Goa is among India's most popular travel destinations and it is easy to see why the state appeals to travelers. As one of India's smallest states, Goa is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the west, Maharashtra to the north, and Karnataka to the east and south.The palm-fringed beaches of Goa are at least one million years old and best experienced between October and the end of February.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, leopards, sloth bear, and black panthers. King Cobras can also be found within the park.
Mahadev Temple of Tambdi Surla
The most ancient temple in the all of Goa is located at Tambdi Surla. This well-preserved structure from the Kadamba dynasty was built in Jain style in the 12th C. The Kadamba dynasty ruled Goa between the 10th and 14th centuries.The Tambdi Surla Temple was constructed with black basalt stone that was transported to the area across the mountains from the Deccan plateau. Some interesting details about the construction itself are that the temple was built in a place which is quite inaccessible, away from the main settlements; the Tambdi Surla Temple is quite small in comparison with most Goan temples; and the top part of the temple has never been completed.Intricate carvings adorn the interior of the temple, which is accessed by an entrance hall with doorways on three sides. Four monolith carvings support the ceiling with a lotus flower in the center.The exterior of the temple has some miniature examples of sculpture and relief carvings. The temple faces towards the east so that the rays of the rising sun fall on the deity at the crack of dawn.The river Surla flows nearby and can be reached via a flight of stone steps, which would have been ideal for ritual cleansing.
Reis Magos, India
Reis Magos lies on banks of the Mandovi River and is home to two famous landmarks of Goa - the Reis Magos Fort and the Reis Magos Church.Franciscan missionaries erected the Baroque Church of Reis Magos, which stands guard on the banks of the Mandovi, in 1551, to serve the garrison in the fort of Reis Magos. The whitewashed Church was dedicated to the tale of the Three Magi. Historians have also found evidence to support the fact that Reis Magos Church was built on the ruins of an old Hindu temple. A wooden panel painted with a relief showing the Three Wise Men (Reis Magos) bearing gifts for the baby Jesus dominates the interior of Reis Magos Church.Annually on the 6th of January, Reis Magos comes alive with the colorful Festa dos Reis Magos, when the story of the three Kings is re-enacted by local youth.The Reis Magos Fort was erected in 1551 to protect the narrowest point at the mouth of the Mandovi. At one time the fort accommodated viceroys and other dignitaries. The Reis Magos Fort is well preserved and has 33 guns and a small garrison. The bastion was used as a prison and is not open to the public.
Anjuna is popular for the beautiful golden sand beach, and Wednesday's Flea Market, which both draw many tourists. The Anjuna market is not to be missed - vendors include Kashmiris, Tibetans, Nepalese, Rajasthanis and Gujaratis selling handicrafts and souvenirs. The colorfully dressed Lamani tribal women come to the Wednesday Flea Market to sell tribal jewelry and traditional clothing.Travelers from all over the world shop for souvenirs, t-shirts, beachwear, food and books. Once shopping is complete you can head to the beach!The best time to visit the market at Anjuna is early in the morning or after 4pm.
Braganza House, Chandor, India
Chandor is located 13 kilometers east of Margao and is well known for the Portugese mansions, especially those near the Church Square.The Menezes Braganza House is one of the few Goan mansions that allow visitors inside. Braganza House takes up one side of Chandor's village square. Built in the 17th C, this was the home of Luis de Menezes Braganza who campaigned for Goa's independence. Rosewood furniture, porcelain tiles from Macao, Italian marble and mosaic floors are found throughout this impressive house. The west wing of the house contains Dr Menezes Braganza's library with a teak ceiling and the east wing contains a small family chapel.Close by is the Fernandes House, nowhere near as grand but much older and with an interesting history. The Fernandes House began as a Hindu House over 500 years ago and the Portugese section was added in 1821.
