|*Map showing the major tourist places in Goa.|
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Goa travel is one of the high points of the India tourist circuit. Goa is an enchanting land blessed with exotic landscapes, silvery golden beaches, green hills, lip smacking sea food and other tangible and intangible allures. A travel to Goa refreshes the physical body as well as the soul
On the western coast of India, the tiny emerald land of Goa lies on the slopes of the Western Ghats hill range. The small young state is a renowned beach destination in the world. People travel to Goa in hundreds and thousands.
Until 1961 it was under the Portuguese rule and only in 1987 statehood was conferred to Goa. Before you travel to Goa, Travel.mapsofindia put together some useful fast facts for your convenience:
Sea, sand, surf, sun complemented by warm-hearted carefree people , Goa is a perfect beach destination. The state beckons the tourists across the globe to travel to Goa, with its palm-fringed beaches, rich cultural heritage and untiring festive mood.
Goa has a rich history. In its churches and chapels, sun-soaked beaches or colourful bazaars, wherever you go, Portuguese influence can be felt. In fact Goa displays a quaint mix of the East and the West.
Goa is one of the most important destinations in India. It is the smallest state in India by area, but is famous for its beaches, churches and architecture. Goa is visited by a huge number of international as well as domestic tourists every year. Goa can be reached conveniently from any part of the country and is well connected by air, rail and road network.
By Air: The Goa International Airport which is also known as Dabolim Airport caters to the entire state of Goa. The airport is located at Dabolim and is around 30 km away from Panjim, the capital city. The airport caters to domestic flights from major cities in India and also caters to international flights. Pre-paid taxis and buses can be easily availed from the airport. By Train
The state of Goa has two rail lines; one is operated the South Western Railway and the other is operated by the Konkan Railway. The main railway station is Madgaon station in Margao. There are other railway stations in the state like Pernem, Thivim, Karmali and Canacona which are also well connected by trains.By Road
Goa is well linked with National Highway Numbers 66, 4A, 366, 566 and 768. Goa has a total of 224 km of national highways, 232 km of state highway and 815 km of district highway. Hotel Goa boasts of hotels and resorts, which make for an important aspect of tourism component, in abundance. One is likely to find a plethora of resorts and hotels, from which the person can pick and choose as per his budget and choice. The Goa beach resorts are largely popular among the tourists. These hotels and resorts are specifically designed to cater to the traveling needs of the visitors as they offer a wide variety of flexible plans. However, it is really a task finding rooms in one of these if you haven't booked yourself in advance. There is no dearth of good restaurants in the state which are known to serve delectable Goan cuisine.
Shopping in Goa is a fabulous experience to say the least. The typical beach destination of Goa boasts of an age-old tradition of fantastic handicrafts. A truly wide variety of artifacts speak volumes for the craftsmanship and aesthetic sense of Goan people. Here you can look for:
Apart from the handicrafts, you may opt for a packet or two (or even more!) of Cashew nuts or a bottle of Port Wine to include in your shopping cart while shopping in Goa. Last but not the least to mention is Goa's fabled "Feni" - a strong liquor made from Cashew nut, almost symbolic of Goa Now-a-days, a lot of Indian designers have opened their boutiques in Goa, which is a big hit with the international clientele. Exquisite designs may lead you to a shopping spree. Some of the old Goan houses have art galleries where discerning art-lovers flock in search of Indian paintings and antiques. You shop virtually anywhere in Goa. The entire state is dotted with Government Emporia and private shops. Friday Market at Mapusa and Wednesday Market at Anjuna still deserve a mention. Colourful beachside stalls are also favourite with some people for shopping in Goa, especially for buying shell and stone crafts, dried fish and spices. Read More...
Bus: Buses prove an efficient means of local transport in Goa. Buses in Goa are operated by the Kadamba Transport Corporation and also by other Private Operators at regular intervals, connecting all places in Goa. The city buses in Goa ply in Panaji and adjacent areas and are a great help for tourists and general public as a cheap and quick mode of transport.
One unique feature is the motorcycle taxi. They are very convenient because of their ability to go into interior places where other big vehicles may not be able to go. The motorcycle taxis are distinguished by their yellow mudguards and white number plate. So as far as two-wheelers are concerned, you can either hire a two-wheeler and drive it on your own, or you can just have a joyride sitting on the pillion of a motorcycle taxi. Charges accordingly vary.
Cars: The four-Wheeler variety of local transport in Goa comes in an array of types and budgets. To begin with, coaches and taxis are readily available. Luxury, semi-luxury coaches and tourist taxis can be hired. Moreover, you can also avail the rent-a-car facility in two varieties - chauffeured and non- chauffeured.
Autos: Auto-Rickshaws are widely available in all major places. It is very convenient for commuting and traveling short distances between different towns.
Tourist taxis or yellow-top taxis are also available from private operators throughout Goa and charged on Kilometer-basis or Point-to-Point fare fixed by the Directorate of Transport. Fare chart is available with the driver.
Launches and Flat-bottom Ferry: Taking the water-route is a unique way to travel in Goa. There are several services of boats and ferries in Goa. With numerous creeks and rivers criss-crossing Goa, water transport provides one of the cheapest and easily available mode of transport in Goa. In some places, crossing the water becomes essential if one has to go to the other side; and at such times, taking the services provided by the boats and ferries in Goa is either the only way or the easiest way.
Launch services are provided for passengers only and are operated between Dona Paula and Mormugao Harbor at regular intervals during fair weather (September to May); while flat-bottom ferry transshipment of vehicles and passengers across rivers without bridges are operated between the following places:
Like many other Indian states, people in Goa celebrate festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas and Easter. Some of the festivals that are exclusively celebrated in Goa are Samvatsar Padvo, Shigmo, Sao Jao (Feast of John the Baptist), Goa Carnival and the biggest feast, Feast of St. Francis Xavier (Goicho Saib). However, among all the festivals, New Year and Christmas in Goa are celebrated not only by the locals but also tourists from different nooks and corners of the country and the world.
During Christmas, one can try the special desert called bebinca, a richegg-based multi-layered sweet dish. The Goan cuisine is popular for variety of fish dishes. In many of the dishes coconut oil is used. Some of the renowned Goan cuisines are Vindaloo,Xacutiand Sorpotel, Khatkhate. These are made with various types of spices. The most popular alcoholic beverage in this state is Feni, which is made from the sap of toddy palms. The other variant is cashew Feni which is made by fermenting the fruit of cashew tree.