Unusual things to do in Goa, India

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Planning a trip to Goa? If you’ve already looked at our lists of where to eat in Goa to where to stay in Goa or the popular attractions to see in Goa, and are still craving for more, you’re in the right place.

Here’s a list of some of the must-visit places in Goa that are truly off-the-beaten-path attractions. If you want to see the hidden places in Goa that regular tourists don’t visit, here are a few of our favorites.

Most of the places, I’ve mentioned in this post, you need to rent a local car and drive to on your own. But if you want to join a tour or go with a guide, here are a few top choices!

Off the beaten path attractions in Goa

Usgalimal Rock Carvings in Sanguem on the banks of the Kushavati River

If you’re looking for offbeat things to do in Goa, the Usgalimal rock carvings tops the list! Alhough we were staying in Agonda, Canacona at the time, it was a bit difficult to find, but once we got there it was awesome.

I realized I like walking into trenches and out of them more than crossing planks across trenches. I also remembered that I need to lose weight. But that’s not really what we’re talking about here.

A bull carving at Usgalimal - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
A bull carving at Usgalimal

What we are talking about is 20000 or so many year-old petroglyphs that were carved in laterite rocks. Isn’t that amazing? That means they belong to the mesolithic or upper paleolithic era.

Another dancing guy at Usgalimal - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Another dancing guy at Usgalimal

Archaeologists say this is the main distinction between these rock carvings and other rock carvings. The rock carvings here at Usgalimal in the banks of the Kushavati River were made in laterite rock, which is usually considered difficult to carve into.

The scientists say the rock art or cave paintings in Pansaimol were made with some sort of soft tool. Pansaimol is the other name for this Usgalimal site in the Sanguem Taluka near Rivona, South Goa.

Bull at Usgalimal - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Bull at Usgalimal

The site is located beyond some old iron ore mines near Usgalimal village. Strange though, we noticed a few dilapidated structures on the way here, but no mines along those winding roads. Need to work on our powers of observation much.

Elephant at Usgalimal Rock Carvings - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Elephant at Usgalimal Rock Carvings

The Usgalimal Rock Carvings discovered by accident when the local villagers show some visiting archaeologists the site in the early 1990’s. Since then it has become a government protected site.

 Labrynith with elephants feet and deer around it - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Labrynith with elephants feet and deer around it

On an area of approximately 500 square metres, we got to see a dancing lady, a human figure, deer, bison, bulls, and a labryinth. There are also human and elephant footprints.

Lady Rock Carving - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
The famous dancing lady rock carving

You’ll hardly find anyone visiting here. They ask us to sign a book before we leave, and we see that the last visitors were some French people about 5 days ago. I think the name was Nathalie.

 Kushavati Spice farm across - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Mom with Kushavati Spice farm across the Kushavati River

Anyways, the guard named Ramakant showed us around but didn’t allow us to go to the spice farm that was just across the river. A while later, another local passed by and crossed the river to the spice farm, but he didn’t stop him. Hmm.

The River Kushavati didn’t flow much here, and apart from the moss was easy to walk into. I tried to take pics of the fish in it, but I really need a better camera. If you plan on visiting this historic place, don’t go in the monsoon. During the rains the river overflows and most of the rock carvings are submerged and unreachable.

Galgibaga Beach in Canacona Taluka

Galgibaga Beach Forest Department Sign - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Galgibaga Beach Forest Department Sign

About 30 minutes drive South of Palolem Beach is the beautiful and pristine Galigbaga Beach. I’d wanted to go there a few times, but finally made it one sunny afternoon.

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Galgibaga Beach Facing South - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Galgibaga Beach Facing South

Of course, it turned out to be the wrong time to get there. See, my main reason to go to Galgibaga was not to enjoy the clean and empty beach or shoreline, but to see at least one turtle hatch.

Galgibaga Beach Facing North - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Galgibaga Beach Facing North

Unlucky! The forest guards there told me that they only come out after 11 pm, and since it was still late November, I needed to wait and come back after a few weeks. Tears in my eyes. Hear that, fairy god father. I need to go back mid December. Okay, no tears really. But if someone would actually pay to transport me there one lovely night in December, I’d get to see those beautiful Olive Ridley turtles hatch.

