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Goa Sight-seeing

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Mangueshi TempleMangueshi Temple : Shri Mangeshi temple is located at Mangueshi VillagePriol, Ponda Taluka, Goa. It is at a distance of 1 Km from Mardol close to Nagueshi,
22 Km from Panaji the capital of Goa and 26 Km from Mad
gaon. This temple is one of the largest, most enchanting, serene and most frequently visited temples in Goa. The temple has recently banned entry of foreigners into the temple citing objectionable dressing and conduct as the reason. The temple is dedicated to Bhagavan Manguesh, an incarnation of Shiva. He is also referred to as Saib (The Bhagavan of Goa) by Hindus. Bhagavan Mangesh is worshipped here as Shiva linga. According to the legends Lord Shiva had manifested in to a tiger to scare Parvati. Paravati who was paranoid at the sight of the tiger went in search of Lord Shiva. Parvati was supposed to say “Trahi maam Gireesh” but instead out of nervousness she said: “Trahimangeesh”. He is the kuldevta of many Hindus in Goa specially of Saraswat Brahmins & Bhandaris.

Shree Shantadurga Temple-KavlemShantadurga Temple : is a large temple complex 33 kms. from Panaji at the foothill of Kavalem village in Ponda Taluka, Goa, India. A small laterite mud shrine was built and the deity was installed here. The mud-shrine was converted into a beautiful temple whose foundation stone was laid in 1730 and the temple was completed in 1738 and renovated in 1966. The temple is dedicated to Shantadurga, the goddess who mediates between Vishnu and Shiva. The deity is also called ‘Santeri’. This avatar of Shree Jagdamba Devi which had come to make peace (Shanti) between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva, came to be known as Shree Shantadurga Devi. Local legends tell of a battle between Shiva and Vishnu The battle was so fierce that Lord Bramha prayed to Parvati to intervene, which she did in the form of Shantadurga. Shantadurga placed Vishnu on her right hand and Shiva on her left hand and settled the fight. The deity of Shantadurga is shown as holding two serpants, one in each hand, representing Vishnu and Shiva. Apart from this battle, local legends often say that Shantadurga of Keloshi had gone to Sankhwal, a village in Salcette Taluka to kill a demon named Kalantak that was harassing the Brahmins. As a reward, she was given the name of Vijaya. Shri Vijayadurga shrine was located in Sankhwal along with Shri Shantadurga and Shri Laxmi Narsimha but was later shifted to a place called Kerim in Ponda Taluka during the Portuguese invasions. Shantadurga is the Kuldevi (family deity) of many Konkani Saraswats, Karhade Brahmins, Maharishi Saraswatis (Mahe Gotra), Vishyawani from (Kokan region of Maharastra and Goa) and Bhandaris.

Tambdi Surla TempleTambdi Surla : Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla is a 12th-century temple of the Lord Mahadeva and an active place of Hindu worship. It is notable as the oldest temple in Goa. The temple was built by Hemadri, the minister of the Yadava King Ramchandra. The Jain style construction has led to debates about the origins of the temple, since the Kadamba Dynasty ruled Goa between the tenth and fourteenth centuries. The temple is built in the Hemadpanthi style from basalt, carried across the mountains from the Deccan Plateau and carved craftsmen. It is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa. The temple survived invasions and the Goa Inquisition due to its remote location in a clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats which surround the site. Tambdi Surla temple, also called the Mahadev Temple. Dating back to the 13th century, it is still actively used as a place of Hindu worship. The temple is a bit isolated from the other villages in the area, located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary area. Its’ seclusion makes it a place of extraordinary peace and quiet. The temple is covered in beautiful carvings, including an exquisitely detailed carved ceiling. It’s dedicated to the god Shiva, and there are many symbols of Shiva throughout, including a headless stature of Nandi, the bull which Shiva rides.

Shree Ramnathi TempleShree Ramnathi Temple : The temple of Ramnathi is located in Ramnathim, Bandivade in Goa. This temple belongs to the Gaud saraswat Brahmins. Similar to other Goan Brahmin temples, Ramnathi too incorporates the system of Panchayasthan, therefore this temple house 5 main deities namely – Shri Ramanath (Chief Deity), Shanteri, Kamakshi, Laxmi Narayan, Ganapati, Betal and Kalbhairav, along with other family purushas. Shri Ramanath Deity was originally installed 3000 years B.C by Rama at Rameshwar. When Rama came back from Lanka along with Sita, after killing Ravana, he decided to pray to Shiva in order to absolve him of killing a Brahmin. Hence a Shivlinga was installed and Rama prayed to it. This came to be known as Ramanath. Ramnath is a Divine Symbol of the unity of Hari (Vishnu) and Hara (Shiva). Ramnath is a compound word formed by the unity of two words Rama and Natha. So, Ramnath means the Lord of Rama. In another way Ramnath also means the one whose Lord is Rama. So, the Lord of Rama is Shiva and the Lord of Shiva is Rama. Shivshankar drank the poison (Halahal) which came out during the churning of the ocean. His throat became blue and he started getting burning sensation. That sensation was soothed by the recital of Rama Nama. So, our Ramnath is a symbol of unity of Hari and Hara and we should be proud of being Kullavis of such Daivat.

