Goa

Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa – The largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountains

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The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa nestled in the foothills of the Western Ghats mountains. Spread over an area of 240 sq. km, the sanctuary was previously known as the Mollem Game Sanctuary, a designated wildlife reserve since 1969. The core zone of the sanctuary, comprising an area of 107 sq. km., was declared a National Park in 1978 and is known as the Mollem National Park. The Sanctuary is a home to exotic wildlife species like Gaur, Sambar, Panther, Leopards, Spotted Deer, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, Slender Toris, Jungle Cats, and Malayan Giant Squirrels. The bird population includes the Indian Black Woodpeckers, the Malabar Pied Hornbills, Paradise Fly Catchers, Fairy Blue Birds, Drongos, and Wag tails. The profuse green vegetation of the sanctuary also ranges from tropical evergreen forests and semi-evergreen forests to moist deciduous forests.  On the whole this sanctuary is a perfect place for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Places to see at Bhagawan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: The sanctuary apart from being a retreat of the countless no. of animal species also comprises a host of other tourist attractions. These includes:

Tambdi Surla Temple

This small but exquisite 12th century Shiva temple of the lord Mahadeva is an active place or worship, located 13 km east of Bolcornem village, past the end of a single lane paved road in the northern region of the park. The temple consists of garbhagriha, antarala and a pillared Nandi mandapa built of basalt. The four pillars, sculpted with intricate carvings of elephants and chains support a stone ceiling decorated with finely carved lotus flowers of the Ash token variety.

Dudhsagar Falls

The majestic Dudhsagar Falls (literally Sea of Milk) waterfall located high up on the Mandovi River at the Karnaraka border is just 4km from the sanctuary located in the south west part. At 310 m, it is Goa’s tallest waterfall, India’s fifth tallest, and is 227th in the world.  The spectacular view of the waterfalls creates a spell binding charm over the visitors.

Devils Canyon

This naturally made canyon may make the tourists feel scary by its sinister looks. The canyon is actually made from the water carved crevises downstream from Dudh Sagar Falls, which is created from solid rock by serpentine underwater currents. It is just off the main trail soon past the Collem entry point.

Tambdi Waterfall

This waterfall, located about 2 km southwest of Tambdi Surla, at the Karnataka border, is equally spectacular and only slightly less tall than Dudsagar Falls, however it is rarely visited because of its difficult access by a steep, winding and irregular rocky path. A local guide is required.

Sunset Point

This point provides a breathtaking view of the park, revealing a vast expanse of closed canopu treetops. It can be reached by park vehicles, hired at Mollem check-point, driving along a zig-zagging road carved from the mountain.

Things to do in Bhagawan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: Being a home of innumerable no. of wild species you can easily catch a glimpse of these wild animals. The adventure lovers may organize trekking to the DudhsagarFalls from here. If you want to laze about doing nothing just get around the place watching the enormous natural beauty.

Best time to visit Bhagawan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: The best time to visit the sanctuary is from November to March as the weather during this time remains really pleasant.

How to go ?

By Air

Goa is well connected with regular flights available from all major cities in India. Dambolim is the airport nearest to the Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. From Dambolim, Mollem is  67 km.  You have to take a cab to reach the destination from Dabolim airport.

By Rail

The nearest railway station is at Collem South Central Railway, which is connected with all major railway junctions in India like New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Indore, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, Madurai, Vizag, Jammu, Howrah, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and also other cities. From Collem, one has to travel 6 km. to Mollem by any local transport. The Konkan Railway stops at the Carambolim Karmali station. From Carambolim, one has to travel 50 km. to Mollem via Old Goa-Ponda-Tiska.

By Road

If one is travelling by road, National Highway 4A (on the Western Ghats) passes through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary. All inter-state buses from Belgaum, Hubli and Bangalore halt at Mollem where the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary office is located. The routes often taken are either via Panaji-Ponda-Tiska-Mollem (57 km.) or via Margao-Ponda-Tiska-Mollem (42 km.). Taxis and tourist buses are cheap and comfortable to travel in within Goa. At the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, often taxi drivers can also act as guides. Hiring a car is not a very economical option and it is also not very easy for a tourist to drive around in Goa as the roads are bad and local drivers may be rash. It is often best to hire a driver from the hotel you’re staying in as such drivers work at fixed rates, so there is no question of bargaining or being cheated.

