Goa is a favoured destination among international as well as domestic travelers. The former colony of the Portuguese, Goa, is located on India’s southwest coast. It has been a popular holiday destination since colonial times when British troops and officials used to travel here from across the country.
The golden, palm-fringed beaches spread along Goa’s 100 kilometres long coastline pull in around two million tourists each winter. Cheap air travel has increased the availability of domestic tour packages from Ahmedabad in recent years. Despite the increasing chaos of Goa’s leading resorts, there are still parts of the state that have remained untouched by the modern resorts and hotels and offer the tourists the chance to explore the natural beauty of Goa.
History of Goa
Goa served as the anchor point for more 500 years for the vast global trade routes and became the first foothold of Portuguese colonists in Asia. However, with the decline of the Portuguese empire by the beginning of the 18th century, the prosperity of Goa also suffered.
Even after India’s independence from British rule in 1947, Goa stayed under Portuguese command, cut off from the rest of India surrounded by mountains and river delta. It was not until the December of 1961, when the then Prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, stopped negotiating with the Portuguese dictators and sent in the army to reclaim Goa as an integral part of independent India.
After Independence Goa continued to develop, strengthened by iron-ore exports and booming tourism industry. With the development of highways, rails, and airports, Goa is now connected with all the major cities of India.
Beaches in Goa
There are around 50 beaches in Goa owing to which Goa tour package from Ahmedabad has become popular for tourists from across the country. Some are more developed than others, with
a higher number of resorts and cafes serving the tourists. Choice of beach mainly depends on the type of holiday you have in mind. Developed areas like Calangute and Candolim in the north, and Colva and Benaulim in the south, offer much better accommodation than elsewhere. Anjuna, Vagator, and Chapora are places where accommodation availability is low and are best suited for travellers looking for a calm and serene surrounding or to explore goan lifestyle.
A bulk of budget travellers usually end up around Palolem, in the far south which has become a significant resort location in recent times, attracting thousands of long-stay visitors in peak season.
For a quieter scene, one can head for Patnem, located just over the hill from Palolem, or to Agonda, located further up the coast, where development is limited to a string of upmarket hut camps and family guesthouses. Arambol, situated in the far north of the state, is a yoga and meditation hub. Many establishments located between spells on the beach offer tourists yoga sessions and holistic therapy treatments.
Located around 10 kilometres away from the state capital, Panjim, the ruins of the ancient Portuguese colonial rule at Old Goa are most popular among the attractions away from the coast. There are a number of Catholic cathedrals, convents, and churches that draw crowds of Christian pilgrims from all over the country.
Wildlife enthusiasts may be tempted to travel into the interiors of Goa to visit the nature reserves located at Cotigao and Netravali in the far south portion of the state.