Basilica of Bom JesusBasillica of Bom Jesus : The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. The church is located in Old Goa, which was the capital of Goa in the early days of Portuguese rule. ‘Bom Jesus’ (literally, ‘Good (or Holy) Jesus’) is the name used for the infant Jesus. The Jesuit church is India’s first minor basilica, and is considered to be one of the best examples of baroque architecture in India. This world heritage monument has emerged as a landmark in the history of Christianity. It contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a very close friend of St. Ignatius Loyola with whom he founded the Society of Jesus, the (Jesuits). Francis Xavier died on Sancian Island while en route to continental China on December 2, 1552. The body of Francis Xavier was first taken to Portuguese Malacca and two years later shipped back to Goa. It is said that the saint’s body was as fresh as the day it was buried. The remains of the saint still attract a huge number of devotees (Christian and non-Christian alike) from all over the world, especially during the public viewing of his body every ten years (last held in 2004). The saint is said to have miraculous powers of healing. This is one of the oldest churches in Goa, as well as in India. The floor is of marble inlaid with precious stones. Apart from the elaborate gilded altars, the interior of the church is simple. The church also holds paintings of scenes taken from the life of St. Francis Xavier. The mausoleum, on the top of which is placed the silver casket with the body of St. Francis Xavier, was the gift of the last of the Medicis, Cosimo III the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The mausoleum was designed by the 17th-century Florentine sculptor Giovanni Battista Foggini. It took ten years to complete. The casket containing his body is made of silver. The holy relics of the saint are displayed every ten years during the anniversary of the saint’s death. His liturgical feast is the third of December. On the upper level, overlooking the tomb, is the Bom Jesus Basilica Art Gallery, containing the works of the Goan surrealist painter, Dom Martin. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is more than 408 years old and is open to the public everyday. The body of St. Francis Xavier is kept in a well-decorated casket. Solemn exhibitions of the ‘body’ are held every ten years.

Se CathedralSe Cathedral : The Se Catedral is the cathedral of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the seat of the Patriach of the East Indies. Located in Old Goa, the largest church in India is dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria. It is one of the oldest and most celebrated religious buildings in Goa and is one of the largest churches in Asia. The Se Cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. Since the day of the victory happened to be on the feast of Saint Catherine, the cathedral was dedicated to her. It was commissioned by Governor George Cabral to be enlarged in 1552 on the remains of an earlier structure. The actual construction of the church began in 1562 under the reign of King Dom Sebastio. The Cathedral was finally completed in 1619 and was consecrated inn 1640. It originally had two towers, but one collapsed in 1776 and was never rebuilt.

St Anne church in Talaulim

Church of St. Anne : Church of St. Anne is a religious monument located in Santana, Goa. It is an example of baroque architecture. Majestically nestled in the verdant hills of Santana, Talaulim, the Church of Anne was declared a “national monument” during the Portuguese era. Upon Goa’s annexation by India, while the aforementioned edifices were embraced as “national monuments” by the Archaeological and effectively taken over, the church of St. Anne was singularly overlooked and remains forsaken to this day to the ravages of time and human neglect, the glaring fact notwithstanding—it is by far the most exquisite and the largest surviving monument of its kind in all of Asia. The church of St. Anne continues to remain largely forsaken to the ravages of time and human neglect. Today, parts of the structure remain in a precarious condition. Construction of the Church of St. Anne began in 1577 by Monsignor Francisco de Rego (1681–1689) and its completion in 1695 fell upon the shoulders of his successor, Rev. Fr. Antonio Francisco da Cunha. Legend has it that while construction was in progress, an elderly villager by the name of Bartholomeu Marchon, had a vision of an old lady donning a hat with a staff in hand. The old lady ambled down the neighboring hill and promulgated to Bartholomeu that the Church under construction was her home, and that it was her intent to reside there. A similar apparition was also encountered by a Brahmin lady of high social standing, who happened to be gravely ill and almost in death’s clutch. The celestial apparition anointed the lady with a miraculous cure and as a token of supreme gratitude, she embraced Christianity. Word of her miraculous cure percolated down to the village priest who instantly interpreted it as a sign of divine intervention, and without further ado, consecrated the church in honor of St. Anne. High up in the transept facing the sanctuary, one can see a relief picture depicting the scene of St. Anne with a staff in hand and wearing a hat as seen in the apparitions.

St. Francis of Assissi-2Church of St. Francis Assisi : The three tier facade have octagonal towers on each side and in the central niche there is a statue of St. Michael. The main entrance is decorated with circular pilasters and rosette band. The central nave is barrel-vaulted while the crossing is rib-vaulted which supports the choir. The internal buttress walls, separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top, have frescoes showing floral designs. Above the tabernacle in the main altar is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and Jesus on the cross, statues of St. Peter and St. Paul are seen below. The adjoining walls of nave retain painted panels depicting scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi. The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan Order while the main entrance is in Manuline style. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. There are no aisles but only a nave, which is rib-vaulted. Beneath a ribbed vault with frescoes showing floral decorations, is the main altar, which is gilded and has a richly carved niche with a tabernacle supported by the four evangelists. The origin of this church and the attached convent can be traced to the humble beginnings made by eight Franciscan friars, who, on their arrival in 1517, secured from the then Governor a few houses that belonged to a deceased Thanadar. By their persistent efforts they constructed a small chapel with three altars and a choir. A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521 and was later pulled down and the present church was built on the same spot in 1661 retaining only the entrance of the earlier church.

Mae De Deus ChurchMae De Deus Church, Saligaon : One of Goa’s finest creations is the Mae De Deus Church in Saligao, Bardez. Its illuminated view in the evenings and the nights has a paradisical charm. That is the best time to view this exquisite piece of Gothic architecture in Goa. Originally situated at Daujim, a tiny suburb of Old Goa in the 16th century, of which today only the tallest cross on a pedestal is seen amongst shrubs and coconut groves. The church dedicated to the Mother of God or Our Lady came to be built at Bardez in the 19th century. The Saligao Church was inaugurated on November 26, 1873 and its foundation stone was laid on February 7, 1867. It was a dream of the Saligaonkars to see this Church as they had made many efforts in this direction. One such Saligaonkars was Francisco Salvador Gama Pinto who discussed the proposal of building a church at Saligao with the archbishop of Goa. The Archbishop followed up this proposal and the inspector of Public works, Major Martins, was asked to draw up a plan for a Gothic Church.

Ruins of Church St AugustineRuins of Church St. Augustine : Old Goa has the credit of having a number of churches which have been included in UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Among these are the ruins of St. Augustine Church which was perhaps the largest one in Goa. The Church of St Augustine was constructed by the joint efforts of 12 Augustian Friars after they arrived in Goa on 3rd September 1572 AD. They built the church on the Holy Hill at Old Goa. The construction of the church was completed by 1602 AD. A ban was imposed by the Portuguese government against the Augustines. The church and the convent thereafter were deserted. The ruins of 46-metre high Bell Tower without the bell can be seen from some distance and attract attention of visitors. Five storied arched belfry tower built of laterite formed part of facade of the church facing east. This tower is one of the four towers of St. Augustine Church. The Church had eight richly adorned chapels and four altars and a convent with numerous cells. The ruins of chapels, altars and extensive convent with numerous cells can be seen even today around the tower. The bell was first placed in the Fort Aguada Light House, where it remained from 1841 to 1871 AD. Finally it was put in the church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception at Panaji in 1871 AD and it is still in working condition.

