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Calangute Beach
16 Kms from Panaji is the most popular holiday resort in Goa popularly known as The Queen of Beaches. Excellent accommodation facilities are available, particularly at the tourist resort and cottages. Calangute lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea of North Goa in India. It is encircled by Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao and Candolim, in the Bardez taluka. Being a popular holiday resort, the small houses amidst the coconut groves behind the beach are always in constant demand. Calangute seems to be a distortion of the local vernacular word—‘Koli-gutti’, which means land of fishermen. Some people connect it with Kalyangutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit of the coconut tree) because the village is full of coconut trees.

Calangute Beach With the advent of the Portuguese, the word probably got distorted to Calangute, and has stuck till today. Seemingly not all that long ago, Calangute was the beach all self-respecting hippies headed for, especially around Christmas when psychedelic hell broke loose. If you enjoyed taking part in those mass poojas, with their endless half-baked discussions about `when the revolution comes' and `the vibes, maaan', then this was just the ticket. You could frolic around without a stitch on, be ever so cool and liberated, get totally out of your head on every conceivable variety of ganja from Timor to Tenochtitlan and completely disregard the feelings of the local inhabitants. Naturally, John Lennon or The Who were always about to turn up and give a free concert.

Calangute's heyday as the Mecca of all expatriate hippies has passed. The local people, who used to rent out rooms in their houses for a pittance, have moved on to more profitable things, and Calangute has undergone a metamorphosis to become the centre of Goa's rapidly expanding package-tourist market. It isn't one of the best Goanese beaches: there are hardly any palms, the sand is contaminated with red soil and the beach drops rapidly into the sea. There is, however, plenty going on, especially if you don't mind playing a minor role in this stage-managed parody of what travelling is meant to be about. Try heading off the beaten track unless you need a bit of R 'n' R to recover from life on the road, or want to mix it with the Simons and Sandras of this world who are visiting India to pep up their winter suntans. The best time of the year to visit this area is between September and March.

Colva Beach
About 6 kms from Margao Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scenic splendour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. Has good accommodation facilities, particularly at the tourist cottages. It is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute in scenic splendor. Here sea, sand and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony. Colva is one of the most popular beaches in South Goa.The beach offers good accommodation.

Colva stretches sun-drenched, palm fringed and virtually deserted for kilometers. 20years ago precious little disturbed its soft white sands and warm crystal-clear turquoise their waters, except the local fishers who pulled their catch in by hands each morning, and the few of the more intrepid hippies who had forsaken the obligatory drugs, sex and rock and roll of Calangute for the smoothing tranquility of this corner of paradise. It is the main evening and weekend day-trip destination for the people of Margao, so it becomes packed with cars, motorbikes, scooters and pedestrians.

On the road into Colva from Margao you pass the large Church of Our Lady of Mercy (Nossa Senhora das Merces, 1630, re-built in the 18th century). The statue of Menino Jesus housed here is said to have miraculous properties. Colva is at heart of the longest unbroken stretch of beach (25 kms) in Goa from Mormagao peninsular in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south.

A hot-season retreat for Margao's mediocre classes since long before Independence, Colva is the oldest and largest - of south Goa's resorts. Its leafy outlying vaddos, or wards, are pleasant enough, dotted with colonial lection of concrete hotels, souvenir stalls and fly-blown snack bars strewn around a bleak central roundabout. Colva is pleasant and convenient place to stay, swimming is relatively safe, while the sand, at least away from the beachfront, is spotless and scattered with beautiful shells.

Dona Paula Beach
7 kms from Panaji. An idyllic picturesque spot. Command a fine view of the Zuari river and Mormugao Harbour. Water scootering facilities are available here. It is near the rocky point between the Mandovi and the Zuari is Dona Paula, a secluded bay with a fine view of the Marmagao harbour. This is an idyllic spot to relax and sunbathe. Water scootering facilities available. On the northern banks of the River Zuari, a little away to tie south east of Cabo, lies a large escarpment with a bay and two small beaches which in the old days was part of Oddavel. The Dona Paula bay is at the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea.

Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, this place is called the Lovers Paradise due to a myth which has been attached to this place. At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea is the Dona Paula bay. Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, this place is called the Lovers Paradise due to a myth which has been attached to this place. Dona Paula takes its name from a viceroy's daughter who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman. Located 9kms south west of Goa's capital, Panaji.

Dona Paula divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries and provides pleasant views of Marmagao, the port city of Goa. Due to its proximity to the capital Panaji, Dona Paula is a popular stop for the sightseeing tours. This has lead to mushrooming of hotels in and around Dona Paula. There are boating facilities for those who dare to venture in the waters. The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa.

Miramar Beach
Miramar (Caspar Dias) is 3 kms from Panaji. A lovely golden beach of soft sand girdled with palm trees facing the blue Arabian Sea, is the nearest to Panaji. Miramar is almost part of Panaji.

It is one of the most popular beaches. If you wish to watch the sunset from Panaji then the best location would be this beach, which is fifteen minutes' walk along the riverfront avenue called Dayanand Bandodker Marg.

Miramar is an urban beach where the Mandovi River meets the Arabian Sea. It is not a safe beach to swim. There is a strong undercurrent.

Anjuna Beach
Anjuna, 18 kms from Panaji is a popular beach area adjacent to Chapora fort- it was the haunt of the flower generation in the sixties - and is still popular with the younger generation. In Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof. The Anjuna band plays for the beach party at night. Palm trees stand motionless in the warm air. To the east is a mountain. If you want to return to civilization, climb the mountain to get to Baga where you can catch a ferry out.

This is the Goa Freak capital of the World. Anjuna becomes a fair of colors. Lines of vehicles full of tourists start virtually raising clouds of dust in this area. Anjuna attracts a weird and wonderful collection of over monks, defiant ex-hippies, gentle lunatics, artists, artisans, seers, searchers, sybarites and itinerant expatriates who normally
wouldn't be seen out of the organic confines of their health-food emporia in San Francisco or London.

Full moon, when the infamous parties take place, is a particularly good time to be here if you want to indulge in bacchanalian delights. Only a Brit would think about raving about the main beach, but it's worth the walk to the small, protected sliver of sand at South Anjuna where the area's long-term house-renters tend to gather.

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