Being a tiny state in South-West of India on the edges of Arabian Sea, Goa is the beautiful tourist place – presenting the perfect blend of Indian and Portuguese culture that you can see in its lifestyle, nightlife, churches, and marketplaces and even in casinos.
Divided into North Goa and South Goa, the beautiful state presents you some of the most charming beaches of the nation; while beautiful villas with oceanic views and moon light party spots extra elegance to make it popular tourist place. Local sightseeing in Goa has something more than what you have expected.
Samaara Villas makes your holidays wonderful by providing you an amazing view of the local attractions.
Panaji has a charisma of its own that is blessed with various historical sites like St Francis Xavier’s Tomb, St Catherine’s cathedral, Rachol’s Museum of Christian Art and different others.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls is another pride of tourism in Goa – called as Sea of Milk. Water cascades from almost 2000 ft down a cliff to a rock-ribbed valley. There is a lot more to explore that will surely keep you busy and persuade you to plan a trip again.
Your holidays in Goa are counted as incomplete without spending more time in exploring some of the main beaches that are the prime attractions of the state too. Some of the main beaches include, but not limited to:
Local sightseeing in Goa is a wonderful experience. Some of the ancient churches of Portuguese era make them ideal to explore. Some of the famous churches that you will explore include Portuguese Colonization Church, Braganza House, Rachol Seminary and Church, St Cathedral Church, Ruins of Church of St Augustine, The Church of St Anne at Talaulim Ilhas, and Basilica of Bom Jesus.
In addition, you will also see some other churches like Reis Magos Church, St Cajetan Church, Church of St Francis of Assissi and Church of St Paul. Don’t forget to spend some time exploring some of the most fascinated temples like Shri Mahalasa Temple, Shri Lakshmi Narasimha Temple, Shri Naguesh Temple, Shri Shantadurga Temple and different others.
From wonderful casinos to shopping arcades and from night bazaars to different other attractions, you will stay busy in local sightseeing in Goa that will surely persuade you to enjoy your holidays in memorable way.
Goa's inland sights are somewhat scattered, but taxis and SightSeeing In Goa hired cars connect them easily. Panaji and Margao are about a 40-minute drive apart. Margao, a busy commercial center, is a jumping-off point for south Goa's beaches and one of the state's most exciting natural sights: Combine the beach with a taxi ride to Collem one afternoon to see the Dudhsagar Waterfalls. En route north to Panaji is Loutolim, where the Big Foot Museum presents an open-air re-creation of a 19th-century village.
Panaji and Goa command a few hours each. In Panaji, walk around and visit the Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, built into a hillside next to the Municipal Garden. Another 20 minutes' drive brings you to Old Goa. Park at the Basilica of Bom Jesus (the huge building on your right as you drive into town), see St. Francis Xavier's tomb, cross the road to the imposing white Se (St. Catherine's Cathedral), and perhaps explore some of Old Goa's smaller churches. If you have time, drive out to Rachol's Museum of Christian Art before driving back to Panaji. By now, the Goan heat might have tired you out: Drive along the river in Panaji, on 18th June Road, to the Hotel Mandavi and have lunch or a coffee at the hotel's relatively sumptuous Rio Rico Restaurant. If your driver knows the local back roads, make a trip north to Anjuna. Even when it isn't market day (Wednesday), this town is spectacular, with windswept palm trees and a splendid coastline of sand and rock. It's a wonderful place to watch the sun set.
It was established under the sponsarship of King Sebastian of portuggal and built by the jesuites between 1606 and 1610 to train Goan priests. Later, its reputation grew as a center of learning. The Seminary church is dedicated to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the jesuites sect. The church's most striking feature is the carved and painted wooden panel covering the sides of the chancel. One of the side alters also exibits the "Menino Jesus" that was initially kept in colva church and later shifted to seminary. It is located 7Km from Margao, near the Raia village.
The east wing, occupied by the Pereira-Braganza family, has a small chapel with a relic of St. Francis Xavier, which is a fingernail. The artrfacts , collected by the family over a number of years have added to the beauty of house. There is a great Salon, a large ballroom with the floor made of Italian marble, antique chandeliers from Europe adorning the ceiling, and heavily carved ornate rosewood furniture. What stands out among the furniture is a pair of high-backed chairs, bearing the family crest, which was given to thepereira-Braganza family by king Dom Luis of Portugal, Most of the furniture dates back to the 18th century and is made from local seeso, lacquered or inlaid with mother of pearl by craftsmen from Cutorim Village. For antique aficionados, the house holds many delightful finds.
