Towns in South Goa:
Panaji: The capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District, a small and charming city on the left bank of silvery Mandovi River, with beautiful red-roofed houses, built in Latin style, also boasts of many modern houses, well laid gardens, statues and avenues lined with Glmohar, Acassia and other trees. Enchanting panorama unfolds from atop Altinho (HillTop).
Mapusa: 13kms. The capital of Bardez Taluka, on the National Highway 17, is at the cross roads of the network of highways covering whole of North Goa. Weekly fair on Friday is held at the modern streamline market, attended by large crowds.
Pilar: 11 Kms. Important religious and eductional centre of Christian Missionaries. The Church, Seminary and School atop hillock command a magnificent panorama of the countryside around and a fine view of Mormugao Harbour & Zuari River.
Margao: 33 Kms. The capital of South Goa District in the hinterland of Southern Goa in Salcate Taluka is a thriving commercial metropolis linked by rail to the rest of India & Mormugao Harbour and by National Highways, with Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has imposing old mansions and modern buildings.
Vasco-Da-Gama: 30 Kms. A modern, well laid out city close to Mormugao Harbour, has beautiful and extensive avenues. The air terminus of Goa at Dabolim lies on the outskirts of the city. It is also the railway terminus for passenger service on the South Central Railway.
Mormugao Harbour: 34 ksm. (4 kms. From Vasco-Da-Gama) is one of the finest natural anchorages on the West Coast of India and the hub of intense maritime activity.
Chandor (Chandar): 9 kms. East of Margao the menezes Braganza House, mostly late 18th Century and previously owned by Lemon nationalist and Journalist Luis De Menezes Braganza has a series of magnificent rooms especially the great salon with its fine furniture and the largest private library in Goa.
Beaches in South Goa:
Arambol Beach: (50 Kms) A unique beach in North Goa, is both rocky and sandy beach and much sought after. It has a sweet water pond right on the store.
Vagator Beach: (22 kms) It is popular beach dominated by Chapora Fort to the North, on its imposing headland. To the South of Vagator is Calangute beach.
Anjuna Beach: (18 kms). A popular beach area adjacent to Chapora Fort. In Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof.
Calangute: (16 kms) is the most popular holiday resort in Goa. Excellent accommodation facilities are available, particulary at the tourist resort and cottages.
Miramar: (Gaspar Dias), 3 Kms. A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji.
Dona Paula: 7 kms. An idyllic picturesque spot. Command a fine view of the Zuari River and Mormugao Harbour. Water scootering facilities are available here.
Colva Beach: About 6 kms. from Margao. Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scentic spelndour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. Has good accommodation facilities particilary at the tourist cottages.
Agonda: (About 37 kms. from Margao). A small picturesque and secluded beach much sought after for its serenity.
Palolem: About 37 kms. from Margao. Just west of Chaudi in the Southern Taluka of Canacona is one of the most enchanting beaches in Goa relatively desserted, with backdrop of Western Ghats.
Places of Interest in South Goa
Aguada Fort: 18 kms. Built by the Portuguese in 1609-1612, to command the entry into the river Mandovi, in order to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks. A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there. The fort houses presently the central jail. A lighthouse is situated nearby, the visiting hours for it being 16.00 to 17.00 hrs.
Arvalem Caves: The celebrated caves of Arvalem, belonging to a remote era, are in a westerly direction not far away from the temple of Rudreshwar and are of archaeological interest. A mythical background is attached to these caves. Some are of the opinion that these caves have been carved by the travelling Buddhist monks. An inscription is noticed on a Shivalinga with a circular top in cave No.2 Its is in Sanskrit and in Brahmi characters of the 7th century A.D. It reads as Sambalura-vasi Ravih.
Arvalem Waterfalls : Leaving the temple of Rudreshwar, one can descend the staircase to look at a majestic waterfall shedding its exuberant silvery showers. The beautiful fall, with a head of about 70ft., forms a sizeable lake at the bottom which offers a temptation to seasoned swimmers. The fall is best seen when in full flux, just after the copious monsoon, when it presents a raptures, ravishing and riotous aspect.
Dudhsagar Waterfalls :
Literally meaning 'The Sea of Milk', these falls are situated on the Goa-Karnataka border, at a distance of 60 kms from Panaji and 10 kms from Colem railway station. Water plummets hundreds of feet in large volumes, forming one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena in Goa. It is a popular destination for hikers and trekkers. The falls are best seen after monsoon, between October and December, but right up to April there is enough water to make a visit worthwhile.
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