GOA TRIP PLAN FOR 3 DAYS.
FONTAINHAS IN PANJIM-FIRST AMONG BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GOA
I am really eager to share information about Fontainhas in this Panjim travel blog because Fontainhas is my favorite place among all the places mentioned in Panjim travel blog. The fountain has an area at the base of Altinho hill in Panaji Goa which is considered as a world heritage site.
Portuguese named it Fontainhas after a natural spring from the Altinho hill which means Fountain of Phoenix. Here the Portuguese lived after they shifted their capital from Old Goa to Panjim. So one can find numerous heritage buildings of the Portuguese era. The fountain has is one of the best places to visit in Goa. I would suggest all travelers visit Fontainhas and all the places mentioned in this blog further, in their next trip to Goa.
The blend of both Indian and Portuguese architecture in the buildings that lay on either side of the lanes in Fontainhas, makes this place colorful and most sought out place for photographers.
Small cafes and pubs with bright colored walls and white window panes make the lanes a perfect ambiance for portrait photography. This tourist spot in Panjim becomes illuminated with neon lights from the European style architecture walls at night. The best of which can be captured when we go towards the Old Patio bridge in the circle facing the Down the road riverfront restaurant.
A walk down the memory lane of the most heritage and colorful place of Panjim is a must activity to imbibe the romantic vibes of Goa. My trip to Goa would have been incomplete without exploring this beautiful place in Panaji.
ESTEVAM FORT OLD GOA-SECOND AMONG BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GOA
Many parts of central goa consist of river islands of which St. Estevam island is a uniquely rich cultural and agricultural place. In ancient times this island was known for the unity of the villagers and the highest GDP among all the places in Goa.
This island is also known as Zuem, Xhakecho Zunvo’ (Island of Vegetables), and Ilha de Verde (Green Island). These are all local names but mainly this island is famous for producing a special variety of seven ridges green ladyfinger. Thus, the villagers named it Bhendi.
The island in Panaji has a fort with the same name constructed by the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. It is situated on a hillock providing magnificent views of the nearby Divar island and flooded plains of the river.
In monsoon, this is one of the top places to see in Panaji. From here, we can see the nearby plains get flooded by the cumburjua canal and the backwaters of the Arabian sea due to which the entire plains of the nearby Vanxim, Divar, and Chorao island looks like green plants floating over a river. The tourists must include these three islands in the winters in their Goa trip plan from November till March.
Besides the fort, there is also a small church called Christ the King monument church which has some exceptional delicate arc-like structures protruding from the top of there church below the statue of Christ.
This fort is not much famous in Goa. There are neither proper signboards leading to the location of the hillock. It is better to take the help of the locals to go to this village. After a certain point, the road becomes rough and narrow and too steep. Trekking for about 10 minutes is required to go at the top to reach the fort.
ST AUGUSTINE TOWER IN OLD GOA -THIRD AMONG BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GOA
Though there are many famous churches, I chose to visit the remains of the St. Augustine tower. Due to its stupendous historical significance and ecstatic structural remains that still boast of a delicate church of the past. The church was built in 1602. Now the remains belong to the society of the world heritage site.
In the early 19 th century the church collapsed owing to the negligence of the then Portuguese rulers who were on the verge of rigorous repressive religious policies. The bell from the tower of this church was moved to our lady church of the Immaculate in Panaji Goa.
The church finally collapsed in 1935. To date, the haunting remains of the complex are the most visited tourist attractions in Panjim Goa due to its sheer fame among photographers.
The church has also been a famous location for the shooting of numerous Bollywood films. Of the four towers, only one remains now which is made of laterite bricks. It has the height of a four-storeyed building. Other than that the complex had eight chapels and four altars. In order to get enriched and transport one’s mind to the 17 th century history of Old goa, tourists must include this dilapidated chapel in their goa trip plan.
BIG FOOT GOA-MUST VISIT IN BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GOA
Bigfoot Goa is a museum depicting the culture and living lifestyle of the Konkani people in the form of artificial models. It is one of the best places to visit in Goa. A recorded commentary at numerous parts in front of the models is played. It explains the society and culture of Konkani people.