Dedicated to the worship of the infant Jesus, the basilica is also known thoughout the Christian world as the tomb of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa. The saint's incorruptible body has "survived" almost 500 years now without ever having been embalmed, and now lies in a silver casket. Built under the guarantee of the Duke of Tuscany, the basilica itself took the Florentine sculptor Giovanni Batista Foggini 10 years to complete aroundrthe turn of the 17th century.
With a name that means "Sea of Milk" in Konkani, Dudhsagar is suitably spectacular and imposing, with water cascading almost 2,000 ft down a cliff to a rock-ribbed valley. The regular train here—which passes over the falls on a rocky viaduct—from Collem, in east Goa, has been temporarily suspended, but you can still access the foot of the falls via a rough, 10-km (6-mi) jeep ride. The journey traverses rugged rolling plains, lagoons, and narrow mud paths hemmed in by bushes. Pack refreshments and bath towels, and plan to spend a morning here. It isn't difficult to find a private nook, but watch your step—the rocks are slippery. Monkeys, birds, bees, butterflies, and thick foliage complete the wild experience. The ideal time for a trek here is early summer or just after the monsoon; during monsoon season the approach road is often inaccessible. The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) organises day trips from Panaji for Rs. 400; you can also take a taxi from Margao to the town of Collem, then hire a private jeep with driver to see the falls. Sanguem district.
The largest church in Old Goa, the se was built between 1562 and 1652 by order of the King of Portugal. Fine carvings depict scenes from the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin over the main altar, which commemorates St. Catherine of Alexandria. Several splendidly decorated chapels are dedicated to St. Joseph, St. George, St. Anthony, St. Bernard, and the Holy Cross. The cathedral him only fine of its original two majestic towers; the other collapsed in 1776. The huge belfry contains the "Golden Bell," the largest bell in Goa.
Surla town in Sanguem ta-luka has the famous Mahadeva Temple which has been declared as a national sanctuary developed off the main Belgaum highway. The Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is very near Molem. It covers an area of 240 square kilometers. There are criss cross roads within the sanctuary. The Bison now freely roams throughout the Sanctuary and can be seen anytime. Cotigao has an area of 107 sq. kilometers and is situated in Canacona Taluka. Nearly a third of the government forests in Goa have been notified as sanctuaries.
Colva is seven kilometers from Margoa. It is famous for its beach and the image of Infant Jesus which is said to perform miracles. The images is said to have been found on the coast of Africa by Fr. Bento Ferreira which was ship wrecked there. The Church is dedicated to our Lady of Merces. The foundation stone of the Church was laid in 1581. In October every year for the feast of the image people flock in hundreds and a big Fair is held. The feast in honour of Our Lady of Merces is also celebrated in the month of May.
Colva beach has a good road linking it with Margoa. The silver sands of Colva are streaking for 40 kilometers is a beautiful sight. The beach is fringed with palm trees. One can always find isolated parts of the beach as only part of Colva have been developed. In the moonlight, the waters of the ocean acquire a magical luminescence.
Fatorpa is 16 kilometers from Quepem. It has the famous Shantadurga Temple. The deity was earlier at Cuncolim and that temple was burnt on April 5, 1567. The one foot high idol is made of 5 metals. The idol holds a shield and a Trishul in its hands. In the sanctum is also a four feet high idol of Khanderaya. Offerings of clothes are made to the goddess. Both the Hindus and the Christians venerate the goddess. A big festival is held at the Temple before Dusshera. Besides this, Holi or Shigmo as it known in Goa is also celebrated here.
The municipal town of Mapusa is an important commercial centre since ages. The Bodgeshwar temple has a small shrine dedicated to Kanakeshwar Baba. There is a lot of greenery around this Temple. People believe that their desires can be fulfilled by the deity. In the months of December/January over six thousand devotees flock to Temple when the annual fair is held. This Fair is one of the biggest in Goa. The church dedicated to Our Lady Miracles was build in 1594. It was rebuilt in 1719 and again in 1838 after it was destroyed by fire. Both the Hindus and the Christians believe that the Image of Nossa Senbora de Milagres cures all ailments. The feast of Nossa Senbora de Milagres is attended by over six thosant persons.
