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Goa is currently the most happening tourist destination in India. This captivating tourist spot has been attracting international visitors for centuries. Initially, Goa was a Portuguese settlement and the legacy is still evident in many areas of the state, starting from the cuisines, architectural wonders, dialects and definitely, the inhabitants. Stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife add to its attraction. The peaceful ambience of the area is a top charm for visitors who are looking for an ideal seaside vacation. The climate of the place is ideal for vacationing. In spite of the fact that it is the smallest state in India, the GDP of Goa is quite high as compared to the Indian mean, courtesy the phenomenally growing travel and tourism sector of the state. There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Goa and they are the churches and convents of Old Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica. In addition, there are a lot of historic architectural sites, major religious hubs, and museums. The most visited tourist attractions in Goa are as follows:
Panjim is the capital and a top tourist destination in the state of Goa. Lying on the riverbanks of Mandovi in North Goa, Panaji is famous for its age-old appeal and a number of Portuguese architectural wonders. Visit Panjim Church, Miramar Beach, Goa State Museum, Old City, Mandovi Bridge, Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, 18th June Road, Se Cathedral (Old Goa) and Goa Science Center and Planetarium. Dona Paula Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the state, lies close to the city. Bird watching and gaming in the casinos are popular activities among the tourists. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is another tourist draw that attracts countless travelers.
Anjuna Beach is closely located to the picturesque town of Mapusa. Outdoor restaurants and western cuisines are the top attractions of this place. It lies towards the north of Calangute and Baga Beach. The distance from Panaji is just 18 km. People also come to see the St. Michael’s Church, which is devoted to St. Miguel.
Mapusa Market is a vibrant market in north Goa. It is closely located to a number of beaches in the area and is an appropriate stopover for travelers during the peak season. The distance from Panaji is just 13 km. Friday is the most happening day in the place since the Mapusa Friday Market takes place on this day. You can buy spices, fruits, vegetables, saplings and garments from this market. Don’t forget to visit the Shri Ganesh Mandir, Ganeshpuri.
The distance of Mandrem Beach from the state capital is just 21 km. It is situated in North Goa. You can visit a tiny Portuguese citadel near this place.
Dona Paula Beach is a very popular beach in the state and is dubbed as the Lover’s Paradise. It is closely situated to Dona Paula Bay where two well-known rivers (Zuari and Mandovi) merge with the Arabian Sea. Dona Paula is also home to the Goa University and National Institute of Oceanography. There are a number of top-notch hotels in the area from which you can pick your accommodation. The beach is also known for its water sports and recreational activities.
Colva Beach lies in Salcete in Southern Goa. It is also dubbed as White Sand Beach or Saxttiche Yead. The beach is popular for its palm groves, budget hotels and lodges, beachside eateries, and bars. The beach remains particularly crowded during weekends.
This beach is special for its pristine white sand. Lying in Canacona, it is famous for its spotless features. You will find many fishermen and international travelers in this area.
This wildlife reserve is situated in Canacona, South Goa. It is the second biggest sanctuary of the state. Dense jungles are an integral feature of this sanctuary and you can see a range of birds such as the Indian pied hornbill, the Great Indian Woodpecker, larger golden backed woodpecker, Malabar trogon, white-bellied woodpecker, heart-spotted woodpecker, velvet-fronted nuthatch, Malayan bittern and speckled piculet. The animal species include the flying squirrel, Indian pangolin, slender loris, four-horned antelope, mouse deer, hump-nosed pit viper, Malabar pit viper, golden-back gliding snake, flying lizard or draco, as well as Malabar tree toad.
Situated on the riverbanks of Kushavati, Chandor forms a part of South Goa. People come here to visit the Braganca House which was constructed during the 17th century.
Similar to the Dona Paula Beach, Calangute Beach is also famous for its recreational pursuits. It is situated in North Goa and parasailing and boating are two most popular sports in this beach. The distance from Mapusa is just 8 km and from Panaji, it is 13 km. The place witnesses the maximum number of travelers during the New Year and Christmas.
Dudh Sagar Falls is the fifth tallest waterfall in India. The waterfall features four levels or layers. You will find this majestic waterfall on the Mandovi River and it is very close to the frontiers with Karnataka. From Panaji, the distance is 60 km and it forms a part of the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, South Goa. In Konkanese language, it refers to a Sea of Milk. Trekking is a popular activity in the area.
Also known as Usgalimal Petroglyphs, Usgalimal rock engravings will be found at the village named Usgalimal, South Goa. It ranks among the most significant primeval places in the western part of the country. Lying on the riverbanks of Kushavati, these etchings bear testimony to the oldest hints of human inhabitation in our country and probably have a history of almost 30,000 years.
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