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Where to stay ?

There is no official accommodation available under the management of the Wildlife and Ecotourism Wing at Mollem. However, the Forest Department has one suite available at the Forest Rest House at Mollem. For bookings, please contact: +91-0832-312095.
Another option is to stay in cottages and dormitories available at the Forest Resort Complex in Mollem, run by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation. Ph: +91-0832-226782, 226515, 224132.

You may also stay at Backwoods Nature Camp. They organize package trips including pick and drop, food and lodging. For further details please contact:

Backwoods Camp: +91-09822139859, 9822144939, 9822387434 Website: www.backwoodsgoa.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Kulem-Castle

Kulem-Castle Rock Rail and Trek Route, Goa – A journey that gives an unique, thrilling and fun filled experience

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Bored from the beaches in Goa and want to do something really exciting providing high adventure, then a Rail Trek to Dudhsagar Falls is just the perfect thing for you. DudhsagarFalls lies between Castlerock and Kullem near the Goa Karnataka border inside the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary in the Sanguem district of Goa. It originates high up on the river Mandovi’s watershed and takes a steep plunge 2000 feet down in the mountains of the majestic Briganza Ghat in Western Ghats belt. This is a four tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 meters (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 meters (100 feet). Dudhsagar, said to be the tallest waterfalls in the country, which drops from a height of 600 metres through a near vertical cliff to enter the coastal region. The surrounding area is covered by a deciduous forest with many species of birds, insects, plants and animal abound here. If you make a trip between August to November, you will enjoy the beauty of the DudhsagarFalls to the fullest and even its shower may wet you. This railway track is just 26 km and the slow ride enables the tourist to enjoy the lush scenic view of the nature. Trekking to Dudhsagar is a famous tourist attraction.

There are two accessible routes, one is  Castle rock route and the other is Kulem route. Actually one can trek the whole 25 km of Braganza Ghat between Castle Rock and Kulem.

Castle rock Route

Trek from Castlerock station is the most famous route during the monsoon, reach Castlerock station and start a scenic 14 km hike to Dudhsagar falls along the railway track which will normally takes 4–6 hours depending on your speed. Well in this route you will be passing through a number of tunnels (11 to be precise), two abandoned stations (Caranzol and Dudh Sagur), a board reading “Welcome to Goa” and also great views of the Briganza Ghat.

Train Timings To/From Castle rock –Dudhsagar Falls    

Chennai Express (for Dudhsagar) leaves at 9.20 am
Goa Express (for Castlerock) leaves at 5.10 pm

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Kulem Route

Trek from Kulem is equally scenic but less popular as compared to Castlerock route.  Just like other route this trek also starts from Kulem Railway station and walk towards the falls which is about 11 km away. It normally takes 4–5 hours for a normal person to reach. The famous photograph of Trains passing through before the waterfalls can be seen in this route, and also the complete stretch of the falls will be visible while you hike towards the waterfalls.

Trekking Distance from Kulem to Dudhsagar: 11 KMS
Kulem to Dudhsagar route on mud road: 12KMS

This trek route starts from Kulem.  On this route you have to trek first 4KMS on track, then it is required to trek next 7KMS on wide mud road. The last stretch requires an ascending for 5 KM, this trail will join the track again near to Dudhsagar falls.

Best time to trek: July to Dec is the ideal time for trekking.

Camping Sites: You can camp near to  Dudhsagar station. Carrying tents is must if you want to stay back alongwith the sleeping bags.

Food Availability: You wont get good food there, You will get only tea and snacks. It is better to carry your food.

Must Carry 

Torch: You must carry torch which is required very much while crossing tunnels
Rain coat : If you are trekking in monsoon then its better carry raincoat as it rains heavily in this region
Salt : Just after monsoon leeches will be there, Better to carry salt.