Marcaim is nine kilometers from Ponda. It has the famous Navdurga Temple which is About 500 years old and was renovated in 1603 A.D. The deity was originally located in Ganvshi in Tiswadi Taluka. The four feet high stone idol has the neck of the Goddess slightly bent towards the left. A big Fair is held every year in which nearly 8000 people participate.
Marcela town is sixteen kilometers from Ponda. The famous Devaki-Krishna Temple is situated in the heart of the town. The idol is stated to be earlier in Tiswadi Taluka but was shifted later on to this place. The black stone idol is in a standing posture with a child Krishna being carried on the hip. This is a unique pose.
A very busy town Margoa is about 30 kilometers away from Panaji and is situated approximately in the middle of the state. The Church of Holy Spirit was erected in 1565 on the ruins of a Hindu Temple. The Church was rebuilt in 1589 after it was burnt down. There are 10 altars, with the main altar dedicated to the Holy Spirit. An Annual Fair which which is very well attended is a feature of this Church. There is a Hari Mandir having the holy books of Saint Santhagatha and Dyaneshwar. A big festival attended by thousands of people known as ‘Dindi’ is held every year. A procession is taken out from this temple to Vithal Temple.The Vithal Temple is also about sixty year old. Two black stone idols of Vithal and Rakhumayi are installed in the sanctum. The ‘Dindi’ festival is keenly celebrated and the Hari Mandir procession comes to this temple. A huge Pipal tree near the market is revered as the abode of god Damodar. There is also a beautiful shrine to god Damodar in the bDamodar Temple.
Narora town in 5 kilometers from Bicholim.In it is located the famous Saptakoteshwar.Temple. Sited earlier near the island of Divar, the idol lay hidden for a long time till it was rescued and installed in a Temple on Divar Island. When the Portuguese took over the Divar island they destroyed the temple and built a Church over the remains of the temple. The idol was again hidden, then a small temple was built till Shivaji renovated and expanded the present temple. The temple is built in four parts has a square sanctum carved out of a single block of stone. Above it is dome with a Shikara The Shivlinga in the sanctum is worshipped as Saptakoteshwar. We have a seated Nandi carved out of black stone facing the sanctum. A Deepthambh is also constructed in front of the Temple in Maharashtra style.
The City of Velha Goa (Old Goa) was at one time the Golden City in the East. In their heyday the Portuguese had made it one of the prettiest cities in the world and it was famous as the Rom of the East. The city apart from its famous churches has a number of other historical buildings. TheGate of the Fortress of Adilshah is constructed of black stone and has a horizontal lintel resting on pillars. The whole structure is on a raised platform with 6 steps. On its right side is the ‘Vicerory’s Arch which was the landing place of Old Goa. This arch was very richely decorated to greet a new Viceroy. The Arch is built of black stone and has a statue of Vasco-de-Gama and on the rear is a Statue of Argonaut. The Baslica of Bom Jesus is a massive structure which is also known as the Church of St. Francis Xavier as its houses the Chapel and Tomb of St. Francis Xavier. The Church was built in 1594 in Corinthian style. Velha GoaThe Church has two Chapels, with a main alter with a main alter with a choir at the entrance. In 1659 the tomb of St. Francis Xavier was installed in this Church
Priol town is 21 kilometers from Panaji. The famous Mangesh Temple is the oldest Shiva Temple in Goa. The deity was shifted from Cor-talim to its present site about 1565. The main Temple has an area of 2871 square meters. The Linga is on a round platform in the sanctum. There is a lamp pillar at the entrance. The sacred tank of the Temple is illuminated dur¬ing Festivals. The Linga is covered with a gold or silver facial plaque depicting God Mangesh. Another ' famous Temple here is the Mahalasa Narayani Temple. The idol of the god.was shifted to this site in 1567 from verna. The Goddes is said to fulfill all desires of her devotees and has a very large following. The temple has very intricate wood carvings on the pillers and the walls. The floor of the hall is of marble and the roof is decorated with creeper designs. In the sanctum is the image of Mahalasa Narayani
Quelula is near Ponda. The famous Shantadurga Tempie is in this town. The idol was shifted from Que* Quelulalossim in 1567. The Raja of Satara Built the Temple. Built in the usual Goa style, the Temple has the deepstambha (lamb pillar) in the courtyard. The Temple has marble flooring and the roof is highly decorated. The door leading to the sanctum is silver plated. The image is placed in the middle with a Linga on one side and an idol of Narayan inside a separate structure towards the North. A seven day Fair is held every year at the temple and thousands of persons from all over attend the Fair. Another Temple nearby is the Kaileshwar Temple. The sanctum of this Temple has a self ex¬istent Linga.
