Travel

Places to See and Photograph in Goa, India

Goa is a very unique Indian travel destination.  The culture, architecture, religion and food of Goa was influenced by 450 years of Portuguese rule.  Located on the western coast of India on the Arabian Sea, Goa is known for it’s beaches, resorts, seafood and don’t miss the beautiful sunsets over the Arabian Sea.

Se Cathedral, Goa

Se Cathedral, Old Goa

Here are a few of my favorite things to do, see and photograph in the Indian state of Goa.

Historic Catholic Churches

Old Goa has several historic Catholic Churches built in the 1600s.  Some of the churches we visited in Old Goa were the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, and Church of St. Cajetan.  Visit my blog on the Churches of Goa for more information.

Hindu Temple

Shri Shantadurga Temple, Goa

Shri Shantadurga Temple

In addition to the historic Catholic churches, Goa has some beautiful Hindu temples.  Visit a working Hindu temple to experience the Hindu religion and Indian Culture. 

Make sure to take your shoes off before entering the temple.  You may also want to buy some flowers from the vendors outside the temple to give as an offering.

Selling Flowers at the Shri Shantadurga Temple

Selling Flowers at the Shri Shantadurga Temple

We visited the Shri Shantadurga Temple near Ponda.  This is close to the Tropical Spice Plantation so you can visit both on the same day.

Beaches

Cricket Match on Bambolim Beach

Cricket Match on Bambolim Beach

Goa is known for its beautiful beaches.  There are several beaches to visit in Goa including Candolim, Benaulim, Anjuna, Arambol, and Vagator.  I noticed that many Indians did not wear swimsuits on the beach so you may want to check your attire if you visit one of the popular beaches.

We visited Vagator beach which was clean but fairly crowded on the weekend.  There is also an Indian market by the parking area for shopping.

Beaches are a good spot for photographers to photograph people, beach landscapes, and sunsets. Goa is on the western coast of India so it is a good spot to photograph sunsets over the water. There are also volleyball and cricket matches on the beaches that can be interesting to photograph.

Tropical Spice Plantation

Elephant Rides, Tropical Spice Plantation,  Goa

Elephant Rides, Tropical Spice Plantation,  Goa

At the Tropical Spice Plantation near Ponda, you can take an informative guided tour that shows how many popular spices are grown.  You can also sample tea and have an authentic Goan lunch including fried fish and shrimp.  Elephant rides can also be purchased at the plantation.

Spices such as Lemongrass and Cardamom can also be purchased at the Tropical Spice Plantation for only 50 rupees a bag.

There are plenty of photo opportunities at the plantation including the elephants and macro and wildlife (lizard) photography on the spice tour and rainforest. There is also a marsh at the plantation that is a great place to photograph wading birds and waterfowl. 

Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort

The recently renovated Reis Magos Fort provides a great view of the Mandovi River leading out to the Arabian Sea.  Floating casinos are also parked in the river for local and tourist gamblers.  The fort also has an interesting art gallery.

Photographers will enjoy the scenic views from the fort and also find some compositions of the fort and canons.

Goan Cuisine

Goa has a unique cuisine influenced by the Portuguese but also comprised of Indian Spice.  Goa is known for its seafood especially fresh fish.  Try the pomfret while in Goa.  I had it both curry style and in a garlic sauce. 

Bebinca is a traditional Goan desert.  It is a layered coconut cake that has just the right amount of coconut and is not overly sweet.

Written by Martin Belan

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