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known as “Tourist Paradise” and “Pearl of the Orient”, Goa is the smallest state in the Konkan region of  India. It is one of the favourite tourist destination for millions across the globe. Goa is blessed in terms of topographical beauty, bordered by the Arabian Sea on its west. Swaying palms, white sands and sparkling waters are the three essential elements that attract two million visitors annually to Goa’s balmy shores.

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The glorious scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples,old houses and churches have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers round the world. Goa is much more than simply beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into distinctive history, few of the prettiest natural scenery and rich culture that India has to offer. Goa has over twenty five wonderful beaches starting from serene and peaceful ones to the full-of-life party destinations. The beaches of North Goa are considered to be more lively and happening than those of South Goa which are quieter and secluded.

Panjim

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Panjim is the administrative headquarter of North Goa District and capital of Goa . It is one of India’s pleasantest and smallest state capitals. It is on the south bank of the Mandovi River that brings about sense of vibes and its own charm. It is adorned with cathedrals and churches and a string of beaches. The Panjim city has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well and elements of it still has old houses with over hanging balconies, narrow winding streets, red-tiled roofs and many small bars and cafe’s. Panjim’s biggest draw is the Carnival celebration in the month of February that includes a colorful parade on the streets of the city.

Dona Paula Beach

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One of the top most places to visit in Goa is the Dona Paula Beach– The Lovers Paradise – as it is called, is a good testimony of true love. It is a small beach located about five kms. from Panaji. It is on the famous and gorgeous sea stretch that spans from Panjim, Miramar and Dona Paula.The beach has a jetty near it which is famous for the view that it offers of the Arabian sea. The view is extremly scenic and thrilling breeze blows over this place. This idyllic tourist attraction lies at the spot where the Zuari and the Mandovi  rivers meet the Arabian Sea.  It provides a impressive view of the Mormugao harbor. Dona Paula Jetty is on a rocky, hammer shaped headland.There are plenty of water sports activities that take place here. The road to the jetty is lined with shops selling garments and souvenirs.

 Aguda fort

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 The Fort Aguada is one of the biggest and spectacular forts and is one of the well known landmarks in Goan history. Fort Aguada, situated on Sinquerim beach was built in 1612, is a picturesque fort in Goa. Aguada is a Portuguese word which means “Watering Place” and the fort was designed by the Portuguese rulers for providing water supply to the ships passing by in the Arabian Sea.  For a bright evening Aguada fort seems like the per­fect des­ti­na­tion. The view from climb­ing up the spi­ral stair­case, up the light­house, is ecsta­tic. A remarkable feature in the precinct of the fort is a thirteen metre high lighthouse. It is one of the finest beau­ties overlooking the Panjim city. 

Basilica Church

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The Old Goa also known as the Old Capital of Goa during the Portuguese Regime is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Basilica church is a wonderful example of Baroque architecture. Constructed in the year 1605, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most important attractions for Christian pilgrims from all over the globe. One of the most notable attractions here are the mortal remains of the missionary Saint Francis Xavier. The place provides a sense of the Portuguese time, the place has so much of History. A visit to Old Goa simply cannot be skipped over on your Goa visit.

Mangeshi Temple

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The Mangeshi temple is situated twenty two kms. from Panaji in Ponda. It is one of the gorgeous temples, considered as one of the most vital temples in Goa, dedicated to Lord Siva with a typical Goan Hindu Style of Architecture. Laced with lovely environs of lush green hills, jackfruit groves and mango, swaying coconut palms, green carpet of paddy fields, this stunning  temple is a major tourist attraction of Goa.The area is also the birth place of the notable singers Asha and Lata Mangeshkar. A visit to this Goan relic is a great way to auspiciously begin your trip to this lovely town.

Majorda beach

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Majorda beach sit­u­ated in the south of Goa,  is one of the marvelous beaches in Goa. It is one which will sweep you off your feet with its cover of palm trees, clear waters, soft white-sands mere bliss. It has been one of the most famous beaches of Goa, and its pop­u­lar­ity lies in its serenity.  The beach also provides a variety of facilities for the accommodations of the tourists. Tourists coming to the beach can find accommodation in the budget and luxury hotels at the beach.  Majorda beach continues to draw in thousands of tourists to its shores annually and however has maintained its beauty.

