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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Night Life In Goa

A trip to Goa can never be considered complete without experiencing its rocking nightlife. Goan night life is full of fun, frolic and enjoyment. Discos in Goa are an added attraction for many especially those who enjoy night outs.Partying around with friends and family is a common routine in Goa and is the best than any other part of the country.

Parties are not only confined within concrete walls, but are enjoyed more on sandy beaches under moonlight!

Listed below are some of the famous discos and clubs in Goa.

Bamboo Forest Disco- One can look forward to a whole night of good music that is always a fusion of many popular music forms. The pub boasts of a fine range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to keep its guests in high spirits. It is located in the Vagator and Anjuna Beach area .

Hill Top Disco- One of the most popular nightspots in town located in the Anjuna and Vagator area. One can pamper themselves with a wonderful range of local and international delicacies.

Club Tito's Disco- Tito's boasts of an indoor night club, a multi-cuisine restaurant called "Brass", an outdoor pub, the most popular beach pub "Mambo's" , a 24 hour coffee shop and a boutique.This disco club is located on Tito's Lane, along the Baga - Calangute Road.

Club Cabana Disco - A happening joint which boasts of a fantastic location on the Arpora Hills and overlooks the entire Calangute beach stretch.

Club Antoos Disco- This disco club is located next to the Goan Heritage hotel on the famous Calangute Beach. It is one of the newest discos in Goa and the large pub at the Club is one of its biggest attractions. The huge and pulsating dance floor adds up to quite a rocking time for every visitor.

Goans are not only party lovers, food and drinks follow soon! Most of the restaurants in Goa offer alcohol , which also includes Goa's special alcoholic drink "Feni" .

Apart from alcohol, fresh and exquisite seafood along with other Goan delicacies is also served. The most savoured Goan delicacy is Goan Fish Curry Rice.

So the next time you visit Goa , be a part of this nightlife , chill out to your heart's content, sway to some wonderful music beats and find yourself enjoying like never before! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Football - Game of the State

Goans are deeply in love with the game of Football. This game was brought to Goa in the year 1883 by Reverent Fr. William Robert Lyons from Udupi, Karnataka, the neighboring state of Goa. 

He had come to Siolim in Bardez Taluka to recover from some health problems. His love for Goa made him start a school in Siolim and introduce the sport there. He was the person responsible to include sports into the curriculum.

History records tell us that the first football match of Goa was played in the year 1900 at the Largo do Conceica , Panjim . It was witnessed by the then Governor General of Goa. From then on the game was regularly played.

It is said that the first football club of Goa was formed in the coastal village of Colva in Salcete. It was named as the Boys Social Club in 1905 under the direction of XN Dainaito.

When talking about Indian football , one cannot leave out Goan football from its discussion. At present there are four Goan clubs – Dempo SC, Churchill Bros Sc, Clube De Sporting and Vasco SC.

For a small state like Goa, Goan clubs on the national scene have led to questions being asked about the internal football set-up and what is it that ails Goan football.

Inter-village football is one of the lifelines of Goan football.The Goa Football Association is trying to give a better look and hold better competitions for inter-village football. It is this inter-village football that gives birth to the nationwide known Goan footballers.

Goan feasts are never complete without inter-village football competitions. Hundreds of people gather to watch and enjoy the sport.

Goa has two footballers to boast of who have won the nation's prestigious ARJUNA AWARD. This award was instituted in 1961 as the highest national recognition for outstanding performance in Sports.

Brahmanand Shanwalkar

Bruno Coutinho
The first Goan to receive this award was former Indian goalkeeper Brahmanand Shanwalkar.

The second Goan to receive was Former Indian captain Bruno Coutinho.

Hope this game adds more to the list of Arjuna Awardees and thus make Goans proud!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Situated in West Goa , about 18 km from the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary gate is the Mahadev Temple of Tambdi Surla. Lord Mahadev also known as Lord Shiva is the Hindu God. Lord Shiva is seen as the Supreme God, the greatest of all Devas or gods. Hence the name Mahadev , "Maha" means "great".

This temple is the oldest temple of Goa and the only surviving structure of the Kadamba Yadava dynasty. It survived from the Portuguese as it was situated next to a stream in the middle of a small clearing, hidden in a dense jungle.

History tells us that it was built way back in the 12th century by the Kadamba Queen , Kamladevi. It is entirely built of grey black talc chlorite schist soap stone. Its weather resistant property makes the handwork adorning the walls of the temple still seem fresh!

