Tourist Places

Towns  Beaches  Churches   Temples   Mosques    Eco-Tourism    Others      Folk dances    Museum & Art Galleries       Garden & Parks


Panaji:  The capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District, a small and charming city on the left bank of silvery Mandovi River, with beautiful red-roofed houses, built in Latin style, also          boasts of many modern houses, well laid gardens, statues and avenues lined with Glmohar, Acassia and other trees. Enchanting panorama unfolds from atop Altinho (HillTop).

Mapusa:  13kms. The capital of Bardez Taluka, on the National Highway 17, is at the cross roads of the network of highways covering whole of North Goa. Weekly fair on Friday is held at the modern streamline market, attended by large crowds.

Pilar: 11 Kms. Important religious and eductional centre of Christian Missionaries. The Church, Seminary and School atop hillock command a magnificent panorama of the countryside around and a fine view of Mormugao Harbour & Zuari River.

Margao: 33 Kms. The capital of South Goa District in the hinterland of Southern Goa in Salcate Taluka is a thriving commercial metropolis linked by rail to the rest of India & Mormugao Harbour and by National Highways, with Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has imposing old mansions and modern buildings.

Vasco-Da-Gama:  30 Kms. A modern, well laid out city close to Mormugao Harbour, has beautiful and extensive avenues. The air terminus of Goa at Dabolim lies on the outskirts of the city. It is also the railway terminus for passenger service on the South Central Railway.

Mormugao Harbour: 34 ksm. (4 kms. From Vasco-Da-Gama) is one of the finest natural anchorages on the West Coast of India and the hub of intense maritime activity.

Chandor (Chandar): 9 kms. East of Margao the menezes Braganza House, mostly late 18th Century and previously owned by Lemon nationalist and Journalist Luis De Menezes Braganza has a series of magnificent rooms especially the great salon with its fine furniture and the largest private library in Goa.



Arambol Beach:  (50 Kms) A unique beach in North Goa, is both rocky and sandy beach and much sought after. It has a sweet water pond right on the store.

Vagator: (22 kms) It is popular beach dominated by Chapora Fort to the North, on its imposing headland. To the South of Vagator is Calangute beach.

Anjuna: (18 kms). A popular beach area adjacent to Chapora Fort. In Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof.

Calangute: (16 kms) is the most popular holiday resort in Goa. Excellent accommodation facilities are available, particulary at the tourist resort and cottages.

Miramar: (Gaspar Dias), 3 Kms. A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji.

Dona Paula: 7 kms. An idyllic picturesque spot. Command a fine view of the Zuari River and Mormugao Harbour. Water scootering facilities are available here.

Colva Beach: About 6 kms. from Margao. Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scentic spelndour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. Has good accommodation facilities particilary at the tourist cottages.

Agonda: (About 37 kms. from Margao). A small picturesque and secluded beach much sought after for its serenity.

Palolem: About 37 kms. from Margao. Just west of Chaudi in the Southern Taluka of Canacona is one of the most enchanting beaches in Goa relatively desserted, with backdrop of Western Ghats.

Churches Top
Old Goa: (10 kms). East of Panaji, lies the site of Old Goa, founded by Adil Shah in the first decade of 16th century. It was being developed by them with a view to shifting their capital from Bijapur. However, Afonso de Albuquerquw made a short work of it when he stormed and took it over to house the centre of power of the Portuguese colonies.

i) Basilica of Bom Jesus: Built in 16th century is the most popular and famous of all churches in Goa. The mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket, are enshrined here. This church dedicated to Infant Jesus is now a world Heritage Monument. Timings: Sunday: 10.30 to 18.30 hrs. Weekdays: 09.00 to 18.30 hrs. Masses: Sunday: 08.00 & 09.15 hrs. Weekdays: 07.00 & 08.00 hrs.

ii) Se Cathedral: Most imposing of all churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior overwhelms the visitors by sheer grandeur. This Cathedral has five bells of which one is the famous Golden bell, the biggest in Goa and one of the best in the World. The church is dedicated to St. Catherine. Masses- Sunday 7.15 a.m.; 10.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. Weekdays: 7.30 a.m. and 6.00 p.m.

