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Goa Tourist Places

Goa Beaches - Land of the magical trinity of sun, sea and sand, Goa is most sought after for its many charming famous beaches, shallow and safe for swimming. The water is turquoise blue. The most frequented beaches are Calangute, Baga, Colva and Vagator. Most five star hotels have their own private beaches, such as Vaniguinim, Varca, Sinquerim, Majorda, Bogmalo and Cavelossim. Idyllic Dona Paula, small and secluded Agenda, Palolem (enchanting backdrop of hills), Miramar (closest to Panaji), Arambol (both rocky and sandy and much sought after), Betui and Anjuna are some of the other popular beaches. Know more about Goa Beaches.

For all its apparent westernization, Goa is still conservative at heart. It would be wise to follow the signs against nudity and not disregard local sensibilities.

Famous Tourist Places - Goa was part of the union territory of Goa, Daman and Diu until 1987, when it became the 25th State of the Indian union. Geographically divided into North and South, North Goa has Panaji - the small and charming State capital on the banks of the Mandovi river. The Portuguese heritage still survives in the oldest part of the town with narrow cobbled streets, Latin villas, overhanging balconies and white washed churches. The Church of Immaculate Conception is Panaji's main place of worship for the Catholics.

Nine km off Panaji is Old Goa - the old hub of Portugal's eastern empire. All that remains of this once magnificent city are half a dozen churches. The largest in India, the imposing Se Cathedral dedicated to St. Catherine, has 14 altars, an 80m long aisle and 5 bells including the Golden Bell, reputed to be one of the best in the world. The 16th century Basilica of Born Jesus with its richly gilded altars, is famous throughout the Catholic world; the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are enshrined here in a silver casket.

Southern Goa has a sprinkling of beaches like Colva, Benaulim and Bogmalo and some upmarket resorts. Its capital Margao is an important commercial centre. Inland, to the East, is Ponda Taluka, famous for its complex of Hindu temples. The 400 year old Shiva temple of Shri Manguesh and the Shantadurga temple are visited in large numbers.

Religion is deeply rooted in the psyche of the Goans and the entire State is dotted with churches, temples and mosques. These are not just places of worship but have a unique charm of their own - aesthetic architecture, idyllic locations and a tranquil ambience. The Reis Magos church, once the residence of all dignitaries in Goa, the beautiful Church of Mae de Deus at Saligao, the Shri Naguesh and Mahalaxmi temples at Bandode, Shri Mahalsa temple at Mardol, Shri Mahadev temple at Tambdi Suria, 5th century Brahma temple near Valpoi, the Jama Masjid at Sanguem and the Safa Masjid at Ponda are some of the more famous ones.

Indian States:

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