Sonauli Town is situated thirty-one kilometers away from San- guem. The famous Dudh Sagar falls are worth a visit. The Falls can be seen' while coming by train to Goa. The train passes through a dense forest and suddenly round the corner comes ' Dugh Sagar Falls about a hundred feet away from the railway track. The arches of the bridge squarely astride the flow of water. The falls are about 603 meters high. From the Railway Bridge, one can see the majesty of the upper portion of the Falls. A flight of steps lead to below the bridge from where the rest of the Falls can be seen in full frontal view. On foot one can approach the Falls walking from the Dudh Sagar Railway Station along the track through a runnel and then up to the bridge. It is a most unforgettable sight. One can also now go by a jeepable road.
The town of Rais Ma-gos is situated opposite Panaji across the River Mandovi. The Rais Magos Fort is a small Fort built in 1551 over the ruins of a Bijapur Fort. The Fort was rebuilt in 1704. The Fort has a commanding position and had 33 guns to protect it. It is now-a-days used as a Jail. The Church of Reis Magos is at the foot of the Fort. It was built about 1550 A.D. Seven Portuguese Gover¬nors and Viceroys are buried inside this Church. An annual, much attended, Feast is celebrated on the 6th January.
Raia Town is 41 kilometers away from Panaji. The Rachol Fortress is a very old Fort in the area. It was set up to defend the Portuguese against the Bijapur and Maratha armies. The Fortress was very well defended by over hundred guns at one stage. The Seminary and Church of Rachol in¬side the Fortress have escaped the ravages of time. The foundation stone of the Seminary was laid on 1st No¬vember 1606. It is a very big build¬ing. The corridors have many beauti¬ful paintings. The Library of the Semi¬nary has a large number of books. The Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola is at¬tached to the Seminary.
Rivona in Sanguem taluka is 22 kilometers away from Sanguem. The famous Damodar Temple was built here after the Portuguese started their Temple destruction in Salcete in 1567. The Temple was reconstructed in 1885 and the Image of Damodar and Lakshmi Narayan reinstalled. In 1972 the main Temple was again re¬built. The idol of Lakshmi Narayan is made of black stone and a Linga is dedicated to Damodar. A one block, balck stone sitting Nandi faces the sanctum
Saligoa Town is eleven kilometers from Panaji. The Church of Mae de Deus has a very beautiful build¬ing, the foundation of which was laid in 1867. It is buflt in Gothic style. The saligoa Seminary located in the town has a big building. The Seminary trains priests during the preliminary stage of priesthood.
Sanquelim town is about seven kilometers from Bicholim. The famous Datta Mandir dedicated to Lord Dattareya is located here. The Temple was constructed around 1882. The white marble three faced statue of Dattareya is installed in the Sanc¬tum. The Vitthal and Radhakrishna Temple in Sanquelim Town are also worth visiting.
Siroda town is 10 kilometer; away from Ponda. The Kamaksh Temple is about 400 years old. The deity is said to have been brought here from Karwar. A big gate leads to the courtyard with the Deepstambh. The inner hall is supported by three beautifully carved wooden pillars. The images of Dattatreya and Maruti are installed in the inner hall. In the sanctum is the idol of Goddess Kamakshi. To the left fo the Goddess is the image of Kalbhairava and to the right that of Vetal. Secondary shrines in the compound have images of other deities.
Paroda village is 11 kilometers from Margoa. There is the famous Chandranath Temple constructed on a 348 meters high hill. The Bhoja rulers of Goa named their Capital Chandrapur alter this famous deity. The Shivalinga in the sanctum is carved out of stone and on full moon day the moon beams fall directly on the Shivalinga. An ancient beautifully carved chariot of the Lord is well preserved in the Temple. An annual well-attended fair is held to pay homage to the Lord. Closeby to this is a small temple dedicated to Bhutnath. The deity is in a standing posture gazing at Lord Chandranath.