iii) Church of St. Francis of Assissi: The entrance and the choir are in Manueline style, the only fragment of its kind in the East. Ther interior is illustrated with exquisite paintings. The adjacent convent now houses the Archaeological Museum.

iv) St. Cajetan Church: Built in the style of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

v) Church of Our lady of Rasary: One of the earliest built in Goa, bears an inscription about the conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510.

vi) Nunnery of Santa Monica: Built like a fortress is significant for its massive walls and butresses. It is the only nunnery in Goa.

vii) Ruins of Church of St. Augustine: Close to the Nunnery is a lofty tower defying the torrential rains. The tower is one of the four of St. Augustine church that once stood there. The Church when intact was perhaps the biggest in Goa.

viii) Viceroy’s Arch: One of the gates of Adil Shah’s Fort. It was renovated by Portuguese and was the gateway to Goa for Portuguese Governors. Every incoming Viceroy used to disemark at this place.

Reis Magos Church: 7 kms. The Reis Magos Church was constructed in 1555. It is one of the earliest Churches built in Goa and the first in Bardez Taluka, dedicated to three Magi-Kings. This Church was once the residence of all dignitaries and also a mission centre of the Franciscan order. There is a fort adjacent to this Church.

The Church of Mae de Deus at Saligao (Bardez): 13 kms. Built in 1873, is situated amidst picturesque surroundings. The shrine of the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) was brought from the ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa. This beautiful church is the finest piece of gothic style. The Church is well illuminated at night.

The Church of St. Alex at Curtorim: 9 Kms. from Margao. It is one of the Oldest churches in Goa, built in 1597.

The Church of St. Ana at Talaulim, Ilhas: 11 Kms. Dedicated to St. Ana, is a remarkable piece of ancient Christian archirecture. It was built in 1695 on the right bank of Siridao river and has picturesque surroundings. The unique feature of this church is that it has hollow walls through which people could walk in secrecy for the purpose of confession.

Rachol Seminary: Situate just off the banks of Zuari river, 12 kilometers from Margao in South Goa. In 1521 the Portuguese, in their customary fashion first built a church, then a prison, later in 1574-1610 a seminary to impart philosophy and theology. It is in this seminary that the museum of Christian Art is housed.
Temples Top
Shree Bhagavati: 28 kms. from Panaji in Pernem Taluka. The temple, situated by the side of the main road, is said to be more than 500 years old. Two life size images of elephants in standing position, made of black stone on either side at the entrance, welcome the visitors. The Goddess Bhagavati Asthbhuja in a standing position on a high pedestal is very imposing. Dussehra is celebrated with gaiety from Ashwin Shuddha Pratipada to Poornima, when over 25 thusand devotees assemble at the temple.

Shree Bhagavati Temple at Parshem: Situated at a distance of 7 kms from Pernem in Pernem Taluka, the complex has five temples, main temples being of Shri Bhagavati, and other temples are of Shri Sateri, Shri Dev Ravalnath, Shri Dev Bhivangi Panchakshari & Brahma (Shri Vishnu, Shri Ganapati, Shri Shankar). Devi Bhagavati temple has two Deepstambhas unique of its kind. Main festivals are Dassehra and annual Zatra.

Shri Brahma Temple: 7 kms. from Valpoi, in the village of Brahma Carambolim. This shrine belongs to the 5th century A.D. It is one of the few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma found in India.

Shree Chandranath : 45 kms. It is situated on the top of 350 metres high hill of Chandranath, at Paroda, Quepem. Chandreshwar was the titular deity of Bhoja kings who ruled South Goa before the Christian till the middle of 8th century. They had named their capital Chandrapur after the deity. Shivalinga is carved out from the rock which oozes whenever rays of full moon fall on it. The temple is so designed tht Linga receives moonlight on every full moon. The temple commands a panoramic view and its surroundings are enchanting. The temple’s ancient chariot is well known for its wood carvings.