There are many interesting displays from which we get knowledge about the local culture. These are how the Goanese people do farming, process food, and wine and celebrate their important rituals.
Besides such exhibitions, there is an interesting cave. It has written on its wall containing the world’s most dangerous animal.
But when I went inside I saw my reflection in a mirror inside a cage. Then there was a growling sound being played in the background. This was quite innovative relating to the symbolic interpretation of human beings.
After that, the main spot comes where people come to pray and believe their wishes will be fulfilled. Legends say that there was a philanthropic king who lost all his possessions. However, when God asked him for a boon he asked for a space to stand in one foot and pray. Impressed by his devotion the God marked this space of footmark bigfoot of the king as a holy place. He declared that any people coming here for a boon, the wish will be fulfilled.
In conclusion apart from such legendary stories, the last spot that I arrived, there is a 14 meter long Sant Mirabai statue made from laterite soil by MJ Alvares. This statue was carved in just 30 days. Itis now the largest statue in the world made from laterite soil.
NETRAVALI STATE HIGHWAY IN SOUTH GOA
The Bamunbudo waterfall is situated on the way to Netravali in South goa in a rural village called Gaondongrim. This is one of the unique tourist places in Goa. The waterfall is easily accessible by road. It lies directly on the side of the road surrounded by dense forests. This waterfall is one of the best places to visit in Goa.
Since I went in the monsoons, the waterfall looked more gorgeous than its normal volume. It was due to heavy rains that increased the volume of water in the streams of the mountains. It joins to form the waterfall.
The waterfall looks more like plenty of streams sliding along the rocks so it is not vertical like other waterfalls in our country.
There is a small waterfall called Bhupar waterfall. It lies near Avem surrounded by dense forest and rice fields. The source of the water is mainly the streams flowing from the mountains due to heavy rainfall in the monsoons. The rice fields and coconut plantations in the mountains of the village Avem and Gaodongrim is an added attraction.
AMTHANE DAM AND VALLEY
I took advantage of the heavy rain and planned to visit a dam which will be perhaps filled with plenty of water in its reservoir.
Amthane dam in North Goa serves as the main source of water for the nearby rural villages. The valley named after the village Amthane is painted with numerous water streams that get activated from the rainfall in monsoon. The road trip from Anjuna to Amthane in North Goa is an hour trip. It brings out two significant different landscapes in the monsoons.
On the way to the Amthane dam in North Goa first, we get to see roads in between flooded plains with patches of green grasslands. So driving through these roads creates an experience like spending moments in backwaters. However, this perfectly suits with the scenery of the monsoon plains in rural Goa.
Then after half an hour, the hills arrive with utmost greenery. Due to the fresh grasslands,it covers the valley of the Western Ghats in the monsoons. The patches of black colored rocks show its faces in between the grasslands creating an out of this world experience.
Amthane dam and amthane valley are the best places to visit in Goa trip for couples. The experience was truly the best in this monsoon road trip. As I concluded these memorable scenes and captured the huge reservoir from a circular platform. I would suggest this dam should be one of the best unique things to do in North Goa for couples, especially in the monsoons. It seemed quite a romantic place for me.
CUBE GALLERY IN MOIRA -UNIQUE AMONG BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN GOA
To my surprise, I discovered an art gallery that proves how versatile the people of Goa are. To set up such a masterpiece in the villages of Goa, a place that makes every blogger spellbound on the innovative creative genius of the contributors to this art gallery. Cube gallery is the first of it’s kind Avant grande art gallery situated in Moira, a rural village in North Goa.
The terrific artwork both as paintings and from materials creates a unique experience like never before. Some talented artists have put up their creativity inside this gallery that blows away the innovative genius of a human mind.
Take note in the picture below that depicts Jhansi ki Rani in a different art form and how the craftwork symbolizes the splendid interpretation of patriotism for the motherland. Cube Gallery is surely the best offbeat place among the mentioned best places to visit in Goa for couples.