I’d love to have that scratch off my bucket list, you know. “Saw precious Olive Ridley turtles hatching on a protected beach in Galgibag, Goa in the middle of the night”. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Shells and crabs going out to sea - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Shells and crabs going out to sea

Anyways, since I couldn’t do that, I did take shots of baby crabs and shells moving towards the water. There’s zillions of them out there. And they move so slowly, you almost want to help them. Almost, like playing at naturalist or zookeeper. 😉

But a PS, while you’re at Galgibaga Beach, try the Ceasar Salad at the Holy Turtle. It’s to die for! Sitting out there in the middle of nowhere with hardly 4 people around, staring at the shoreline and eating my olive filled Ceasar salad. What more could one ask for?

Update Nov 2019: We went again with dad and sis this time. Of course, no turtles. They told us to come back in Feb. Haha! But ambling through the shade of the trees under the hot sun was nice!

Shoreline - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
View of the shoreline from the shade of the restaurant
Dad-and-sis-walking-under-the-trees-at-Galgibaga-beach - TheWingedFork
My dad and sis walking under the shady trees at Galgibaga Beach

Anyways, if you’re looking for protected beaches in Goa, India to watch turtles hatch, Galgibaga is the right choice. So are Agonda and Morjim beaches. Maybe you’ll have more luck than me.

Talpona Beach in Canacona, South Goa

Sunset at Talpona Beach in South Goa by Sarah from TheWingedFork
Isn’t this sunset pic by Sarah just golden?

Another beach that’s as beautiful as Galgibaga is the pristine Talpona Beach that’s about 2.5 km North of Galgibaga Beach and about the same distance South of the Rajbaga Beach. But, getting to Rajbaga Beach involves crossing a bridge and a drive of 6 km, so we didn’t do it this time. Talpona Beach and the nearby villa fishing village get their name from the Talpona River that you cross on the way here.

By the way, there are two ways to get here. One, a really old looking bridge that can only take smaller vessels. We were in a Toyota Innova and our driver wasn’t sure we’d make it across.

We were about to turn around and take the longer route when we saw a smaller WagonR go across. Also, spoke on the phone to our host in Talpona and he said our vehicle could cross.

So becoming brave, our driver started across. Side windows were about to get scraped off, so he closed them. We inched across the bridge slowly, because there was hardly an inch of room between the sides of the tyres and the walls of the bridge.

Some thoughts of whether we’d be able to get out of the Innova if we fell into the foaming brine below flashed across our minds, you know like Clementine of the old song. But soon we were on the other side and breathing heavy sighs of relief.

We then drove alongside the Talpona River and then along the beach road until we reached our villa.

But really, that bridge is so old. Heaven knows when it’s going to give way. It’s better if you take the NH66 highway that runs across the Talpona River and is much safer.

We rented a villa on Talpona Beach for a few days and loved the privacy and solitude. At different times of the day, there were hardly a dozen to max 20 people on different parts of the beach.

You won’t find hawkers or beach beds here. Just you, the sand and the sea; and a handful of fishermen. Even the dogs on the beach were decent and well-behaved on this South Goa beach.

We went for a swim the first day itself during high tide. The clear green water is just perfect. But try to swim towards the middle of the beach because there are hidden rocks near the Northern section.

We actually swam there but only saw the rocks later when the tide was low. Jesus saved us from getting cut, just like he’s done from so many known and unknown dangers. Added that to my list of things to be grateful for. Anyways, swim away from the rocks and you’ll be safe!

Dad, sis and me taking a walk at Talpona Beach in South Goa, India - TheWingedFork
Dad, sis and me taking a walk on Talpona Beach

Another thing we liked about Talpona beach is lighter colored sand. So different from the Northern parts of Goa. This pic above of dad, sis and me was taken by mom when we went for a walk on the beach on dad’s birthday. The sun did really get in our eyes!

