it preserves the tomb of St Francis Xavier.
Some of the places of interest are Se Cathedral ( the largest of the churches in Goa), Convent and Church of St Francis of Assisi, Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Church of St Cajetan, Church of St Augustine ruins and Church and Convent of St Monica.

Ponda is a busy commercial centre with its main attraction being Safa Shahouri Mosque built by Ibrahim Adil Shah in 1560.
Taluka, a sub-district is known for numerous Hindu Temples. These temples unlike the rest in India are a unique blend of European Baroque, Muslim and Hindu architectural styles, which totally enthralls the observers. Shri Manguesh and Shri Mahalsa are situated between villages of Mardol and Priol. Another temple is the Shantadurga Temple. Shri Ramnath Temple is noted for the silver screen embossed with animal and floral motifs. Other interesting temples include Shri Nagueshi Temple and Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple.

Another feature which is worth a watch is the Hindu Rock Cut Caves which lie northeast of Ponda Town, near the village Khandepar.
These caves are from the 10th-13th century and have lotus carved decorations on its ceilings.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls
The famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls measure 600metres and lies in the Goa-Karnataka border. When the water levels are at their highest, froth like foam is created at the bottom which is why the Konkani name, Dudhsagar, meaning “sea of milk”. This place is accessible only through a jeep or by foot. The view is absolutely exotic and breathtaking.
The best time to visit is from October, immediately after the monsoons, to mid December.

North Goa
The North of Goa has a continuous string of beaches. Development starts from the foot of Fort Aguada which was built in 1612 to protect the northern shores from the Dutch and Maratha riders. The ruins of the fort can be reached by road. The fort is worth a visit for an excellent view of the four storey Portuguese lighthouse built in 1864.


The main market town of North Goa is Mapusa. Friday is one of the liveliest days here. This market is known for its authenticity and specializes in Goan sausages, green plantations from Moira and bottles of palm sap (toddy).
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