Panjim church (with Singh-Ray 2-stop reverse GND filter)

Panjim Church : This was reportedly one of the first Churches to be built in Goa, estimated around 1540’s. It was built there because of the high ground it stood on. It was rebuilt in 1619. After Panjim became the Capital City, the great bell of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in Old Goa or the “Bell of the Inquision” was moved to this church from Aguada in 1841. At the same time, the renovation created the four tiered steps leading to the church. The interior of the church is relatively simple by the standards of the time although the backdrop to the main altar, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, is impressive enough. On either side is a statue of St. Peter and and St. Paul. In the south transept to the right og the main altar is the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier, with his statue. It formerly stood in the Idalcao’s Palace and was moved here when the chapel there was dismantled in 1918.

Dona Paula-2Dona Paula : Dona Paula is a former village, and tourist destination, in the suburbs of Panaji, Goa. The place is named after Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior, a historical figure in Portuguese India. She was the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka. She and her family arrived in Goa in 1644 and she married a Fidalgo from Spain in 1656. Her husband was Dom Antonio Souto Maior. They were an extremely affluent family, and the entire property from the present day Cabo Raj Nivas all the way to Caranzalem belonged to the Souto Maiors. She died on December 16, 1682. Dona Paula was a woman of charity and is known to have helped the villagers and worked a lot for their betterment, so after her death, the villagers decided to re-name the village as Dona Paula. Initially the village was called Oddavell. The Dona Paula Beach is also a major tourist attraction. According to a local myth, Dona Paula entombed in the Cabo Chapel, the residence of the Governor of Goa and is supposed to be seen emerging from the moonlit waves wearing only a Pearl neckless. Several tourists as well as locals guided by this myth visit the beach for a glimpse of Dona Paula. The Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated at a scenic spot of Dona Paula. It is also home of a historic British war-graves cemetery. After the end of Portuguese rule in Goa in 1961, Dona Paula became a fashionable residential area and address.

Calangute BeachCalangute Beach : Famous in the region as “Queen of the Beaches,” Calangute beach boasts through its presence in north-east from state capital Panaji at mere 15 kilometers. It is said that calangute beach remains largest one in the northern region. As stories go on, hippies had discovered this beach during the 60’s so is it famous since then. Locals and tourists find here a true replica of Goan beach culture so its popularity is unbound indeed. Tourists from the Western countries and hippies find calangute beach an ultimate place to spend great time through splendid beach experience. Most suitable occasion to visit this beach is Christmas and New Year eves while it welcomes enough rush. It also witnesses large number of tourists representing many age groups visiting in the summers. They spend time here sunbathing so do they enjoy rejuvenating sea breezes in the calangute beach goa trip. The hip and lively nightlife of this place makes it prominent worldwide so visitors from different parts of the world visit calangute beach that sees the pious liveliness while the sun sets. Usually locals, hippies and foreign holidaymakers keep dancing in calangute beach goa in night time. Often they keep partying for the whole night. It is easy to get the local tasty and cold beer as countless shacks and picturesque huts make up good choices on the calangute beach. Several unique items like small trinkets and numerous types of handmade items are available in open market here. This beach also offers great shopping experience. Explore calangute beach goa by searching for any unique local seafood especially fried prawns and fish. There is no dearth of local and continental dishes here. This beach offers an opportunity to enjoy great time with involvement in the water sport activities—surfing, water skiing and parasailing amongst others. Presence of Kerkar Art Complex here provides opportunity to see several art exhibitions which are usually organized in the summer seasons.

Baga BeachBaga Beach : Baga a seaside town in Bardez, Goa. It comes under the jurisdiction of Calangute, which is 2 km south. Baga is known for its popular beach, Baga Beach with it’s brown sands, and creek, the Baga Creek. It is visited by thousands of tourists annually. Baga Beach is a popular beach and tourist destination in North Goa, located a few kilometers north from the famous and crowded Calangute beach. The beach contains rows of shacks and fishing boats, and at high tide the beach is narrow. The beach is named after the Baga Creek, which empties into the Arabian Sea at the north end of the beach. Baga Beach is also famous for its water sports and Dolphin cruises. This is part of a 30 km stretch of beach coastline along the west coast of Goa by the Arabian sea that begins at Fort Aguada continues as Sinquerim Beach, then as Candolim Beach and merges into Calangute Beach and then to Baga beach and then Anjuna Beach and then to Vagator Beach finally ending at Chapora Beach and Fort. As compared to Calangute Beach , it is more quieter and also more isolated. Its scenic beauty, with the creek, the Retreat House perched on the hill and the lack of local tourist buses all have contributed to its unique beauty. It is more popular with western tourists who love to use it as a base for water sports and fishing in the area.

Anjuna BeachAnjuna Beach : Anjuna beach is a favourite haunt of the hippies who used to organize the famous rave beach parties. It was in the late 1950s to mid-1960s that hippies started visiting Anjuna beach and since then popularized the wild rave parties with trance music which have now become the characteristic features of Goan beaches. Anjuna Beach is also an ideal place for full-moon parties held especially during Christmas and New Year. Tourists love enjoying the blissful atmosphere of the luminous full-moon casting a spell and the soft foamy waves kissing their feet. The beach is adjacent to Chapora fort. The “Albuquerque mansion” located nearby is one of the sight-seeing highlights of this beach. At the north of the Anjuna, is its famous flea market, held on Wednesdays, where small cafes, bars and Kashmiri handicrafts stalls are lined. This area offers pleasurable shopping experience with quality products at reasonable prizes. Bathing is generally safer at Anjuna than at most of the nearby resorts, especially at the more serene southern end of the beach where a rocky headland keeps the sea calm. At this place sun -starved European tourists laze around bathing in the pleasant sun. The exhilaration of Bungee Jumping from an 80-ft tower and water-sports facilities like paragliding and windsurfing boosts the fun at Anjuna. Best time to visit Anjuna Beach is early November till March. During the X-mas and New Year rush, The the area is crowded with a large number of tourists from all over India and the world who come in to enjoy the colourful beach parties.

