Top 10 must-visit places & must-do things in Goa

...which I haven't visited/done but would love to...
...and why Goa is in my wishlist...

Goa is famous for its Sunburn Festival, Bikini Beaches, Booze etc. A couple years back, an acquaintance from Goa got so pissed off and posted a status on FB saying that she doesn't wear bikini and hit the beach everyday, she doesn't drink booze instead of water and she doesn't know any drug peddler!!! I could relate to her so much coz many a times I get similar reaction when I say I'm from Chennai or India, asking if I eat Idli everyday or why I don't wear Saree everyday. Trouble of generalization!!! There is so much more to Goa.... Here's the Top 10 that my friends who've been to / lived there recommended to me.
Pic Courtesy: Vinayraj via Wikimedia Commons

1. Secret Beaches: While most beaches are crowded esp with tourists and shacks, there are few beaches that are still secluded incl Kakolem beach, Betul beach, Cola Beach, Velsao Beach, Hollant beach etc. You could also do a Turtle walk at Galjibag beach if you're in the right season!
2. Chapora Fort: Ever since I've seen Dil Chahta Hai, I've wanted to visit the place, stand atop the fort and see the sea. The present structure of the fort was built in 1617 by the Portuguese. It changed several hands till 1892 when it was abandoned and now its in ruins, but not as much as Alamparai. Another important fort here in Aguada.
Pic Courtesy: Video grab via Excel Entertainment

3. Old Goa: Unlike the tourist littered city, the villages go much into the authentic Maharashtrian feel, with Koli women and their uniquely draped saree, with authentic local cuisine, with rural houses with the perfect blend of Indian & Portugal heritage (unlike rest of India, very few places were colonies of Portuguese). Some such houses have been converted to home stays or resorts in Goa which are more exotic places to stay than regular hotels
4. Adventure Sports: Most crowded beaches in Goa has its own bunch of adventure activities like surfing, water zorbing, para sailing, scuba diving etc. But the one recommended the most by my friends - banana riding!
Pic Courtesy: AviatorJK via Wikimedia Commons

5. Bom Jesus Basilica: I studied in a convent and I've known of Bom Jesus Basilica (there is a difference between a church, cathedral & basilica) since very young age and have wanted to see the place. Its a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the remains of St.Francis Xavier have been kept. Built in 1594, in a Portuguese baroque style, its one of the oldest churches of India. 
6. Rivona Caves: This entire area was a Buddhist hotspot once with Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta etc. Around the same era, in 6th C CE, a Buddhist cave excavated here was Rivona Caves. Unlike the others which are made in granite, this is made in laterite. This too has some murals inside though not as extensive as Ajanta or Ellora. 
7. Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary: You know I love trekking... A perfect place to trek in Goa is its Western Ghats, Netravali. The place is also great for wildlife spotting the endangered Hornbill.
Pic Courtesy: Sharat Chandra via Wikimedia Commons

8. Dudhsagar Waterfalls: Its not actually in Goa, but about a couple hours from there. The best way to enjoy it is by train when water splashes into the train!!! Another awesome thing to do here - trekking...
9. O'CoqueiroA totally off the track place to see in O'Coqueiro restaurant where the criminal mastermind Charles Shobraj was arrested after his prison break. A statue here depicts his arrest. Side fact, the food here is scrumptious as well!!!
10. Mambos & Titos Goa: Going to all the untrodden paths, a hint of regular tourist feature could be added with the party place Mambos & Titos.
Anyways, hope I would visit soon, and hopefully on a New Years day, coz its his birthday as well!!!  

Dedicated to Venkat & Conrad

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

17 comments:

  1. I had always heard of Goa and how beautiful it is there with rich culture. This is the most detailed I've read so far.

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  2. This is the first time I've heard of GOA. It looks like a great place for a family vacation, especially since you have lots of beaches, old structures to tour, and beautiful sights to see!

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  3. Awesome! I honestly haven't heard about this place yet. Sure sounds like a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing this. I will look into this place more.

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  4. I'm not a beach person but "secret beaches" sound interesting. These must be pristine locations that are so clean and nice. Above all though, Bom Jesus Basilica is the place where I will most likely want to spend a day traveling with my family.

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  5. Aha! How I miss Goa. Gone there 2-3 times and every time have got mesmerised by its charm. Beaches, Churches, Temples and food!! Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

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  6. The waterfalls is breathtaking! Yes, people do generalize about the place and those who come from such place. It's always good to really know it first or explore it before jumping to conclusions.

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  7. I don't even know about Goa, but Bikini Beach sound really nice! I will want to visit the temples and waterfalls.

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  8. It's nice that they have secret beaches because the beautiful ones are usually crowded. I also like that they have an old heritage site as well as natural attractions in GOA.

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  9. OMG u went to GOA! I plan to go there for a yoga retreat soon. It a very beautiful place indeed.

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  10. Wow, lots of great places to stay and things to see and do. Goa would make a wonderful vacation destination.

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  11. The waterfalls looks spectacular!!! Would love to visit one day!

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  12. youve listed some great places! i would love to visit goa one day

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  13. the place looks totally amazing.. i hope i could see visit this soon.. :)

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  14. I never knew Goa can be so beautiful. I almost went there once but we cancelled our travelling plans due to work... so, thanks for sharing the photos :)

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  15. Pretty well detailed info about GOA. I heard of the place in a movie long time ago. I enjoyed the tons of beaches available, ancient structures I seldom craves for, beautiful tantalizing food, booze are just endless list I crave for.

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  16. Great Bhushavali, nice blog! :) www.ucab.in

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  17. Goa sounds like a fantastic place to visit. I've seen photos of the beaches, but not secret beaches. I do love a good secret. And what is the difference between a cathedral and a basilica?

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