Beautiful Places to Visit in South Goa
South Goa: South Goa is a part of Goa, the state known for its stunning coastline. This region of Goa is abundant with natural beauty, making it a prominent tourist destination, in contrast to the relatively lower crowd seen compared to North Goa.
If you are planning a trip to Goa, you’ve come to the right article. In this piece, we will not only discuss places to visit in South Goa but also provide additional information about the region.
Interesting Facts About South Goa:
- The Portuguese established their commercial colony in Goa for the first time.
- Goa is divided into two parts, South Goa and North Goa.
- Goa is India’s smallest state.
- Goa boasts the highest per capita income compared to other states in India.
- Goa celebrates Independence Day twice, on August 15th and December 19th, marking Goa’s liberation.
Places to Visit in South Goa:
Dudhsagar Waterfalls: Dudhsagar Waterfalls is a beautiful tourist spot located on the border of South Goa and Karnataka. This waterfall, which drops from a height of 310 meters, is surrounded by lush greenery on all sides.
The name “Dudhsagar” translates to “sea of milk” because the waterfall appears milky white as it cascades down from the mountains.
Flowing down through tropical forests, Dudhsagar Waterfalls offers tourists a breathtaking view. It’s one of the major tourist attractions in South Goa.
St. Xavier’s Church: Among the many ancient churches in Goa, St. Xavier’s Church stands out. This church is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to South Goa, offering a glimpse into Catholic architecture. It was constructed in 1605.
On December 25th, the birth of Jesus Christ, this place witnesses a significant crowd celebrating with grandeur. The spectacle during Jesus Christ’s birthday is worth witnessing.
Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary: Popular among nature lovers and hikers, the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary is a renowned tourist spot on the border of Goa and Karnataka. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1969 and was previously known as the Mollem Game Sanctuary.
Spread across 240 square kilometers, this sanctuary is home to various species of wildlife and plant species. Visitors can spot animals like the Indian giant squirrel and the Indian bison here.
This sanctuary is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa. If you plan to visit Goa, you can explore the sanctuary from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Tambdi Surla Mahadev Temple: Located in South Goa, this temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is one of the oldest temples in South Goa, built in the 12th century.
This temple is constructed in the architectural style of Kadamba Yadavas, which makes it appear quite distinct from other temples in India. The lush greenery surrounding the temple enhances its beauty.
The presence of abundant green trees and plants around all sides of the temple adds to its charm. This is why tourists visit here to spend some serene moments in the lap of nature.
You may also like to read: Unlocking the Spiritual Wonders: Your Guide to Kedarnath Dham Yatra 2023 registration.
Kadamba Style Temple: This temple is built in the Kadamba architectural style, which makes it stand out from other temples in India. The lush greenery surrounding the temple enhances its beauty.
The serene environment adds to its charm, making it a place where tourists come to spend some peaceful moments in nature.
Cab de Rama Fort: One of the historical sites in South Goa is the Cabo de Rama Fort, located in the Canacona region. This fort dates back to the 17th century and is a Portuguese fort.
Although most of the fort is now in ruins, it has become a popular tourist attraction in South Goa.
Palolem: Palolem, situated in South Goa, is a beautiful beach destination known for its golden sands and swaying palm trees, which create a mesmerizing atmosphere. This place is famous for activities such as trekking, dolphin spotting, scuba diving, silent disco, canoeing, turtle spotting, and shopping.
Loutolim: Loutolim is a picturesque village in South Goa and is believed to be the ancestral village of the famous cartoonist Mario de Miranda. The village is home to several ancient churches, palaces, and buildings constructed during the Portuguese era. It is one of the historical sites in South Goa.
Popular South Goan Cuisine:
Before traveling to any destination, tourists often think about the popular local dishes of that place. After all, a trip to any location is incomplete without savoring its delicious cuisine. Tasty cuisine enhances our travel experience, and Goa, being one of the major tourist destinations in India, is renowned not only for its beaches but also for its seafood.