Note : The information given above are according to the information available to us.  If you find any information that is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Old Goa

Old Goa – Once the capital of Goa, this heritage spot strongly reflects the glorious Portuguese era and architectural history

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Old Goa was a thriving city even before the Portuguese arrived in 1510. The place was the capital of the Bahmani Sultan Adil Shah. After the Portuguese conquest, Old Goa became a bustling metro.  The place glittered with glamour at that time. As its reputation grew, the sparkling city attracted visitors from all over Europe. The city also grew rapidly in size and splendour. It was in the 18th century that the outbreaks of the epidemic plague led to its abandonment. The remains of the city is declared by the UNESCO as the World Heritage Site. It is approximately 10 kilometres east of the state capital Panjim.

Places to see in Old Goa: The sight seeing destinations of Old Goa consists of mainly Churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia. These include:

Chapel of St Cajetan

In 1510, the Portuguese mariner Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa. The event was commemorated with the building of the Arch of the Viceroys near the Chapel of St Cajetan, which was modelled on St Peter’s basilica in Rome. This architectural style which is a reminiscent of Lisbon, gives Old Goa a grand, Portuguese feel. Today, the Procession of All Saints on the fifth Monday in Lent is the only such procession besides the one in Rome.

Se Cathedral

Lying south west of St Cajetan’s this church is larger than any church in Portugal and is the largest church in Asia. It has 14 altars, an 80m long aisle, and five bells including the Golden Bell, said to be one of the best in the world. The church is dedicated to St. Catharine.

Church of St. Francis of Assisi

Apart from the portrait of Jesus and St. Francis there are also portraits of Peter and Paul. The Archaeological Museum and Portrait Gallery function in an abandoned convent in the compound. The portrait gallery is decorated with the pictures of Portuguese rulers. The museum is open daily except Friday, from 10am to 5 pm.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Close to the convent of St Francis, the late 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus with its richly covered altars is famous throughout the Catholic world. This cathedral is the venue for a pilgrimage for both Christians and Hindus who come to pay homage to the embalmed mortal remains of Goa’s most famous saint, St. Francis Xavier, enshrined in a silver casket since 1553.

Convent of St. Monica

St. Monica Church rests upon the Holy Hill or the Monte Santo of Old Goa, opposite to the ruins of St. Augustine Church. It houses a huge Nunnery and is Goa’s only convent for nuns. It was given the status of a Church only in 1968, although built in 1606. The Museum of Christian Art is just adjacent to it and contains a collection of icons and artefacts used in rituals in religious ceremonies. Most of the sculptures and paintings were actually done by local Hindu artists.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount

The Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount is situated on top of the hill behind the St. Cajetan Church. The chapel was built in 1510 by Alfonso de Albuquerque after his victory over the Goan Muslim ruler Yusuf Shah and was renovated in 2001. The Chapel is brightly white washed and is bypassed by many tourists. The structure faces west which provides beautiful views from Divar and Chorao islands, the Mandovi River and the surrounding forested hills, especially during sunset. It also offers the overview of Old Goa where in 1510 Sultan Adil Shah’s placed his artillery to defend the city from the Portuguese assault.

St Augustine tower

The St Augustine tower in Old Goa is one of the most spectacular of monument. This highly visible landmark, a 46m-high tower served as a dome and formed part of the front of a magnificent Church. On entering the church, the visitor would have a glimpse of the grand re table of the high altar, with its large gilt tabernacle sheltered within an arch, through a screen of arched piers. Vestiges of most of these piers were visible until recently; they supported a spacious choir which could have accommodated a large number of Augustinian monks. The Tower and Church were built in 1602 by the Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587. The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842. The church’s demise began with the collapse of this vault. The body of the church was soon destroyed, but the facade remained intact. The tower’s huge bell was moved in 1871 to the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim, where it remains and can be seen and heard today. In 1931, the facade and half the tower fell down, followed by more sections in 1938 leaving only half the tower that is seen and visited by thousands of tourists today. This remnant, the renowned St. Augustine’s tower is all that remains of what was once one of the largest buildings in Goa — The Augustinian Monastery.

Nearby attractions of Old Goa: Being a very small state, Goa has no such excursion spots. One part is Old Goa and the other is “Nova Goa” or New Goa. Here you can easily visit any destination from any place and the distance covered and time taken is not much.

Things to do in Old Goa: Sightseeing in Old Goa is all about visiting its various churches, chapels, and cathedrals that are an architectural delight and are considered as the largest in Asia.