Vagator BeachVagator Beach : Vagator Brach is the northern most beach of Bardez Talika Goa. It is located on the opposite bank of the Chapora River from Morjim in Pernem. Vagator Beach has dramatic red cliffs looking down on the shore and two fresh water springs within a stone’s throw of the sea. But Vagator has little by way of seaside accommodation. Vagator Beach is split into two main beaches by a seaside headland which holds the car park and lots of stalls selling trinkets, clothes, soft drinks and snacks. As you face the sea, on your right is North Vagator Beach and on your left Ozran Beach, more commonly known as Little Vagator Beach. There are a number of places playing to a dance & trance crowd during the tourist season. These include: Nine Bar located just above Little Vagator, Hilltop (a little back from Little Vagator) and Primrose back towards Big Vagator beach, they play different types of trance and psychedelic music from different DJ’s from around the world. Disco Valley of Vagator Beach is a place that used to be the place for Goan trance parties starting from early 1980s. Also there are a number of Mediterranean and Indian Cafes/Hotels serving a variety of food and drink. The tourist traffic is predominantly Western backpackers, however it has also become popular with Indian tourists, who particularly come to watch the sunset from the rocks.

Arambol BeachArambol Beach : Arambol Beach is located approximately a one hour drive from the Dabolim Airport (GOI) within the Pernem administrative region of northern Goa. The beach attracts many international tourists, mainly during the winter season between November and March. Arambol has a distinct bohemian feel which is no longer found in other areas, such as Calangute and this inevitably attracts many alternative travelers. Arambol beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Goa, amongst many other popular. A short walk north off the main beach is a smaller beach with a “fresh water lake” close to the sea. The water here is a mixture of fresh water and sea water. The jungle valley, enclosed between low hills hide a spectacular Banyan Tree. Adjoining the banyan tree there is a stone sculpture created by an American Conceptual and Land Art artist Jacek Tylicki. It has become a pilgrimage destination. During the season many traders from all over India come to Arambol to sell their goods and merchandise. Beaches are relatively safe, with only a few incidences of crime reported. The Goa Ministry of Tourism has installed a Life Guard facility just in the center area of the beach (about 3 kilometers South of the main stretch).

Colva BeachColva Beach : Colva is a village in Salcette, Goa. Colva beach stretch is around 2.4 km, the beach consists of about 25 km of the finest powder white sand and is lined along its shore by coconut palms extending furthest towards Bogmalo in the north and Cabo de Rama in the south along South Goa’s coastline. In the Portuguese governance days it used to be the retreat for Goa’s high society, who would come to Colva for their “Mundanca” or change of air. Today the area that is reminiscent of this age are the beautiful houses or villas, including many ruins that dot the village. On a weekend, huge crowds that comprises tourists, foreigners from around the world and local Indian tourists as well, who enjoy the sunset and various activities on offer. The beach also gets particularly busy in October, when hoards of pilgrims come and visit Colva Church called Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Piedade that was founded in 1630 by the Roiz family and later rebuilt at the village square in the eighteenth century. The beach waters are constantly monitored by lifeguards and the swimming area is flagged with colored flags accordingly.

Palolem BeachPalolem Beach : Palolem is a beach village situated in the Canacona, Goa. Palolem is about 40 minutes from Madgaon, the district headquarters. Palolem beach is largely unspoiled and is inhabited by both local fishermen and by foreign tourists who live in shacks along the shore or in the main village itself. It is about 1.61 km long and is crescent-shaped; one can view the entire beach from either end. Both ends of the beach consist of rocks jutting out into the sea. The depth of the sea increases gradually, being shallowest at the northern end of the beach, making it safe for average swimmers, and the currents are not fast. At the low tide it is a tough jungle walk and a guide is recommended. People can leave or take money at will at the Money stone. Time comes to stand still at this lovely beach. Amazing options for a foodie and beach is clean and shallow, its just 5 feet deep for 80 to 100ft inside beach.

Mandrem BeachMandrem Beach : One of the most preferred beaches for honeymooners, the Mandrem Beach is known for its secluded location. The Mandrem beach is one place where the romantic setting and privacy of the beach offers newlyweds and honeymoon couples to take long walks, enjoy candle light dinners by the sea shore & lie star gazing on its sandy shores. The relentless waves, crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches make Mandrem beach paradise on earth. Mandrem is, for many, the best-kept secret on the north Goan coast, as laid back and languid a destination as you could possibly hope for. Yoga, meditation and ayurveda are the orders of the day, and you’ll find ever-changing options for spiritually slanted exercise and enlightenment along its sands. Head here for a day or two of beach-bound bliss, and you might find it hard to tear yourself away. Most accommodation, dining and alternative therapy options are ranged along the narrow beach-access road, or on the sparkling sands themselves.

Ashvem BeachAshvem Beach : Ashvem beach is located in Pernem taluka, north Goa. Situated on the stretch of beach that begins on the banks of river Chapora in the south and continues almost uninterrupted, for 13 km’s to the Querim beach on the banks of river Tirakhol, and the Maharashtra border, in the north. Ashvem beach is the approximately 1,5km of beach between Morjim beach to the south and Mandrem beach to the north, a little further north is popular Arambol beach. The beach at Ashvem is fine white sand backdroped by tall palm and pine trees, resorts and huts are nestled in groves of  palm trees just behind the beach. The mood at Ashvem beach is one many laid back and relaxed beaches in Goa, and it never gets really crowded. Ashwem is famous for its rocky beach that has been shaped by shellfish, giving the rocks a unique shape. The beach isn’t well known among tourists making it an ideal place for people looking for some alone time at a beautiful location. Ashwem also stands out for its location north of the nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtle, tourists and Animal Rights Activists come from different parts of Goa and beyond to witness this scene.