Goa’s cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes, especially seafood. Although vegetarian options are available, the list of non-vegetarian dishes is extensive. Let’s explore some popular South Goan dishes:
- Crab Xec Xec: Due to its proximity to the sea, Goa offers various seafood dishes, and Crab Xec Xec is one of them. This dish is made from crab meat and is known for its rich and spicy gravy. It is usually served with rice or chapati.
- Prawn Balchao: Prawn Balchao is another seafood delicacy in Goa. It is made with prawns cooked in a spicy and tangy tomato-based gravy. The dish is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
- Bebinca: Bebinca is a popular Goan dessert. It is a layered cake made with coconut milk, sugar, and eggs. The dish has a unique flavor due to the coconut and is a must-try for those with a sweet tooth.
These are just a few examples of the culinary delights you can enjoy in South Goa. The region offers a wide range of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to satisfy your taste buds during your trip.
So, if you plan to visit South Goa, not only can you explore its beautiful places but also savor its delicious cuisine, making your trip a memorable experience.
Title: Goan Red Rice
Goan Red Rice is one of the vegetarian delicacies of Goa, also known as Ukda Rice. This dish is made from a type of rice and coconut curry.
A trip to Goa is incomplete without savoring the popular Goan delicacy, Kingfisher. It is also known as Viswan in Goa. To prepare it, Kingfish is marinated and cooked over an open flame, creating a crispy outer layer and tender, juicy inside. It is coated with semolina and various spices for extra flavor.
Goa is known for its abundant cashew production, thanks to the Portuguese who brought cashew trees when they arrived in Goa. This abundance of cashews leads to the production of Feni, a famous Goan wine. Tourists visiting Goa often indulge in sips of this wine. Besides cashew, Feni is also made from coconut sap.
While Pork Vindaloo is a Portuguese dish, it is prepared in Indian style in Goa. This dish is a unique taste for non-vegetarian tourists, offering flavors they may have never experienced before. It’s made with pork, wine, ginger, garlic, and various spices. Non-vegetarian tourists love this dish, which has become popular in Goa.
In Goa, bread is called Poi bread. Due to the predominant influence of Portuguese culture in Goa, many dishes here are connected to Portuguese traditions.
Most of the dishes in Goa are prepared with bread, and the local toddy is used to ferment the dough. Toddy is a type of sap obtained from toddy palm trees, which are commonly found in Goa. If you enjoy bread, you must try Poi bread in Goa.
For vegetarian tourists in Goa, Sannas is a dish resembling Idli. It is made from steamed rice, with both sweet and savory varieties available. Sweet Sannas is made with jaggery or sugar. If you’re a vegetarian, you can enjoy Sannas for lunch or dinner during your Goa trip.
Best Time to Visit South Goa
South Goa, being a coastal tourist destination, is favored by tourists throughout the year. However, the best time to visit South Goa is from November to March when the weather is pleasant, with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for beach activities.
During March to May, South Goa experiences extreme heat, with temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius. It can be quite uncomfortable for tourists during these hot months.
If you enjoy monsoon and the charm of the rainy season, you can visit from June to September. This is the monsoon season in Goa, and you can experience the beauty of the beaches during the rain.
How to Reach South Goa?
South Goa is a major coastal tourist destination in India, and it can be easily reached by rail, road, or air.
- By Train: The most budget-friendly way to reach South Goa is by train. The Margao railway station is a major junction in South Goa and is well-connected to various cities in India.
- By Air: The nearest airport to South Goa is Dabolim Airport, which is well-connected to major domestic airports. You can easily find flights to Dabolim Airport if you want to reach South Goa quickly.
- By Road: South Goa is well-connected by road to major cities like Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Mangalore, and Udupi. You can opt for a road trip if you prefer traveling by road.
Accommodation in South Goa
South Goa offers a wide range of accommodation options for honeymoon couples, families, and friends traveling together. You can find hotels ranging from budget to high-end luxury, catering to various preferences and budgets.