Best time to visit Old Goa: The best time to visit Old Goa is between late October and early April. However the place has a maritime climate which makes it accessible almost the entire year.

How to go ?

By Air

Goa has an international airport at Dabolim, 29 km from the capital, Panaji. The regular domestic connections are from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai. From the airport to your hotel or to any of the towns, you can hire a cab or a metered taxi. Passengers travelling from Kolkata have to halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai as there are no direct flights available from Kolkata to Goa.

By Train

The two main railway stations are Margao (Madgaon) and Vasco da Gama. The major connections are to Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram. From other places in the north, east and southeast you can travel to Londa Junction and then transfer to a connecting train to Margao/Vasco da Gama.

By Road

Old Goa is 9 km from Panaji; the capital city is linked by road to Mumbai, Bangalore, Belgaum,  Kolhapur, Pune , Mysore and many other cities of the neighbouring states. Goa also has three national highways- NH – 4A, NH -17 and NH -17A. Buses run frequently from Panaji’s Kadamba bus terminal to various locations of Old Goa. One can also hire auto rickshaws and taxis, which are costlier but more convenient.

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Where to stay ?

There are a large no. of accommodation options in Old Goa. These are:

Bambolim Beach Resort: +91-0832- 2458242, 2458247  Website: www.bambolimbeachresort.com
Old Goa Residency: +91-0832-2285327, 2285013
Ginger Hotel:  +91-0 832- 664 3333  Website: www.gingerhotels.com
Hotel Ameya: +91-0832 -222 6133

Travel Tips: It is best to visit the place on foot, since there is so much of history to seep in. Local guides, some approved by the tourism department of Goa, are available.

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Panaji

Panaji, Goa – The capital city dotted with mesmerizing sea beaches, magnificent historical monuments and churches

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Panaji is the capital of  Goa. In Konkani it is often pronounced as ‘Ponnji’. In Portuguese it was called ‘Pongim’, from which originated the other name  Panjim. The name Panjim is used mostly by English speaking people.  Lying on the banks of the Mandovi estuary, in the district of North Goa, Panaji means ‘the land that does not flood’. The place is built around a church that faces a prominent square. The capital city of Goa is well furnished with terraced hills, concrete buildings with balconies and red-tiled roofs, churches, and a riverside promenade. Previously this was a small village on the riverfront. In 1843 the city was renamed as Nova Goa ( ‘New Goa’ for the Portuguese) when it officially replaced the city of Goa (i.e Old Goa of the present days) as the administrative seat of Portuguese India.  It became the state capital on Goa’s elevation to statehood in May 1987. Each avenues of the place are scenic, with rows of gulmohar, acacia and other trees.

Places to see in Goa: The tourist attractions in Panaji are admired with scenic natural landscape, historically famous monuments and serene ambiance. These include:

Goa State Museum

One of the Panaji attractions, the GoaState museum is popular both among the history lovers and general tourists. The Goa State museum in Panaji was officially inaugurated on 29th September, 1977. In the year 1996 it was newly built in Patto on a new complex. The museum has twelve galleries of the Goa State museum housing historic and wonderful artifacts. Some of the galleries are: Sculpture Gallery, Numismatic Gallery, Christian Art Gallery, Furniture Gallery, Cultural, Anthropology, Contemporary Art Gallery. The place is a must visit specially for the history lovers, art lovers, and religious inclined people

Shanta Durga Temple

The Shanta Durga temple is a famous temple located close to the capital city. The entire complex of Shanta Durga temple covers a total area of 33 km. The temple is located on the hilly region of Kavalem in Ponda. It is one of the central tourist spots in Panaji. The temple has a structure like a pagoda and the rooftop is built out of blocks of stone and stands in the midst of lush green surroundings. The main temple is built in the center of three other temples where the image of other deities can be seen. The main temple is known to possess a quaint looking dome that catches the eye of many a visitor. The floor has been made out of Kashmir stone. Adorned by the image of the goddess Shantadurga, also known as the goddess of peace this is a highly believed and worshipped place of the native inhabitants of Panaji.