The temple is quite small and has a small passage way.According to Hindu mythology, "Nandi" is the bull which Lord Shiva rides and the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati (Lord Shiva's wife). We can find a statue of Nandi in the center of the main porch of this temple.

A solid piece of stone work is the lotus shape carved out of the porch's ceiling. Several other carvings and figures of deities surround the temple.

Hundreds of devotees assemble here during the festival of Mahashivratri , in the month of February/ March. According to folklore the temple has an unfinished look as the Pandavas of Mahabharata built it in a hurry in a single night.

The lush green surroundings add beauty to the temple. One can witness the Sunset here! At a height of 609 mts one fond of trekking can plan a day long trip to explore the jungle enroute.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Churches - Basilica De Bom Jesus

If your planning a vacation to Goa, do not forget to include a visit to the "Basilica De Bom Jesus" church , now declared as a World Heritage Monument/Site . This church is situated at Old Goa , around 9 kilometers from the capital Panaji. This is chuch is dedicated to "Bom Jesus" and stands a witness to an event in Christian history. "Bom Jesus" means "infant Jesus" or "Good Jesus".

As mentioned in the Latin records , the construction of this church was started way back on 24th November 1594 and  was completed on 15th May 1605. The church was consecrated by Fr. Alexio de Menezes , the then Archbishop of Goa.

The design of Basilica De Bom Jesus is a fine specimen of Jesuit architecture and was inspired by the church of St. Paul, which is now in ruins. The three-storeyed facade of Basilica De Bom Jesus , delicately carved  with basalt embellishments is one of the richest in Goa. At the top of the facade you can see an intricately carved basalt medallion which depicts the emblem of the society of Jesus.

The columns depict the fine use of classical orders, in the Renaissance style .As you move to the interior of the church , just above the entrance you will notice a choir supported by columns. One is sure to be mesmerized by the Mosaic Corinthian style interiors of the church. The grand marble floor is adorned with precious stones. 

The church houses two chapels, a main altar, a sacristy and a belfry at the back. Apart from these, the church also has a rich collection of paintings related to various instances from the life of St. Francis Xavier.Altars dedicated to St. Michael and to Our Lady of Hope are also present .

The church houses the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier, patron saint of Goa. St Francis Xavier is also known as "Goencho Saib" meaning "Lord of Goa". The saint died while on a sea voyage to China on December 2,1552. In accordance with his wishes , his remains were transferred to Goa the following year. 

An exposition / public viewing of his body is held every 10 years.

During this time , devotees all over the world gather at this church to offer their prayers and get a glimpse of the holy relics of the saint, which now lie in a silver casket. 

The saint is believed to have had miraculous healing powers and were experienced by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad when he came for the Exposition of 1878.

The Feast of St. Francis Xavier is held every year on the 3rd of December. This was the day he was buried - after nine days of prayer, called the Novena. 

Various ceremonies are hosted in order to honor the Saint's death. The gardens and wide open spaces that are usually deserted otherwise , are flocked with thousands of people on this occasion.
So the next time your in Goa do not miss the opportunity to visit this place!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dona Paula

Dona Paula is a former fishing village, in the suburbs of Panaji,Goa. Today , it is one of the most commercialized areas for beach resorts and restaurants of Goa. It is famous for its seaside shopping, sunbathing, water sports and food shacks.It is the meeting point of the Zuari and Mandovi rivers with the Arabian sea.

You get a fantastic view of Marmugao Harbour from here. With the romance and myth attached to it, tourists throng the Dona Paula beach and Jetty in search of the scenic beauty and mystery, besides indulging in water sports.
There are a number of legends behind the alleged Dona Paula Sculpture.One such legend is that Dona was married to Paulo, a lowly fisherman.

He ventured into deep seas for fishing and is said to have never returned. His dutiful wife Dona supposedly waited for him at the jetty, for so many years that she finally turned into stone.

Another one is that Dona and Paulo were lovers belonging to different caste and nationality.With no other option left, they decided to end their lives, by jumping off the cliff.
The Statue on the rock is dedicated to them.

However the truth is that Dona is the title given to married women according to Portuguese customs.

Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior is the lady in debate. She was the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka.

She and her family arrived in Goa in 1644 and she married a Fidalgo from Spain - Dom Antonio Souto Maior in 1656.

They were an extremely affluent family and the entire property from the present day Cabo Raj Nivas all the way to Caranzalem belonged to the Souto Maiors. She later passed away on December 16, 1682.
The grave of Dona Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior was found in the transept of the Chapel at the Governor's Palace.