Dudhsagar Waterfall

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Dudhsagar Waterfall is located about sixty kilometres away from Panjim and among the highest water falls in India. It is a  multi-tiered waterfall gushes down milky white waters from a height of 310 metres, making it India’s fifth-highest waterfall. The spectacular and exhuberent waterfall is a sight to behold particularly in the monsoons when it is in full and furious flow. The site, snuggled in a completely natural surroundings is a pleasure to witness and one can even relish some swimming or mountaineering here.

Calangute Beach

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The “Queen Of Beaches”, as it is usually known as, is the largest in north Goa.It is Goa’s busiest and most commercialised resort.The beach is about 4 miles long and is covered with palm trees. It attracts several tourists who love to spend their holidays soaked in sea, sun and sand.The north end of the Calangute beach, centred around notable ‘Holiday Street, is packed with water sports touts, beach shacks, bars, sun-loungers and souvenir stalls, catering to foreign and domestic tourists alike. The peak tourist season is during the summer in May, Christmas and New Year.The beach offers aquatic activities like parasailing and water skiing, among others.  Watching the sunset and sunrise at Calangute beach is a mesmerizing experience.

Palolem Beach

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Palolem Beach, is the excellent Goa beach vacation destination for the tourist in search of little action: water sports, night life and an enormous variety of accommodation and dining choices to select from. Palolem beach is lovely half-moon bay with calm, clear waters and an abundance of fantastic  beach resorts and restaurants for the discerning traveller. The palm-fringed sands of Palolem are filled with fishing boats provide dolphin viewing and day trips, jet skis, banana rides and different water activities. There are varied well-run beach hut resorts, where one can find a beach hut on the shore with wonderful uninterrupted views of the bay.  The northern end features a beautiful tidal river that joins the Arabian sea, on that one can rellish charming bird-watching boat rides. There is a great lookout point on the rocks from which one can watch an excellent Goa sunset.

The Goa Carnival

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The Goa Carnival is held annually in Goa before the start of the Christian sacred observance of Lent. Lent marks a forty day period of strict fasting and abstinence from non-vegetarian food and alcohol and hence Goans make the most of the days immediately preceding lent. Even though Lent typically falls towards the end of February, it is advised to check the dates beforehand.The Goa Carnival is spread over a period of 3 to 4 days. Throughout the Goa Carnival you’ll witness lovely parades, dancing and music and delicious food. Most of the celebrations of the Goa Carnival occur around Panjim, Margao and Vasco da Gama. The carnival features fire eaters, clowns and dancers among different attractions and plenty of other forms of entertainment as well. Many tourists come to visit the Goa Carnival annually and if you wish to be part of the carnival you can also take part in the finale dance, popularly called the Red and Black Dance.

Christmas and New Year in Goa

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Christmas and New Year is one of the best times to be in Goa, since almost the whole world arrives in Goa to party just like the Goans do. With singing, eating, dancing and partying in full swing. It is the time  when Goa is at its gala best and the whole state is superbly adorned. Twinkling lights sparkle and churches and houses are decked up in gala colours and the festive spirit is contagious.

Accomodation

Goa boasts of hotels and resorts, that make an important aspect of tourism component, in abundance. One will probably find excessive hotels and resorts, from that the person will decide and select as per his budget and choice. The Goa Beach Resorts are most popular among the tourists. These hotels and resorts are specially designed to cater to the travelling desires of the visitors as they give a variety of versatile plans.

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Transport

Goa can be reached conveniently from any part of the country and is well connected by air, rail and road network. The Dabolim Airport lies simply twenty nine kilometres from the state’s capital, Panjim. It is well connected by daily flights from Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin and Bangalore. The 2 major railheads in Goa are Madgaon and Thivim, that are well connected by trains from all over India.There are a number of private as well as public bus operators in Goa, that offer choices for intra-city and inter-city conveyance that operate from Madgaon, Panaji and Vasco Da Gama.  Goa enjoys daily bus service from important cities like Mumbai and Pune.

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