There are just two shacks on the Northern end of the beach that serve really local dishes. Even their sandwiches and butter garlic squid has a local taste. Different spices!

We also found an abundance of kokum used in most of the food. If you’re apt to try different cuisines and are staying here for a meal though, try the rawa-fried pomfret from Deepiksha restaurant!

Talpona Beach in Goa after sunset - Pic by Sarah from TheWingedFork
Talpona Beach after sunset

If you’re looking for food on the Northern end of the beach, the Peace Garden Resort has a restaurant with wider options in food and drink. Otherwise, head North to Palolem or South to Galgibaga for a meal.

Okay, now it’s time to bombard you with 2 more of my sis’s pics of Talpona Beach. Lucky, aren’t you? I actually wanted to post a dozen. 😉

Another Sunset at Talpona Beach in South Goa by Sarah from TheWingedFork
Another Sunset at Talpona Beach in Canacona, South Goa by my sis
Lovely Goan sunset at Talpona Beach in Canacona, South Goa - Pic by TheWingedFork
Lovely Goan sunset at Talpona Beach in Canacona, South Goa

I love the gold in these pics Sarah took. I have so many more that I want to post, but maybe another time, eh?

Anyways, since Talpona Beach is located in South Goa in the Canacona Taluka just 20 minutes drive South from Palolem and Patnem beaches with their shacks and nightlife; it’s perfect for a quiet getaway from the noise and busyness of the rest of Goa, but close enough to the activity if you ever feel the need to indulge.

San Jacinto Island

A miraculous island with its own charm, San Jacinto has been well-maintained by locals. They made a vow back in 1927 not to ever sell their island or lease it to the government.

The island is home to a lighthouse and plenty of hilly terrain that backpackers and hikers love.

Side view of Sao Jacinto Island Church - Pic by Abby of TheWingedFork
Side view of Sao Jacinto Island Church
Miracle spring at Sao Jacinto Island - TheWingedFork
Miracle spring at Sao Jacinto Island

San Jacinto island also has a supposedly miracle spring that can heal you if you drink of it’s water. The spring is just 5 minutes walk from San Jacinto Church and filled with a number of fish. There was even a large black catfish staring at us.

The cross built in the spring and its walls are not well taken care of anymore. We asked a local about the miracle cross, and she said “It depends on your faith”.

There was a boat named St. Hycinthi just near the bridge leaving the Island - TheWingedFork
Boat named St. Hycinth

The San Jacinto Church or Sao Jacinto Church is also called the St. Hyacinth Church or Sao Hycith by locals. Which is why when I saw a boat there named Sao Hycith, I had to take a pic. Also love the old street lamps on the bridge across to the mainland.

Kerim Beach

Kerim Beach – Pic by Helene from Masala Herb
Kerim Beach, North Goa – Pic by Helene from Masala Herb

Helene from Masala Herb says that Kerim Beach (aka Querim Beach), which is located at the northern tip of Goa, is one of my favorite Goa beaches. If you want to avoid crowds and enjoy a lovely day at the beach, then this is your beach. Kerim is also special because of it’s pine trees, instead of the classical Coconut trees. That’s why this beach is a welcome change if you want to have another Goa beach experience. Tip: Take the ferry to cross the river (next to Kerim beach) and check out the Tirakhol fort on the other side.

Morjim Town – Scooter and Kayak

Morjim Mangroves – Pic by Ellie & Ravi from Soul Travel
Morjim Mangroves – Pic by Ellie & Ravi from Soul Travel

Ellie & Ravi from Soul Travel like this place a few minutes ride away from Ashwem beach lies the small town of Morjim. Home to a market, small stores and eateries, this is a useful place to pickup supplies and/or rent a scooter. It’s also a great jumping off point to explore a different side of Goa, and went with our friends at Konkan Explorers to kayak sail along Morjim river and a kayaking trip into some of the mangroves that join the river here. Often overlooked, Mangroves form a vital part of coastal India’s ecosystem and are home to rich biodiversity and wildlife. We highly recommend taking a trip to see this part of Goa that many travellers ignore.

