Goa is a small state in terms of area and population, yet it is home to several tourist attractions, exotic beaches and historic sites. It is one of the richest states in India which stretches across 110 km long and 60 km wide. It is nestled in between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats. It is a city rich in culture, heritage architecture and it still features the evidence of the Portuguese influence. The tourist attractions in Goa are testimony of the rich history of the various rulers that ruled Goa right from the 3rd Century BC.
Here are top places to visit in Goa:
1. Dudhsagar waterfalls
The Dudhsagar waterfalls are one of the main attractions of Goa for its appearance like that of milk. The entire waterfall is 4 tiered which makes it one of the tallest waterfalls in India with an impressive height of 310 m and a width of 30 meters. It is located on the Mandovi river and in between the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park.
2. Basilica of Bom Jesus
This Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the most popular attractions in Goa for its baroque architecture. In addition to this, it also houses the tomb and the mortal remains of a popular much loved Roman Catholic Saint Francis Xavier’s who was also the founder of the Society of Jesus. It took many years to complete this Basilica when its construction began in the year 1594 and was finished in the year 1605. The entire building is built with laterite stone without any plastering. It can be found located on the old Goa road near the Gandhi Circle.
3. Fort Aguada
The Fort Aguada dates back to the early 16 century and it was built by the Portuguese. The Fort Aguada was built to protect Goa and its people from attacks of the conquerors on the outside. It is protected by huge massive walls on all sides. In addition to this, it was also built to protect Goa from the threat of enemies coming in through the river Mandovi. It also features a Citadel and an Orbicular Lighthouse Tower that days back to 1864. The top of the Lighthouse Tower gives you unrestricted views of the Cabo Raj Niwas and the surrounding area.
4. Dona Paula
The Dona Paula is a lovers Paradise which is just 7 km away from the Panaji center Dona Paula is also one of the most preferred family destinations that brings in all types of travelers. It is a place filled with legends one of which includes that the daughter of a viceroy, Dona Paula Di Mendez, committed suicide by jumping off the Cliff when her lover was objected by her family. She was in love with the son of a fisherman. Hence, this beach got its name after her. Some of the main attractions of the Dona Paula beach includes the panoramic view of the Mormugao Harbour and the Palm trees and the green casuarinas Woods that fringes the shoreline.
5. Mandovi river
The Mandovi river has been a major tourist attraction from time immemorial. Some of the main attractions here include long Cruises as you breathe in the fresh air and site historic architecture and beauty all around. The surrounding area also hosts several cultural performances where you can blend in and be a part of it. The Cruise tour tops the list as it gets you to relax and rejuvenated for a night of opulence. It also hosts entertaining events, a variety of Goan cuisine each of which should be sampled and indulged in, fun choreography, colorful costumes, and delicious mouth-watering street food all of which gives you glimpses of the palpable Goan spirit.
6. Se Cathedral
This Cathedral is one of the most ancient and top religious architectural buildings of Goa dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria. The Se Cathedral is the largest Catholic Church in the whole of Asia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a whole lot of attractions. It is commonly known as the chapel of Saint Catherine and it was built way back in the 16th century. It is an evidence and witness of the Majestic Grandeur of the Portuguese rule in India and it is also a reflection of the Portuguese architecture.
7. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary can be found on the island of Chorao located on the Mandovi river in Goa, India. It derives its name after an eminent Indian Ornithologist, Salim Ali. This Bird Sanctuary was established in the year 1988 and it can be easily accessed by ferry. The major attractions of the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary includes its thick Mangrove trees surrounding on all sides, dense and diverse flora and fauna and other rare species which includes the red knot, Striated Heron, little bittern, black bittern, Western Reef-heron, Jack Snipe, pied avocet, fiddler crabs, and the mudskippers.
8. The Goa state museum
The Goa State Museum is also popularly referred to as the archaeology museum. It is located in Panaji and it was established in the year 1977. It houses its exhibits in each department which is wide and varied including art and crafts, Ancient History archaeology, geology and lots more. It has more than 8000 artifacts on display, anthropological objects, paintings, carvings, sculptures, stone sculptures, clay sculptures, bronzes, rare coins, swords, and lots more. The museum is situated within the Adil Shah Palace.
9. Bondla wildlife sanctuary
The attractions of the Wildlife Sanctuary is its diverse animal life which includes some rare birds and animals which includes the Indian peafowl, Indian Bison, Sambar deer, the Malabar giant squirrel, leopards, Gaur, Indian bison, dancing bears and the Deadly cobras.
10. Baga beach
The Baga Beach is one of the most visited tourist attractions for its amazing views, fishing boat rides, water sports which includes Dolphin Cruises, banana rides, parasailing, and paragliding. The perfect sunsets are a sight to behold with the cool breeze blowing through your hair and music blasting away from speakers on the beach. There are also spas, tarot shops, Palmistry, and street food sold at outlets scattered all over the beach.
11. Calangute beach
Some of the main attractions of the Calangute beach includes water sports, tourist attractions, and active nightlife. Some of the most thrilling sports activities include the banana ride, Jetskiing, catamaran sailing, paragliding, bumpy ride parasailing surfing and lots more.
12. Grande Island
The Grande Island is popularly known as the bat Island and the Ilha Grande. It is an exotic destination for tourist and one can only reach there by sailing on a boat. The main attractions of the Grande Island include fishing, snorkeling, Salem, boating Cruises Kama swimming Dolphin spotting and lots more.
13. Anjuna Beach
Anjuna Beach is popular for its nightlife water activities, coffee shops, beach bars yoga, and aromatic massages. You can indulge in water sports activities such as Jetskiing, catamaran sailing, swimming, water gliding, eating, drinking, and merrymaking.
14. Candolim beach
The best time to visit Candolim beach is in the month of November, December, January, and February. It is one of the most frequently visited beaches for its water activities, water sports, swimming, sailing in boats, seafood, Awesome Goan cuisine and lots more. The Candolim beach is known as the Queen of beaches.
15. Arambol beach
The Arambol beach is safe for swimming with a beautifully curved shoreline. It is crowded with tourist and visitors all year around. It is the perfect place for indulging into adventure sports, paragliding, and biting into Goan street food.