Goa – The party destination of India is popular for its beach life, rave parties, Portuguese culture and new year nights. Over the years it has become the ultimate itinerary for the couples and singles alike to break free from their stressful lives and relax on the beach with a beer. But Goa isn’t just limited to its majestic coastline or the party culture. For a true traveler, there are off-beat Places to visit in Goa that truly defines the beauty of this state.
If you are keen to ditch the mainstream tourist activities in Goa, here are some top tourist spots in Goa other than the beaches!
Top Tourist Spots In North Goa / South Goa Other Than Beaches
Apart from the opportunity for eco-tourism in this biologically rich location offering a huge variety of flora and fauna, nature parks and waterfalls; prepare to seek out the beautiful architecture of historical monuments, cathedrals, churches, and temples. Depending on your choice of beach, get to know what other attractions surround you, other than the beaches, so you can add them to your itinerary.
On the tip of Bardez is this vast fort built in 1612 as a safety structure from the Marathas and the Dutch. The Fort is known for its splendid design, exclusive view, and great history. The freshwater spring inside the fort was designed to provide water to the ships that stopped at the fort. Dig into the history and architecture of the old Goa with a visit into this fort.
An important educational center, a mighty cave and a definition of Portuguese art – the Lamgau caves is an unknown treasure to explore. Located 35kms away on the north-east of Panaji is the Lamgau caves with its delicate art and laterite decomposed structures that portray slabs of the shrine. Inside the cave is a stone linga which is worshipped by the locals. A visit to this cave will change your perspective towards Goa.
Anjuna Flea Market
To have an immersive experience of the bohemian fashion and the Goan style of living, the Anjuna Flea Market is the most popular spot. This flea market is the most lively experience to find colorful art, Goan music, local cuisine, arts, etc being surrounded by people from around the world. Mostly help once in a week, the Anjuna Flea Market functions a few kilometers away from Anjuna beach.
Once a base camp of Emperor Akbar, Chapora Fort has been an important page in the history of India! It offers a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea with its golden sunset and is also one of the most secluded places to sit and seep into Goa feels. A little off the Vagator beach, this fort has become a tourist spot inviting travelers from around the world for a short climb and a resting space to enjoy the sunsets.
Goa is known for its spices, cashew farms, rice liquors and an array of flavors that makes its presence felt in the local cuisine. To explore the real taste of this land, a visit to the spice plantation is a must. A walk through the spice plantation makes you indulge into the aroma of freshly grown spices, pluck fresh cashews from trees, and also a chance to play with the tuskers. Sahakar Spice farm and Savoi plantations are two popular places to get going!
Tambdi Surla Trek
Far away from the beaches of South Goa is this Bhagwan Mahavir National Park which is known for its site of Tambdi Surla Trek and natural beauty. Trek through the green mountains witnessing the Tambdi Surla Waterfalls and reach the top to visit the Tambdi Surla Mahadeva Temple known to be built in the 12th century. After the trek, you can rest at the campsite to see the Goan sky like never before. It is one of the popular sites for adventurists traveling to Goa!
Basilica of Bom Jesus
One of the finest examples of Jesuit architecture, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO listed church depicting Baroque style and design. Located in Velha Goa, which was once a capital of Portuguese India, This church was completed in 1605 and remains to be an appreciated church in the world. The church is built with wood carved designs and houses a statue of St Francis Xavier.
Mapusa market is one of the main centers of trade and shopping in Goa. The small market grew up to be of significant importance in the trade here that it lends its name to the area making it one of the hubs of commercial activities. The market is known to operate from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with colorful displays of fruits, vegetables, spices, textile, clothing, pottery, antiques, clothes, jewelry, etc. When in action, the Mapusa market is a sight to behold. Highly bargain-able, a visit and shopping in this market is almost a need!
The Portuguese have gone but not completely. Remains of their lives here and the architectural inspiration lie with Goa for a lifetime. And the finest place to view this is the colony of Fontainhas in Panjim. With colorful buildings built in Portuguese style opens up streets that are too admiring to handle. A walk in this colony opens up new horizons for new art, designs, and architecture. It’s a whole new world!
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Named after a famous ornithologist of India, Dr. Salim Ali Moizuddin Ali, this bird sanctuary is a carefully protected area on the island of Chorao of Mandovi River. This bird sanctuary with its nature research center and forest department is home to many uncommon species of birds and animals. The sanctuary is known to preserve the unique ecosystem of the mangroves and offers a view of it to the people. From the watchtower, you can view the new species of birds and animals from a distance. You can also take a boat tour around the Mandovi River to ride through the pristine and natural style of living here.
Sri Mangueshi Temple
This 450 year old temple is one of the largest and highly visited temples in Goa. The temple worships Lord Shiva in his Manguirish avatar and was moved to Priol right after Portuguese invaded India. The elegant 7-storeyed lamp tower with its specific details, architecture and the exquisite feel here holds all reasons for one to visit this majestic place!
Goa is more than just beaches and water sports, the need is to take a ride across the unknown paths and explore the hidden Places to visit in Goa.