Cabo de Rama Fort

Entrance to Cabo de Rama Fort - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Entrance to Cabo de Rama Fort

The fort where Lord Rama, the hero of the Ramayana, who along with his wife Sita spent 14 years in exile here. That’s the Cabo de Rama fort, or so says legend.

The fort wall at Cabo De Rama - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
The fort wall at Cabo De Rama

The Cabo de Rama fort existed long before the Portuguese took it over from the local Hindu rulers and the Raja of Sonda in 1763. The fort has passed hand through a few rulers since then, including the British.

Post-summer, the fort is engulfed in green foliage and you can’t see how steep the drop inside is. But it’s fun to visit again.

So we did that, visited again to see what the fort had in store for us. Just a different we. The last time I visited the fort about 3 years ago, it was around 7 pm and it was pretty dark.

When we got there, the driver Rohit told us not to go on the left side, but he didn’t tell us why. So we did, and we stumbled across a number of couples perched on the ramparts. It seems this was a fort for lovers. All of those couples who couldn’t find time alone in the real world seemed to find it here.

St. Anthony's Church in Cabo de Rama - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
St. Anthony’s Church in Cabo de Rama

We left that area and went towards the now closed church. Going past the church and the ancient graves, we reached more ramparts, and an ancient gate that allowed us to go outside to the steep external section.

It was a steep drop from there down to the rocks and the waves crashing against them. I got a few scrapes and bruises down there.

The topmost point at Cabo De Rama- Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
The topmost point at Cabo De Rama

We then went to the other side of the fort where the canons are, and while the Ex-BF went up to view the sea, I took pics of the erstwhile pond.

View from the Cabo De Rama Fort - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
View from the Cabo De Rama Fort

This time though, almost 3 years later, I went up there alone in the daytime and got some amazing pics. There are a few boats parked on the land below. The land and the beaches across the sea and the dozens of palm trees make for amazing pics.

I spent quite some time taking pics while the family of four at the other end were getting their selfies.

Then time to go back down and a thorny bush decides to give me a few scratches. Hmmm…

Teenagers scribbling their names on the wall - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Teenagers scribbling their names on the wall

On the way out we come across a teenage couple writing their names on the old walls. It’s not allowed, but they still do it. Love is strange!

Strange enough it seems that this lovely fort had turned into a place for suicides and lovers quarrels and murders. And the government has closed it past 5:30 pm. Things still happen though.

And whether or not you become part of the strange history of this beautiful fort, it will still make an impression. So take the time to visit!

Palolem Beach and its secrets

Canacona Island view from the shack at Palolem beach - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Canacona Island view from the shack at Palolem beach

This beautiful beach in South Goa is where Matt Damon shot the Bourne Supremacy. It’s a really beautiful beach, but is now known for its hippie crowd on the South end and its family crowd on the North end.

The Palolem Beach is also close to the famous Canacona Island or Monkey Island that can be accessed either by boat or by wading across at low tide. But if you ask me what to do in Goa if you only do one thing, I’ll tell you to go to Palolem for a midnight swim. The secret of the beach is the phytoplankton that people don’t know about. Read more about it my Palolem post here.

Church of St. Augustine in Velha, Old Goa

My brother Paps wrote about one of the monasteries he loved visiting.

In the Velha region of Old Goa on Holy Hill (Monte Santo) and just off the banks of the river Mandovi sit the ruins of the tower of St. Augustine’s monastery and those of the once enormous church of Nossa Senhora de Graca (Our Lady of Grace). Augustinian friars initiated the construction of this once-stupendous structure after their arrival in 1587.

Construction of the monastery and the church was completed between 1597 and 1602 giving the Nossa Senhora de Graca the reputation of being one of the 3 greatest Augustinian churches of the Iberian world, the other 2 being the Basilica of Escoral in Spain and St. Vincente de Fora in Lisbon.

