Goa, the smallest State in India is a great asset to the Nation. What it lacks in size, it makes up in substance. It is also ranked as the best State in terms of infrastructure and quality of life.
Goa’s economy is highly dependent on tourism. Beautiful Beaches, coconut lined coast, rich Indian-Portugal culture, and rich flora and fauna makes this place one of the favorite places for holiday makers. Goa offers different places of interest for different people. In 2010 alone, more than 2 million people visited Goa. Here are some of the best 5 places to visit in Goa.
1. Goa Beaches:
Goa definitely has some of the best beaches in India. Just the right dose of sun and sandy beaches lined with coconut trees makes Goa a formidable tourist destination. Goa’s beaches are best visited during winter when the sea is calm and the sun tamed by the winter breeze. At winter the average temperature is 21-28 degree C, with moderate amounts of humidity. To add to the popularity, Sunburn Festival which is celebrated each year on the beaches of Goa draws thousands of people. It is also one of the biggest electronic music festivals in India.
Calangute Beach is obviously the best known beaches in Goa and stretched for 7 kilometers of golden sand.
2. Goa Churches:
The Portuguese introduced baroque and Gothic architecture in Goa when they settled in 1510. Over the next 450 years they built churches and houses and encouraged the Goans to build in their style. Portugal left deep influence to Goans on both art and culture. Basilica of Bom Jesus was one of the First important landmarks. It still holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier, a pioneer of Chatholic Missionary works. His relics are exhibited to the public once in 10 years. The next exhibition due to happen in 2014.
Bom Jesus Basilica and churches and convents of Old Goa are the two World heritage site in Goa. The other important Churches are the Church of St Francis of Assini, Church of Lady of Rosary and Church of St Cajatan.
3. Goa Carnival:
This 3 days extravaganza takes place in the month of February. Although it was introduced by the Portuguese, Goans have taken it as their very own and made it their own. The streets came alive with music and colors. It was earlier celebrated by the Christians but it has extended to the Hindus and even to the outsiders. Huge parades are organized
Huge parades are organized all over Goa. The festival is known for singing, dancing and drinking which continued late into the night. The carnival concludes with the famous red-and-black dance held by the Club National in Panajim on the final day. It is the most colorful and awaited festival of Goa.
4. Wildlife and nature:
Goa is one of the only states that have more than 50% of its land under forest. The Western Ghats which is on the Eastern side of Goa is a bio diversity hotspot. It is compared to Amazon or Congo in terms of density of flora and fauna. Goa has over 1512 species of plants, 275 species of birds and 48 kinds of animals and 60 genera of reptiles. The Salim Ali bird Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary,Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Madei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary are some popular Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa.
The Dudhsagar waterfalls are located in the Sanguem district of Goa.
5. Spice Plantations:
Though rice is the main Crop of Goa, the State is known for its spices farms. Tropical climate made spice plantation possible. Visiting spice plantations enables one to see the rural Goa, while being educated about various spice plants.
Tour Guides who specialize in Spices are available. One of the most acclaimed spice plantations in Goa is the Savoi Plantation. Sahakari Spice Farm, Pascol Spice Village, Abyss, and the Tropical Spice Plantation are some other plantations. Driving through the dense forest makes for an interesting trip.
For accommodation and best booking offer, please visit http://www.indianholiday.com/hotels/goa.html