After the Portuguese reign of 450 years, Goa turned into a hippie getaway for a decade till late ’70s. What the Portuguese left for us is their amazing architecture and what the hippies did is their party culture. Today, this beautiful coastal town is famous for its wild, wild parties, pristine beaches, finger-licking sea food and well, booze, baby, endless booze!
When you wish to take the intoxication out from those wild parties and endless booze, you can either hit the beaches for a tan or visit these offbeat places to tread with your calmer self. Let’s leave the basking for another time and discover places you wouldn’t usually know that exist in Goa.
11 Offbeat Attractions in Goa
Goa has 6 wildlife sanctuaries with rich flora and fauna. You can spend a night in cottages of Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary amidst the Botanical gardens, jungle cats, and wilderness. To explore the Tropical Evergreen Forests of India, you can either visit Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary or Mollem National Park. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary are some other wildlife sanctuaries in Goa.
Most of the forts in Goa were built by the Portuguese to guard the coastline and offer stunning views of the beautiful sea. Forts like Aguada Fort, Cabo De Rama Fort (or Cabo Fort), Chapora Fort, Tiracol Fort will let you look at the Arabian Sea endlessly. Other forts with much historic importance are Alorna Fort, Corjuem Fort and Nana Fort.
Goa has its very own state museum with 14 different galleries. Other museums include Museum of Christian art in Old Goa, Houses of Goa in Porvorim, Goa Chitra Museum in Benaulim, Goa Science Centre in Panjim and Naval Aviation Museum.
Dudhsagar falls, located on the Goa-Karnataka border should be on top of your to-do list for the next trip to Goa. Arvalem falls coming down from a 160 feet high cliff is a beautiful sight, especially in the rainy season. Hivre & Kesarval waterfalls also make a good destination during monsoons.
There’s a long list of palaces in Goa with unique architecture and interesting history. Just like Cabo Raj Niwas (Raj Bhavan), which has a fine collection of Bohemian chandeliers and antique Chinese porcelain presumably manufactured in Canton. Not sure if these palaces will be able to cure your hangover, but they’re worth a visit in non-partying hours.
Fresh Water Springs
Nothing is as refreshing as a dip in natural springs! Goa has quite a few water bodies to rejuvenate your mind and body with medicinal properties. You can spend late mornings at Kesarval springs which is 22 km away from Panaji. Another option is going to Pomburpa springs in the village by the same name which is only 6 kms away from Panaji.
What could be better than taking a plunge in the sweet water lake on a sunny afternoon in Goa! Commonly known as Paliem lake, this sweet water lake is fed by medicinal hot water springs with healing powers. If you would like to go bird watching, no, I mean birds, literally, you can visit Curtorim and Carambolim Lake where you can watch migratory birds.
One, ancient temples were built in places with strong positive energy emitted from the electromagnetic waves underground. Two, the sound from the temple-bells calibrates the left and right hemisphere of our brain. These are few of many reasons why vising temples was a part of the Vedic culture, and Goa, has many temples with much vedic influence. The Mahadev temple in Tambdi Surla is a classic example of Hemadpanti style architecture. Temple of Devaki-Krishna is a must visit if Hindu mythology attracts you as this is the only temple in India where Lord Krishna is worshiped alongside mother Devaki.
If you wish to have a serene experience in calm backwaters, Goan rivers are ideal enough to give you that experience. You can hire a boathouse and disconnect from the world. Although, you can connect with locals and feed your soul with their intricate culture and awesome food.
Whats special about food in India? The spices! A tour in a spice garden will give you a brief information on the commonly used spices in Indian food. If that’s not enough, you can also talk to the chef to know more about the spices used in various Indian food recipes. A finger-licking yummy lunch in a serene garden is one of the must-have experiences in Goa. A warm welcome with garlands by Sahakari Spice Farm and Elephant rides and bathings of Tropical Spice Farm in Ponda can be quite enthralling.
Caves were a very essential part of lifestyle in the mountains providing shelter and solitude for meditation. Lamgao, Aravelam and Rivona Buddhist caves take you back to the seventh century where soul searching monks lived on this golden land of monasteries, now known as Goa.
No attractions or sightseeing list can ever be complete. There’s always something in every destination that we won’t know about. There’s always something to explore. Go ahead, have fun exploring!