As soon as you hear the name ‘Goa’ the picture you get in your mind is ‘beaches and shacks’. Right? Goa is definitely one of the most popular beach destinations in India - that’s how the world recognizes it. However, there is so much more to this place including the Heritage Mansions and Churches from Portuguese era. As we promise our guests to help them experience the famous as well as the lesser known places/facts of a travel destination, we have some interesting activities planned for you! And yes, it doesn’t include beaches or water sports but a lot more than that. Read on if you are wondering what it could be on our list.
Sense a Divine Connection - ShantaDurga Temple
The temple which was built in 17th Century dedicated to the Hindu Goddess ‘Durga’. However, the idol of the Goddess is much older if the legends are to be believed. They say the temple (Keloshi – original name of the temple) was destroyed when the Portuguese invaded in 1565, so the idol of ShantaDurga was shifted to Kavalem and was worshipped there. Later in 1738 the temple which stands tall till today, was constructed by Maratha Samrat – ShriChhatrapatiShahuJiMaharaj. The temple complex is astoundingly magnificent.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary & Spice Farm
This one is a completely different experience altogether. Yes, that’s right, we take you to an Elephant village & Spice Farm where humans, Spices, and, animals live in true harmony. At the Elephant Village possibilities are endless - swim in the pristine waters or ride or give the elephants a wash in the river. Of course, the most thrilling part will be elephants splashing water through their trunks on you. Then we go to the spice farm where the locals will explain the advantages and importance of the herbs that are grown in this nature’s bounty. Apart from that, you can savor a traditional lunch, purchase some of the handmade spices produce on the farm. What’s more!! Just towards the end of what would be a memorable day with these incredible animals will present you a mesmerizing show…
Let’s go the heritage way – in Basilica of Bom Jesus
Listed in the ‘World Heritage Monuments’ this Church is an amalgamation of simplicity and amazement at the same time. However, the Church is very old (built in the 15th Century) but it is still quite fascinating. The Basilica of Bom Jesus which literally means ‘ Good Jesus’ is of great significance to the Christian community worldwide. The triple story structure symbolizes the various teachings of Christianity through the carved detailing inside and on the outside walls of the Church.
Experience The Largest Church in Asia - The Se Cathedral
Also famously known as St. Catherine’s Cathedral, this opulent Church took almost 100 years to be constructed. The Church has been bestowed upon by ‘Pope Pius the XII’ with a Golden rose which adorns St. Francis Xavier’s tomb. There are many legends associated with the Church which intrigue the curiosity of the tourists Furthermore. The adjoining Archeological Museum was earlier a convent, which is now home to awe-inspiring art & architecture.
A Spectacular Journey of Old Goa via Motorcycle
Goa is one of the only places in India where you will see motorcycle taxis that date back from the Portuguese era. Go native and ride these taxis driven by your friendly 'pilots'. This is how a majority of the locals commute from one place to the other. It would be fascinating to explore the backstreets and the lesser known areas on your special ride. So put on your helmet, get on the back of a bike and travel like a local.
Go Kayaking down a River
Besides sunbathing at the beaches of Goa, if you’re a water sports lover and adventure seeker you should try kayaking. You can enjoy this activity throughout the year. You’ll be thrilled to traverse through the river in a narrow boat using a kayak all by yourself while gazing at the beauty of surrounding tropical plantation.
Fall In Love with the pristine white Dudhsagar Falls
Being one of the tallest waterfalls in India, the water falling from uphill looks milky white, hence the name Dudhsagar Falls. The spectacular view of the waterfall, cool breeze and the sound of water makes it a refreshing experience.
Meet the butterflies in Ponda
Ponda is known for its exotic wildlife sanctuaries. Evergreen forests, widespread grasslands, extensive range of flora and fauna, and waterfalls characterize these sanctuaries. The biodiversity includes migratory birds, elephants, leopards, panthers, deer, pythons and cobras, squirrels, and tigers. The best attraction will be at Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary i.e. the dreamlike sight of orchids and more than 250 species of colorful butterflies.
Tales of Goa along with delectable Lunch
At Panjim, we help you get a sneak peek into the daily lives of the local people. We make you meet elderly people who are either from the tourism industry or residents of Goa who will educate as well as entertain you with some interesting stories from the past. The authenticity of these stories is no question as these men grew up during the Portuguese rule. As they narrate the tales of Goa you’ll be served with the piping hot authentic Goanese meal. Enjoy!
Indeed, we always encourage our guests to experience Goa beyond its beaches. So, if you’re too game for a different experience in Goa this time, don’t hold back give us a quick shout at firstname.lastname@example.org because we can customize it for you - exclusively for you.