Goa, the party capital of India, is flocked by national and international tourists from across the country and world across the year. Numerous beaches, quirky cafes, lively bars, and vast green fields contribute to Goa’s unmatchable charm and beauty. It is hands down the most popular beach destination in the country and one of the best in entire Asia. Goa welcomes everyone with open hands. For first-time travelers, witnessing the spellbinding beauty of this state is a breathtaking experience. Strolling through the vibrant street markets and enjoying the delicious seafood while gazing at the endless water bodies is a refreshing experience.
But for someone who travels to Goa regularly or those who live in Goa itself, spending holidays by the beaches is too mainstream. Goa might be a small state area-wise, but it has no dearth of natural beauty. There’s much more to Goa than its beaches and party clubs. We’ve compiled a list of hidden gems in the state that you can explore during weekends or your holidays.
Dudhsagar Falls are the most clicked waterfalls in Goa. Standing tall at nearly 310 meters, the view of white water falling incessantly through the steep face is undoubtedly a treat to the eyes. When looked at from a distance, the cascading view of water falling down appears like a stream of milk- hence the name Dudhsagar. (Dudh means milk in Hindi). Located in Sanguem Taluka in South Goa, the falls earn their beauty from the spectacular ghats at the backdrop covered with a dense green sheet. It is located 76 km from Panaji and nearly 70 km from Goa Airport. You can take a taxi or bus to reach the waterfall.
One of the most refreshing scenes in Goa is that of the Harvalem Falls. It is one of the most scenic yet least explored spots in the state as it remains concealed inside a dense jungle. The lush green covers and rocky terrain ensures complete privacy at this place, and hence it is a perfect place to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. The Harvalem Falls are located near Sanquelim village and can be easily reached from Panaji. The Arvalem caves nearby are also worth exploring.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Another fantastic tourist location, the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, is the second-largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa. While there are a limited number of animals inside the sanctuary, the variety of trees and a vast green cover will keep you refreshed and engaged. It is one of the best places to witness nature’s diversity from a close distance. You can also try activities like hiking. Animals like sloth bears, Indian bison, and laughing hyenas can be easily spotted here.
There are few places in the country as rich in flora as the majestic Western Ghats. Driving along the divine greenery is one thing but spending some moments amidst the vast green cover is something that makes you feel lucky. Visiting Chorla Ghats will provide you once in a lifetime experience of witnessing the majesty of the Sahyadri ranges and the evergreen Western Ghats. The hill station is surrounded by endless greenery and dense jungles that will make you forget the hustle and bustle of the city. Chorla is well connected to major stations in the state by road.
Cumbarjua Backwater Canal
The first name that comes to mind after hearing the word backwater in Kerala. But it doesn’t mean that Goa is devoid of backwaters. The Cumbarjua Backwater Canal in Goa is one of the most pleasing destinations in the state. A heaven for adventure lovers, the mesmerizing Cumbarjua canal is located on the banks of the Mandovi river in Cumbarjua. The canal gets its beauty from the thick mangrove trees and a lively village surrounding it. If lucky, you can also spot crocodiles on the banks. The region is well connected by NH48, but a fair distance must be covered on foot to reach the canal.
Fort Tiracol Heritage Hotel
Tiracol Heritage Hotel is a 17th-century Portuguese fort standing atop a cliff near Querim beach in Pernem. The fort is known for its unique architecture and historical significance. The heritage hotel has seven rooms, with each room named after a day in the week. The fort turned hotel is located 45 km away from the Panaji Bus Stand.
Rivona is a small village located in the Sanguem taluka. It is a beautiful village with lush green surroundings known for its historical connection with Buddist monks. While passing through the village, a group of Buddhist monks set up a university in the village. Here exist the remains of caves in the village that were once the abode of the monks.