As one of the most famous and popular tourist destinations in India, you can expect that there is plenty to see and do in Goa. Its coastal location, historical connections to Portugal, rich culture and beautiful scenery make it an attractive location for tourists from inside and outside of India. Given its natural beauty and location on the western coast of the Indian subcontinent, there are plenty of opportunities to relax on the tranquil beaches, but here are some other things you can do when you visit.
Goa always has something going on, with a myriad events held throughout the year, including regular football and cricket matches and even a round of the World Poker Tour. Perhaps the biggest event on the calendar is the world famous Goa Carnival, which usually takes place around February and March as a celebration before the beginning of fasting for Lent.
Goa is the only part of India to hold a carnival and its roots go back to the 18th century. It hosts many of the things you’d expect to find in a carnival, including a parade through built-up areas, with beautifully decorated floats representing the local villages, businesses, cultural groups and other organisations.
Visit Goa during carnival time, and you’ll find endless dance troupes, masked revellers, live music, sporting contests and plenty of food and drink.
Located 21km from Goa’s capital of Panaji, the Shri Mangesh Temple is one of the largest in Goa. Dating back to 1560, the temple is one of the most visited in the region, which is no surprise thanks to its grand structure and beautiful surroundings, combining a mix of different architectural influences from across the region.
Strict dress codes are in place for those visiting the temple, so be sure to dress appropriately. If necessary, you can borrow a shawl from the temple’s committee office to cover your legs and arms.
Anjuna Flea Market
Held every Wednesday, the Anjuna flea market is a must-do on a trip to Goa. You’ll find all kinds of trinkets on sale, including jewellery and sculptures from all over India, brightly coloured saris, fragrant spices and many other items you would expect to find in any other tourist hotspot.
While the competing stalls that sell the same items can become a little repetitive, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to rest with chai stalls, live music and restaurants.
The market typically runs from November to April, so be sure to plan accordingly.
Tanshikar Spice Farm
Famed for its spices, India is, of course, home to many farms cultivating these colorful and aromatic wonders. A trip to the Tanshikar Spice Farm offers an up-close experience with the crops of this organic family farm, including nutmeg, chillies, vanilla and even cashews.
Personal tours from the farm’s owner, Chinmay, include a guided tour around the farm and the nearby lake. Classes on how to cook with these spices are also available for those that love to spend time in the kitchen.
Goa is a wonderful region of India and Asia with lots of beautiful beaches and fascinating culture. A trip to there is as much about experiencing the atmosphere, as it is about sightseeing, which is why a visit during carnival time and a trip to the Anjuna Flea Market are a must for all who come.