The name, ‘Goa’ is from the word, ‘Gomanta’ referred to in the great Hindu epic, the ‘Mahabharat’. According to mythology, Bhargav Parasurama, the incarnation of the god Vishnu and a pupil of the god Shiva, reclaimed land from the sea. He then settled his men on the area called Goa.
During the 3rd. century BC, it was part of the Mauryan Empire while during the 4th. century AD, the Bhoja dynasty held sway over it. Various dynasties ruled over Goa till the landing of Vasco da Gama in Calicut in 1498. Finding the natural harbour of Goa a perfect place to ward off the Marathas and the Dutch, the Portuguese colonised this land. With them came Christianity and conversion, persecution and baptism, cathedrals and churches.
When India attained independence on 15th August, 1947, the Portuguese continued their hold over Goa, Daman, Dui and Nager Haveli. Finally, in 1954, Nager Haveli was liberated and in 1961, Goa, Daman and Diu, joined the Indian Union. The state has not looked back since then.
Re-print: Nov., 2013
Are you going to Goa only for the sun and sand or for the tourist sights or for a mixture of both? This decision, together with your budget, may help you pick out a location for your holiday in Goa. This is important as one location may be closer to most of the sights but with a dearth of private beaches. Another location may have a private beach but the cost and time of transportation to and from the sights may offset the choice.
Broadly speaking, North Goa has almost all the attractions while South Goa has most of the private beaches. North Goa is home to Old Goa, a place which was first inhabited while South Goa is an expansion of North Goa. Also, the beaches of South Goa boast of white, soft sand, easy on the foot, while their counterparts in North Goa are rockier.
Though the entire Western coastline of Goa hugs the Arabian Sea, some of the more famous beaches of North Goa are, Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Candolim, Sinquerim, Miramar and Dona Paula. In South Goa, some of the finest beaches are Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cavelossim, Mobor, Agonda and Palolem.
As such, if you are looking for both sun and sand as well as visits to the important sights, a compromise may be in the Miramar beach area or Old Goa Railway Station area. Both are in the Tiswadi (30 settlements) district of Goa. It is also home to Panjim (old Panaji), the capital as well as to Old Goa, a World Heritage Site.
Old Goa, by itself, has a large number of fine churches. Notable ones are, Se Cathedral, Basilica of Bom Jesus and Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.
For a truly relaxing holiday amidst the rich, white sands and away from the maddening crowd, choose South Goa. You’ll get the tan you always envied, the tranquility you always yearned for and the privacy you always wanted with your Significant Other.
Re-print: Nov., 2013
1. Drinking has been banned in the beaches of Goa (Apri. 24, 2013). Authorities say that the shards of the broken glasses have injured quite a few tourists. Also, a rise in crime against women,especially eve-teasing, has prompted the authorities to take this decision.
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2. Five more international airports in India have been authorised (April, 2013) to issue Visa on Arrival (VoA) to tourists. These airports are Goa, Trivandrum, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kochi airports. Earlier, VoA facility was available only at four international airports, that is, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.VoA facility is for citizens of 11 countries only, Cambodia, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.
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3. Goa may soon have a new attraction - tigers. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) cameras have recently (April, 2013) caught the big cat in the state's Mhadei sanctuary.
Full story here:
Favorite thing: I would suggest you get to Goa and exchange foreign currency for Indian rupees, locally you can get a better rate than even the going rate. Check with 2/3 people before actually changing as each offers a different exchange rate usually. Talking a bit and asking for better rates usually helps.
coconut tree(palms) is one of the most outstanding features of goan landscape.
you can see them swaying in different shapes and sizes.
cocus nucifera belongs to aracacea family and there are various subtypes. the two most common arethe indian variety which is tall and the southeast-asian variety which is short.
it is known as "KALPVRUKSHA" meaning the tree of life.
no part of the coconut tree goes waste.
coconut water is most refreshing eco drink in the tropics. the water can be fermented to produce liquor. the inner flesh of tender coconut is very delicious nutritious and may be u will skip a meal if you have one.
the other parts of coconut tree are used for making coir from which beds mattresses mats and ropes are made.the leaves are trimmed and can be made into brooms.
the trees are 50-80 feet tall and leaves are 15-18 feet in length.the leaves especially are useful for thatches roofs you see in many goan beachside shacks they help to absorb suns heat and keep the interiors cool.
dried cocnuts give a good yield of cocnut oil which is widely used as a cooking oil in indian kitchens.