Shree Damodar: 22 kms. from Margao at Zambaulim-Sanguem, situated in picturesque surroundings on the banks of river Kushavati, popularly known as Panti. Near the temple, the river is regarded particularly holy and is said to have medicinal properties. The deity is worshipped by the Hindus and Christians alike. A week long celebration of Shigmo is packed with programmes which includes a colourful fair, exchange of gulal, collective meals and presentation of shows on popular legends and folk culture. The deity was originally in Margao.

Shree Datta Mandir : 37 kms. At Dattawadi, Sanquelim and 40 kms. from Margao. The century old temple of trimurthy (Hindu) has a back drop of a beautiful hillock covered with dense groves of areca palms. The most important festival, which is attended by devotees from all over Goa, is Datta Jayanti which falls in the month of December. The deity is believed to have cured many people of unsound mind. The entire interiro consist of white marble.

Shree Devi Sharvani: Vithal Maharudra Panchayatan the complex comprises of temples of Jagrut Swayambhu Goddess Sharvani, Mahadev and vetal with his life-size image of stone and other deities. It is situated in scenic surroundings at Advolpal in North Goa, 2.5 kms. from Assonora on Pirna main road. Goddess is known for fulfilling the vows of her devotees through Kaul Prasad who also perform Tulbhar to propitiate her. Thousands of devotees throng on vardhapan day. Divja Zatra day and annual Zatra day in November/December when procession of Goddess is taken out in decorated chariot.

Shree Devkikrishna-Ravalnath: 17 km. at Marcela, Ponda, is popularly known as Pisso Ravalnath. The most important festival is “Malni Pournima” in the month of Pausa (January).

Shree Gomanteshwar Devasthan Brahmapur: It is situated near Ela farm at Old Goa. Mahadev was worshipped during the days of Kadamba Kingdom in Goa. Madan Tirtha Goraksha Math, etc. still remind the glory of the place.

Shree Gomantak Tirupati Balaji Padmavati Temple: Blessed by Jagadguru Shree Sanucharya Swamigal of Shree Kanchi in kamakoti Peetam and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam is located in the temple Circuit of Ponda Taluka, 1 km away from Kundaim on NH 4A at Kunkuliem village in salubrious environment and a visit is spiriturally refreshing. 

Shree Gopal Ganapati: 26 kms. from Panaji at Farmagudi, Ponda, amidst beautiful natural surroundings, near Bandora. The Portuguese Viceroy attacked the fort of Ponda in October, 1683 but had to beat a hasty retreat at the sudden appearance of the Maratha King Sambhaji with a large army. Farmagudi commemoratres this event. The stone image of Gopal Ganapati was discovered by herdsmen while grazing cattle near the hill and later installed in a small shrine with a thatched roof. The temple built by late Shri Dayanand Bandodkar, the first Chief Minister of Goa had the idol, made of metal alloy, consecrated on April 24, 1966. It is a good specimen of Indian temple architecture synthesizing both ancient and modern.

Shree Kalikadevi: 14 kms. from Mapusa at Kansarpal. It is said to be about hundred years old. Divided into outer halls, supported with seven rows of four pillars, has a stage to perform dramas on festive occasion. The inner shrine containsthe reserved image of Goddess `Kali’ a fierce form of Devi. Agrashalas (Rest House) surrounding the temple provide facilities for lodging to the devotees.

Shree Kamakshi Saunsthan Shiroda: 40 kms. from Panaji. According to mythology, Shri Kamakshi, was brought from Kaurang (Kanchi).

Shree Lairai Temple: The temple of Shree Lairai is situated at Sirigao about 2 kms. from Panaji-Valpoi Highway. Recently, an old temple has been reconstructed at a cost about Rs.80.00 lakhs. The temple is unique in North Goa, the combination of northern and suuthern art and design of temples have been applied in constructing the temple. It is one of the attraction to the tourists visiting holy places, temples in Goa. Shree Lairai Saunsthan of Sirigao, Goa is one of the oldest and most famous Devasthans in Goa. The deity Lairai is famous all over Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka, for her unique “HOMAKUND”. Every year thousands of devotees attend annual feast of deity to witness the walking of “DHOND” through sacred fire called “HOMAKUND”.

