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