Goa is known as the Party Capital of India. This little state is located on the western coast of the country. When you think about Goa, you think about the beautiful beaches, the Portuguese architecture, the Forts, the bustling streets of North Goa, and the delicious food you get there. This state is divided into North Goa and South Goa. While the North is known for its raving parties and nightlife, the South is more calm and serene. This article is meant for you if you are looking to have a laid-back vacation in this beautiful heaven of beaches. Here are 10 places to visit in South Goa that you must travel to:
1. Palolem Beach
Palolem Beach is a beautiful beach not too far from the border of Karnataka. This beach has accommodation options for a wide range of budgets. From tiny shacks to beautiful resorts-like hotels, this place has it all. The best part about this beach is that you get a spectacular view of both the Sunrise and the Sunset. A short ferry ride will take you to Butterfly beach, a stunning spot for a relaxing hike. If you are lucky, you may even spot Dolphins by the beach.
2. Three Kings Church
There is a story about the three ‘power hungry’ kings who wanted to rule this place. They were so adamant about conquering this place that it created unrest in the region. One day, King Holger Alvunger plotted to sabotage the other two kings. He invited the other two Kings to discuss and find a solution to the matter. The other two didn’t know his cunning plot and they honored the invitation. King Holger’s plan was to mix poison in their food to kill his competitors. His plan worked as expected and the other two died of poisoning.
Meanwhile, King Holger became ecstatic and announces that he is the ruler. At that moment, the people began to chase him after getting to know about his cruelty. Accidentally, King Holger ate the same food mixed with poison in his attempt to escape from the angry crowd. He died along with the other two. Later, the villagers buried the three bodies in the premises of this church. Since then, the place is known as the Three Kings Church in Goa.
For years, the Three Kings Church is listed as one of the top haunted destinations in Goa. This Church is located in Cansaulim, South Goa. Wouldn’t you love to explore this place? Before it gets too dark, of course.
3. Bamanbudo Waterfalls
Bamanbudo Waterfalls is one of the most pristine and tranquil spots in Goa. Although it’s easily accessible through the main road, people usually tend to miss this spot. It is a great location for a relaxing experience. Just dip yourself in this rejuvenating waterfall and drift off the la-la land.
By the way, between November and March is the best time to visit this place. It is located in Gordongram, South Goa.
4. Cabo De Rama Fort
At the edge of the Sea and at the end of a muddy off-track road, is Cabo De Rama Fort. The architecture of this fort is influenced by both, Portuguese and Hindu styles. According to the legend of Ramayana, this spot was briefly occupied by Lord Rama, Lord Lakshmana, and Goddess Sita during their exile. That is how this place got its name. While one path of the fort leads to the top of it, the other path takes you to a small church within its premises. Either way, you are sure to be submerged in the beauty of history and the spectacle of nature. This fort is known to have one of the best Sunset views.
5. Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary
This sanctuary is a popular tourist attraction throughout the year. Although most frequented during the tourist season from October to March, it is a great place to visit during the monsoons, when the fullest extent of nature’s bounty is visible with the waterfalls at their zenith and the trees clad in their monsoon garments of fresh green.
You can visit the sanctuary all days of the week from 8.00 am to 5.30 pm. Set amidst the foothills of the Western Ghats and covering an impressive 240 sq. km the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary holds the title of the largest wildlife preserve within the state of Goa. This sanctuary is home to a huge variety of animal life, bird, and plant. Moreover, hikers and nature-lovers will surely enjoy the hiking trails that traverse this huge tract of land.
Source of info from Goa Tourism.
6. Our Lady of the Mount
Although this little church is often overlooked, which results from its secluded location, Our Lady of the Mount is certainly worth a stop on a tour of Velha Goa, aka Old Goa. With simple exteriors, lavish interiors, and a wealth of historical significance, this chapel is what people might call a hidden treasure. You will find the view from its vantage point truly breathtaking. In addition, its plain whitewashed walls present a delightful picture at sunset.
Located atop the Monte near the Church of St. Cajetan, Our Lady of the Mount overlooks the expanse of the Mandovi and the islands of Devar and Chorao.
7. Cola Beach
Cola Beach is a small quaint beach with very few visitors. It’s one of Goa’s best-kept secrets. This tiny beach is laden with a lush landscape, golden sand coasts, and beautiful beach huts. There is a pretty lagoon where you can loosen up and relax. Goa is known for its spectacular sunsets, but the sunset here is extra special due to its stunning surroundings. This place is close to Palolem, Agonda, and Cabo De Rama fort. So you can plan a whole day out of it!
8. Dudhsagar Falls
Dudhsagar Falls is one of the most majestic waterfalls in Goa. In fact, this cascading waterfall drops down 310 meters making it one of the tallest waterfalls in India. ‘Dudh’ means ‘milk’ and ‘Sagar’ means ‘Sea’. Rightfully named, the cascading effect of this waterfall gives rise to the illusion of a milky white sea falling from such a great height.
To reach this wondrous site, you must either go by rail or on foot. Besides that, there is a suitable bumpy track only for four-wheel-drive vehicles. Yet, you still need to trek about 1km to reach the base of the falls if choosing this track. Additionally, you can hire the jeeps, which cost about INR 1200 (~ USD 16.5), that can carry 6 people at a time. The driver will wait an hour and a half at the drop-off point before bringing the visitors back.
9. Palacio Do Deao
Based on Palacio Do Deao website, this 213 years old mansion was built by a Portuguese nobleman, who was the Dean of the Church, and founder of Quepem town. The house is on the banks of the wildly beautiful Kushavati River and faces the Church he built. Palacio Do Deao is built in an unusual style blending elements of Hindu and Portuguese architecture. Furthermore, the house’s outstanding features are the lush gardens that have managed to preserve their historical features. It also has been known as the most beautiful pleasure gardens in Goa, since old times.
10. Rent a Bike and Explore the Beaches of South Goa
South Goa is full of beautiful beaches and cozy eateries. The best way to get around and explore the area is by renting a bike. The cost of renting is very reasonable. Indeed, this is the only way to explore the local villages, scenic routes, lush greens, beautiful sandy beaches, and the quaint and quiet hamlets of the south.
Even though Goa is the smallest state in India, it has a rich history that is depicted through its architecture, people, and especially Goa food. Trust me, you will need at least 2 whole weeks to explore this heaven of beaches.
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