South Goa, is one of the most sought after holiday destination in India, offering virgin beaches, holy pilgrimage and many buzzing cities that are sure to delight even the most finicky traveller.
South Goa is one of the two districts that form the state of Goa and is a favored place to holiday in India. The district is marked by North Goa on the north and by the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka in the south. Virgin beaches, holy temples and beautiful cities form the main attraction of this part of Goa. Cities in South Goa
This is the capital city of South Goa and is also the second largest city in Goa. Margoa is a true reflection of the Portuguese influence as almost all the prominent buildings and monuments have been built in the Portuguese style or architecture. Margao is blessed with a number of attractions that draw tourist to this quaint and calm town. The Town Square is a popular attraction that has Municipal garden, Aga Khan Palace, Statue of Luis de Menezes Braganca as its main attractions. The Public library (open from 9 am till 1pm and 3 pm to 6:30 pm is also worth visiting. Having books on a wide variety of subject, the entrance to this library is free for browsing or reference. Church Square is another congregation of attractions where tourists can visit the holy churches like Church of the Holy Spirit and the Latin Square. The Grance and Pandava church in Margao are also worth visiting on your holiday in Goa. For those who enjoy scenic views, follow the road from the Largo de Igreja to the top of Monte Hill. The view of the city form here is simply spectacular. Margao is blessed with many holy temples as well. Tourists should visit the Damodar and Hari Temple known to have served as the home to Swami Vivekanad before he went to Chichago. The Ram Mandir and Vithal Temple also enjoy historical importance. Margao is blessed with great eateries as well. The ‘Longuinho’s’ is famous for its fried eggs and sausages while ‘Casa Menino’ serve excellent Goan food. The aristocratic ambiance at ‘Raissa’s Oriental Spice’ makes it an attractive tourist place. Vasco Da Gama
At a distance of 29 kms from Panaji, Vasco Da Gama is a popular city in South Goa and is famed for being located on the mouth of river Zuari. The town enjoys the historical significance of being the busiest sea port back in the year 1543. The main attractions here is the Bogmolo beach and the Naval Aviation Academy, which is a museum showcasing the history of Indian Naval Aviation and also houses air crafts, weapons, sensors, safety equipment, rare photographs depicting Goa's liberation and artifacts. The serene town of Vasco is also popular for its annual Shri Damodar Bhajani Saptah fair held in Shravan month of Hindu lunar calender, just before Raksha Bandhan. Mormugao
Another city in South Goa is Mormugao and is known for the shooting of two popular films, Bhootnath (2008) and Sea Wolves (1980). Lying very close to Vaso Da Gama, Mormugao is famous for the Margamao Fort built in the year 1624. This prison fort is located near the internationally popular Marmagao harbour and today lies in a very dilapidated condition. Other famous cities in the South Goa circuit are Netravali - known for its wildlife sanctuary, Betul and Varca - famous for its beach and Curtorim - known for its colonial churches and cathedrals and is a good place to include on your honeymoon in Goa.
Beaches in South Goa
The beaches of South Goa are very exotic and remote and they are not very crowded as beaches of North Goa, thus allowing the tourists with some great opportunities of relaxing and enjoying the beauty of nature.
Colva Beach - Colva beach is the most popular beach in South Goa. This is an ideal family beach and one of the safest beach to swim. Besides the beach attractions there are many restaurants and pubs too on the beach. For enjoying great nightlife, ‘The Gatsy Pub’ and ‘Outback Bar and Restaurant’ are the ideal places. The Colve church, dedicated to Our Lady of Merces is also an important tourist attractions located close by. There are very good accommodations also available on the beach.
Bogmolo Beach - One of the most clean and beautiful beach in Goa beautifully surrounded by green hills on three sides. Ideal for swimming, Bogmalo beach has many attractions including Issoccim beach (1.5 kms), Sao Jacinto Island (5 kms) and Chicalim. Beside swimming tourist can also enjoy diving (Rs 1,500 per tank) at the Grande Island. The popular restaurnats on the beach are ‘Full Moon Kneipe’ for seafood especially tiger prawns and ‘D’mello’s’ authentic Goan food.
Velsao - This is a quiet serene beach not very much explored. Lying very close to Bogmalo beach, this beach is safe for swimming but tourists are advised to stay from the tiny creeks, especially during the low tide. The major attractions around the beach is Velsao Chap, known for its Salcete countryside and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora dos Remedios. This is a rather isolated beach and tourists can enjoy some idyllic time relaxing on the beach.
Arossim Beach - Just south of Velsao beach is the Arossim beach famous for being the home of Tristao Braganza Cunha, the father of Goan nationalism. This beach is also very isolated and tourist can enjoy great options of para sailing, jet skiing and speed boat rides.
Besides the above mentioned names, there are many virgin beaches in South Goa that still remain unexplored. The Majorda beach and Betalbatim are very safe beaches famous for their the churches located close by. Other famous South Goan beach is Utorda beach, ideal for its resorts and adventure of jet skiing.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in South Goa
South Goa is also famous for its wildlife hub that includes various wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary - Situated close to the Karnataka border, this wildlife sanctuary serves as a home to a variety fo flora and fauna. Tourists can look forward to sight deers, sloth bears, leopard cats, bisons and many other animals in their natural habitat. The park is open from 8 am till 5 pm and charge Rs 20 for adults and Rs 5 per child. Vehicle entry charges and camera fee are Rs 40 (two wheeler), 120(cars) and Rs 30(still camera) and Rs 150(video camera) respectively.
Catigao Wildlife Sanctuary - Catiago Wildlife Sanctuary is marked by deciduous forests. The jungle fosters animals like wild boar, langur, bison, deer, leopard, pangolin and black panthers. The entrance fee for the sanctuary is Rs 5 for adults and Rs 2 for children and the park is open for public visit from 9 in the morning till 5 in the evening.
Pilgrimage in South Goa
South Goa is dotted with temples and churches, making it a very popular among those seeking pilgrimage.
Churches in South Goa
Church of Saint Alex, located at Curtorim, around 9 kms from Margao, is famous for its historical significance. This is the oldest church in Goa built during in 1597. The Rachol Seminary is another famous church known for housing the museum of christian art. Located at a distance of 12 kms from Margao, this church was built in the year 1521.
Other popular churches in South Goa re Colva Church, Holy Trinity Church and Patrocinio Chapel.
Temples in South Goa
Shree Malik Arjun Temple in South Goa is very popular among pilgrims for its intricate carvings and massive wooden pillars. Built in the 16th century, the temple is best visited during the festival of Rathasaptami held in the month of November.
Shre Damodar Temple is built on the banks of river Kushawati and is famous for the annual Goan Hindu festival of colour, Shimoga, held here.
Other famous temples in South Goa are Sri Chandranath Temple - situated on a high hill in Quepen Taluka and Shri Shanta Durga temple -18 kms from Margao.
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