It's a shame Goa comes burdened with a reputation for louche living, because there's so much more to it than sun, sand and psychedelia. The allure of Goa is that it remains quite distinct from the rest of India and is small enough to be grasped and explored in a way that other Indian states are not.
Goa has enjoyed a prominent place in the travellers' lexicon since the heady days of the 1960s, but the (in)famous hippies have now been replaced by backpackers, Indian visitors and package tourists on two-week jaunts from Europe. The locals are relaxed and friendly, and skirts outnumber saris.
Goa Places to See
It is 34 Kms. from Panaji and 4 Kms. from Vasco-da-Gama. It is one of the fine natural anchorages on the West coast of India and the hub of intense maritime activity.
The capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District, a small a 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 garden, statues and avenue's lined with Gulmohar, Acassia and other trees. Enchantit panorama unfolds from atop Altinho (Hill Top).
It is 13 Kms. from Panaji. The capital of Bardez Taluka, on the national highway, is the cross roads of the network of highways covering whole of Northern Goa.
Weekly fair on Friday, is held at the modem streamlined market, attended by large crowds.
It is 33 Kms. from Panaji. The Capital of South Goa District in the hinterland of southern Goa in Salcete Taluka is a thriving commercial metropolislinked 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.
It is 11 kms. from Panaji. It has important religious and educational centre of Christian Missionaries. The Church, Seminary and School atop hillock command a magnificent panorama of the country side around and a fine view of Mormugao Harbour & Zuari river.
Ponda can be described as the Hindu heart of Goa. It is famous for the five important temples that are situated around the town, and also has the largest mosque in Goa. Most of these temples look relatively new as they have been restored after being destroyed by the Portuguese. That explains why there are no temples around the coast, which was the prime territory of the Portuguese. Ponda is also an important transport link.
It is 30 kms. from Panaji. A modem, well laid out city close to Mormugs 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 in the South Central Railway.
|Goa by Air
Dabolim is the main entry point for Goa situated at a distance of around 29 km from Panaji on the coast near Vasco da Gama.
Most domestic airlines operate in Goa apart from chartered private airlines operating from UK and Germany. Indian Airlines has direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai daily. Air India also flies to Goa.
|Goa by Rail
It is not difficult to reach Goa by trains, especially after opening of the Konakan Railway that connects Margao and Vasco da Gama to major cities in India. You can take trains from Delhi 1,874 km), Mumbai (490km), and Bangalore (430 km) to reach Goa comfortably. From the railway stations, you can hire taxis and motorcycle taxis to reach the desired destinations.
|Goa by Road
Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka state transport corporations operate from the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji. Frank Shipping operates a boat service between Mumbai and Panaji.
Moving around in Goa is quite easy. One can find bus as well as car rental services. A unique experience is that of the motorcycle taxi. Several ferry services are also available.