My sis Abby at St. Augustine's Tower - Pic by Olivier from TheWingedFork
My sis Abby at St. Augustine’s Tower – Pic by Olivier from TheWingedFork

The tower was one of 4 original towers that stood at this site. Measuring 46 meters this once colossal structure served as a Belfry.

Excavations reveal that the church comprised of 8 chapels and 4 altars amongst the many other cells connected to it and a convent. The church had an enormous barrel vault (collapsed 1842) which covered its now exposed nave. The sheer weight of the enormous vault is believed to have quickened the collapse of the church post-abandonment in 1835.

The bell which once adorned the now dilapidated tower was moved to the church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panjim in 1871 where it is to this day. In 1931 half the tower collapsed and subsequently more sections in 1938.

St Augustine's Tower in Velha, Old Goa - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
St Augustine’s Tower in Velha, Old Goa

There is another myth or legend associated with St. Augustine’s Tower and the relics of Ketevan the Martyr, the Queen of the Georgian kingdom of Kakheti.

After the death of her husband, she became regent and made her still-young son the king. As regent, she was tasked with the duty of being an emissary to Iran.

To prevent Kakheti from being attacked she allowed herself to be taken hostage. Queen Ketevan was eventually tortured and killed at Shiraz in Iran in 1624 for refusing to give up her Christian faith.

The Augustinian missionaries took her remains back to Georgia but also secretly brought some of her parts and interred them in the monastery here in Goa. So goes the story of the Queen who lies in two places now. There have been attempts to locate her remains, but so far all that has been found are records documenting them.

These beautiful ruins escaped me on previous visits to Old Goa but I would definitely recommend visiting St Augustine’s tower if you are in and around Old Goa. I most definitely would. Again.

Butterfly Conservatory of Goa aka Mystic Woods

Butteryfly at the Ponda Butterfly Conservatory - Photo Credit Butterfly Conservatory
Butteryfly at the Ponda Butterfly Conservatory – Photo Credit Butterfly Conservatory

Ever wanted to dance with butterflies? Get yourself to Mystic Woods.

Okay. You don’t really dance with butterflies, but you can see so many of them in this small piece of land in Ponda that you’ll find a number of naturalists and conservation enthusiasts visiting here.

The owners took up this project as a part of their efforts to reforest land that builders were taking over. When they bought the piece of land from the builders, it was dry and without any plants. Now, 6 years later, it has turned into green land again.

Guppies munching on our dead flesh at the Butterfly Conservatory
Guppies munching on our dead flesh at the Butterfly Conservatory
Wild orchids growing on cashewnut tree at the Butterfly Conservatory of India - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork

Wild orchids growing on cashewnut tree at the Butterfly Conservatory of IndiaThere is a pond onsite with guppies that nibble on your feet if you put them in. But they’re not garrarufa, so the risks and benefits of that, I’ll leave to you to decide.

There is waterfall that flows with rainwater that has been harvested nearby. A few wild orchids had been grafted onto a cashewnut tree and were thriving there.

Glassy Tiger - Photo Credit Butterfly Conservatory
Glassy Tiger – Photo Credit Butterfly Conservatory

We reached around 2 in the afternoon, so only saw a few butterflies. There were many of the glassy tigers around though. The others seemed to have wandered off.

We were told the best time to see more butterflies is in the morning from 9 am to 11 am. The tally of butterflies seen so far by naturalists who spend time there has gone up to 133.

Passion flowers at butterfly conservatory - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Passion flowers at butterfly conservatory

Although it’s a really small space for regular tourists, all in all for butterfly enthusiasts, it’s a good conservation effort. Plus, we get the chance to laud the owners of the Butterfly Conservatory by visiting for a meager entry fee of just INR 100.

Kakolem Beach or Tiger Beach

View of Kakolem beach from the top - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
View of Kakolem beach from the top

There are beaches aplenty in Goa, but a little bit North of the Cabo de Rama fort that was once well known for its local lover escapades, is this hidden beach. By local lover escapades, I mean the couples who were perched on the left side of the ramparts.

