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The River Mandovi is considered as the lifeline of Goa. 77 kms long, Mandovi River is famed for its sunset cruise. Attracts tourists Indians and foreigners, Mandovi River cruise is a must if one is in Goa to get the true essence of this place! Do check on the entrance fee as it changes depending on the season.
A perfect blend of sea, sun and sand, Goa is a delight for any beach lover! Further, the vivacious night life, delectable sea food and loads of exciting beach activities and water sports to participate in, Goa is an ideal place for fun and frolic! A great repose for honeymooners, bachelors and maidens alike, Goa is that stopover that has everything to make one’s journey truly memorable! Located in southwest India, this tiny state is also one of the richest states in terms of per capita GDP. Ranked by the eleventh finance commission for providing best quality of life, Goa is a must-visit destination for any travel fanatic in India!
Surrounded by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Arabian Sea, Goa is one of the primary tourist hotspots luring European visitors at the maximum. 2011 witnessed 2.29 percent of foreign visitors making tourism as its key economic activity. Panaji is the capital city and one of the smart cities in India as per Prime Minister’s smart city mission.
Besides beaches, Goa is home to many renowned churches and temples, including a UNESCO world heritage site. A biodiversity hotspot, Goa is an ideal escape for someone too bogged down by demanding schedule! Known for its warm and hospitable locals, Goa can provide someone with happiest memories to cherish forever!
Goan cuisine is famed for its irresistible flavor and taste! Fish curry with rice is the staple food of this place. Mix of Konkani and Portuguese style, Goan food is a pleasure for any gourmet! Most of the dishes are made of coconut oil along with locally grown spices chilli pepper and vinegar. Coconut being the key ingredient of Goan food, the seafood is a must-have!
Some of the lip smacking local food of this region includes prawn balchao, sorpotel, kingfish in garlic, Fish recheado, pork vindaloo, chicken cafreal, delicious Goan sausages and last but not the least, authentic fish curry which tastes a bit sour with kokum solam.
Among sweet dishes, bebinca is a must-try! This local coconut pancake pudding is made in layers along with sugar, ghee and eggs. In addition to this, dodol is another sweet dish mainly eaten during Christmas. In drinks, feni is something that you must try out! This exclusive drink is made of cashew nut.
A refreshing experience for any first timer, fanfare of Goan festivals is something to keep in mind! One of the most prominent festivals of Goa is Christmas. Goans decorate their homes with lights, attend mid night mass and eat delicious food and authentic sweets along with friends and relatives during this time of the year.
Feast of Francis Xavier, observed in Basilica of Bom Jesus, is a popular local festival that mainly takes place in old Goa along with fun and feasts. The much preserved body of Saint Francis is brought to public during this time which otherwise remains enclosed in a casket. The Carnival takes place in February and continues for four days. People come out to the streets wearing colorful dresses and costumes, eat their favorite food and drinks and enjoy it to the fullest! Shigmo, better known as Shigmotsav, is celebrated along with Holi. People smear colors on each other, dance and carry umbrellas and small sticks.
Sao Joao festival is celebrated on the 24th June every year. In this festival, Goans pay homage to Saint John, the Baptist. Accompanied by folk dance, this festival is marked by the exchange of pleasantries between relatives and in-laws and wearing leaf and fruit laden crown as a symbol of this festival.
Moreover, few other festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali and Eid-ul-Fitar are some of the national celebrations that are observed with equal elaboration and fun!
This region has a combination of Portuguese and Indian culture. Music and dance plays an integral role in Goan society. Though Portuguese rule has long been erased, still one finds lot of Portuguese influence in Goan culture.
Fugdi, Mando, Fado, Dekhnni, Dhangar, etc. are some of the traditional dance forms of this place. Each of them is performed on special occasions. Homeland of many classical singers, Goa trance is also an immensely popular electronic music style of this state.
Many house and churches in Goa are built in Portuguese style. Goan Portuguese villas are something to watch out for! Jagors, tiatrs and nataks are the local traditional forms of performing arts. Jagor is a folk dance drama and tiatr is a Goan melodramatic art performance.
Football is the most popular sport with some of the big names like Salgaocar, Dempo and others. Other than football, the state has its own cricket team as well.
Goan handicrafts reflect its culture and tradition no less than others. Bamboo, wood, clay, coconut shells, paper etc are some of the heavily used materials in craft and arts of Goa.
Places like Kala Academy, Goa Science Center, Christian Art Museum, Central Library and other art centers are the best places to get a real picture of the cultural side of this state besides its beaches, forts, cathedrals and temples.
Pottery and terracotta home decors, figurines of Gods and Goddesses are quite popular in Goa. Besides, woodcraft is another form of handicraft which is quite famous in this region, and good samples of Goan souvenirs. Different toys, cradle, decorative items and exquisite artifacts are the exclusive items of this handicraft.
Coconut mask carving is an important art form of this area. Sea shell craft is authentic of Goa. Table cloths, cushion covers and different women attires in embroidery are quite popular handicraft of Goa. Brass metal ware is an age old practice of the locals. Different home décor items like candle stand, church bells and other exclusive brass furnishings are the product of this old art form.
These handicrafts are available anywhere in Goa especially Anjuna Flea market and Ingo’s night market at Arpora are must-visit!
Konkani and Devanagari script are the official languages of Goa. Marathi comes close when you consider the most widely spoken languages in Goa. Majority of the elderly and elite Portuguese in Goa prefers to speak Portuguese language. In Goa, you will find local dailies in Marathi and it’s taught in schools as well. English, Hindi, Kannada and Urdu are the other languages which are used by many in this state.
By Road: First one has to reach the Santa Monica jetty to avail Mandovi River cruise. One can take private cabs from the airport and rail head to reach here.
By Train: Madgaon is the nearest rail head with trains Amritsar, Kochuvelli, Mangalore, Trivandrum, Porbandar and other cities.
By Air: Dabolim is the nearest airport. It has flights to Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Cochin and other cities.GET DIRECTION
The cruise offers delectable dinners, snacks and drinks to the guests!
From October till April are the most convenient months to visit this place!
Mandovi River cruise lasts for two hours. One gets a mesmerizing vie of Panjim city from this cruise. Besides, there are carnival dance and songs, stopping and explore the spice plantation and Charao island and several entertaining activities while cruising!
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre: Built in 1985, this yoga center is known for different therapies and treatments!