Temple of Shree Mahadev at Tambdi Surla: 66 Kms. from Panaji in Sanguem Taluka at the foot of the Ghats, is the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architrcure (13th century) in basalt stone preservced and available in Goa. A motorable road connects Sancordem to this temple complex. 

Shree Mahadeo Bhumika at Sal, Bicholim: Situated at a distance of 25 Kms from Mapusa, temple complex has beautiful natural surroundings. The three-day festival of ‘Gades’ which begins on Phalgun Purnima draws big crowds. The devotees believe that people can have the darshan of ‘Devchars’ during the Gade festival.

Shree Mahadeo Bhumika at Sal, Bicholim: Situated at a distance of 25 Kms from Mapusa, temple complex has beautiful natural surroundings. The three day festival of ‘Gades’ which begins on Phalgun Purnima draws big crowds. The devotees believe that people can have the darshan of ‘Devchars’ during the Gade festival.

Shree Maha Ganapati temple: is located at Madel in Tivim Village Panchayat area of Bardez in North Goa. The temple has on the northern side the backdrop of a high peaked hill. To the south there is a small rivulet whose waters used by the people for bathing are believed to be medicinal. To the West the land slopes away and a meandering patheway used by the villagers can be seen. To the East are the quaint housed of the villagers set amidst beautiful trees. During the month of August (Shravan) the temple is being illuminated and beautifully decorated and also Singing Competition is being organised. In the year 1970, during the time of desilting the pond at Madel , which is attached to the temple 4 statues were found of God namely: (1) Ganapati (2) Mardani and some others.

Shree Mahalsa : At Mardol. 1 km from Shri Mangueshi temple. The deity worshipped is an attribute of Vishnu (Mohini during the fight between Devas and Asuras). Main festivals: Zatra (February) and Navaratra.

Shree Mahalaxmi :
situated in the village of Bandode, about 4 kms from Ponda. It is considered the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult. The Sabhamandap has a gallery of 18 images, out of 24 images of emanatory aspects of Bhagvata sect, which is considered one of the few galleries of wooden images of Vishnu in India. The image of Mahalakshmi has a close resemblance to that of Mahalakshmi at Kolhapur, the main centre of worship. Her special feature is that she wears a linga on her head and is considered a peaceful or Satvik form of the Devi. The Goddess Mahalakshmi was worshipped by the Shilahara rulers (750 – 1030 A.D.) and the early Kadamba Kings of Goa. 

Shree Mallikarjun : 40 kms from Margao at Canacona, the southernmost Taluka of Goa, is believed to have been constructed during the middle of 16th Century by ancestors of the Kshatriya Samaj. It was renovated in the year 1778. The temple has massive wooden pillars with intricate carvings. There are 60 deities around the temple, Rathasaptami in February and Shigmotsav in March/April are the festivals of note, which draw large crowds.

Shree Manguesh : 22 kms from Panaji (26 kms from Margao) at Priol-Ponda Taluka. It is located on a hillock surrounded by lush green hills. Though small it has an air of distinctive elegance. Its lofty white tower at the entrance is a landmark of the country-side. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Shree Morjee Temple of Morjim: Situated at Morjim in Pernem Taluka this ancient historical temple complex is situated amidst natural surroundings. The main festival is “Kalas Utsav” which is celebrated once in every three, five, seven or nine years. The duration of the festival is nearly a month beginning from Phalgun Shuddha Pachami. The concluding seven days is a big religious and cultural affair when people not only from Goa but also from Sindhudurg to Karwar assemble in large number. Other festivals are Gudi Padwa, Dussehra, annual Zatra, “divzam” and ghodemodni.

Shree Naguesh : Dedicated to Lord Shiva is situated in the village of Bandora, about 4 kms to the east of Ponda. The temple Sabhamandap has a gallery on both sides that contains exquisite specimen of intricate wood carvings of the event of Ramayana on one side and wooden images of Astadikpal and Gandharva on the other.

Shree Navdurga Saunsthan : 34 kms from Panaji at Borim (12 kms from Margao) the deity of Goddess Navdurga was originally brought by Brahmins of Karad to Goa. The deity was later transferred from Benaulim in Salcete to its present site at Borim.

