Sunday, December 8, 2013, 10:59pm
Introduction to Goa, INDIA
Date travelled: 16th February to 3rd March 1996
Tour Operator: Somak
One of Goa's most stunning natural sights is the Dudhsagar Waterfalls in Collem, 60 kilometres from Panaji, said to be the highest in India. The Konkani name for the falls, which literally translated means "sea of milk", derives from clouds of foam kicked up at the bottom when the water levels are at their highest. Dudhsagar is set amid breathtaking scenery that is only accessible on foot or by train. It is a popular destination for trekkers and hikers. Not quite so spectacular in the dry season.
This is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Aguada Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1609-1612, to control the entry into the Mandovi river and to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks. A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there. The fort presently houses the Central Aguada Jail.
'Bom Jesus' means 'Infant Jesus' or 'Good Jesus'. Basilica Bom Jesus church is known principally for the tomb of St. Francis Xavier. St. Francis's body was brought to Goa almost 150 years after his death. One of the richest churches in Goa, it is covered with marble and inlaid with precious stones and paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier. The chapel attracts large numbers of visitors every year. Special ceremonies to honour St Xavier are held on 3rd December.
Anjuna flea market is a major attraction for tourists from all the Goan beaches. Tibetan and Kashmiri traders, Gujarati in colourful clothes and hippies gather here. Most distinctive of all are the Lamani women from Karnataka, dressed from head to toe in traditional tribal dress. You can get just about anything here, second-hand books, jewellery, carvings, T-shirts, sarongs or lungis, chillums, spices....the list goes on. Listen to the shouts of the sellers ..... "buy my expensive rubbish" and "cheaper than Asda" or "cheaper than the Pakis"! It's an experience but if you don't like hassle or haggling you'll hate it!'
Mapusa, known popularly for its Friday market, where people from all over Goa come to buy and sell their wares. Plants, saplings, ready spiced Goan pork sausages, dried fish and prawns, clothing, junk jewelry, and the famous country liquor, are all sold. Mapusa's location at the hub of commercial activity and its proximity to a place of religious pilgrimage have caused the Mapusa market to grow to its current size and scope. It's still worth a visit on days other than Friday. It's less crowded and you don't get the same choice of goods for sale.
** Information on the travel pages was correct at the time of publishing. Passport & Visa information applies to UK citizens.