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panjim is one of the oldest churches in Goa. This 17th century church is located in the center of the prosperous Panjim city. The simple yet wonderful decorations of the church are its most note worthy aspect. The clean and tidy well maintained complex pleases the worshipers and tourists alike. This church has a couple of altars dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary and Jesus.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

This is a church is located in the ancient part of Goa and is just 10 km away from the capital city Panaji. This is one of the most eminent monumental landmarks in the history of Christian religion. Having the image of St. Francis Xavier, a disciple of Ignatious Loyola and the founder of the Jesuits community the church has a huge crowd of visitors every year. This enormous monumental structure was built by a skilled sculptor from Florence called Giovanni Battista Foggini. This church has been built in exquisite style. The interiors have been finely decorated. The floors have been made out of white marble. The smooth pathway of the altars is worth appreciating. The church has many paintings amongst which the painting of St. Francis Xavier is the most noteworthy. On the upper side of the church there lies the most enchanting relics of art called the Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery.

Secretariat Building

One of the distinguished landmark of the Panaji City is the Secretariat Building. The oldest building of the city is today one of the popular Panaji attractions. The Secretariat Building is situated close to the Chapel of St. Sebastian. Panaji’s SecretariatBuilding is a classic example of Portuguese architectural style.  It was originally built by Adil Shah, the Muslim ruler of Goa of the 16th century. Then the structure was modified by the Portuguese into a fantastic rest house for the area’s viceroy.

Miramar Beach

The popular and crowded Miramar beach is only 3 kilometers from Panjim, the capital city of Goa. This dazzling sea beach also known as ‘Gasper Dias’. It is a golden beach fringed with palm trees. The soft sands of the beach makes it the best site for evening walks. Moreover, ‘miramar’ in Portuguese implies ‘viewing the sea’. Tourists can get a glimpse of the majesty of the Arabian Sea from the Miramar Beach at Goa.

Calangute beach

The “Queen of the Beaches” in Goa, Calangute beach remains largest one in the northern region. The beach was discovered by the hippies during the 60’s and it became famous since then. The beach represents a true replica of Goan beach culture and hence its popularity. It is an ultimate place to spend great time through splendid beach experience.

Candolim Beach

14 kms north of Panaji, Candolim Beach is a part of a long extension of beach coastline along the Arabian Sea that begins at Fort Aguada and ends at Chapora Beach. The place is famous as being the birth place of one of the freedom Fighters Abba Faria, the Father of Hypnotism. The white, silvery sand dunes make the Candolim beach naturally beautiful and attract a lot of tourist every year.

Vagator Beach

Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone’s throw of the sea. VagatorBeach is split into two main beaches by a seaside headland, while facing the sea, on your right is NorthVagatorBeach (Big Vagator) and on your left OzranBeach, more commonly known as Little Vagator Beach. Vagator is a little more laid back, though still pretty much steeped in the rave culture. The tourist traffic is predominantly Western backpackers, however it has also become popular with Indian tourists, who particularly come to watch the sunset from the rocks. The sunset through rocks is breathtaking from Vagator Beach.

Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a seventeenth-century Portuguese fort standing on Sinquerim Beach overlooking the Arabian Sea. Constructed in 1613 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas, it is one of the well-preserved historical monuments. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River.

Anjuna beach

Famous for its stunning natural beauty, the beach is margined with swaying palms trees on its one side. The soft powered white sands and the cool and soothing sea breeze will make your stay idyllic for spending some time forgetting all the anxieties and tensions. The beach is marked by an unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of white sand and black rock that juts out into the Sea. This area was known as the Jewel of Anjuna and called “Ozran”. Anjuna beach is a favorite haunt of the hippies who used to organize the famous rave beach parties. It was in the late 1950s to mid-1960s that hippies started visiting Anjuna beach and since then popularized the wild rave parties with trance music which have now become the characteristic features of Goan beaches.

Nearby attractions of Panaji: There are some places near to Panaji that are worth a visit. These are:

Ponda

Ponda is 33 km from Panaji and lies inland to the east. This region is famous for its complex of Hindu temples surviving the inquisition, and was conquered only in the late 18th century long after it had ended. The temples attract a very large number of devotees.