Shree Navdurga at Madkai: 28 kms from Panaji. The annual zatra is in November.

Shree Ramnath: 33 kms from Panaji in Ponda Taluka . Besides the shrine of the main Ramnath deity it has four small temples of Shri Laxminarayan, Shri Shantadurga (Sateri), Shri Betal and Shri Sidhanath. The five together, constitute Shri Ramnath Panchayatan. The legend in mythology says that Rameshwar is the original abode of Lord Ramnath. 

Shree Rudreshwar Temple at Harvalem: Located in Bicholim Taluka at a distance of 45 kms from Panaji the temple of Rudreshwar is half a km away from the rock-cut caves of Harvalem where the ancient linga of Rudreshwar is venerated. The idyllic Harvalem waterfalls is close by. The image of Rudreshwar is facing the waterfall. The festival of Mahashivaratri draws big crowds. However, the temple assumes importance as Hindus perform rites for the dead here.

Shree Saptakoteshwar: 37 kms for Panaji at Narve-Bicholim, was a favoured deity of Kadamba kings. Its original temple was situated in the island of Diwar. It was destroyed by the Portuguese and the idol was shifted to its present site at Narve (Bicholim). Many years afterwards in 1668 A.D. Chhatrapati Shivaji ordered renovation of this temple at the present site during one of his campaigns to oust the Portuguese. The linga worshipped in this temple is faceted and is known as ‘Dharalinga’.

Sapteshwar-Bhagvati Temple at Mandrem: Situated 17 kms from Mapusa in Pernem Taluka, the complex has five temples, main temples being of Shri Sapteshwar and Bhagavati. Other temples are Narayan, Ravalnath and Satpurush. Dassehra, Zatra, Bhajani Saptah are the main festivals. The temples were renovated some years ago.

Shree Saunsthan Gokern Partagali Jeevotam Math: Located at Partagali Village on the banks of the sacred rivulet Kushavati, this math established by Shreemad Narayanateertha Swamiji in the year 1475 A.D. has an uninterrupted tradition of 23 Swamijis. This is an accident Math of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Vaishnav Community which maintained contact with the scattered members of the community. The symbol representing the spiritual movement carried by the Math for over 500 years is one of the few huge ancient ‘vatavriksha’ (Banyan tree) which is about 200 ft. x 225 ft. and is considered a Tapasya Kshetra for over a thousand years. Vatavriksha and the Ishwar linga in front of it are worshipped by the people of Partagali and adjoining area. This place is popularly known as Bramhasthan. Partagali is being developed into a centre of culture and learning, without in any way tampering with its glorious traditions.

Shree Sausthan Goudpadacharya Kavle Math: This Math is a brilliant heritage of Goud Saraswat Smarth Community with branches all over India. This Math situated at Kavalem, in Ponda Taluka is named after historic seer and exponent of the Adwaita system of Vedanta. The Math was shifted from Cortalim in the year 1630 during the inquisition period and re-established by Shrimad Satchidanand Saraswati Swamiji.

Shree Shantadurga: 33 kms. Sumptously built at Kavlem, is dedicated to Shantadurga, the Goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. Has a rich and beautiful Garbhakuda or the holy of holies where the deity is kept. The deity was shifted from kelsi. Agrashalas provide lodging facilities to the devotees.

Shree Shantadurga: 14 kms from Mapusa at Dhargal, Pernem. When all the temples in Bardez were destroyed by the Portuguese, this Goddess was removed at Sanquelim. It was at the time of the notoriouus Portuguese inquisition in Goa. Therefore, in 1550 A.D. this Goddess was taken to Dhargal in Pernem Taluka which also formed part of Sawantwadi principality. The ‘Zatra’ of this Goddess is held in the month of December. The temple has beautiful natural surroundings.

Shree Shantadurga (Kunkolienkarin): 18 kms from Margao, at Fatorpa (Quepem). Originally from Cuncolim village in Salcete Taluka, the Goddess was removed to Fatorpa in 16th century during religious persecution by the Portuguese. The annual Zatra, which falls in the month of Pausha Shuddha Navami, attracts thousands of devotees from all over Goa.