Likewise, the award-winning oil paintings are abstract but are award-winning pieces of art. Many such masterpieces can be seen here in detail. The building architecture in North Goa, lights, and color combination of the walls. All have been put to the highest level of creativity. Hence, this place is a must-visit destination for not only people who love art but for people who want lesser-known to see the creative genius of human art. Forts in Goa boast of beauty and grandeur.
SIRIDAO CHAPEL IN NORTH GOA NEAR PANAJI
I explored a lesser-known beautiful chapel on the outskirts of Panaji. It also lies in the north goa district. Siridao or Shirdona as pronounced in Konkani is a small village. It is located just 7km north of Panaji which is famous for the chapel of Jesus of Nazareth.
Scholars believe that the architecture of the chapel resembles that of Jewish style. So in the pre-Portuguese era, the place might have been inhabited by the Jews. This chapel is located on a hilltop overlooking the Siridao beach. Here the zuari river meets the Arabian sea.
Just like the statue of Jesus in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil, there is a Jesus statue standing tall on this hill. The beautiful white and sky blue color combination of the chapel and the stairs. It makes an ideal destination for the photographers who can also get a panoramic view of the Zuari bay.
It is recommended to visit the chapel early in the morning to catch the reflections of the sunlight on the white color of the chapel and watch a beautiful sunrise from the horizon.
Unlike other chapels, this chapel is smaller in size but the surrounding area is huge with avenues of coconut trees. The statue of Jesus is an added attraction. Therefore, it stands on the highest point of the village want lesser as if giving his blessings to society and culture of around 2200 people living in this quaint village.
REIS MAGOS FORT PANAJI GOA-BEST FORT IN GOA
Among many such forts to visit in Goa, one of the most famous forts to visit in Goa. From here we can get a stunning view of the Mandovi river and the Arabian sea is Reis Magos fort. In Goa reis, Magos fort resort is one of the best tourist spots.
Recently restored by the government, this famous fort in Goa lies a few km within the heart of the capital city, Panjim, and gets overshadowed by the tourists due to the fame of Aguada and Chapora Fort. The entry fee to this famous fort in Goa is 50Rs per head with 250 RS extra for a single camera. This famous fort in Goa is very much visible from the Panjim side of the Mandovi river while Panjim can be seen from the Eastern terrace of the fort guarded by three canons.
This famous fort in Goa was a residential place for the viceroy’s traveling to and from Lisbon. But it was later converted to a prison, the reminiscence of which we can see just at the entrance.
There are three large rooms inside this famous fortress. It displays the brief history of the fortress built in the 16th century. The tourism government of heritage Goa has well preserved it as one of Panaji’s top tourist attractions.
The Maratha rulers never captured this famous fort in Goa but the British army briefly conquered it . Though smaller in size than other forts to visit in Goa, this famous fort in Goa stands tall with elegance depicting the architectural brilliance of the Portuguese and how they used to prevent the conquests from the nearest estuary of Mandovi river.
HARVALEM WATERFALLS AND CAVES
From Panaji, there are numerous destinations that will show us the versatile geography of Konkan ghats. Within 2 hour drive, we can explore some historical caves and astonishing waterfalls. The most famous of them is a village called Sanquerim in the Rudreshwar colony.
The waterfall known as Harvalem or Arvalem waterfalls is the second most famous waterfall in Goa after the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls. I have particularly chosen this place as a must-visit destination in Goa as it has three important elements in one place. One is the waterfall, the second is the Rudreshwar Shiva temple and the third is the Pandava caves. So this is surely one of the best places to visit in Goa trip.
The waterfall looks gigantic and stunning especially in the monsoons when it falls from a height of 50 meters into the Cudnem river. It creates heavy mist and smoke due to the gushing speed of the free-flowing river in the Konkan ghats.
Just a 15-minute walk downstream will lead us to a 6 th century B.C cave. They believe that the five Pandavas of Mahabharata took refuge there during their period of exile. While the locals believe that the caves were sheltered to the Buddhist monks who had traveled south into the forests of Goa. A trip to Harvalem is both spiritual and historical for a traveler who wants to see the other rural parts of Goa.