Pernem Town has the famous 500 years old Bhagavati Temple. Two life size statues of elephants carved out of single blocks of stone guard the entrance to the temple. In the sanctum is the standing posture idol of Goddess Bhagavati. During Dushehera and Shigmo Festivals, a large number of people pay homage to the deity
Poingunim town has the ancient Temple of Parshuram. A black round stone is worshipped as Parshuram in the sanctum, The Golan Partgal Jeevotlam Math has the Shrine of virvitthal as well as the Temple of Ramadeva. The Shrine of Maruti is facing the Math.
Ponda Town is situated 29 kilometers from Panaji. The Town has a famous Safa Shahouri Masjid building in 1560 by Adilshah of Bijapur. The Mosque has a square stone ma¬sonry tank with chambers for dressing. The major Muslim festivals are celebrated here. The Ponda Fort is now a famous picnic spot. The Original Fort was said to have been built by the Bijapur rulers. It was destroyed in 1549 by the Portuguese. Shivaji conquered it from the Portuguese in May 1683 and rebuilt the Fort. In 1682, the Fort. was destroyed by Sambhaji in his Wars with the Portuguese. He rebuilt a stronger Fort called Mardangad, the ruins of which are now a picnic spot.
The Island of Anjidiv is in Canacona Taluka of Goa. The Portuguese, before they conquered Goa, used it in their early days as a station fir repairing and watering their ships. It is small island with two pools of water. One of them has a natural spring which supplies drinking water. The channel between this island and the mainland is navigable by ships. In 1682 the Portuguese built a fort on this island. It protected the mainland from the Maratha ruler Sambhaji. Later on this island was used as a penal settlement for Goa by the Portuguese.On 19th November,1961, the Indian Navy Fought the Portuguese navy here and there were some casualities on both side. The Portuguese ship Afonso de Albuquerque was disabled in this naval fight. There is a church with three altars on the island. It was constructed in 1506 by the first Portuguese Viceroy Dom Francisco de Almedia.
Anjuna village is in Bardez Taluk, about 10 Kilo meters from Mapusa. The famous Chopra Fort is at a high point on the South of the mouth of River Chapora. The construction of the Fort was started in 1717. The Fort dominates the surroundings. The Fort dominates the surroundings. The Fort overlooks the Vogator Beach. The Beach is fringed with palms and approachable by a metalled road.
Arvalem village is about three kilometer from Sanquelim.The Rudreshvar Temple is surrounded by a grove of arecanut trees. A stream of water passes by the stairs and forms a beautiful waterfall about 70 feet high. big lake forms at the bottom of the fall. There is a massive gateway at the entrance of the temple which faces east. There is a Shivlinga in the Santum. Dramas are staged at the temple on Mahashivratri day.
Bandora village is about 3 kilometers from Ponda. The Mahalakshmi Temple is in the middle of the village. The main gate has above it the nagarkhana (drum chamber). A row of five pillars and a pilaster on each side support the main hall of the temple. There is a gallery with rare 18 wooden images of the Vaishnavitecult. The main idol is of black stone. By its side is an idol of Narayan. On festive days dramas are performed in the night.
Calangute village in Bardez Taluka is famous for Calangute and Baga beach which is linked by a mettaled road with the main road. The twin beaches stretch for more than 7kms. Of gold sand fringed with coconut trees. A number of bars and restaurant along with hotels ring the beaches. This is one of the most popular area from the Tourist angle. The early morning breeze is very bracing and the sight of the fishermen taking in their catch unforgettable.
Canacona town forms a part of the municipal town of Chawri. The Mallikarjun Temple was rebuilt on an older site in 1781. The temple has a sanctum covered with a dome and a shikara surrounded by an inner room and an outer assembly hall. There is a chowk in between the sanctum and the hall. This chowk has massive carved wooden pillars. There is a gallery full of wooden images. There is a black stone Nandi facing the sanctum which has a one foot high Linga covered with a silver plated canopy with creaper designs. The door frame of the sanctum is silver plated with designs and figures of Saraswati on both sides. On the lintal is a figure of Ganpati. On Shivratri a festival is held and dramas are staged.