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February - March 2005


Travel

Gorgeous Goa

by Bajrang Bahadur Mathur


Goa is a tiny but unique region of India situated on the western coast ‘Konkan’ facing the Arabian Sea. It is very scenic. The sea, the sand and the sun; all ‘three S’ play a huge part in attracting visitors from all over the world. In addition to its beautiful and calm beaches there are historic churches, temples and mansions to visit in various towns and villages. In Goa there are four principal towns, Panaji (Panjim), Old Goa, Margo and Vasco Da Gama.

Panaji is located on the south side of the Mandovi River. The town still preserve its Portuguese looks with narrow streets, old houses, bars and cafes. The main attraction of the town is the old Church of Immaculate Conception in the main town square. Miramar and Dona Paula are the two beaches nearby. The later is named after the Viceroy’s daughter who jumped into the sea when refused permission to marry a fisherman. Impressive statues of both can be seen on the top of the hill where she jumped.

Old Goa grew rapidly under the Portuguese. It contains many churches, monasteries and convents of various religious orders. Some of the churches are still in active use whilst others have become museums. Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous in the Roman Catholic world as it contains the tomb and remains of a great missionary St Francis Xavier. This church is special in terms of architecture, as it is the only church in Goa, which is not plastered.

Vasco Da Gama is the main railway terminus. It is close to the Airport and Marmagoa Harbour. There are spectacular views of the harbour from the top of a hill nearby, in particular at the time of sunset.

Goa has many good beaches with warm and clean sea including Anjuana, Baga, Calangute, Aguada, Miramar, Dona Paula, Bogmalo, Colva and Benaulim. In the seaside resorts there are many attractions for the sporty traveller e.g. parasailing, speed boating, water skiing, yachting and windsurfing. For a quieter person there are ample opportunities to relax with a massage, a dip in the cool pool or sea, or just laze and gaze around in the hotel or on the beach.

Goa is fascinating, idyllic, colourful and certainly a place for fun, enjoyment and pleasure.

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