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Shubhyatra >> Goa Yatra >> Canacona


District : South Goa District
Location : Southernmost region of Goa
Known As : Konvapuram
Best Time to Visit : November to February

Canacona - Conquer The Nature

Canacona Beach

To See : Shree Mallikarjun Temple, Fresh Water Springs.
Most Famous For : Pololem Beach, Cavelosim Beach and Agonda Beach.
Don't Miss : Fort Cabo de Rama, which is supposed to have been the resting place of Lord Rama during his Exile.
Must Visit : The two water springs in Canacona that will surely refresh your soul.
Getting Around : Agonda Beach, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Shree Sanusthan Gokarn Parthagali Jeevotham Math.
Getting There : Air - The Dabolim Airport is 62 km away from Canacona.
Rail - The nearest railhead is at Margao, 37 kms away. There are direct trains from Mumbai, Panjim and Mangalore.
Road - NH 17 connects Canacona to Margao and Panaji.
Inside Tip : The best time to visit this place is from November to March.
Must Try : Try Fernando Da Costa's tart Goan Prawn Curry-rice.
Shopping Options : Handicrafts Emporium (Tourist Hostel), Afroza's Boutique, Local Bazaar, Colva Beach.
Important Distances : Mumbai – 639 kms kms, Pune – 226 Km, Panjim – 13 kms.
Where to Eat : Fat Willy's Beach Shack, Dropadi, Dersy Bar and Restaurant, Simrose Restaurant, Betty's Place, Silver Star Bar and Restaurant.
Staying Options : Allesandra Resort, Intercontinental Grand Resort, Bhakti Kutir, Dona Sylvia.

It takes all of two hours to change the course of your holiday in Goa. Set against a backdrop of the lush green Sahyadri Hills and enfolded by laterite headlands, the beauty of Canacona augments with a string of pearl white coves and sweeping beaches that scoop its indented coastline. It is this virgin quality that has attracted enervated tourists - tired of rave parties, chattering cruises and beach bums - to the green carpeted hills of Canacona, nestling at 37 km from Margao. And why not? You can find a virgin coast, off-the-beaten track destinations and to your surprise, some unusual festivals. It is only here the village pigs still clean the toilets, hand-painted boards tell of taxis-on-the sea adventure and shacks on stilts make up a homely ambiance for your stay. What else do you need to enjoy your vacation in this picturesque stretch of sea-air kissed palms? Perhaps, friends that fly high in the air or dancing dolphins in the waters of the Arabian!

Experience The Shortcuts To Fun At Canacona

Go Green With The Wilds At Cotigao

Till the early 1990s, Canacona was just a disdained Goan backwater. Palolem and Agonda beaches and the desolete Cabo de Rama Fort remained the only places where one could ever think of a holiday. Over the decade, the thirst to unveil the virgin beauty of nature led many travellers to the green hills of Canacona. Nestling on the basin of the shimmering Talpona River near the Karnataka border is the stunning 86-sq km sanctuary of Cotigao. Applauded as Goa's second-largest wildlife sanctuary, Cotigao is credited with some of the tallest trees in Goa - some even 30 metres high! Seeing varied species of wildlife in the dark, deep patches is an all time adventure here. The sanctuary affords its own accommodation at the Eco-Tourism Cottages at Hattipal. You can also enjoy a memorable stay in the Forest Department's scenic but simple resthouse on the Poinguinim highway, some 4 km away from the sanctuary.

Palolem Beach , Canacona
Palolem Beach , Canacona

Canacona Beach - An Adventure In Itself

Go to Chaudi market and ask for Little Cola or Butterfly Beach. Chances are that nobody knows what you are talking about. These beaches, known to backpackers from all over the world who've cultivated their own demand and supply chain from the villages, are kept hush-hush so that village folks won't disturb the tourist reverie. Enjoy a thrilling stay in the fishermen cottages at Canaguinim, the best known of Canacona's beaches. Relax in your own private beach with a bottle of home-made fenny, stranded without a soul in sight. Ah! what a holiday it would make! Take your spirits to the heights of Cabo de Rama, from the top of which you can get magnificent views of Quepem to the north and the shifting white sand beaches of Canacona to the south.

