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Goa -  (PuneDiary's Picnic Sports Section)

 North Goa

Mayem Lake, a cool lake placed on hill top is the most frequented picnic spot.
Vagator Beach, A beach famous for its seclusion with the Chapora Fort as its imposing backdrop.
Anjuna Beach, A popular haunt of hippies.
Calangute Beach, Widely Known as the Queen of Goa's Beaches. Here school holidays & beat shows draw hundreds of people.
Aguada Fort, A famous 17th century Fort now made even more famous by 5 star hotel complex. 
Temples, Their are temples of Lord Vital, Lord Vandevata, Lord Ravalnath & Goddess Laxmi to be seen.
Narayan Mapusa, Capital of Bardez famous for its Friday Bazar where people converge to buy & sell everything from lime to Live stick.

 South Goa
Miramar, A short but sweet beach. Here lies the samadhi of Goa's First Chief Minister late Dayanand Bandodkar.
 Old Goa Churches
Bom Jesus, In Bom Jesus Basilica lies the incorruptible remains of St. Francis Xavier.
Se Cathedral, The largest of its Kind in the East.
Mangueshi, Dedicated to Lord Shiva, built in 16th Century.
Shantadurga, Is one of the richest temples dedicated to Shantadurga, the Goddess of peace. Famous for its Golden Palanquin.
Ancestral Goa, A century old Miniature Village. India's Longest.
Margao, Commercial city of South Goa.
Colva Beach, Longest beach in Goa, only rival to Calangute in Popularity.

Longest Beach in Goa. Calangute is another one.

Colva Beach

The largest amongst the Churches in Old Goa (East).

Se Cathedral

Shree Shanta Durga Temple

Getting Started:
The former Portuguese City has always been ranked high in travellers dictionary for quite some time now. Goa has always been the hotspot for tourists all over the world. In spite of the fact that the Portuguese left the city four decades ago, the Roman Catholicism remains a major religion in Goa. The Goa landscape consists of old Portuguese churches, paddy fields, dense coconut tree plantation and huge forts. The people earn their livelihood through farming, fishing, tourism and mining .

Goa being surrounded by Arabian sea is famous for its beaches. People from the west have been flocking to this place since early 1960s.Indians from various parts of the country also come here. Selection of beach may vary according to your stay and how much action you want to see. Calangute, Baga, Candolim and Colva are mostly occupied by the package tourism, so they can be very happening . Anjuna the traditional rave center is still popular, while Vagator and Chapora are not that happening. Arambol in the north and Palolem in the south are the beaches if you are quiet, simple person. Nudism on beaches is illegal though Goa may appear to be very welcoming, friendly and liberal.

Special Events:
Mostly occupied by Christian community the feast and festivals here have a strong Christian influence. Therefore Christmas and New Year are worth watching . Events such as arrival of monsoon give opportunity for Goans to celebrate feast days. The Feast of St Anthony in June has got its own significance. It is said that if the monsoon god does not favour the Goans by the time of this feast day, a statue of the saint is to be dipped in the family well to wake the monsoon god . If the monsoon arrives the St John feast is a thanking one to the almighty.

Accommodation & Food:
Accommodation depends in which season you land up here. High season is normally from December to January. Rates are very high during the last week of December on the eve of Christmas & New Year. Specially if you trying to get in Titoos, one of the most happening pub in Goa on New Year the entry for couples is Rs 2000. If you are in Goa for the other part of the year the rates are almost half. The Goa Tourism distributes nice booklet listing the main hotels and guesthouses. Food here is cheap and delicious too. Sorpotel is pig's liver dish. Xacuti is a chicken or meat dish. Bangra is Goan mackerel. Christmas sweets are Dodol and Bebinca. Liquor shops are available almost every next door. Alcohol here is cheap than anywhere in India. Feni made from coconut is the favorite drink of the Goans.

Travelling :
There are number of government and private buses which run throughout Goa and the tickets are cheap. Bus services are regular so there is no need to wait for too long before you get into one. You can also hire a car though it is expensive but comfortable. Though most of the tourist prefer hiring a motorcycle in Goa as it is easy and cheap. It takes a minimum of Rs 400 to hire a motorcycle for a day. The most fascinating about traveling in Goa are the ferries. A ten minute ferry ride for Rs 75 is really worth spending. The ferry is lit with lights in the night and the music is on which makes it look really beautiful .

Panaji & Old Goa:
Panaji is one of the smallest state capitals of India. It overtook Old Goa as capital in 1843.Situated on the bank of Mandovi river is a place worth a visit. Most of the market is here. The market is closed after 7'o clock in the evening so better check yourself in the afternoon or early morning. St Francis Xavier's church is one thing you don't want to miss on your tour to Goa. One just can't describe how beautiful it is. You may travel through Panjim on your way to most of the beaches. Old Goa is situated 9 km east of Panjim which was once the capital of Portuguese. Mostly occupied by old buildings there are few museums to look for. Once upon a time it had large palace of Adil Shah of Bijapur which is no more now.
Hotels in Goa

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