Goa – Think out of the beach

Are you reluctant to travel to Goa just because you are not a beach person? Beaches in Goa are great, but there are much more to Goa than just its beaches. Even if you skip playing in the beach, night parties and beach shacks, Goa will not fail to entertain you. Here are some of the non-beach destinations in Goa, which are worthy of your visit. The list is by no means in a rank order. All these destinations have its own charm and I suggest you visit all of them to get a vivid and diverse "Goa" experience.

 1. Three King’s Church - The Haunted Place With A View

Places to see in Goa - Three Kings Church - Pick,Pack,Go
The small chapel where the Kings are laid to rest


The Three King’s church stands on a hill top in the Cansaulim village. It is located in south Goa and just 10 kilometers from the Vasco-Da-Gama town. It is a place that can be described as a “haunted place with a view”. Apparently, the spirits of three Portuguese kings – two were murdered and one committed suicide- still roam around in The Three Kings Church. Even if you are not a fan of Ghost stories, this place is a must visit due to the serene atmosphere and the charming view it offers. During monsoon, the greenery below the hills is a sight to experience at least once in a lifetime.   More Photos...

2. Amboli -  The Green Valley

Places to see in Goa - Ambolim Hills - Pick,Pack,Go
View from the Kawalesat point in Amboli

Amboli is a beautiful hill station, which is around 90 kilometers from the Panjim city. Even though this hill station is located in Maharashtra, one can cover Amboli in a one day trip from Goa. The drive through the twisted Ghats road would greatly thrill any passionate driver. On reaching the top and looking down on the valley, you feel like you are standing in the heaven on earth. More Photos...


3. Chappora - Rugged Fort With A Majestic View

Places to see in Goa - Chappora Fort - Pick,Pack,Go
A view of the Chapora Fort walls and the ocean beyond

Chappora is a small fort which is 21 kilometers away from Panjim and 10 kilometers from Mapusa(locals pronounce as Mapza) town. Chappora is an ancient fort built by the Adil Shah dynasty of Bijapur and was captured and renovated by the Portuguese in 1617. There after this fort was captured many times alternatively by the Portuguese and Marathas until it was finally abandoned in 1892. Chappora fort is a plain fort which is quite in ruins but offers a breathtaking view of the Anjuna and Vagator beaches. More Photos...


4. Fontainhas -  É A Portugal Em Goa!

Places to see in Goa - Fontainhas portuguese quarter - Pick,Pack,Go
The colorful Fontainhas!

 

In the middle of the Panjim city, Fontainhas rests quietly over the bank of the Ourem creek. It is a colorful old Latin quarter which has narrow roads and houses reminding the bygone era of Portuguese rule.The vintage houses with their typical blue Portuguese tiles, a quiet walk through the Fontainhas and a few moments spent in front of the ancient chapel at one end is so serene that it might even bring you inner peace. More Photos...


5. Aguada Fort - The Watering Place

Places to see in Goa - Aguada Fort - Pick,Pack,Go
Aguada By Abhiomkar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0]via Wikimedia Commons

Aguada, the majestic Portuguese fort built in 1613 is still standing tall in all its glory. It was a key defense structure of the Portuguese in those days. Aguada means the watering place due to the spring inside the fort which provided the passing ships with fresh water supply. Aguada fort stands on a hilly terrain and it is recommended to take the uphill journey in vehicle. Aguada offers an excellent view of the Siquaeim beach. Another attraction of the Aguada fort is the light house built in 1864. One can still climb up the light house to get a spectacular view of the surrounding beaches. The fort is designed in multiple stories and it houses huge water tank with a capacity over a million liters. The lower stories of Aguada were turned into a prison during the modern times. Generally the visitors are warned of the hot weather. During the summer seasons temperature is tend to increase and early hours must be chosen for a visit.

6. Churches of Goa - The UNESCO World Heritage Site

Places to see in Goa - Bom Jesus Church - Pick,Pack,Go
Basilica of Bom Jesus By Thomas Tholath (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons


One of the main heritage signs that Portuguese left behind in Goa are the majestic churches. They are not just the places of worship; they are significant icons of Goan culture and architecture. Most of the Goan churches are made in the Baroque architecture style and the most famous among them is the "Basilica of Bom Jesus" in old Goa. The 400 years old magnificent basilica is one of the world heritage centers chosen by UNESCO. More Photos...