Keri BeachKeri Beach : The northernmost tip of the state of Goa unveils a marvel called the Keri or the Querim beach. The beach situated at a distance of 28 km from Mapusa, is one of the steepest beaches in Goa. Though, the waters are clear and alluring, it is advised that the opinion of the local folks as well as the lifeguards may be taken into account prior to the plunge. The Tiracol fort lies to the north of the beach and a trek to the fort from the beach is a memorable one. It is also possible to take a ferry and cross the river for a nice ride. However, it must be kept in mind that sometimes the low tides make the ferry useless for 3 to 4 hours and the chances of being stranded are high. Keri beach is a perfect spot if you are looking for a peaceful place. It’s clean and charming. There are some shacks where you can eat and drink something and laying on sun bed. Very simple, nothing fancy but nice. If you go by bus from Mapsa tell the driver that you want to go to Keri beach and he will drop you off at the intersection, from there it’s a10/15 mins walk.

Talpona BeachTalpona Beach : Talpona beach is located in Canacona taluka, south Goa. Its nearest neighbours are Galgibaga Beach, just beyond the headland to the south, and Rajbaga beach across the Talpona river to the north. Talpona is a sleepy little fisherman’s village centred around a small dock at the north end of the beach. The beach is a wide, 1 km stretch of unspoilt golden sand, back droped, at the north end, by the little village and scattered palm and pine trees, at the south end by bushes and a large open area. At both ends of the beach are wooded headlands sticking out into the sea. Except for two local bars that serve cold drinks, and a couple of shacks on the beach, the only activity on Talpona beach is relaxing at the beach. Talpona beach and neighbouring Galgibaga beach are good day trips from the more popular beaches in the area. Even if Talpona beach is beautiful, totally unspoilt, and close to all the more popular south Goa beaches, chances are that you will have it pretty much all to yourself.

Sinquerim BeachSinquerim Beach : The Sinquerim Beach of Goa is located about 16 km away from Panaji and is stunningly beautiful and quieter than the other beaches of Goa. This long, extended sandy terrain that runs incessantly along the coast is ideal for taking a walk. The feel of the glistening sands and the cool water caressing the feet gives you out of the feeling. The beach is one of a series of tranquil and spectacular stretch of sand and an ideal place for swimming. The tourists come down to this beach and prefer it for its pristine and serene setting. The lovely beach of Sinquerim is one of the oldest preserved beaches in Goa. The famous fort Aguada is located near the beach. Sinquerim beach is one of the finest beaches in Goa that offers world-class water sports facilities to tourists. Sinquerim beach is downhill walk from Taj hotel near Fort Aguada. Not known to many people, but that’s the best part about it. Your turn for water sports comes quick because it is less crowded. There are beach shacks available on rent for resting & sunbathing. Unlike Baga or calangute beach which is really crowded during peak season, this beach is secluded and almost hidden. It is ideal to visit this beach after seeing Fort Aguada, due to their proximity.

Uttorda BeachUttorda Beach : Uttorda beach, located in South Goa, is among one of the unspoilt beaches of Goa. Uttorda beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and leisure walks. The beach is located 23 km. from the Dabolim airport. The Utorda beach located near the more famous Colva beach is a long and isolated strip of shiny golden and silvery sand beach, which has a long and green palm, covered shore. Though the lifeguards are available, they are mostly content watching the swimmers enjoy the blue waters without any worries of the undercurrents. The beach shacks dotting the shores prepare some exquisite Goan dishes and serve them hot right across the beach so that one can enjoy the sunbathing experience without moving from the place. The food is very reasonable, one can enjoy parasailing on the beach also the services like boating, dolphin watching etc. etc.

Betul BeachBetul Beach : Betul Beach is a small coastal village in South Goa, the village is pretty rustic with the main occupation being fishing, and this is quite convenient since the village has its own beach. Betul on the western side of the village is known for the shade provided by all the fruit bearing and coconut trees. The unique texture and color of the sand makes it infamous among visitors. Betul Beach lies on the south of Mobor across the Sal River of Goa. It is a virgin beach untouched and free from hustle bustle. The Betul Beach is ornamented with lovely coconut palms and fruit trees. The plenty of shade provided by these trees makes one relax in the lap of Mother Nature mush better. The silvery sand, the dancing trees and the magical waves all are eye soothing. Regular ferries and boats-on-hire can maximize your joy. This is one of the beaches that is yet to be discovered by the mainstream visitors, probably because of its location. Nevetheless, it is a great beach and spending some time in this low crowd beach can be a joy

Miramar BeachMiramar Beach : Miramar is the beach area of the Goan capital of Panjim, known for the most visited beaches of Goa. Many people, mostly tourists, come to this beach every day. Originally named Porta de Gaspar Dias by the Portuguese, the name was then changed to Miramar. Situated at the confluence of the Mandovi River and the Arabian Sea, it is a small beach that occasionally hosts some events. There are several educational institutions in the surrounding vicinity, including Dhempe College of Arts and Science, Padmashree Vasantrao Dempo Higher Secondary School of Arts and Science and Sharada Mandir High School. Gaspar de Dias club and a popular café are nearby. This is more of a family place. You can also get a ferry ride from this place. A very common sight here is the sand art that you can witness at every few steps. Everyone is busy playing with sand and carving out some wonderful sand works. There are a couple of restaurants around the corner. Also, on the way to this beach you will come across a small patch of roadside chat stalls.