Terekhol

The name is commonly used for both a river and the fort located on its bank.  In its upper reaches the river is known as the Banda River and in the lower reaches as the Terekhol. It a boundary between Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra state and North Goa district of Goa state for some distance. Fort Tiracol located on the mouth of Terakhol River was originally built by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, the Raja of Sawantwadi, in the 17th century. Now it has been converted into a tourist hostel, maintained in excellent condition. Terekhol is 57km from Panaji.

Things to do in Panaji: Take a stroll in Fontainhas the Portuguese quarter where the narrow streets are filled with lovely red bricked houses, churches with stained glass windows and a sprinkling of pubs and restaurants. You can also enjoy a river cruise up the MandoviRiver or evening walk down the promenade of Miramar beach. The water sports here also thrilling and fun filled. Shop some souvenirs to take back home. Done with all the sightseeing and shopping ? Then savour a feast on some good old Goan food in any of the many restaurants here.

Best time to visit Panaji: The best time to visit Panaji is between late October and early April.

By Air

The Dabolim Airport lies just 29 kilometres from the state’s capital, Panjim. It is well connected by daily flights from Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore. Passengers travelling from Kolkata have to halt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai as there are no direct flights available from Kolkata to Goa.

By Train

The two major railheads in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim, are well connected by trains from to all major rail stations in India like Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar etc.

By Road

There are a number of public as well as private bus operators in Goa, which offer options for intra-city and inter-city conveyance. KSRTC, MSRTC and KTC are some of the Government undertakings that operate from Panaji, Madgaon and Vasco Da Gama.

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Where to stay ?

Panaji offers numerous decent and cosy accommodation options for the tourists suitable to the budget. Some options are:

Panaji Residency (Goa Tourism):  +910832 222 7103
Paradise Inn: +91- 0832- 2420657  Website: www.paradiseinngoa.com
Hotel Palacio de Goa:  +91-0832 2424289, 2426742, 24217856  Website: www.palaciodegoa.com
Hotel Fidalgo: +91-0 832 – 2226291 to 99, 2225061 Website: www.hotelfidalgo-goa.com

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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Madgaon

Madgaon, Goa – A perfect holiday destination with enormous Portuguese style mansions, heritage buildings and spectacular sea beaches

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Madgaon, south of Panjim, is the second largest town in Goa and the chief commercial center. Madgaon is well connected to south Goa’s beach area. The distance to the beach front is a mere 10-15 minutes drive.

Located on the banks of the River Sal, Margao or Madgaon is amongst the oldest recorded towns in Goa and is famous for the enormous Portuguese style mansions or villas which mark its landscape.

The Margao Railway station is Goa’s biggest and most important as it is a railway junction and is the gateway to south Goa. Hence Madgaon is used more commonly as a transit stop rather than as a tourist destination, by many people who either travel down south to Palolem Beach (38 kms) or to Benaulim Beach and Colva Beachwhich is about six kilometres away.

All these beaches offer spectacular views of the cool blue and emerald-green seas and the silvery-white sands glisten in the sun. Tourists lie down on the soft sand grains on these beaches and gaze wonder-eyed at the gushing sea waves that constantly wash the beaches. The beach front is a collection of grand hotels, souvenir stalls and fly blown snack bars scattered around a central round about.

Places to see in Madgaon: Mainly a commercial hub, Margaon is dotted with some sight seeing spots which include:

Holy Spirit Church

The towering, white – washed Holy Spirit church was built when the Portuguese destroyed the Hindu temple dedicated to lord Damodar that stood on the spot in 1585. It was demolished by the Muslim army soldier and newly constructed and later it was rebuilt and destroyed on several occasions. Finally since 1675 the current structure that was erected has endured. The church can be entered from the side entrance to the north. The elaborately carved interiors are splendid from ground to ceiling. In the church you will find the huge cross dating back from the late 17th century.

Colva Beach

About 6 Kms to the west of Margao is the oldest, largest and the most spectacular Colva beach. The beach consists of about 25kms of the fine powdered white sand bounded along its coast by coconut palms that stretch from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south along south Goa’s coastline. It used to be the resting area for Margao’s high society during the colonial days, who came here for the change of air. The area is still reminiscent of the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocratic class has the beautiful houses or villas that dot the village. If you take a stroll on the Colva Beach, you can view silver carpets of bangdde (mackerels) sparkling on the golden sands that are laid for drying by the fisher men.

