Sunday, May 26, 2019
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Dona Paula Beach

 

Place

:

Dona Paula, Goa

Highlight

:

An ideal location for taking up numerous water sports activities

Best time to visit

:

November - March

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Dona Paula beach is just 7 km from the Capital of Goa - Panaji (Panjim ) and has often been described as a paradise of lovers. A popular tourist destination associated with romance and myth, the beach rests on the headland that divides the Zuar and Mandovi estuaries. A complete and exciting holiday destination for tourists, Dona Paula beach is also a favourite film location of movie makers. 

There are many legends associated with this beach, the most famous is that, the daughter of a former Portuguese Governor of Goa, Dona Paula de Menzes (after whom the beach of Dona Paula is named) threw herself onto the rocks beneath the cliffs when refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias.

But in the historical records, Dona Paula is not a romantic figure but a historical figure. She was the daughter of a Sri Lankan Governor and her family arrived in Goa in 1644.  Her husband was Dom Antonio Souto Maior.

At the end of the bay there is a beautiful islet-hillock. From the top of this hillock one can have views of the Marmagao harbour and the Arabian Sea up to the Zuari Bridge to the east. At the base there is a carved sculpture named ' Image of India' depicting a couple - a man facing west representing the future and a woman facing east representing the future- made by Baroness Yrsa von Leistner. But the folklore linked to the statues, often mistakenly says that these are the lovers in the Dona Paula legend. From here, one can see the Arabian Sea and the River Zuari. 

Edged with palms and vast stretches of casuarina groves, the beautiful beach offers its visitors a most relaxing holiday option facilitating sunbathing, swimming, water sports, a major attraction. At Dona Paula Beach, one can enjoy water sports like water scooter racing, motorboat riding, windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking and yachting. A sports club here offers motorboat excursions, water-scooters for rent, windsurfing, water skiing, para-sailing and fishing equipments. One can enjoy the hour-long sunset and sundown cruises organized by Goa Tourism Department. Most include the option of a meal. Contact Rajendra Naik, Ph: 0832- 2437496, cruises@goa-tourism.com.

Besides all these facilities, Dona Paula beach provide opportunities to the tourists to purchase cheap seaside goods from local vendors.   Along the road beside the beach, there are numerous stores where fishermen-turned-local vendors sells variety of T-shirts, swimwear, straw hats, eatables, spices etc. Shopping at Dona Paula is one of the most exotic activities. The Indian Arts Emporium in Dona Paula offers a premium choice of Indian handicrafts and jewels.  

The beach is also famous for its feast and festivals. At Dona Paula, the Festival Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) and the feast of St. Lawrence are celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm. The annual colourful water sports festival in November, also lure many visitors to Dona Paula. Water scooter and cycle races along with surfing competitions are the main attractions of this festival. 

The nearby attractions in Dona Paula beach are; 

Two other beaches are also within the proximity of the Dona Paula Beach. These are the Miramar beach, enroute to Dona Paula just 4km away and the Vainguinim Beach, which is situated 1 km west of Dona Paula.

The National Oceanography Institute: Established in the 1960's, the institute deals with marine biology and offers almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The institute houses a Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.

Contact Address : 
National Institute of Oceanography (NIO)
Dona Paula - 403004, Goa, India
EPABX : 0832 - 2450450; Fax : 0832 - 2450602 & 2450603
e-mail : ocean@nio.org

The Governor's House (Cabo Raj Niwas): Near the National Oceanography Institute, just opposite to Fort Aguada on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula is the official residence of the Governor of Goa, known as Cabo Raj Bhavan. The building which is about 500 years old used to be a monastery of Franciscan fathers. The Raj Bhawan has a collection of antique furniture, silver cutlery, sculptures, paintings and other antiques dating back to the last 450 years.

There is a small Chapel dedicated to Our virgin lady of The cape (Nossa Senhora do Cabo). Cabo Raj Niwas which is illuminated at night during the season gives an excellent view.  Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built during their brief occupation of the Cabo, (Portuguese for Cape) to prevent the French from invading Goa.  Dona Paula is said to be entombed at this Cabo Chapel. 

Excursions

Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary :  Named after India's well known ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali, this bird sanctuary is spread over 2 sq.km in a mangrove forest, about 9 kms from the beach. The sanctuary located on the western end of Choro Island in the Mandovi River boasts of many local and migratory birds. There is a Bird watching tower inside the sanctuary. Special permission is needed from the Chief Wildlife Warden. 

Reis Magos Church : It is one of the oldest churches in Goa and is famous for its annual feast. The church is dedicated to the three wise men of the Christmas story- Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, who according to legend, were guided by a star to Bethlehem to greet the Baby Jesus.

Places To Eat  

Getting food is not problem at all at this beach. There are a lot of places at Dona Paula which offers mouth-watering Goan Cuisine and drink.







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