Nowadays, the fort is closed post 5.30 pm, although it was technically closed at that time earlier too. There’s an armed guard there now in the evenings. But I digress.

Kakolem beach aka Tiger Beach is as beautiful as Butterfly beach. And similar to that, it can only be accessed by boat or by hiking down a rather deep incline.

I didn’t have the heart for it that sunny day. Neither did my mom or our driver guide Rohit. So we just took pictures, and went on ahead.

Me, I figured the next time I’m here with the BF, I’ll hike down there. Of course, I’m not talking about the ex-BF, he has chosen to be history because of a 30% thing. So dear future BF, if you’re reading this, just be prepared. You’ll be guiding a somewhat clumsy creature who is deathly afraid of worms down a hiking trail. Good luck to you!

The family just chimed in, “She’s serious!”

I think I’ll just drop off the earth now.

But getting to the beach really requires either a short steep hike or a boat ride. Which is why, if you’re looking for privacy, Kakolem beach is perfect!

Butterfly Beach

Sis Sarah writes about Butterfly Beach.

The first time I went to Butterfly Beach was in 2011 on a guided tour. Since we took a boat from Panjim to get there, some of the tourists were under the impression that it was a faraway Butterfly Island.

When in fact, Butterfly Beach is just a secluded cresent-shaped beach on the South coast of Goa. It lies 15 minutes North of Palolem Beach and 30 minutes South of Kakolem Beach and so can be accessed via both by boat.

Butterfly Beach with the jungle behind - TheWingedFork
Butterfly Beach with the jungle behind

The name butterfly beach obviously comes from the number of butterflies that are known to inhabit the beach. We didn’t see any though.

We did like the clear water for swimming and the odd crabs that were around. Snorkelling here means you will see a few fish and sea cucumbers. But the beach is great for just plain ‘ol swimming too. Post which you can enjoy lunch on the shore.

The fact that you cannot drive here keeps the beach clean and away from the crowds. But if you are the adventurous type, you can get here by hiking through the nearby jungle for about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Dolphin watching near butterfly beach - Pic by my aunt Marthie - TheWingedFork
Dolphin watching near butterfly beach – Pic by my aunt Marthie

On the way back, we went dolphin watching in the same trip. Didn’t really expect to see them, but we turned out to be lucky. Yippee Yay! Wish we had better cameras though.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

In the Southern part of Goa, in the Canacona Taluka is the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary that was set up in 1968 to protect this part of the forest. Although we can’t see bigger cats here, they still have flying squirrels, deer, porcupine and pangolins.

But the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is better known for the birds that can be seen here and is a bird watcher’s paradise if you are patient enough. The white-bellied woodpecker, velvet fronted nuthatch, kingfisher, swallow, swift, egret, heron, speckled piculet, and many more.

There are a few hiking trails for those who don’t like the confines of a vehicle. One of them takes you to the observation desk that’s about 20 metres high up in a tree. The climb may get your heart racing.

There is also a snake proof camp site (supposedly snake proof) for those who have taken prior permission to spend the night here.

Cumbarjua Canal

By Sarah from TheWingedFork

Crocodile in the Water - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Crocodile in the Water
Mugger Crocodiles - Pic by Marajozkee from Wiki Commons SA4.0
Mugger Crocs at Cumbarjua Canal
Pic by Marajozkee from Wikimedia CC By SA 4.0

This 15 km stretch of canal that connects the rivers Zuari and Mandovi has a unique feature. It is inhabited by mugger crocs that are fresh water creatures but have adapted to a salt water lifestyle.

We hired a boat from one of the many centres nearby and took a trip in the lush mangroves to spot those beady eyes looking at us.

They didn’t seem to care about the humans taking pictures of them and went on with their slumber or rest. Some of them were swimming across the creek too.

We also spotted a few birds and a number of fishing boats. If you are visiting, carry a DSLR or SLR camera to get better shots.