Light House of Fort AguadaFort Aguada and Lighthouse : Fort Aguada is a well-preserved seventeenth-century Portuguese Fort standing in Goa. On Sinquerim Beach, overlooking the Arabian Sea. The fort was constructed in 1613 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez sub district. A freshwater spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that used to stop by. This is how the fort got its name: Aguada, meaning Water. Crews of passing ships would often visit to replenish their fresh water stores. On the fort stands a four-storey Portuguese lighthouse, erected in 1864 and the oldest of its kind in Asia. Built in 1612, it was once the grandstand of 79 cannons. It has the capacity of storing 2,376,000 gallons of water, one of the biggest freshwater storages of the time in whole of Asia. This fort is divided in two segments: the upper part acted as fort and watering station, while the lower part served as a safe berth for Portuguese ships. Whereas the upper part has a moat, underground water storage chamber, gunpowder room, light house and bastions, it also has a secret escape passage to use during time of war and emergency. The lighthouse at initial stage is used to emit light once in 7 minutes. In 1834 it was changed to emit light creating eclipse every 30 seconds, however it was abandoned in 1976. Fort Aguada was the most prized and crucial fort of Portuguese. The fort is so large that it envelops the entire peninsula at the south western tip of Bardez. Built on the mouth of river Mandovi, it was strategically located and was the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas.

Cabo DE Rama FortCabo De Rama Fort : The popular Goan beach fort Cabo de Rama is named after Lord Rama. Also known as Cape Rama Fort, this ancient fortress is located in the Canacona district of Goa. Just 25 km south of Madgaon. This is one of the oldest forts in Goa, build here before the arrival of the Portuguese. With the historic significance related with its name, Cabo de Rama has a mythological legend. Lord Rama accompanied by his wife Sita took refuge here during his exile from Ayodhya for 14 years. The Hindu warriors constructed the fort at around 1763, Portuguese claimed the Cabo de Rama Fort after defeating the Raja (King) of Soonda and renovated it subsequently. In the past, the fort has switched hands between Hindu, Muslim monarchs and the Portuguese and witnessed many battles in history. The present rickety structure with turrets and rusty cannons is a leftover of the Portuguese. The colonists equipped it with 21 guns and military barracks, as well as commandant quarters and a chapel. It was abandoned when the Portuguese left this place. Later, this fort housed a government prison till 1955 and was abandoned again. Today, this fort is in ruins, but is a popular tourist attraction of Goa.

Tiracol FortTirakhol Fort : Located on the northern tip of Goa at the mouth of the Tirakhol River, Fort Tirakhol is reached by a ferry from Querim, 42 km North of Panaji. The name probably originated from the Marathi tir-khol meaning “steep river-bank”. The fort was originally built by Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhosale of Sawantwadi in the 17th century. The site chosen was a hillock on the Northern right bank of the river, which gave a commanding view of the Arabian sea. The Bhosles of Sawantwadi kept a sizeable fleet of native vessels which sheltered in the Tiracol River. The fort initially consisted of 12 guns, a barrack and a chapel. In 1746, the Portuguese under the 44th Viceroy of Goa, Pedro Miguel de Almeida Portugal e Vasconcelos, conde de Assumar, marquis de Alorna, waged war against the Raja of Sawantwadi. On 16 November 1746, de Almeida brought the Portuguese fleet up to the River Kaisuva, waged a fierce maritime engagement against the naval forces of the Raja of Sawantwadi in which the Portuguese defeated the Sawantwadi forces utterly. Several skirmishes on land followed and Fort Tiracol was finally surrendered on 23 November 1746 to the Portuguese. The fort became an important part of Portuguese maritime defences; being extensively revamped in 1764. It remained in Portuguese control till December 1961 when the last of Portuguese territorial positions in the subcontinent were forcibly annexed by India. On 17 February 1819, following the defeat of the Marathas, a treaty was signed by Raja Bhosale Khaima Sawant of Sawantwadi who recognised British suzerainty. This treaty effectively abolished the strategic importance of the fort, as it became an enclave in territory controlled by British allies. During the Protuguese Civil War, the fort served as a rebel stronghold during an uprising in 1825 against the Portuguese led by Dr. Bernardo Peres da Silva, the first Goan born Viceroy of Goa. It was greatly damaged but the fort and the chapel were later rebuilt. A ruthless Commandant, “Tiger-killer” da Cunha entered the fort and ordered the beheading of the entire garrison and the placing of the heads on stakes. Fort Tiracol was a symbolic location where freedom fighters from Goa demonstrated from time to time. On 15 August 1954, Satyagrahis protesting Portuguese rule entered Goa from three different directions – one of which was from the North to Fort Tiracol, which was occupied and flew the Indian flag for a day before they were captured and imprisoned. A Church for the Holy Trinity was constructed in the fort courtyard by de Almeida after its capture. This later became the century old Church of St. Anthony. Now, in a state of ruins, Fort Tiracol has been converted into a hotel, the Fort Tiracol Heritage. The church is not open to the general public except on certain occasions, such as the annual feast that is usually held in May.

