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Top 10 places to visit in Goa

Discussion in 'Goa' started by Indian, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Indian

    Indian New Member

    I am going India to visit my family for a holiday and during the time I am there I wish to visit Goa.

    Firstly I don't even know whether it is the right time to visit Goa or not, so that needs to be clarified first?

    The holiday to Goa will be squeezed in from the time I will be with my family so that the days will be limited in Goa. What I would like to know are the top 10 places to visit in Goa, which would make my short trip worthwhile.

    The max time I would be spending in Goa would be a week.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, @Indian! Welcome to the forum!

    There are three seasons in Goa and each season offers something different for the tourists:
    • The first season is the summer season, which is from March to May. Temperatures during this time can get very hot, even reaching up to 45°C. But on average, it's between 26°C to 39°C in day time. The good thing about this season is that there aren't many tourists in Goa. You can enjoy the beaches all to yourself and your family. Aside from that, rates are very low, from the hotels to the flights. You can do some water sports as well as most of them are open during this time.
    • The second season is the monsoon season, which is from June to October. Temperatures are lower than summer season at 25°C to 39°C. Goa receives medium to heavy rainfall though so rain showers aren't uncommon. However, the famous Dudhsagar Falls becomes alive during this time. Rates of hotels are also lower as not many tourists go to Goa at this time. The downside is that there are few water sports available during this time.
    • The third season is the winter season, which is from November to February. This is the peak tourist season in Goa, especially with the cooler climate. All hotels and restaurants open during this time. The night life in Goa is also quite alive. But rates can be higher and you need to book a hotel in advance as most of them are full already by December. All water sports and activities are also open during this time of the year.
    It's up to you what season you choose to go to. If you'd like some peace and quiet, consider the summer or monsoon months. If you'd like to party and enjoy the night life, then consider the winter months.

    Here are the top ten places to visit in Goa:
    • Fort Aguada - This fort was constructed in 1612 by the Portuguese to stand guard against the Dutch and Marathas. You can find this on the Sinquerim Beach, a little bit on the Southern side of Candolim. Its name Aguada means water which was derived from the freshwater spring here that used to supply water to the ships stopping here. There's also a four-storey light house nearby the fort constructed during the year 1864, it's the oldest of its kind in Asia. The fort, during its time, can store up to 2,300,000 gallons of water.
    • Old Goa - This city was built by Bijapur Sultanate during the 15th century. You can find it in North Goa, 10 kms away from Panjim. It still has that feel of the colonial era. The city served as the capital of Goa until the 18th century when it was abandoned due to a plague.
    • Shri Mangeshi Temple - You can find this temple in Mangeshi in Ponda in Goa. It is about 21 kms from Panjim. Originally, the temple was built in Salcette but the Saraswats of Vatsa Gotra moved it when the Portuguese started converting the locals into Christians. They moved it in its present location which at that time was ruled by the Hindu kings of Sonde of Antruz Mahal. The temple is dedicated to Bhagavan Manguesh, a manifestation of Shiva. You can also find smaller shrines of Parvati, Ganesha, Gajana and Garuda as well.
    • Dudhsagar Falls - This is a four-tiered waterfall, about 310 metres in height. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the country. You can find it about 60 kms away from Panjim. As I've mentioned already, this is best visited during the monsoon season when the falls are fed by the rain.
    • Basilica of Bom Jesus - This basilica is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The basilica holds the remains of Saint Francis Xavier. You can find it in Old Goa. Bom means holy or good, so the basilica can be translated to the Basilica of Holy Jesus. The church was constructed in 1594 although it was only consecrated a few years after at 1605. The body of Saint Francis Xavier is said to remain as fresh as the first time it was buried and is believed to have miraculous healing powers. The basilica has paintings of the life of Saint Xavier as well as an art gallery showcasing the works of Dom Martin.
    • Reis Magos Fort - This fort was built even earlier than the Aguada Fort, about half a century before it. It was built in 1551 by the Portuguese to protect the mouth of the Mandovi estuary. It has undergone several renovations, the most recent was on 1707. The fort accommodated viceroys from Lisbon. It even underwent a war with the Marathas but it wasn't won over. The British did occupy it from 1798 to 1813 but abandoned it thereafter. It served as a prison after the abandonment.
    • Shantadurga Temple - This is temple complex in Kavalem in Ponda. The original temple was in Salcete but was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1564. The present structure was built by Chattrapati Shahu in 1738 AD. The temple complex has one main temple and three smaller shrines. The main temple is dedicated to Shanta Durga, a form of Goddess Parvati who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva.
    • Se Cathedral De Santa Carina - This is the cathedral of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese of Goa. The cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese against the Muslim army, which is how they captured Goa in 1510. The victory happened on the feast of Saint Catherine, hence the cathedral was dedicated to her. The cathedral was reconstructed in 1562 under King Dom Sebastiao. It was completed in 1619 and consecrated in 1640. The cathedral has the Golden Bell, which is the largest in Goa.
    • Chapora Fort - This is located in Bardez in Goa, above the Chapora River. Before the Portuguese arrived in Goa, the location has another fort. Prince Akbar made this his base camp in 1683 along with the Marathas, to defeat the Portuguese. In 1717, another fort was constructed here. Sawantwadi held the fort for two years until the Marathas captured it in 1739. Most of the fort and the structures inside it are in ruins now though but the location offers a great view of the Chapora River.
    • Goa Chitra Museum - You can find this museum in Benaulim. It was founded by Victor Hugo Gomes in 2010. It houses over 4,000 artefacts showcasing the traditional life and agriculture of Goa. These artefacts include potteries, farming tools, musical instruments and ancient carts.
    There you go. There are many attractions in Goa and it's really hard to come up with this list. I hope others can chime in and tell us what their favourite places in Goa to visit are. I didn't include the beaches since you didn't really specifically ask for them. But I could add them in, if you'd like that just tell me. I hope this helps!:)