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10 Must Visit Places in North Goa, India
A Guest post by Rohit Agarwal
For all of us, our ideal beach holiday destination is undoubtedly none other than Goa. But apart from the beaches, there is a lot more to explore while one is in Goa. Yes, you read that right. Once you are done exploring the beach side, turn to this list to give you a myriad choice of places to head to. To complete your Goa experience, make sure you do not miss the following 10 places:
Photo by Jyoti Prakash Bhattacharjee, Public Domain
This is a gateway to the cultural remnant of a time when Goa was under the colonial rule of the Portuguese. So let the vibrant old Latin quarters work their charm on you as you stroll by. The narrow alleyways, colourful buildings and how well kept it is surely transfers one to a different world all together. It would certainly be a walk to remember.
How can one not explore the capital city of a state? On the banks of river Mandovi, the city of Panaji or Pangim (the latter is its Portuguese version) is located. The Church Square with Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is one of the highlights for tourists here. Panaji’s 18th June Road is a bustling shopping area and one could also head to the Kala Academy for a glimpse of Goa’s art and culture.
3. Old Goa/Velha Goa
If one travels around 10 kilometres to the east of Panaji, one reaches Old Goa/Velha Goa. This area weaves a magic of its own and has a historical significance. Under the Portuguese rule from the 16th to the 18th century, it served as its capital and its remains are a World Heritage Site under UNESCO. It has numerous churches like the St. Francis Church of Assisi, Church of Lady of Rosary or the Church of Saint Augustine which is now in ruins.
4. Fort Aguada and lighthouse
The Aguada Fort and its lighthouse is a popular destination for tourists and travelers alike. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, this provides a scenic location on the Sinquerim beach. Below the fort there is a prison which was put to use during the administration of Salazar.
5. Basilica of Bom Jesus
A World Heritage Site listed under UNESCO, it is an example of baroque architecture. With elaborate details in design its structure looks gorgeous. St. Francis Xavier’s mortal remains are preserved in this basilica. There is an art gallery as well which showcases surrealist paintings. The Basilica is open on all days.
6. Goa State Museum
Located in Panaji and is also known as State Archaeology Museum. It has a huge collection of artifacts and is very well organized. It has about 14 galleries and is also divided into departments. It is a heaven for any history buff.
7. Dona Paula
Dona Paula is a village named after the daughter of a Portuguese Viceroy, who arrived with her family in Goa in the seventeenth century. There is a British war-graves cemetery at Dona Paula and a statue too, which is named as ‘The Image of India’ by the Goa Tourism Board.
8. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Named after the Indian ornithologist, Salim Ali, this sanctuary is a mangrove habitat. Let the nature-lover in you explore the beauty around. Some of the common species of birds recorded in this sanctuary are the western reef heron and striated heron.
9. Reis Magos
The fort of Reis Magos used to accommodate Viceroys and it has 33 guns in its premises. It is one of the oldest forts in Goa and has been restored beautifully. The Reis Magos Fort currently serves as a cultural centre. After this, one should visit the Reis Magos Church which is the first church in Bardez. Its interiors are brightly designed. The fort and the church makes this hamlet a popular destination.
10. Houses of Goa Museum
This is a wonderful museum situated in Torda. It is an epitome of the merge of eastern and western cultures after their historic encounter when Portuguese took over Goa. The museum showcases the houses which constitute a unique Goan identity. Although the museum is in a triangular shape, it looks like a ship which renders a mysterious nature to it.
Whether it is with a crazy bunch of friends or with your travel companion – make the most of it. Goa will always be a memorable journey and one you would love to revisit. Explore, have fun and make endless memories.
Rohit loves to travel in different parts of India. In TransIndiaTravels, he shares his colorful experiences and also guides others for touring across the country.