Dudhsagar WaterfallDudhsagar Waterfall : The waterfall is located in the Bhagwan Mahavir Wild Life Sanctuary at Collem in South Goa in the western ghats. The waterfall is on the border of Karnataka and Goa states. The roads leading to it are maintained by the Goa Forest Department. A small resthouse is maintained in the forest by the Karnataka Forest Department and is the only place to stay there. The roads are closed in the rainy season of June to September as fast-flowing streams cross the roads and make them dangerous to drive. The roads are again opened in the month of October. At the base of the waterfall, there is a small pond. One can bathe in it only during non-rainy days, that too at one’s own risk. However, such a risk is not advisable. There are fish in the pond, the water is very cold and the pond is slippery. The surrounding area is surrounded by a deciduous forest and many species of birds, insects, plants and animal abound here. As the cascading waters appear white like milk, the waterfall is called Dudhsagar. Legend has it that a beautiful princess lived in the forest (near present day Dudhsagar Falls) in a palace. She loved and enjoyed bathing in a lake nearby and used to drink “sweetened milk” from her “golden jug” after finishing with her bath. One day while enjoying her jug of milk she found herself being watched by a prince, who was standing amongst the trees. Red with embarrassment at her inadequate bathing attire, she poured the jug of milk in front of him to form an improvised curtain to hide her body while the maids rushed to cover her with her dress. It is said that it is that sweetened milk that cascades down the mountain slope as Dudhsagar Falls to this day as a tribute to the virtue and modesty of the princess. Dudhsagar is one of the world’s most exquisite falls. It lies high up in the Mandovi River’s watershed and so are not particularly spectacular during the dry season. During the monsoon season however, the falls are transformed into one of the most powerful falls in India. Dudhsagar Falls is listed as India’s fifth tallest waterfall and is 227th in the world at 310 m. The water plummets hundreds of metres (over a thousand feet) in large volumes during the rainy monsoon season, forming one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in Goa. It is a major part of the Goa ecosystem. It is a four-tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 metres (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet).  The Waterfall can be reached both by road and rail. It can be reached by road from Panaji or Madgaon by National Highway NH4A and by train from Madgaon railway junction or Londa railway junction. There is a railway station called Dudhsagar Falls where trains stop for a minute or so for technical reason (to test brakes while going downhill) but no tickets are issued to or from this station and it is not a commercial halt for trains. The next railway station is Collem (Kulem) on Madgaon-Castle Rock-Londa track, 13 km from the Falls. The railway route for reaching the falls from Goa is Madgaon-Collem- Dudhsagar Falls. One can reach the falls from Collem railway station by a much shorter 6 km long road. The other route is from Carambolim, Karmali Railway Station of Konkan Railways. The route is Carambolim-Old Goa- Ponda-Tiska-Mollem (total 50 km) – Dudhsagar Falls. Ordinary cars are not suitable for the drive to the Falls and within the forest sanctuary. One should use a four-wheel drive vehicle (SUV) as the road is a jungle track that has fast-flowing streams criss-crossing it at several points. The motorable track stops a kilometre before the Falls and one has to walk one kilometre crossing over small paths carved through the rocks at the foot of the Falls. The Falls can be reached by train from Karnataka state from Londa railway junction on Hubli-Madgaon-Vasco da Gama route. One can get down at Castle Rock station or Collem station and reach the Falls by road. However, one can get down at Dudhsagar Falls railway station itself that lies between Castle Rock and Collem and walk the short distance to the falls. Then one can come back to the same station and take a freight train by requesting the guard and taking his permission.

Arvalem Water FallsHarvalem (Arvalem) Waterfall : A short distance from the regional town of Bicholim, along the road from Mayem Lake, is the village of Sanquelim. This is the place where the colonial government settled its Rajput mercenaries (known as the ‘Ranes’) in the mid-1700s and where the same mercenaries staged their successful uprisings during the 19th century. Of interest near Sanquelim are the Arvalem Caves, about a mile from the south-eastern end of Sanquelim. A short 10-minute drive from the caves, the Harvalem Waterfalls are worth visiting after the monsoon (in October) when they cascade noisily through the surrounding trees, but through the dry winter the flow is reduced to a trickle. This waterfall, which cascades down from the mountains from a height of 50 metres, is not as awe-inspiring as the Dudhsagar Waterfalls spectacle, but is interesting all the same. This waterfall is set amidst charming surroundings, with the Rudreshwar temple in its vicinity. The temple holds importance for the Hindus who believe in releasing the soul on the 12th day after death. The Rock cut caves are just situated nearby. The Government has also developed a park from which the view of the waterfall can be peacefully relished. Sanquelim can be easily reached by bus from Mapusa (about 2 hours), but you will have to walk for about half an hour or take a motorbike taxi to get out to the caves or the falls.

Keasrval SpringKesarval Spring : The spring at Kesarval is located 22 kms away from Panaji, near the Verna plateau, off the main National highway road which goes on towards the town of Margao. The spot can be reached soon after crossing the bridge on the Zuari river and passing through the village of Cortalim. There is dense undergrowth surrounding the site and above its gorge the hills stretch out in the east and south. A little further down the slope of this ridge to the east, surrounded by the tropical woodlands and waving betel-nut palms is the celebrated spring of Kesarval. The word “Kesar-val” is derived from the Indian word for eagles that used to maintain a colony here among the magnificent forested slopes. Unlike earlier when a stony zigzag trail was the only route to reach the spring, steps were built in the 1950s below the hill so that bathers could reach the Spring without difficulty. The spring has a reputation among the locals and the bathers who come from faraway places, of having medicinal properties in its waters. It is a very popular spa, where bathers go to wash out ailments once a year by a course of “healing waters.” Many middle-aged people, are seen giving a “pep-up” to their ailing bodies with a good bath. Some folks still swear that the spring waters have magical curative properties, which can heal skin and eye ailments. The Tourism Department has designated the Kesarval spring as a tourist spot. The spring is at its resplendent best, during the monsoon when it tumbles forward in a dashing cascade. But during the sweltering Goan summer in April-May, when the hills above are parched for water, the flow of the spring is broken and weak. Kesarval, with its rolling terraced hills, running down to the forested countryside is a place where time stands still.

Bondla Wildlife SanctuaryBondla Wildlife Sanctuary & Zoo : Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Northeastern of Goa, India in the Ponda taluka of the state. The total area of the park is 8 km2. It is a popular destination for both tourists and schoolchildren. A wide variety of animal life can be encountered, including Sambar Deer, Indian Bison, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Indian Peafowl and many more species of snake. Bondla provides sanctuary to Leopards who have been injured when they ventured too close to human habitation, and dancing bears and cobras who, along with their trainers, need a new life as the age-old tradition of dancing bears and snake charming is now illegal. The elephants and their handlers are more fortunate: the two at Bondla take turns to give visitors a ride, and on their off day are bathed and laze around. Another surprise at Bondla are the Hindu carvings. These were discovered when the sanctuary gardens were being constructed. They would have been hidden for protection from the Portuguese Catholic Inquisitors.

Salim Ali Bird SanctuarySalim Ali Bird Sanctuary : The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located on western tip of the Island of Chorao along the river Mandovi, Goa, in India. The sanctuary is named after Salim Ali, the eminent Indian Ornithologist. Away from the beaches of Goa this is truly a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers where you can see a variety of species of birds and plants. The entry ticket for the sanctuary is Rs 50 per Adult and for camera another Rs 50 is charged. The charges apply only for a km of walkway into the mangrove forest and ends up in a dock where you can watch some birds crossing. There is a boat facility to take around the sanctuary and it is charged Rs 900 for 12 persons or Rs 75 per head. If you want to take the boat for yourself you have to pay the total of Rs 900 for a round trip for one hour. The best time to visit the place is early morning and late evening when you can see lot of birds.

