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Explore the facets of a 5000-year-old civilisation.
Make the most of the surf and the sea.
Re-live K ipling’s Jungle Book.
 
Let the adrenaline flow
 
Get in touch with your spirituality.
 
 
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Goa
 
 
 
Theme Destinations > Beaches > Goa Back

Goa, a name that conjures up visions of sunbathing, feni and never-ending beaches is India’s only true resort state. Often compared to Rio de Janeiro, Goa’s carnivals, quaint Portuguese villas, ancient Hindu temples, spectacular cathedrals, and the all-pervading laid-back attitude to life – susegaado – have attracted millions of tourists since the ‘60s. With 40 beaches to choose from, you can pick from placid, serene stretches of white sand to happening, partying beaches where the atmosphere is electric. The Goan beaches are, however, only a part of the attraction – there are also 500-year-old churches, forts and temples to see all over the state, treks to go on, rivers to traverse, waterfalls to climb to, wildlife sanctuaries to visit, spice plantations to walk through, prisons and lighthouses to gaze up at, canals to sail up to take a peek at toothy crocs, white sands to rifle through where the Olive Ridley turtles nest, quaint traditional villages to visit where rope-makers and weavers and potters take you back in time, scuba-diving to learn so that you may flipper through rainbow-coloured marine life and explore Nazi wrecks from the WW II years... the list is endless.

Sightseeing

North Goa
Old Goa: 10 km east of Panjim is Old Goa, home to some of the most famous, richest and most ornate churches. The massive Portuguese-Gothic Cathedral of St Catherine da Se, or simply, the Se Cathedral, was commissioned as far back as 1564. Across Old Goa’s main square is the Basilica de Bom Jesu, the Jesuit church that houses the remains of St Francis Xavier, Goa’s patron saint.

Fort Aguada: Built by the Portuguese in 1612 to defend Goa from marauding invaders. Walk along the keyhole-shaped jetty for a superb view of the coast from Sinquerim almost up to Baga, and then walk up the hill to see the citadel and the 1864 lighthouse. The fort still functions as a prison as well.

South Goa
The Hindu Temples of Ponda: The Shri Mangueshi temple to Lord Shiva, built in 1567, is a colourful mixture of Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese influences, and has a distinctive seven-tiered lamp tower in the courtyard. The Shri Mahalsa temple is even older while another must-see temple is the Shri Shantadurga temple.

Chandreshwar Bhootnath Temple: The Chandreshwar temple, dedicated to ‘the Lord of the Moon’ (an incarnation of Shiva), is 15 km from Margao on the road to Quepem. (There is a signboard just before the village of Paroda on this road. The 400-year-old temple is atop a towering hill with breathtaking, panoramic views of the countryside and the coastline, especially at dusk.

Aravalem Waterfall: The Aravalem waterfall in North Goa’s Bicholim Taluka (about 2 km from the small town of Sanquelim) flows year-round but is strongest after the monsoon.  Next to it is the temple of Shri Rudreshwar where the annual Shivratri Festival is a major event in February or March.

Saptkoteshwar Temple: In the serene village of Naroa (or Narve), you can get to this famous temple by taking a ferry from the Divar island near Old Goa. (It is about 3.5 km from the Narve ferry point.

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