Tapobhoomi: Born under the divine inspiration of his Holiness Haturli Mathadhish Shrimad Brahmanand Swamiji, the Tapobhoomi Complex at Kundai has now become a centre of pilgrimage to the students of Hindu culture and religion, spread over an area of 10,000 sq. mts. This centre of Param Pujya Padmanabh Shishya Sampradaya harbours a number of projects, a unique Datta Mandir, Sanskrit pathshala, Dhyaan Gumfa (Chamber of Mediation), Ayurveda Centre, Yoga Anusandhan Kendra, Bhajani Vidyalaya, Bhaktoddhar Library, etc.

Shree Vithal Mandir: 41 kms from Panaji situated at Vithalwadi, Sanquelim, Shri Vitthal is the ancestral God of ‘Ranes’ who had put up prolonged memorable resistance to Portuguese rule. The main festival is Chaitri (April). Its celebration is a lavish affair for the people miles around.
Mosques Top
Jama Masjid: 26 kms from Margao at Sanguem. Built in the last century, the Jama Masjid was completely renovated in 1959. The new structure is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and elegant simplicity. It has four minarets whilst the entrance façade is flanked by two elegant towers surmounted by pillared kiosks. A domeshaped kiosk rises in the centre of the minarets. Festivals are celebrated here with due solemnity by the rejoicing devotees.

Safa Masjid at Ponda: The Shahouri Masjid in Ponda Taluka, the biggest and most famous of the Mosques, was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adilshah of Bijapur. Adjacent to the Mosque is a well-constructed masonry tank with small chambers with ‘meharab’ designs. The Mosque and the tank were formerly surrounded by an extensive garden with many fountains. The two major festivals Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha are celebrated at this mosque with great pomp and are attended by a large number of people.
Eco-Tourism Top
Pleasure Island: Goa’s only backwater Country Resort on the island of Divar where you experience the treasures of flora & fauna. Explore nature in the hinterlands with bird watching at the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, crocodile spotting in the Cumbharjua Canal and more…You can also savor the pure and simple countryside ambience from the ethnic Goan riverside villas and indulge in boatings as well as other recreational options.

Set in the ambience of a typical Goan village, the Resort is only 9 kms from Panjim city, the commercial hub of Goa or a short boat ride away; 32 kms from the airport and only 6 kms from Karmali railway station at Old Goa.

For further details contact on Tel:280505/06, 280598/99. Fax: 280597

Others Top
Aguada Fort: 18 kms. Built by the Portuguese in 1609-1612, to command the entry into the river Mandovi, in order to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks. A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there. The fort houses presently the central jail. A lighthouse is situated nearby, the visiting hours for it being 16.00 to 17.00 hrs.

Arvalem Caves: The celebrated caves of Arvalem, belonging to a remote era, are in a westerly direction not far away from the temple of Rudreshwar and are of archaeological interest. A mythical background is attached to these caves. Some are of the opinion that these caves have been carved by the travelling Buddhist monks. An inscription is noticed on a Shivalinga with a circular top in cave No.2 Its is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters of the 7th century A.D. It reads as Sambalura-vasi Ravih.

Arvalem Waterfalls: Leaving the temple of Rudreshwar, one can descend the staircase to look at a majestic waterfall shedding its exuberant silvery showers. The beautiful fall, with a head of about 70ft., forms a sizeable lake at the bottom which offers a temptation to seasoned swimmers. The fall is best seen when in full flux, just after the copious monsoon, when it presents a raptures, ravishing and riotous aspect.

Dudhsagar Waterfalls: 60 kms. (10 kms from Colem Railway Station) is accessible by train only. Water plummets hundreds of feet in large volume, in cascades, forming one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena in Goa and a life line of our ecosystem in one of our Sanctuaries. A popular destination to hikers and trekkers. It is also acessible by jeepable(4 wheel drive) route (14 kms) through the Bhagvan Mahavir Sanctuary. However, one needs to obtain permission in advance from the Department of Forests at Junta House, Panaji.