Cotigao Wildlife SanctuaryCotigao Wildlife Sanctuary : Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Canacona Taluka in South Goa, India. There is an eco–tourism complex at the entrance of the sanctuary that houses a nature interpretation centre, cottages, toilets, library, reception area, rescue centre, canteen, children’s park, and forest ranger office. The sanctuary is known for its dense forest of tall trees, some of which reach 30 metres in height. The forest supports moist deciduous trees, semi-evergreen trees, and evergreen trees. A special feature of the sanctuary is a treetop watchtower positioned 25 metres above a watering hole where animals go to drink. The best times to visit the watchtower are dawn and dusk when animals are most likely to be visiting. Animals in the sanctuary include the flying squirrel, slender loris, Indian pangolin, four-forned antelope, Malabar pit viper, hump-nosed pit viper, White-bellied woodpecker, Malabar trogon, heart spotted woodpecker, speckled piculet, Malayan bittern, draco or flying lizard, golden-back gliding snake, and Malabar tree toad. Eight nature trails traverse the sanctuary, ranging from 500 metres to 5 kilometers long. Several tribal groups live in and around the sanctuary including the Velip and the Kunbil. Visitors can interact with these communities to learn about their culture and lifestyle.

Mahavir Wildlife SanctuaryBhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park : Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park was first known as Mollem Game Sanctuary. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and renamed as Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary. The core area of the sanctuary covering 107 square kilometers (41 sq/Mtrs) was notified as Mollem National Park in 1978. It is a 240 square kilometers (93 sq mi) protected area located in the Western Ghats of South India, in Sanguem taluk, Goa along the eastern border with Karnataka. The area is situated near the town of Molem, 57 kilometers east of Panaji, the state capital of Goa. National Highway 4A divides it into two parts and the Madgaon – Londa railway line passes through the area. It contains several important temples dating to the Kadamba Dynasty, and Dudhsagar Falls. The parkland is also home to a community of nomadic buffalo herders known as the Dhangar.

Boat Cruise at PanjimBoat Cruise at Panjim : The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) runs a variety of river cruises on the Mandovi river — daytime, sunset and moonlight. There are two types of day cruises — from the Panaji jetty, down the Mandovi into the Zuari bay and up the Mandovi to Aldona and a mineral water spring. A few private firms also offer a variety of imaginative cruises or boat tours for sunset views as well as for crocodile or dolphin spotting. A host of floats sets out each evening just before sunset to ply the Mandovi waters and entertain tourists with nothing more sophisticated than the view, a beer or two and a dash of traditional Goan dancing. A number of companies run competing tours from the Santa Monica Jetty, with the GTDC’s being the most serene and least raucous of the bunch. Head to the jetty to compare watery offerings and pick up your tickets. A few private firms also offer a variety of imaginative cruises or boat tours for sunset views as well as for crocodile or dolphin spotting.

Sahakari Spice FarmSahakari Spice Farm : Sahakari Spice Farm is situated amidst lush green surroundings at Curti. The taluka of Ponda in which it is located, is extremely popular amongst tourists for its rich cultural heritage and magnificently designed places of worship. This Spice farm adds to the variety of tourist destinations that Ponda has to boast of. A place for relaxation under the dense forest cover, an aroma of a variety of genuine spices coming from the trees grown around the farm, lots of knowledge, guidance on the tupe of species and treatment for various diseases, sumtuous lunch in traditional Goan style, and other modes of entertainment, all this and more to add to a cherishable day at Sahakari Spice Farm. The farm is used to dissipate knowledge about the different spices and their medicinal values to the foreign as well as local visitors who since time immemorial are visiting India in search of spices and trading with Indians in different varieties of spices. The visitors are given both theoretical as well as practical information about the different uses of spices both in normal diet as well as in the treatment of common diseases. The farm also serves as a nodal place for the farmers and students to carry out different experiments and research for which no fees are charged.

Boat Cruises at Goa :

# Santa Monica – The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) runs a variety of river cruises on the Mandovi river — daytime, sunset and moonlight. There are two types of day cruises — from the Panaji jetty, down the Mandovi into the Zuari bay and up the Mandovi to Aldona and a mineral water spring. Santa Monica is the pride of Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. This luxury launch is built on twin hull and used for daily evening cruises on river Mandovi with ‘live’ cultural programmes performed by the best cultural troupes of Goa. The launch can accomodate approximately 200 passengers at a time. There is a bar counter to quench your thirst. Santa Monica launch is also available for special parties on hourly charges. The Santa Monica cruise is the most attractive entertainment with live Goan Cultural Show and music on board.

Paradise-3# Paradise Cruises – Is an enterprise that offers services in the fields of water sports and adventure tourism. Owned and operated by professionals active in the fields of water transportation, salvage and underwater services, it was set up to provide guests with an insight into Goa’s treasured waterways and marine resources while enjoying entertainment aboard our luxurious cruises. Goa ranks high in the hearts of many as one of India’s most beloved tourist destinations. With the status of industry conferred on tourism, the sector’s development has increased by leaps and bounds. Along with miles of golden coastline, Goa has long and wide beautiful rivers and scenic lakes making it an ideal location for long and languid river cruises. River cruises have become a major tourist attraction, giving a boost to the tourism industry and Paradise Cruises is leading the charge, way ahead of its competitors as well as the state-run cruises. We provide our customers with the best experience possible at the most affordable rates. Our motto is “FUN FOR EVERYONE”.

Royal Cruises-1# Royal Cruise – Royal Cruise Goa is the most known one however this boats does not have accommodation on board & does only evening cruises with entertainment on board with live music, DJ’s & performing artist. Evenings can be spent with family and friends at the same time you get to have a ferry ride, which can be quite relaxing. Royal Cruise Goa river cruise, takes you on a boat trip around the Panjim city in the evenings. That is the time when you find the whole city is illuminated and that definitely gives it a very classy look. Royal Cruise Goa passes through the Mandovi River. The other cruise lines that are a part of Goa are still not as famous as Royal Cruise Goa.