South Goa Travel Guide
South Goa is a popular coastal tourist destination in southwestern India. Known for its serene beaches, rich culture, and delicious cuisine, South Goa attracts travelers from all over the world. In this travel guide, we’ll explore some of the highlights of South Goa, including its attractions, cuisine, and travel tips.
Attractions in South Goa
- Beaches: South Goa boasts some of the most beautiful and less crowded beaches in India. Popular ones include Palolem Beach, Benaulim Beach, and Colva Beach. These beaches are perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, and swimming.
- Temples and Churches: South Goa is also home to several temples and churches. The Shanta Durga Temple, Mangeshi Temple, and Basilica of Bom Jesus are notable religious sites that showcase the region’s cultural diversity.
- Water Sports: For adventure enthusiasts, South Goa offers various water sports activities like parasailing, jet-skiing, and banana boat rides. You can enjoy these activities at several beaches, especially Palolem and Benaulim.
- Wildlife Sanctuaries: Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary are perfect for nature lovers. You can explore the lush greenery and spot various species of flora and fauna.
South Goan Cuisine
South Goan cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors influenced by its Portuguese heritage and local ingredients. Here are some must-try dishes:
- Goan Red Rice: Also known as “Ukdad Rice,” this dish features a unique rice variety cooked with coconut milk. It’s often served with fish curry.
- Kingfish: Kingfish is a popular Goan dish, locally known as “Viswan.” It’s prepared by marinating the fish and cooking it to perfection.
- Feni Wine: Goa is famous for its cashew nut production, and Feni is a popular local liquor made from cashew apples. Tourists often enjoy sipping this drink during their stay.
- Pork Vindaloo: While Vindaloo is of Portuguese origin, it’s prepared with a unique Indian twist in Goa. This dish consists of pork, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and various spices.
- Poee: Poee is the local bread of Goa and is an integral part of Goan cuisine. It’s made using toddy palm sap and is a must-try with curries.
In South Goa, what markets are there?
Around the coastal roads of South Goa, you will find many stalls run by locals selling cheap clothes and souvenirs, where you can buy some mementos of your trip to Goa.
Every Saturday in South Goa, a market is organized in Palolem, where Indian and foreign tourists are attracted to buy various items. If you want, you can also explore the nightlife here.
There is also a facility for Ayurvedic massages here. If you get tired during your trip to South Goa, you can also enjoy a massage here. In addition, there is a market called Colva in Goa.
It can be called a flea market where you can buy expensive items at quite cheap prices through bargaining. However, you need to be skilled in bargaining for this.
When to Visit South Goa
The best time to visit South Goa is from November to March when the weather is pleasant, with temperatures around 20°C. During this period, you can enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities to the fullest.
Avoid visiting during the summer months (March to May) as it gets extremely hot, with temperatures soaring up to 35°C. Monsoon season (June to September) is also beautiful, but it can be challenging for beach activities due to heavy rainfall.
How to Reach South Goa
South Goa is well-connected by rail, road, and air.
- By Train: The nearest major railway station is Margao Railway Station, which is well-connected to several cities in India.
- By Road: You can also reach South Goa by road. Many buses and taxis operate between South Goa and nearby cities like Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Mangalore, and Udupi.
- By Air: Dabolim Airport is the closest airport, offering both domestic and international flights. It’s approximately 23 kilometers from the main city of Margao.
Shopping in South Goa
South Goa offers a variety of shopping experiences. You can explore local markets for souvenirs, clothes, and Goan spices. Palolem hosts a weekly market where you can find a wide range of items. Additionally, there are opportunities for ayurvedic massages to relax during your stay.
South Goa is a diverse and culturally rich destination that offers something for every traveler. Whether you’re interested in relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring historical sites, or indulging in delicious cuisine, South Goa has it all. Make sure to plan your trip according to the weather, and you’ll have a memorable experience in this beautiful part of India.