Budbudyache Taley aka Netravali Bubbling Lake

Netravali Bubbling Lake or Budbudyache Taley - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Netravali Bubbling Lake or Budbudyache Taley

There’s a lake that’s really a pond and bubbles year long. If you’ve visited more than once you probably know what I’m talking about. The mysterious Netravali Lake or Budbudyache Taley in Netravali, Vichumdrem keeps bubbling all day and night.

I tried to take a video of the bubbles, but my phone betrayed me. The bubbles kept coming up just after I’d given up and pressed stop. Almost 10 times they did that! Blimey! It was just a few of them that made it into the video above.

No one knows where the bubbles in this pond that’s called a lake come from. Scientists have tried testing them under the aegis of the government. They wanted to see if the bubbles were caused by methane gas. But that has been proven wrong given that a few varieties of tiny fish live in this pond.

Gopinath temple - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Gopinath temple near Netravali Bubbling Lake in Goa

The bubble also respond to some sounds. Clap your hands and the bubbles rise faster through the clear water to break at the surface. The lake or really pond is a centre of religious significance to the locals along with the neighbouring Gopinath Temple.

The lake can be accessed all days of the week from 8 am to 8 pm. And a tidbit to leave you with – ‘budbud’ means bubbles in the Konkani language. Hence the name of the lake, Budbudyache Taley or Bubbling Lake.

The lake isn’t too attractive other than seeing the bubble, so you won’t sepdn too much time here. But it’s quite close to a number of local spice farms. So if you’re in the area visit the Tansikhar Spice Farm, Kushavati Spice farm, or any of the others.

The best places to stay in Goa

Wondering where to stay in Goa after you’re done visiting the popular Goan attractions? We’ve got some tried and tested list of beach resorts in Goa from my friends and myself. Here are a few choices that aren’t too hard on the pocket!

Maaria Riose – Melody of the Sea in Dabolim

Mariaa Riose - Photo Credit Mariaa Riose
Mariaa Riose – Photo Credit Mariaa Riose

On our last night in Goa, mum and I stayed at this affordable boutique hotel close to the airport. Translating to ‘Melody of the Sea’, Mariaa Riose is a 7-minute drive from the airport and a 10-minute drive from Bogmalo beach.

Deluxe room at the Mariaa Riose - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Deluxe room at the Mariaa Riose

The deluxe rooms were pretty spacious with two sofa chairs, a small fridge, safety deposit box, and other amenities. But they did require a climb to get to. But their mattresses were beyond awesome!

Maaria Riose
1/6B, Gallint, Opposite 1st Navy gate, Alto Dabolim, Goa 403801, India
Phone: +91 832 253 8666
Email: [email protected]

Cinnamon Agonda on Agonda Beach Road

Spacious rooms at Cinnamon Agonda - Photo Credit Cinnamon Agonda
Spacious rooms at Cinnamon Agonda – Photo Credit Cinnamon Agonda

In South Goa, where there are lesser parties and more peace and quiet, you’ll find the Cinnamon Agonda resort and others. Mom and I spent a few nights here enjoying the open-air showers but contending with the mosquitoes in the balconies.

With the beach a short 5 minutes away, it was a pleasant place to stay.If you’re wondering, rooms 101 to 103 are closest to the open bar.

Cinnamon Agonda
Agonda Beach Rd, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Phone: +91 91588 06297
Email: [email protected]nda.com

Colonia Santa Maria in Cobravaddo, North Goa

The pool at Colonia Santa Maria - Photo Credit CSM
The pool at Colonia Santa Maria – Photo Credit CSM

These colonial-style villas are halfway between Calangute and Baga beaches. We stayed here over 20 years ago, but they’ve grown better since then. Clean and spacious, the bungalows are fully equipped.

Plus, there is a pool to lounge at and the sea a short walk away. It’s like staying in Goa of old.

Colonia Santa Maria
CSM road, Khobravaddo, Calangute Goa 403516, India
Phone: +91 832 227 6107
Email: [email protected]

Fernandes Wooden Cottages in Palolem, South Goa

View from the upper floor balcony of our shack at Palolem Beach, Goa - TheWingedFork
View from the upper floor balcony of our shack at Palolem Beach, Goa

Fernandes Wooden Cottages consist of eco-friendly cottages in South Goa, you know where I shared that secret with you, at Palolem Beach.