Dandeli National Park
Dandeli National Park is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, near the Goan border. Nature lovers have the opportunity to discover some very rare animal and birds as well as the untouched and unexplored landscape of Dandeli National Park. Some of the wildlife found within Dandeli includes elephant, tiger, leopard, gaur, flying squirrel, and mouse deer; bird species include magpie robin, golden backed woodpecker, and crested serpent eagle.Some of the activities to enjoy are wildlife safaris, nature walks, bird watching, crocodile sighting trips, fishing, boat rides, or trekking in the jungles of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary.The diverse landscape includes rapids and falls that can be used for white-water rafting, monolithic granite structures amidst the thick forest, meandering rivers, beautiful valleys as well as deciduous and semi evergreen forests.
Madgaon is also called Margao is the largest town in South Goa and the commercial capital of the state. Madgaon has a long history as a market town and a center for religion. The covered market in the center of Madgaon is considered one of the best in Goa.Madgaon is an important transportation hub, major railway junction and offers bus service to other states.Many of the sights and destinations include old colonial houses and mansions such as the Da Silva House. The Church of the Holy Spirit features a Baroque facade, ornate archway and richly decorated interior. The gilded pulpit and statues in glass cabinets are worthy of a visit as well as the reredos flanked by gold pillars. Consecrated in 1675, the Church of the Holy Spirit is one the most notable sights in Margao.
Cabo de Rama Fort
Cabo de Rama is named after Rama, a hero of the Ramayana epic. The fort existed long before the Portugese conquered in 1763. The Portugese practically rebuilt the fort but barely used it until the British occupation of Goa. The British army also occupied Cabo de Rama Fort between 1797-1813.Several cannons line the ramparts of Cabo de Rama, and offer breathtaking views from the bastions. A small church within the walls of the fort is still in use.
Fort, Chapora, India
The village of Chapora is dominated by a rocky hill with a ruined Portugese fort on top. The fort was built in the 17th C to guard against Maratha attacks. Chapora fort was abandoned in the late 19th C when it was no longer needed as a line of defense.The fortifications at Chapora feature Muslim tombs, ramparts and tunnels as well as a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea from the walls.Chapora is located in an attractive and interesting part of North Goa's coastline. The village is a fishing community and resort area that is nestled under a canopy of dense coconut palms.
Terekhol Fort is on the northwest side of Goa between the Terekhol River and the Arabian Sea. Built by the Raja of Sawantwadi in the 17th C, Terekhol Fort was captured by the Portuguese Viceroy in 1746.The fort is protected from the sea and has moats along the landward side. Within the walls is St Anthony's Church, which has typically decorated reredos.The remains of the fort have now been converted into a hotel, the Fort Terekhol Heritage Hotel. However St Anthony's Church is only open to the general public on certain occasions such as the annual feast that is held some time in May.
Ponda is centrally located in Goa along the Panjim-Bangalore Highway. Ponda became a refuge for Hindus and there are many unique temples in the surrounding area. The most famous Hindu temples are the Mahalsa, Shantadurga, Nangesh and Navadurga.The Portugese did not invade Ponda until the 18th C, and the temples were built to house idols that were rescued from destruction during the early days of the Inquisition.Ponda is also the gateway to Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary as well as the Dudhsagar Waterfalls.
Safa Shahouri Mosque
Safa Shahouri Mosque is the oldest and largest mosque in Goa. The Safa Shahouri Mosque was built in 1560 by Ali Adil Shah to rival those of Bijapur. Damaged when the Portugese conquered Ponda, the mosque fell into neglect.The oldest part of the Safa Shahouri Mosque is the water tank in front that used to be surrounded by a garden with many fountains. The tank has been restored and is used for cleansing.The remains of the Mosque feature the prayer room, pointed roof, Bijapuri arches and decorative frames around some of the windows. The ruins belong to the Archeological Survey of India.
Shantadurga Temple is one of the largest and most visited temples in Goa. The temple is named for the goddess of peace.Shahu, a Maratha warrior built Shantadurga Temple in 1728, and features a large tank set in the hillside, a lamp tower and a pagoda like structure. The main shrine contains an image of Shantadurga flanked on either side by Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. A gilded temple car is located within Shantadurga Temple, which is used for processions. The interior is lit by chandelier and features polished marble floors.
More Goa Pictures