7. Cruises over Mandovi River - Floating Over A Goan Dream

Places to see in Goa - Mandovi River - Pick,Pack,Go
Santa Monica Over the Mandovi River

It is not only the roaring sea, but also the serene waters of river Mandovi is capable enchanting the traveler in you. Goa tourism department offers a variety of cruises to enjoy the gentle breeze and slow rhythm of Mandovi River along with a mix of Goa folk dances like Dekhi and Fudgi. All these cruises start from Santa Monica jetty in Panjim. The sun set cruise offers the view of Goa's golden sunset and the sun down cruise offers the view of the promenades in Panjim bathed in the bright city lights. There is also a late dinner cruise which treats you with affordable food over the slow moving river. There is a more involved cruise and it is known as the back water cruise which is typically 4 hours long. The back water cruise takes you through the lush mangrove bordered waters. The package includes a tour of the Savoi spice plantations and occasionally provides a demo of the distillation of cashew juice to make Goan urak and feni. The back water cruises also takes you to the Dr. Salim Ali bird sanctuary in Chorão Island. If I am in Goa, sundown cruise would be the perfect way to end my day – with a relaxing ride over the lazy moving Mandovi.


8. Temples in Goa  - Serenity And Culture Of Ancient Goa

Places to see in Goa - Shanta Durga Temple - Pick,Pack,Go
Santa Durga Temple By Nkodikal (Own work)  [CC BY 3.0] , via Wikimedia Commons

Mangueshi and Shanta Durga are the most visited temples in Goa. They have a rich culture and interesting history which dates back to the early 16th century during the times of Maratha rulers of Goa. One distinctive characteristic of these temples are their majestic lamp towers, which reminds of the Portuguese architecture. Mangueshi temple is dedicated to an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Manguesh temple is believed to house the Shiva Linga which is said to have been consecrated by Lord Brahma himself. The Shanta Durga temple as the name suggests is a quiet place where the Durga – the goddess- is the main deity. In addition to being serene places of worship, these temples are excellent examples of Indo-Portuguese fusion architecture. It is advisable to follow dress code while visiting these temples.


  9. Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary  - The Mangroves Were Birds Live
Places to see in Goa - Salim Ali Bird Sanctury - Pick,Pack,Go
By ZanakaM (Own Work) [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons 

Well hidden from the partying crowds of the Panjim city, this bird watchers paradise is located in the Chorão Island of Mandovi River. The lush green mangrove, named after India’s most famous bird man Dr. Salim Ali, houses a variety of local and migratory birds. The early morning bird watch cruise arranged by the Goa Tourism department is a delight to the eyes and ears. The silence of the morning and the serenity of the gentle waves set a perfect stage for the chirping birds. It is indeed a hidden gem, waiting to be explored by the nature lover who can appreciate its beauty.

  10. Spice plantations in Goa  - A Detour From The Beaches

Places to see in Goa - Spice Plantations - Pick,Pack,Go
By K Hari Krishnan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a spice lover, it is worth visiting one of the many spice plantations in Goa. Here you can see how your favorite spices are grown. The spice plantations in Goa are one among the less known attractions, nevertheless a great diversion to the beach holidays. Savoi spice plantation is one among the oldest in Goa. They provided guided spice tours to explore the cultivation of coffee, pepper, turmeric, lemon grass, cardamom and many other Indian spices. Many of the spice plantation tours are a package which comes with interesting items as authentic Goan lunch, demonstration of distillation of feni, elephant rides, Ayurveda bath – you name it. Some other famous spice plantations in Goa are Tropical spice plantation, Pascoal spice Plantation and Sahakari Spice Plantation.

5 comments:

  1. ദുശ്ശാസ്സനന്‍ : Thanks for your support! :)

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  2. Good .. Well written article . One thing i feel missing is Dudhsagar Falls .. Happy that you have included Spice Plantation too. :)

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