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Sights & Landmarks

Sights & Landmarks in Goa

Art & culture

Goa has a more than its fair share of museums, art galleries and libraries. You will find many government run museums in Panaji, including the Goa State museum, the Kala Academy, the Central Library and the Goa Science Centre. In Vasco da Gama, you can find the Naval Aviation Museum, a great place to see vintage aircraft.

Old Goa is a great place to see examples of Christian religious art, and sometimes, secular art. There you can find the Christian Art Museum and also a modern art gallery containing the works of surrealist Dom Martin. In Mormugao, you can find the Religious Museum of the Blessed Joseph Vaz. The Xavier Centre of Historical Research at Bardez also has a gallery on Christian Art.

Attracted by Goa's bohemian life, many artists, painters and architects have made their home here. They too have proceeded to set up art galleries and museums. An example of this is Subodh Kerkar's art gallery in Candolim. Benaulim also has the Goa Chitra Museum, containing the largest collection of ethnographic artifacts ever assembled in one place.

Other museums of note are Gerard da Cunha's architectural museum Houses of Goa in Benaulim, Big Foot(aka Ancestral Goa) at Loutolim, Salcete, an attempt to illustrate and recreate Goa's traditional past. There's even a vintage-cars collection of sorts -- Ashvek Vintage World, in Nuvem, Salcete The Latin Quarter of Panjim or Fontain has many heritage buildings, some preserved in their original condition.


Goa is famous for its beaches, ancient temples and churches, and the Goan carnival.

  • Agonda — also known asTurtle Beach, in the south.
  • Anjuna beach — close to the Chapora Fort, its key attraction is a magnificentAlbuquerque Mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and an attractive Mangalore tile-roof. Anjuna was the second home (and main location) of the hippies in Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, after other destinations like Calangute got too "crowded" for them. It is still the venue of a (vastly-changed and more mainstream) flea market held each Wednesday. In the nearby village of Arpora, two colourful Saturday night bazaars are held in the non-monsoon seasons. This is still part of "alternative" Goa, though charter and other tourists also visit in increasing numbers to "get a feel of the hippy years".
  • Arambol beach — a quiet beach in North Goa near Pernem. Not too many facilities in terms of hotels or eateries. The water is shallow and good for swimming.
  • Asvem beach — quieter beach in extreme north Goa's Pernem Taluka.
  • Baga beach — family beach and charter tourist destination just outside Calangute.
  • Calangute beach — queen of all Beaches in Goa. Once highly rated. Now crowded. Expect traffic jams along the main crowded street. This beach is full of Indian tourists, provides a lot of noise, a lot of souvenirs, and some water sports beggars. You won't get peace here, but it does have many famous clubs, and some nice dining options.
  • Candolim and Sinquerim — beaches in North Goa's Bardez taluka. Once humble fishing villages. Now the crowded concretised coast of North Goa. Goa's Benidorm. Or quickly getting to be as crowded.
  • Chapora — home of the Chapora fort. Close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Also site for a fishing jetty where trawlers (introduced into Goa in the 1960s and 1970s, amid protests from traditional fishermen, who were affected by them) bring in their catch. Dil Chahta Hai Movie's one song was shot at this fort. Although in pretty damaged state, Chapora fort offers mesmerising views of sea and both beaches. It's a bit difficult to find the way to the fort, but bikers won't mind it. Built on a hill top, fort offers some resistance for climbing up.
  • Colva beach — known for its scenic beauty. This is part of Salcete, Goa's only Catholic majority sub-district. Once a very hospitable area, now relations are getting monetised thanks to tourism. Salcete's beach stretch starts with Velsao beach and ends at Betul which is where the Leela and Holiday Inn hotels are located. The other popular beaches on this stretch are Utorda, Majorda, Arrosim, Benaulim and Varca. The Southern beaches are beautiful, quieter and have a lesser number of shacks. It is easier to enjoy the natural scenic beauty of the Goa here versus the beaches in the Northern part of the state that are more commercialized. The southern beaches are more family geared and generally cleaner and more beautiful.
  • Mandrem beach — in the extreme north Goa's Pernem Taluka.
  • Morjim beach — a beautiful beach, inhabited by Russian tourists. This place is popular among kitesurfers due to the shallow depth of the sea and a very wide beach. Prices are high, with many restaurants offering Russian cuisine. Nightlife is vibrant here.
  • Palolem beach — southernmost beach in Goa, situated in Canacona taluka. Scenic and quiet with nearby islands. Good eating options. It is becoming pricey (by local standards) and getting a bit crowded, but still less crowded compared to other popular beaches.
  • Patnem beach — small and quiet beach in Canacona Taluka.
  • Vagator beach — in Bardez, neighbouring Anjuna.

Wild life sanctuaries and others

  • Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary. Sambar, gaur (Indian bison) and wild boar, amongst other animals. Elephants have also been spotted here at times.
  • Butterfly Conservatory Of GoaRajnagar , Pisgal , Priol , Ponda (Near Surya Masala Factory, en route Tropical Spice Plantation),  +91 832 2985174. 9AM-3:30PM. Conservation project open for visitors. Watch free flying butterflies and an unique rain water harvesting experiment. ₹100.
  • Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary. If you want to see forest with rare plants and tall tree where hardly any light can reach to the ground then Cotigo Sanctuary is the place you should visit.
  • Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. Though it remains open throughout year, one can visit this place only after getting permission from Chief Wild Life Warden, Forest Department, Junta House, Panaji.
  • Dudh Sagar Waterfall (दूधसागर जलप्रपात ದೂದ್ ಸಾಗರ್ ಜಲಪಾತ). With a mighty height of 600m from top to bottom, the Dudh Sagar Waterfall attracts constant visitors throughout a year.


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