Sash Fernandes and his staff are very helpful and can arrange vehicles for trips to other parts of Goa. You can ping him for more info at [email protected] or Whatsapp him at +91-7875232056

Fernandes Wooden Cottages
Palolem Beach, Canacona Goa 403702, India
Phone: +91-7875232056
Email: [email protected]

Talpona Paradise Beach House

A quaint house on a quiet beach, where you can walk out for a swim night or day. This old Talpona Beach, South Goa that’s been converted into a rental is perfect for those looking for solitude and open eaches that others don’t visit.

The green house on Talpona Beach that we stayed at
The green house on Talpona Beach that we stayed at

We chose the smaller 55 sqm green villa with the 2 rooms, a living room, a bathroom, and a small kitchen that’s equipped with a fridge, gas stove, cooking utensils, plates, cutlery, and more.

View of Talpona beach from the green house yard
View of Talpona beach from the yard of the green house

There’s a larger more modern white house nearby also for rent. Either way, for those seeking solitude this out-of-the-way rental is perfect.

Talpona Paradise Beach House
Talpona Beach House #190, Canacona, Goa 403702, India
Phone: Guy Weisman +91-7066129588
Deepak +91-9923562203
Email: [email protected]

What do you love about Goa that’s unique? Comment and let us know. 

What Should I Know About Goa? And Other FAQs

Where Is Goa?

Goa is a small state on the Western coast of India. It is bordered by the Indian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and of course the Arabian Sea.

What airport do you fly into for Goa?

Dabolim Aiport or Goa International Airport is where all domestic and international flights land in Goa.

How can I reach Goa?

Goa International Airport is a military airport and located at Dabolim near Vasco Da Gama. It’s easily accessible via direct flights from most cities in India. Some major international destinations also have direct flights to Goa. Most outstation trains mostly stop at either Madgaon Station aka Margao, Tivim Station or Vasco Da Gama Station in Goa. Goa is well linked by train from most important cities in India, especially Mumbai.

Local transport in Goa includes buses, ricks and cars. Try to haggle for a price, but in the end you’ll have to live with the higher costs. Don’t worry, they overcharge us too, and we’re locals from Mumbai who’ve been visiting Goa for over 20 years.

What is the capital of Goa?

Panaji or Panjim is the capital of Goa, while Vasco Da Gama is the largest city.

What is Goa famous for?

Goa is famous for its sandy beaches, places of worship, forts and heritage sights. The food and culture of Goa though unique in its own way draws many cultural influences from the Portuguese who occupied it for over 450 years, before India annexed her in 1961. And since it’s located on the Western Ghats, it has a diverse variety of flora and fauna.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Goa?

The best time to go to Goa is in the cooler months from November to February. But you can also visit Goa the rest of the year. October and March to May are very hot but still busy months. If on the other hand, you like the rains, visit Goa from June to September and enjoy long drives along open roads engulfed in green. Be careful of the flooding in some areas though. Many of the restaurants in Southern Goa shut down for the monsoon season. So you’d be left to cooking your own food or buying it from a local Goan ‘auntie’. PS. It’s a thing in India. We call everyone auntie and uncle, even strangers.

What dishes should I eat in Goa?

That really depends on your tastebuds. But Goa is famous for dishes like the traditional chicken xacuti, pork vindaloo, chicken cafreal, butter garlic squid, choriz with pav, rawa fried fish, and a lot more.

What is Goa’s drink?

Feni, Goa’s home drink is made from fermented coconut or palm tree juice. It’s served straight, on the rocks or mixed into a cocktail or carbonated beverage.

What is the popular Goan dessert?

Goa has many famous desserts. The best ones include bebinca, doce, my favorite pinac.

That’s enough information about Goa for now. 😉 Best go experience her uniqueness yourself.

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Secret and hidden attractions in Goa that you must visit - TheWingedFork

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