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5 Hidden Gems Of Goa To Explore

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By Author: Jude Mascarenhas
Total Articles: 6
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Goa, a renowned vacation destination, has something to offer to every kind of traveller, whether you are looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-packed trip. However, beyond the popular tourist spots lies a collection of lesser-known destinations that are equally stunning and mesmerising.

Goa, despite being a small state, possesses a diverse landscape that features lush green forests, water bodies, rolling hills, and pristine beaches. Adding a tropical climate to its diverse topography, Goa can be visited year-round, with each season offering a unique experience. While a beach side resort in Goa is an ideal leisure destination for visitors, most people like exploring the hidden gems that go beyond the commercial beaches.

Offbeat places in Goa are slowly gaining popularity as visitors are looking to indulge in experiences that are off the beaten path. These places provide a chance to experience the local culture, explore the history, and connect with nature.

Salim ...
... Ali Bird Sanctuary

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, located in the charming village of Chorao, is a bird watcher's paradise and a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The sanctuary is accessible from the Ribandar ferry wharf where you can ferry across the Mandovi River to the island. Named after the famous ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali, the sanctuary is home to a myriad of migratory birds. Winter birds like pintails and coots can be spotted here. You can enjoy the picturesque view of the birds, trees of the island, and the Mandovi River from the sanctuary’s vantage point, a 15m tall watchtower. You can also enjoy the exquisite views of the jungle on the 25 m tall watchtower which can be accessed only through the creek.

The best time to visit the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is during the winter months from November to February when the migratory birds make their way to Goa. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the mangrove-lined channels and observe the birds in their natural habitat and may even spot a crocodile. The sanctuary is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Netravali Bubbling Lake

A visit to the bubbling lake at Netravali, a lesser-explored destination situated in South Goa, offers a unique and unforgettable experience. The bubbling lake or locally known as Bubbudyachi Tali is surrounded by lush greenery and can be accessed by a private vehicle or by opting for a guided tour. The journey to the lake is an adventure in itself, with a scenic drive through the dense forest and a short trek through the wilderness.

Located close to Gopinath Temple, the lake experiences bubbles at the surface of the water from the natural gas released by the earth’s crust. The lake is surrounded by a natural stone pavement, making it the ideal spot to sit, relax and drink in the beautiful sights of nature. The locals believe that the lake has healing properties and consider it to be a sacred site.

Harvalem Waterfall

A majestic waterfall cascading from a height of 50m, Harvalem waterfall located in Bicholim, is the perfect retreat from the crowded beaches of Goa. You can head to the waterfall via private vehicle or a taxi from Mapusa City. The journey approximately takes an hour followed by a short walk down a few stairs to get to the bottom of the waterfall. An ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva over 1000 years ago is located close by. A popular pilgrimage site for locals, explore the temple and admire its intricate carvings and architecture.

There is also a park located nearby where you can have a picnic with your family or friends as you take in the stunning views of the grand waterfall. It is important to note that there are some restrictions put in place to protect the waterfall’s natural habitat. Visitors are not allowed to use plastic or litter in the area, and swimming in the water is prohibited. Visitors are also expected to maintain decorum at the temple and waterfall.

Devil’s Finger

Located along the Sinquerim beach shoreline, is the Devil’s Finger, a unique geological formation that is a must-visit for all intrepid travellers.

This towering rock formation offers a thrilling experience to visitors who climb to the top. The view from the top is breathtaking, with stunning views of the Arabian Sea and the surrounding landscape. This beach, unlike the basic sun, sand and sea description, offers a picturesque view of the sea waves hitting against the rocky shore. It is advised to wear trekking shoes, carry ample drinking water, put on sunscreen, and wear safety gear if needed. It is a great spot to have a picnic. However, plan your trip to this spot keeping in mind the long walk back while ensuring daylight is still left.

You can also plan to visit the famous Aguada Fort which is located nearby as well.

Arambol Sweet Water Lake

Vagkolam Lake, also known as Arambol Sweet Water Lake, is a serene freshwater lake located in the village of Arambol in North Goa. The best time to visit this blue lagoon with a backdrop of lush greenery is during the summer. A dip in these cool waters is a respite from the harsh humid summers of Goa. The crystal-clear waters of the lake are perfect for swimming and kayaking, making it a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.

One of the most unique aspects of this lake is the therapeutic clay-like mud found at the bottom of the lake. This mud is believed to have healing properties and can be rubbed across your body to experience its magical therapeutic powers. The lake is also surrounded by a dense forest, making it a great option for bird watching and hiking as well.

From quaint bird sanctuaries to secret beaches, and ancient temples to majestic waterfalls, these hidden spots will give you a new perspective on Goa.

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