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Goa Travel

Introduction
Silver sands, sparkling blue waters, the sky mirroring the sea below, white churches resting against green paddy fields and coconut trees lining the coastal streets. Goa – a place you can fall in love with at first glance. There's much more to Goa than sun, sand and sea. The allure of Goa is that it remains quite distinct from the rest of India and is small enough to be grasped and explored in a way that other Indian states are not. Ruled by the Portuguese till 1961, Goa still retains its indo-portuguese character -- very visible amongst its architecture as well as its people. Goa's tourism byline of "Goa - 365 days on Holiday" is absolutely true.

 

Places to See
Panjim, Goa

Called Panjim by the Portuguese, Panaji, which means "the land that does not flood" is the state capital of Goa. Unlike many capital cities, Panaji has a distinct unhurried character. It is situated on the southern banks of the Mandovi River, which makes this town all the more charming.

The European Ambiance typical of a Goa town, Panaji is built around a church facing a prominent square. The town has some beautiful Portuguese Baroque style buildings and enchanting old villas. The riverside, speckled with brightly whitewashed houses with wrought iron balconies, offers a fine view.

 

Anjuna Beach
With its fluorescent painted palm trees and infamous full moon parties, ANJUNA, 8-km west of Mapusa, is Goa at its most "alternative". Designer leather and Lycra may have superseded cotton Kaftans, but most people's reasons for coming are the same as they were in the 1970s: dancing and lying on the beach slurping tropical fruit. While browsing in the area have a day trip to the famous flea market.

 

Baga Beach
Baga Beach, Goa Baga, 10-km west of Mapusa, is basically an extension of Calangute; even the locals are unable to decide where ends and the other begin. Lying in the lee of a rocky, wooded headland, the only difference between this far northern end of the beach and its more congested center is that the scenery here is marginally more varied and picturesque.

 

Calangute Beach
"A Topping On Tourist Pie" A mere 45 minute bus ride up the coast from the capital, Calangute is Goa's busiest and most commercialized resort, and the flagship of the state government's bid for a bigger slice of India's package-tourist pie. In the 1970s and early 1980s, this once peaceful fishing Village epitomized Goa's reputation as a haven for hedonistic hippies.

 

Cathedral Church, Goa
The Portuguese Viceroy Redondo commissioned the Se, or St. Catherine's' Cathedral, southwest of St. Cajetan's, to be "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". Today it stands larger than any church in Portugal, although it was beset by problems, not least a lack of funds and Portugal's temporary loss of independence to Spain. It took eighty years to build and was not consecrated until 1640.

 

A Cross Shaped Church
This is the largest church among the group of churches in Old Goa. Built on a raised plinth of late rite, covered over with lime plaster, the church has, besides the main altar, eight chapels alongside the aisles and six altars in the transept.

 

Travel Information
By Air :
Dabolim, Goa's airport, is situated at a distance of around 29 km from Panaji on the coast near Vasco da Gama. Goa is connected by air to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin and Mumbai by regular domestic flights. Several International charter flights from the UK and western Europe also operate to Goa during the peak season from October to April.