Kesarval Spring: (22 kms) The spring emerges from hard and compact rocks and people bathe in its water with strong belief that it has medicinal properties.

Mayem Lake: 35 kms surrounded amidst rolling green hills is an ideal picnic spot. Good accomodation facilities are available in Cottages. Boating is available on the lake.

Ancestral Goa: (Big Foot) A centre for Art, Culture & Environment. Located at Loutolim, 9 kms from Margao, it is an aesthetically developed open air site designed to illustrate Goa’s traditional past. Set in eco-friendly surroundings, this mock-up village traces 100 years of Goa’s lifestyles and heritage alongwith a depiction of daily village activity and folk culture. Local artefacts and handicrafts are available at the handicraft centre and art gallery. The legend of the Big Foot is narrated there- With a pure heart, place your foot on the rock enbedded footprint and you will be blessed with luck. The Big Foot Eat-out offers exotic goan cuisine with spices, vegetables and fruits handpicked from the spice garden and fruit orchard, watered by an ancient system of irrigation. Flanking this is a bird habitat and a rubber plantation from which rubber is extracted and processed. A giant size footprint, ‘Big Foot’-the only designer dance floor in Goa is used as a venue for the promotion of art, dance, music and traditional culture.

Another major attraction here is ‘Natural Harmony’- the longest laterite monolythic sculpture in India measuring 14 x 5 metres which makes this a must see place for every visitor Sculpted in grecoroman style, in a record time, this horizontally ethced, Sant Mirabai playing the ektara found its way into the Limca Book of Records.

Gardens & Parks Top

In all the major towns especially at Panaji, Margao, Mapusa and Vasco-da-Gama. 

Rustic Plantation: is situated on the extreme North-East of Goa at Dongurli village, Thane, Valpoi, Sattari. The Plantation is a rejuvenating experience of a lifetime. Nestled in a vallery amidst verdant mountains with grossy expanses, lush green fruit bearing trees and gurling rivulets, Rustic Plantation is the gateway one looks for. 

Pascoal Spice Village: is located near the village of Khandepar, 8 kms northeast of Ponda National Highway (NH) 4A. the lower end of the property is bounded by tributary of the Mandovi River and rises in elevation towards the hills of the interior.  Spices are the indispensable ingredients of Goa’s well known “chillie hot cussine”. They are still grown in Goa on large income plantations along with other income producing crops of areca nuts, cashew nuts, coconuts, tropical fruit, etc. These plantations have manage to combine spices and tourism in a unique and favourable way one of the first plantations to realize this potential was Pascoal Spice Village. 

          This idyllic screnc setting coupled with a wide variety of spice plants and cash crops is interspersed with a restaurant,  cottages, open-air party half, boating, nursery, a wide variety of flowering plants, shrubs, fountains and farm animals. 

          The spices grown and sold here are Black Pepper, Netmeg, Mace. Cinnamon Cardamom, Turmeric, Ginger and All Spice. Tel: 344268, 344119 

Savoi Plantation Spice of Life: is located at Savoi Ponda, 25 kms from Panaji and 15 kms from Ponda. Oldest tropical plantation with intercrops. One  can see the rural  setting of interior Goan Traditional methods of Organic Farming . Crops like Coconuts, Betel nuts, pineapples, spices and many more. A walk in the plantation with local person briefing you about the nature (crops, roots, herbs). Experience the typical Goan Hindu Cuisine served in Mud Pots with Banana Leaf. On the way to Savoi Plantation one can visit Cashewnut Factory, Ananta(Vishnu-the Presever of Universe)Temple party in water.

Museums & Galleries Top

Archaeological Museum and Portrait gallery, Old Goa :Tel. 286133. Timing : 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (without lunch break).Closed on Fridays. Entry fee: Rs. 5/- per person above 15 years.     

Goa State Museum, Patto, Panaji: Tel. 226006. Timing: 09.30 to 13.00 hrs. and 14.00 to 17.00 hrs. Closed on Saturdays, Sundays & Public Holidays. 