Benaulim Beach

In South Goa, this long stretch of white sand is only 2 kms from the longest Colva beach. If you wish to be at some place close to nature totally untouched, then Benaulim is the ideal place for you. This is a very special beach, for at the Benaulim beach, one can just laze the day off soaking in the sun. Benaulim beach at Goa gives you the pleasure and satisfaction of being in Goa. This is the beach to be when you just want to relax and only relax. You may have little bit of snacks and drinks from the nearby shacks. You need not even have to bother about getting up from your comfort zone for such things because there are assistants roaming about through whom you can place the orders and the food or drink is brought to you where you are seated. So at Goa Benaulim beach, all you do is swim, sunbath, sit, get a nice tan, laze on the beach and relax.

Nearby attractions of Madgaon: Though a part of the small state of Goa, Madgaon is a good base for a multiple and varied excursion trips. These include:

Chandor

10 km from Margao, Chandore was a village and the capital of the Chandrapore rulers and hence its name. The village is now famous for its heritage building Bragança House. It was built in the 17th century. The east wing is occupied by the Pereira Bragança family and the west wing of the house belongs to the Menezes Bragança family. The part belonging to the Pereira family has a small chapel with a relic of St. Francis Xavier, which is a fingernail. The artefacts, collected by the family over a number of years, have added to the beauty of the 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 the Pereira Bragança family by King Dom Luís of Portugal. Most of the furniture dates back to the 18th century and is made from local seeso (martel wood), lacquered or inlaid with mother of pearl by craftsmen from Curtorim bvillage. For antique aficionados, the house holds many delightful finds.

The Menezes Braganca family part is maintained more decoratively. Apart from its exquisite furniture and Chinese porcelain from Macau, it also houses a collection of family portraits, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The library is believed to be the first private library in Goa. It has almost 5,000 leather bound books collected by Luís de Menezes Bragança (1878–1938), a reputed journalist, renowned for the part he played in Goa’s independence movement.

Farmagudi

Just 21km from Madgaon, Farmagudi is the only hill station in Goa. The place has a panoramic natural beauty with elegant retreat made by the Goa tourism. The retreat looks like a picturesque set laid out in a beautiful garden lined with winding, flower edged pathways. The Retreat has an eatery in one cottage, complete with an outdoor restaurant too. The place is an ideal spot for the nature lovers.

Palolem Beach

Just 40 km from Madgaon, the spectacular Palolem beach is often been justifiably dubbed as ‘Paradise Beach ’. The beach is lined with towering coconut palms. This stunningly beautiful beach also provides you with plenty of accommodation facilities. Apart from the resorts, guesthouses, and hotels the place also provides the special beach hut accommodation. Enjoy the taste of fresh fish here as the local fishermen bring fish in fresh every morning. On the whole it is an ideal getaway from Goa to enjoy in the relaxed friendly and safe atmosphere.

Things to do in Madgaon: While in Madgaon visit the Municipal Market built on the old station road. It is full of little shops selling clothes, goan delicacies, seasonal goan delicacies, handy crafts, imported products, jewellery, refreshments, etc.

Best time to visit Madgaon: The best time to visit Margao is between October to April.

How to go ?

By Air

Dabolim airport is about 29 km from Margao. The airport is connected to domestic destinations like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Hyderabad. From Dabolim airport taxis are available for Madgaon. You can also avail train from Dabolim to Madgaon. The railway station is just 2km from the airport.

By Rail

Margao railway station is an important railway station and is connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, Bhubaneshwar and several other cities.

By Road

The road network is very good and well maintained in Goa especially the ones leading to and away from Margao. Kadamba bus stand is connected by regular bus services to many cities like Mumbai, Vasco and Mangalore.

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Where to stay ?

Margaon Residency (GTDC): +91- 0832- 271 5528
Goa Woodlands Hotel: +91-0832 -2715522  Website: www.goawoodlandshotel.com
The Sincro Hotel: +91-0 832 2741408, 9822123811  Website: www.thesincrohotelgoa.com
The Sapphire Comfort Hotel: +91-0 832- 6721111  Website: www.thesapphire.in

Note : Phone numbers given above are according to the information available with us. If you find any contact number/s given above is/are incorrect or not in use, please let us know.

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