Fondest memory: the sight of swaying palms and the gentle hiss on the beach is what makes me remember goa the most.
the cocnut trees presence in goa is omnipresent whether you are having a cool drink in a beach shack or having delicious konkani goan cuisine.
its gods own fruit and a boon for mankind
Favorite thing: Most people know about Goa's excellent dentists but they are now moving into general medical tourism too. The leader in this market is Vrundavan Hospital in Mapusa. Whether its a general check up or more involved procedures like hip-joint replacement, cosmetic surgery etc then this is the place.With state of the art facilities like spiral CT scans, excellent private wards, and more than enough nurses, this place has my own personal recommendation.
I have to agree with you - love Goa too! We were married there in January 2007 after a rather lengthy process! Worth all the waiting though as quite a unique experience. We were fortunate to make friends with a lovely Goan lad who recommended a Lawyer for us who took care of all the paperwork we needed. This took weeks and weeks to sort out though so you would really need to be spending at least a couple of months there. As somebody else suggested, a Wedding Planner could probably get things done for you much quicker I would imagine. We didn't have a ceremony as such - long story! - but had an absolutely fantastic and memorable day and night! All the paper work was done in Margao and we had our 'reception' in Benaulim. All the rickshaw drivers covered their vehicles in flowers and drove us round, throwing fire crackers out and peeping their horns - mad! They took to the beach for sunset and we jumped on jet skis as the sun was setting - in our wedding outfits of course! Priceless! Well Good Luck with your plans and hope this is of some help to you.
Favorite thing: If you are staying in panjim, how about a walk at altinho hills? if you'll decide to visit altinho, I would have invited you'll over for a cup of chai but I'm never at home. Why dont you'll visit Mollem sanctuary? It's really beautiful hiking in the rains. you can even hike to dudh sagar waterfalls along the railway tracks. trust me, it's the best thing to do in Goa during the monsoons. All the best
Hi to all VT members,
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I am really looking forward to seeing this TV programme on the 19th May, channel five at 9pm. If anyone does spot that it's being shown on the tv in Goa please would they responsed to this forum so I can bring it to my friend's attention. Well done to the British Royal Navy for giving up their shore leave free time and for contributing to such a wonderful charity. Sunglow.
hotel parares in candolim was okay but seem to think that all like to hear boom boom boom
music all day we had to ask daily to turn volume down as it went through your apartment as
a mini thunder. Hotel good value for money freindly clean and helpful .It would have been a
bit better were there some sun parasol round the pool area.
Fondest memory: Enjoyed beach life and excellant food served up and fun of tuk tuk experiance
Palolem Beach ...
Often, if you are on a budget, it pays to find out the peak season dates and plan to leave before the peak season hits. Both airlines and hotels vary their rates and are at their lowest duirng off-season. The difference in prices can be quite significant, plus I enjoy off-peak travel because the place is not so crowded.
In addition, if you are so inclined , you can negotiate a lower rate for your hotel room AFTER you have arrived. The way to do this would be to commit to only one day upon booking. On day one, your mission would be to find cheaper / better accomodations in the same area. You might even find very enjoyable and /or knowledgeable company this way.
Here are some reasons the hotel operators will lower the rate - they know that you are more familiar with competing hotels in the area, they have vacancies , they do not have to pay commissions to the booking agents for those additional days, they can also put you on their frequent visitor guest list for future visits.
Fondest memory: Friendly people, beaches, food, ...
What a place Goa, from the moment you get of the plane and feel the warmth of the sun to walking the Beaches, eating under the sun a curry like no where else as got the Goa taste made in a old oil drum for a few rupees, hearing the young girls calling you to thier shop on the side of the road calling out "cheap as chips" then the smiles a million smiles no one demanding tips, maybe annoying Taxi drivers well every where , sad to see people begging it pulls your hart strings.
Fondest memory: The People Markets Anjuna flea Wednesday Saturday night bazaars Baga and Friday morning Mapuse.
This is the govt office in Colva where you book the govt tours if you staying in the south, These tours were terribly cheap and really very good, I went on all of them then went back to the places I liked, The tours are not aircon or luxury but if you on a budget its a fraction of the price and they stop at good places for lunch.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory was the sunset river cruise with meal included... a unique experience, They even had a micky mouse on the boat that came to dance and sing with the children...
Favorite thing: Dosa was most delicious! its actually a south Indian food ( I think ) that I ate at a small south Indian restaurant in Betlabatim ( think the name was Kaveneesh) but it was really very delicious, try this when you in Goa.
Favorite thing: I bought some really different sweets( mango flavour is delicious) and some coconut hair treatment, and herbal shampoo and toothpaste... plz try these things that are different while you are in Goa and India, some of them are really very good.