Museum of Christian Art, Rachol: Tel. 776052. Timing: Daily 09.00 to 13.00 hrs. and 14.00 to 17.00 hrs. Entrance fee: Rs 5/- per adult and Rs. 2.50 per child. Monday closed. 

Naval Aviation Museum: At Dabolim, with static display of aircrafts, Engines, armanent, sensors, Aviation simulator, safety, archive, models, apparel and museum shop. Timings: Daily from 09.00 to 17.00 hrs. Entrance fee: Rs. 10/- per adult and Rs. 5/- per child. 

Galleries at Se Cathedral St. Francis of Assisi Convent & Basilica of Bom Jesus: timings 09.00 to 12.30 hrs. & 15.00 to 18.30 hrs. on weekdays and Sundays from 10.00 to 12.30 & 15.00 to 18.30 hrs. 

Galleria de Icons, Seva Samiti Bldg. Agakhan Street, Margao. Tel. 730835  Entrance free. Timings 9.00 am to 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 6.00 pm. Closed on Sundays. 

The Big Foot Art Gallery & Local Handicarfts Centre, Loutolim. Tel: 750421, 750430 Fax: 750401. Works of local artist such as paintings, artefacts, bamboo, cane, clay & terracotta, handmade garments & souvenirs. Timings: Daily 9.00 to 18.00 hrs. Entry Fee Rs. 20/- per person & Rs. 10/- per student.

Folk Dances of Goa Top

Goa abounds in festivals and fairs around temples and churches which also commemorate early legends. They are the occasions when a Goan peasant manifesto joy and hapiness.

  1.     Bhandap: A traditional folk dance performed by the women  folk of the scheduled tribe community who were the earliest settlers of Goa, in the second half of the Hindu month Bhadrapada. 

2.     Corredinho: Portuguese folk dance: A peasant dance which is popular among Goan elite youth. 

3.     Dekhni-Beauty dance: Performed only by women, displays a rare blend of Indian & Western rhythms. 

4.     Dhangar Dance: In Navratra days, a vigourous session of worship dance.  5.     Fugdi & Dhalo: Folk dance performed by women. The most common folk dance forms of Goa. 

6.     Ghode Modni: It is in commemoration of the return of the Ranes after victories over the Portuguese in Bicholim and Satari Taluka. 

7.     Goff- folk dance with chords: Manifesto joy and hapiness of Goan peasants after the harvest, during Shigmo Festival in Phalgum month. 

8.     Hanpet- Sword Dance: A traditional warrior dance performed during the Shigmo Festival. 

9.     Kala & Dashavtar: Folk dance forms representing the sunsequent development of jagar as tiatr. Some of the other popular folk dance forms are Ranmale, Ratkala and Tiatr.

10. Kunbi Dance: Tribal Folk dance: A group dance-cum-song thoroughly rustic. 

11. Lamp Dance: Performed during Shigmo Festival by women holding lamps on their heads. 

12. Mando: A love song. It represents the mingling of Indian and Western tradition. 

13. Morulem: A traditional folk dance presented by the backward community during Shigmo Festival. 

14. Mussal-Khel-Pestel Dance: A dance-cum-song in praise of valiant Kings. It also projects incidents in the village  life of the times, Romat, Tonya Mel and Dhendlo are some other folk dance forms. 

15. Perani Jagar: The earliest form of drama. 

16. Raatib: Part of religion ritual of Muslim community performed during 11th month of the Muslim calender. 

17. Suvari: It is a traditional tone setter to all Hindu religious and festival performances. 

18. Talgadi: Folk dance performed by men-a social, sophisticated, outdoor dance for men. 

19. Taranga Mel: Banners mela of farmers. 

20. Tonyamel: Folk dance with sticks. A very vigorous and muscular group dance which is connected with the farm-folk celebrating the joys of good harvest. Tipri Nritya resembles tonyamel folk dance. 

21. Veerbhadra: It is a typical Indian style dance performed in Ponda, Sanguem and Bicholim Talukas. 

22. Zagor: Folk Play. A cultural activity presented in different villages of Goa in different styles by the Gauda community.

courtesy GTDC, Govt. of Goa