Goa is the beach land, casinos, cuisine, and of course, a serious party! There's no wonder why many visitors worldwide choose to call Goa "Las Vegas of India" Yet the state is more than just nightclubs and parties. Goa boasts rich culture and patrimony that its historical monuments are a testament to. The serene natural beauty of many parts of India is untouched by humans and is one of India's most scenic areas.
Top 9 of the places you need to visit in Goa:
1. Fort Aguada
If you want to taste a part of Goa's history, you've got Fort Aguada! Fort Aguada is a 17th-century fort founded as a defensive point by the Portuguese in order to defend their territories against the Marathas and the Netherlands. It is situated at a high altitude overlooking the beach of Sinquierim and was used as a location to replenish European vessels' freshwater supplies.
The Fort Aguada provides spectacular views over the Arabian Sea and is protected by the Archeological Survey of India as a Monument of National Significance.
2. Basilica de Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is next in line, a Roman Catholic church in Goa that has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Basilica of Old Goa is significant for Christians because of the deadly relics of St. Francis Xavier, co-founder of Jesus' Society. Even people from other religions visit the church in order to admire the painted mural, gold altars in the baroque style, and the marble floor covered in precious stones. It is a place of great significance for Christians.
3. Chapora Fort
Become a popular tourist destination for Goa thanks to "Dil Chahta Hai" Bollywood super-hit film, a fort almost in ruins. Founded in 1717, Chapora Fort was named after the river Chapora on which it was situated. History has shown that Portuguese and Marathas have been battling to gain control over this fort as a military strategic post.
In the evening’s visitors flock to get a panoramic view of the beach of Vagator next door. The steep slopes with greenery make it an ideal place for children.
4. Church Square
Church Square is another must-see spot in Panjim in Goa. It houses a church that was originally built in 1541 as a chapel and which was subsequently extended by Portugueses and named Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. The zigzag stairway, symmetrically aligned and finished in shine white, makes it look pictorial.
The locals also refer to Church Square as the Municipal Garden as a rectangular area full of lush greenery is planned, where the people go for relaxation and photography all day.
5. Shantadurga Temple
You're mistaken if you believed Goa was only synonymous with Christianity! Goa has some of the finest Hindu temples, which are very famous in the Shantadurga temple. The Goddess Parvati has been adoring her as Shantadurga or the Goddess of Peace about 450 years old.
Around 30 km from Panaji, the temple is located, and the whole complex is at the foot of lush, green mountains. The architectural style is distinct from that of other Hindu temples, as it has a pyramid-shaped roof with a dome on top.
6. Lamgau Caves
If you want to discover caves, go to Bicholim's Lamgau caves. The Lamar Caves are a pair of human-made cellars that are located approximately 25 km from Panaji and are made from a vulgar stone called Laterite. Though there are Buddhist sculptures on the entrance of the cellars, inside you can still see Nandi's Hindu idols, the bull, and a Shivaling.
The second cave, larger than the first, was built for monks in the rainy season to take shelter. This website provides valuable education about our history and culture and is one of Goa's must-visit destinations.
7. Fort Tiracol
Fort Tiracol is one of the key sites in Goa, on the northern tip of the River Tiracol. The site was originally built by Raja of Sawantwadi in the 17th century to house armor and naval vessels. The fort witnessed many battles, wars, defeats, and successes in its lifetime and thus played an important role in our history. It was also the main point where the Satyagrahis got into Goa to protest the Portuguese and flew our national flag.
8. Anjuna Flea Market
Anjuna Flea Market is a shopping paradise that offers a selection of craftsmen, clothes, accessories, etc. It is a market on the beach, crowded with tourists and hippies from outside. It is not just a small area as you imagine, and in this ocean of small shops, there is a strong risk that you will be lost.
The market of Anjuna takes place on the beach of Anjuna every Wednesday. Plan your journey to this place well! In addition to shopping, a fantastic party atmosphere can also be enjoyed. The market continues until weeks of the night, so you can relax with snacks, beverages, and lively music.
9. Keri Beach
Keri Beach, also known as Querim Beach, is one of the most remote locations for couples. It is not as commercial as Baga, Calangute, and so on. The turquoise waters, the white sandy soft coast, and the greenery provide your pictures with the most excellent backdrop. Keri Beach is the perfect place to spend a relaxing time with nature and the atmosphere with your friends!
You can visit Terekhol, an old Portuguese fort which is about 30 minutes away from the beach by ferry if you are in the mood to discover it. The beach shacks sell new seafood and beverages to relax for some time!
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