Magical Goa - Paradise for a Holiday
Goan experience and its beautiful old houses
Goa conjures up an image of free-spirited people , the hippies on the beach and abundant natural beauty. Located in the south-western part of India, Goa is known as the beach capital of the country and by now has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Flanked by Arabian Sea, Goa is one of the smallest states in India with immense coastal splendour. Goa has an interesting mix of Portuguese and the local Konkani cultures, which provides a variety in language, food and architcture. The beautiful Goan churches and Hindu shrines create a perfect picture ,combined with sprawling golden palm fringed beaches.The vast majority of visitors to Goa will get a feel for Goa's lifestyle, its beaches, the night markets and versions of its food especially Sea food, which is an experience never to be forgotten..
Goa has got just about every thing for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday .It has some of the best beaches on the west coast, sumptuous sunsets to keep you enchanted,small and yet imposing hills,old forts to explore, water sports like surfing and jet skies, great restuarants and extremely friendly people .
The 'Authentic Goa Experience', is not complete without a tour of some of the magnificent old structures that we get to see around Panaji and other smaller villages in Goa and even better is a stay in one of the Heritage Houses In Goa.The Portuguese ruled Goa for 450 years and their influence on the living styles and dwellings of the inhabitants has been deep...Most of these old places have been converted into Guest houses and Hotels since maintaining them by a single owner became expensive in the long run.Many of them like Casa Palacio Siolim House once a palace and the residence of the aristocratic Goan-Portuguese Governor of Macau, Hotel Pajim Inn which is more than a century old, and has seen five generations of the D'Silveira family. The wonderful facade, consisting of pelmets, wrought iron rails and verandahs makes this one of the best examples of Goan colonial architecture.
Most old style Goan houses have their roofs constructed with red "Manglorean" tiles, a long stairway leading to a balcony also known as a "balcao" in Konkani and Portuguese.There is a remarkable dignity to those old structures which we still get to see dotted around the city of Panaji, Mapusa, Candolim, Anjuna..
Goan houses reveal Italian classical features in the planning of the facade , so we get to see a blend of Potugese and Italian influence in these old Goan houses , churches and other structures. It is nice to see that most of these magnificent buildings have been carefully preserved .What is special about a Goan house is that When the Portuguese colonized Goa , they brought in their own architectural designs and lifestyle to influence the already strong culture and architecture that prevailed here. As a result there was an amalgamation, and an entirely new thing emerged. What you see in Goan houses, you don't get to see in Portugal, or elsewhere in the world...
People generally visit this small state to laze around the beautiful palm fringed beaches and indulge in water sports. The long coastal area offers a wonderful opportunity for the tourists to indulge in all sorts of water sport activities. Beaches of Goa are much ahead of other beaches in terms of popularity and the facilities that are available.