Talk about best tourist spots in India, and Goa is likely to instantly pop into the minds of many people. It’s a coastal state in the western region of India and was formerly a Portuguese colony. The golden beaches here are frequented by both Indian and foreign tourists alike. But, apart from the sparkling waters that lie off the coast, the state is also home to some tantalisingly delicious seafood, mind-boggling architectural wonders, gorgeous churches, and ancient forts.
Goa is situated in the Western Ghats, and is hence well-known for its rich biodiversity. This popular state has a number of delightful tourist spots, making it difficult to compile an all-encompassing list. But, we have curated a list of some of our favourite tourist places in Goa that we firmly believe should be on every traveller’s bucket list:
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This list has to begin with a beach. There are so many beaches in Goa that they outnumber other types of tourist spots. Calangute is one of the most eminent travel destinations in Goa. It’s often referred to as the ‘Queen of Beaches’, and legend has it that it was discovered in the 1960s by hippies. The coastline is 4 miles long and dotted with many restaurants, shops and clubs. It is also one the most famous destination for families and couples alike, but can get overcrowded during weekends and holidays. Adventure enthusiasts can attempt surfing, parasailing, and jet-skiing here.
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Just to the north of Calangute is another amazing beach. Named after the Baga Creek, Baga Beach is a true paradise for tourists. Explore the beautiful shacks and the lip-smacking seafood while you’re here. This spot is also known for its famous nightclubs, which is why you’ll find it buzzing with people and pretty lights until late in the night. On the whole, Baga is an ideal place for relaxing and sunbathing.
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Built in the memory of St. Francis Xavier, this shrine is the epitome of baroque architecture. This church is located in Old Goa and is not very far from Vasco Da Gama Railway Station. ‘Bom Jesus’ translates to ‘infant Jesus’ or ‘good Jesus’. The 16th-century structure is made of black granite, and there are many paintings inside that depict the life of the patron saint. One can view the embalmed body of this holy man once every decade.
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This fort was built by the Portuguese rulers to protect their territory from foreign and domestic invaders. Its strategic location allowed settlers to prevent enemy ships from entering through the Mandovi River. In the vicinity lies a 19th century lighthouse and a central jail, with the former being the first of its kind in Asia. The fort can be enjoyed on a day journey from Mapusa or Panjim. It is definitely one the best places to visit in Goa.
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Located on the fringes of Goa, this huge waterfall is a magnificent spectacle. The mesmerising fall is the biggest in the state and is located at an elevation of 1,017 feet. Dudhsagar means ‘sea of milk’, and that’s exactly how many people describe it. The cascading water has four different sections that split initially at the top, and then converge at the bottom, rendering the view very unique. People seeking an adventure can go trekking to the top of this colossal outpouring. However, it’s advised not to go hiking here during the monsoon season as the rocks become slippery and precarious. Most visitors recommend visiting this place during the months of October and November.
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This picturesque beach, consisting of a blue lagoon, is located in North Goa and is perfect for people who enjoy solitude. It is divided into two beaches, and the one popular amongst swimmers is named Harmal. To reach the second waterfront, which is more scenic, one has to cross rocky patches that are surrounded by steep cliffs. Activities like dolphin watching, surfing, and parasailing can be undertaken from the precipice. The adjoining lake comprises of warm springs where tourists come to take a therapeutic dip.
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Over 400 years old, the ruins of this church can be found in Old Goa, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a convent located nearby, along with a 46-metre-high bell tower, both of which were deserted long ago when the Portuguese arrived. The church itself has four towers and was built by the Augustines once they arrived in Goa. This is one of the best places to visit in Goa, which is why it attracts many tourists throughout the year.
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This fort is named after Rama, the main protagonist of the epic Ramayana. It is believed that he stayed here for quite some time after he was exiled from his hometown Ayodhya. Formerly, this fort was under the rule of many Hindu rulers, but was subsequently taken over by the Portuguese who rebuilt many parts of this sprawling structure. There are many big cannons here along the bastions and a huge tank consisting of descending steps.
Goa offers explorers many spots to enjoy and this list is by no means comprehensive. However, the above mentioned locations are known for drawing in visitors with their tranquility, cool vibe and beauty. This beautiful destination is home to a number of unique attractions, so make sure to visit as many as you can.