Dona Paula was a woman of charity and is known to have helped the villagers, so after her death, the villagers re-named the village as Dona Paula. Previously the village was called Oddavell.

The alleged statue of 'Dona-Paulo' seen today at the Dona Paula jetty is in reality the sculpture of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Knox. It was a Dutch sculptress, Baroness Yrse Von Leistner who etched the sculpture.

So the next time if you are in Goa , then dont miss the opportunity to visit this romantically scenic place!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Forts Of Goa

Aguada Fort 
Aguada Fort was built in the year 1612 . The name Aguada is derived from the Portuguese word, ‘Aguada’, meaning water.

A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that arrived after the long sea voyage from Lisbon, giving it the name 'Aguada' (meaning 'water' in Portuguese).

The purpose of this fort was to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders. It is a home to several natural springs. On the north side of the fort, a rampart of red-brown laterite juts into the bay to form a jetty between two small sandy coves. This picturesque spot is known as Sinquerim Beach.

Sinquerim Beach
Fort Aguada Resorts provide a luxurious stay to the tourists and are one of the best in India.The fort has a four storey lighthouse erected in the 19th century (1864) and the oldest of its kind in Asia
The lighthouse is surrounded by magnificent places where Panjim lies to the east along the river, with its Miramar beach which leads to Cabo or Raj Bhavan - the Governor’s house

Beyond the lighthouse lies the estuary of the Zuari river and the Mormugao port with the islands of St. George and Cambariem offshore. On the western side lie the famous northern beaches of Baga and Calangute. 

While the Candolim church is located inland to these beaches.

The fort is visited by large number of tourists throughout the year. One can reach the fort by hiring a taxi , auto or bike. A part of this fort has been now converted into a jail, thus restricting access to the tourists. However, it is worth a visit, if only for the superb views from the top of the hill where the four-storey Portuguese lighthouse is. 

Chapora Fort 

Chapora Fort was constructed in the year 1617. It is located 22 kms from the Panaji , the capital of Goa. It is at a distance of 10 kms from Mapusa and located close to the Anjuna beach and Vagator beach. Two sides of the fort are surrounded by sea and one side by river.

The massive fort is built entirely of red laterite and served as a watch post of the border. It was built by Adil Shah, the ruler of Bijapur. This is one reason why it has been named Shahpura, which means the 'town of Shah'. 

The fort was destroyed after the rule of Adil Shah and was rebuilt by the Portuguese around 1617 when they made Goa their colony.However, during 1892, the fort was left deserted by the Portuguese.
Vagator Beach

This fort attracts a lot of tourists as well as people from the film industry. 

Famous Bollywood movie "DIL CHAHATA HAI" was shooted at this fort. One can reach the fort by hiring a taxi or an auto from Mapusa. Also, buses from Panaji ply to Chapora fort on a regular basis.

Today, though it lies in ruins , one does not miss to visit this fort and enjoy the feel of the mystical air as well as the scenic view of the sea from this fort!
Anjuna Beach

Monday, February 14, 2011


The Shigmo festival of Goa , also known as Shigmotsav is celebrated in a grand manner with much joy and fervor among Goans. It takes place every year in the month of March and the dates vary according to the Hindu calender.

People enjoy this festival by spraying colored water as well as coloured powder known as 'Gulal'  on each other. This day is known as Rang-Panchami and is celebrated to greet the coming of spring.

During this festival large fairs and parades are organized in Goa. Shigmo, besides being an amazing form of entertainment, is also a cultural exhibition of Goa's history from time immemorial upto the present day.

The Shigmo parade begins with the brass bands reminiscent of the Maratha conquerors. Tribal women of Goa then perform a series of Kunbi Folk-Dances .

The women are decked up with gold and brightly-coloured sarees. One can also witness some regional dances from the Northern and Southern talukas (counties) of Goa.

Men dressed up in a colorful attire march with poles to the beat of drums and dhols, while others dance to the tune of traditional music with decorated umbrellas.Some are seen parading in elaborate costumes representing various Hindu deities.

Similar to Carnival , Shigmotsav also consists of a series of hand-made floats. These floats depict regional mythological and religious aspects. During this festival , hundreds of people irrespective of religion, caste and creed gather to get a glimpse of this parade. 
The celebrations span around a fortnight; and different days are allotted for celebrations in different areas of the state. 

So the next time you are in Goa during this season, do not miss to be a part of this festival!