India is not like any Asian country! It envelops a motley veil of mysteries, mysteries and amazing legends. Tourists who arrive in Goa dream to unravel at least some of them and thus diversify their Indian vacation.
Just want to note that Goa is not exactly India. The territory with part of the neighboring states Maharashtra and Karnataka was a colony of Portugal for more than four centuries. Conquerors fiercely fought with traditional religions – Hinduism, Jainism, Islam, turning the population into the Catholic faith. Destroyed temples, desecrated places, but at the same time erected Christian cathedrals and churches. Changes affected all spheres of life. And now we have an incredibly colorful mix of resurrected identity and European influences, generously seasoned with the characteristics of the tourist region.
What are the attractions of Goa deserve the attention of tourists and travelers in India?
The state itself has traditionally been divided into North and South. Pay attention to the map:
Attractions in North Goa
A place that breathes the air of freedom (with a light admixture of light doping) … The famous sunsets of Arambol with a traditional drum circle, an improvised market of folk art right on the beach and numerous concerts and parties after sunset. In the afternoon you can take a stroll through the picturesque jungle from the fresh lake to the large banyan, under whicha wise baba lives with his followers for many years, according to local legend.
- Saturday Night Market in Arpora
Weekly noisy and vibrant action with live music, delicious food and of course motley trade, having a long history and traditions.
- The day market in Anjuna
The oldest flea market in Goa is the legacy of the freedom-loving hippies. Now you can find on it not only strange clothes, intricate author’s decorations, but also quite traditional tea, spices and souvenirs.
- Chapora and Aguada Forts
Military forts reconstructed and rebuilt by the Portuguese. Each of them is unique in its own way: from the ruins of Fort Chapora there is a stunning view of the sea; in Fort Aguada you can admire one of the oldest lamphouses in Asia.
- The Market of Mapusa
A small town Mapusa or Mapsa is an important transport and trade hub of North Goa. The local bazaar attracts many tourists, but it is no less popular with Indian residents. Here you can find anything you like: from household trivia to gold jewelry, from clothes and shoes to fruits and vegetables.
The capital of the state formally stands out in a separate area and should deserves your attention. Here the Portuguese influence is most strongly felt – the characteristic features of architecture, a rich cultural life and a unique atmosphere that will manifest itself even brighter after a glass of cooled portwine in one of the colorful bars.
South Goa Attractions
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- Old Goa
There is predecessor of modern capital just a few kilometers from Panaji. Previously, shining with wealth and beauty, rightly called Gold Goa, the city was a stronghold of the power of the Portuguese and the heart of Catholicism in the region. But over time it was abandoned, the capital was moved to Panaji. However, even now the Old Goa impresses with the majestic Cathedral of Saint Catherine, the mysterious Basilica of the Bom Jesus and other religious monuments of a multifaceted history.
The area with the largest concentration of Hindu temples. Not all of them were destroyed during the reign of the colonialists, some were rebuilt. Here you can observe the rituals, learn the legends of countless hindu gods and just meditate.
The unofficial capital of the South. A large city, a business, commercial and transport center. It is interesting both in itself and in its surroundings with caves and a small Arvalem waterfall.
- Fort Caba de Rama and Agonda, Cola beaches
One of the oldest forts in the South witnessed bloody battles and later became a prison for 30 years. Now it is pleasant to walk along the deserted territory and from the surviving places of observation buildings admire the opening view of the sea. There are the picturesque beaches of Agonda and Cola nearby, where you can spend a few hours and maybe even days in relative solitude.
- Palolem Beach
Headed into the top five most beautiful beaches of Goa. It is a sandy crescent framed by rocky shores lulled by the rustle of palm trees.
- Dudsagar Waterfall
Perhaps one of the loudest, literally and figuratively, attractions of the state. It is located in the Bhagwat Mahavir National Park and is one of the three highest waterfalls in India.
Here an extreme adventure is combined with the majestic tranquility of nature. If you wanted to interact more closely with the nature, then mischievous monkeys and friendly elephants will completely satisfy this desire. Nearby are several plantations of spices, where you can learn a lot of new and interesting about the flora of India.
These attractions in various combinations and variations are included in the standard excursions. Prices for them are very diverse – it all depends on the official status of the company, the professionalism of employees and the enterprising owners. I advise you not to focus too much on reviews – all people are different and the experience will be appropriate.
By the way, you can visit all these places independently having the courage to rent a scooter or using the services of taxi drivers. Exploration of Goa is also a great opportunity to buy souvenirs and gifts. Well, if due to bright impressions you will forget something, then by browsing the catalog of our online store you can order the missing without haste and bustle.
And in conclusion I want to share a couple of my “secret” places that are not so untwisted and even more attractive from that:
- Fort Reis Magos
- Museum of Modern Art of Goa (MOG)
- Museum of Goa Houses (Museun of Houses of Goa
See you in Goa!