When talking about Goa the first thing that comes to our mind is its alluring beaches but have you ever wondered that this tiny state is home to diversity? Let’s go beyond the traditional, here are 10 interesting facts that may surprise you.
- Plan your next vacation to Goa hustle free.
- Choose from thousands of bars in North Goa whilst enjoying shrines in the South
- Experience the special independence day of Goa and Portuguese architecture around the old city
1. HOME TO INDIA’S LARGEST WATERFALLS
Located on the Mandovi River in the Indian State of Goa are the Dudhsagar waterfalls. The four-tiered waterfall is 60km away from Panaji. The Dudhsagar waterfall is among India’s tallest waterfalls. This gigantic piece of beauty is located in the Mollem National Park and the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary.
Surrounded by the Western Ghats this area is covered with deciduous forest which adds to its biodiversity
2. THOUSANDS OF BARS TO CHOOSE FROM
For most of the tourists visiting Goa, their trip sounds incomplete without tasting exotic beverages. Although it may sound surprising, this party district consists of approximately 7000 bars. The cheap and easily available alcohol makes North Goa popular in demand compared to South Goa. However, South Goa still enjoys a fair amount of tourists every year having beautiful temples.
3. THE SPICE PLANTATIONS
Nothing can match the authentic aroma of spice gardens. Located in central Goa, 28km southeast of Panaji lies Ponda. The fresh and fragrant peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cumin, saffron, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and vanilla pods can be found here. Visiting the spice plantations is one of the most culturally-interesting things to do. You can enjoy these spices in a Goan meal.
Feni, a local drink made of cashew nuts can make your Goa trip memorable as well.
4. THE SATURDAY NIGHT MARKET
One of the top Goa attractions is the Saturday Night Market near Arpora. Full of liveliness, the mouth-watery aroma of street food and live music fill the air as you wander around.
Find your favourite costume jewellery from a wide variety of choices. From semi-precious stones to wooden handicrafts, take home whatever you wish to.
5. CHRISTMAS IN GOA
Every year Christmas is celebrated in Goa with great pomp and enthusiasm. It feels like walking in a fairyland around the streets of Goa during this festival. On Christmas Eve fireworks lit up the sky along with other festivities. Picture perfect Christmas trees can be seen around the line of sight lit up with rainbow colours. Almost everything you see around you is pleasing to the eyes and soul.
6. NIGHT STAY IN A HOUSEBOAT
The luxury you get in a five-star hotel is something you can flex about but have you ever considered staying in a houseboat? It’s peaceful. It gives a true insight into Goa. You can explore village life, river bank farming, and local fish meal. To see the sun setting behind the coconut and palm trees is an escape from reality.
7. THE OLD GOA
Portuguese ruled Goa for almost 450 years which is why you can see a glimpse of Portuguese architecture here. Stroll around the old Goa and look at the beautiful renaissance churches. Old Goa was one of the richest and most splendid cities in the whole of Asia. Many buildings are very well preserved. Your vacation isn’t complete without a tour of this place. Basilica of Bom Jesus and the Sé Cathedral is the largest church in India situated here.
8. HOME TO 400 SPECIES OF BIRDS
The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Central Goa are the conservation areas among the six zones. You can find an ample number of birds here but only if you are lucky you can spot some of the rare species. It includes the Long-billed Vulture, Darter, Great Pied Hornbill, Indian Skimmer, and the Asian Fairy Bluebird.
9. ST. FRANCIS XAVIER’S NON-DECOMPOSING BODY
Do you know that the body of St. Francis Xavier hasn’t decomposed yet? Around 1542 St.Francis Xavier began spreading the gospel. He was a part of an embassy that left for China to spread faith in Christianity. Unfortunately, the trip didn’t last and all the embassy members died.
Surprisingly St.Xavier’s body didn’t decompose and was brought to Goa in 1553 from Macau. Enshrined in a glass casing, his non-decomposed body is in the world-famous Basilica of Bom Jesus church.
10. THE SPECIAL INDEPENDENCE DAY
If you are visiting Goa around December make sure to witness the special Independence day of Goa observed on the 19th of December. In 1961 after 450 years of Portuguese rule, Goa was liberated. It is regarded as one of the most significant days in the history of Goa. Unlike the rest of India, Goa achieved independence from the Portuguese nearly after a decade.