Trek down to Agonda Beach past St. Anne's church to give the last colours in your fun-filled adventure holiday. This is a quiter version of North Goa's Anjuna sans its clamourous and non-stop full moon parties. From here a different course of trek will welcome you. Getting down to Xendrem Beach is a maze which only a sure-footed goat or an expert villager can manage. To get to Vaturem, you need to cross a tiny footbridge made out of coconut trees, and navigate a 2-ft wide rough path and go by some ant-hills, till the beach mysteriously emerges to soothe your weary eyes. Well, your holiday in Canacona cannot be signed off without meeting the glistening dolphins. Travel to Polem, the last beach on Goa's golden coast. Fringed by craggy black rocks, Palolem Beach is a little dangerous for swimming during low tide and because you might get distracted to see a couple of dolphins playing beside you, who come right up to the shores.

A Tour To The Temples

The temples of Canacona have some of the most pristine locations in fragrant forests on the hills here. Once a year, the gods step out from their sanctums for the 'zatras', when they ride on wooden thrones borne by devotees. It is a great experience to be a part of the processions, wherein you can see people irrespective of cult and creed are driven by faith. The whole of atmosphere reverberates with merriment. The roads spring up to life with shops selling toys and food, acrobats showing games of skill, and 'sadhus' organising religious discourses. Drive to the Shantadurga Temple in Fatorpa in Quepem which holds its 'zatra' on the ninth day of the Hindu month of Margashirsh (December-January). Both Hindus and Catholics make their way to this remote village, 5 km from Cuncolim for the 'zatra'. You can see a tall, intricate, decorated, three-tiered wooden chariot (rath), carrying the deity and is drawn by male devotees in a night procession during the 'zatra'. Another interesting place of worship is the Mallikarjun Temple at Shristhal in Canacona, 3 km from Chaudi. Devotees head here for advice from the 'kauls' (oracles). Remember to attend the grand 'zatra' of Mallikarjun, when the deity is carried down to the beach for an annual dip amidst splendid pomp and show.

Choose Your Way

You need your own transport to reach many of the points of tourist interest in Canacona, since buses are few and far between. Autos are available, but these talukas close early. The Dabolim Airport is 62 km away and you can get pre-paid taxis from the airport to reach downtown. If you plan to come by rail, board the Konkan Kanya Express which departs Mumbai CST at 10:50 pm and reaches Margao at 10:45 in the morning. From Margao, get into one of those shuttle bus services (Kadamba) and you can reach Canacona quite comfortably.

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Top 5 Reasons to Visit Canacona

Canacona Beach

An Easy Access To Fun
Canacona is a beautiful city nestling on the lush green outdoors of the Sahyadri Hills. Situated at a mere 37 km from Margao, this pristine sliver of chaste sands is indeed a favoured place of holidayers and honeymooners.

Tune Yourself With Nature
Portraying a diverse topography, Canacona flaunts to house the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa at Cotigao. Enjoy a trek through the dense forests to behold a magnificent cluster of ambrosial butterflies, jumping macaques and laughing thrushes dominating the terrain.

Endless Fun At Canacona Beach
Visit the long stretch of moon crescent beach of Canacona. Fruiting trees that provide it all the shade it needs uniquely surround this patch of silver sands. It promises a safe haven to even the most unadventurous with its warm waters. Relish your own personal beach experience, created exclusively by nature for you.

Here You Meet The Gods of Canacona
Spare out some time to visit the numerous temples dotting the palm fringed land of Canacona. Embellished with impressive works of art, these sacred places of worship surely elevates one's spirit to higher niches of spirituality.

The Extravagant Carriage, A Riot of Colours
Don't miss the pleasure to be a part of the colourful 'zatra' at the Shantadurga Temple in Quepem, 5 km from the city centre. Though trivial in political aspect, this serene patch of land has a higher value in terms of religion. Behold the grand ceremony when the presiding the deity is carried in a three-tiered wooden chariot (rath) drawn by male devotees in a night procession.

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