Goa is invariably considered the best-known tourist destination in India. Having been famous for its pristine beaches and dusky nightlife amongst the tourist league across the world, Goa also has many other attractions which are admired by the Indian tourists which include the Goan beaches with huge traffic, discos, bars and casinos, massage parlors, and water sports.
But do you know that Goa has much more to offer to its visitors beyond these things? Goa has many such places which are neglected by the tourist as well as locals but it does not mean that those places are not worth visiting but somehow they have not been properly marketed or featured into the media which may result in grabbing your attention. Here I have compiled the list of 11 such neglected places in Goa which will surely amuse you and you will like to visit it again and again.
1. Fontainhas – The Ancient City of Goa
Fontainhas (or Bairro das Fontainhas, in Portuguese) is an old Latin Quarter in the city of Panaji in Goa. It upholds to this day its Portuguese influence, namely at the architectonic level, such as narrow streets, old villas, and buildings painted in lively colors. The quarter shows how Panaji was during the Portuguese rule of Goa. This old district or Latin Quarter has a completely different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of the main city, with its Mediterranean appearance, narrow streets, and overhanging balconies of the ancient Portuguese-style houses…. Read More
2. Butterfly Beach – The Beach with Wings
This little enchanting sandy bay is situated in south Goa close to famous Palolem Beach it is not much famous due to its non-accessibility by proper road. Rarely do people want to venture into the unknown zone which is not easily accessible and this place remains neglected by the tourist except a few who venture into the mysterious zone.
Butterfly Beach beckons with silver sands and lucid waters. Not accessible by road, you would have to board upon a trek of around 2 hours through woody areas to get here.
Another option is to take a ferry ride from Palolem Beach to reach this place. Needless to say, the beach is not crowded. The hills and thick vegetation fringing the sands further add to the charm. It is among the most private places to visit in Goa.
3. Bats Island
Situated just a mile away from the main Vasco city in the vicinity of famous Baina Beach the Bat Island as the name suggests is a great surprise for those seeking some adventure as it’s situated in the midst of a rocky hill which one has to cross climbing.
This place is also known as Pequeno Island which is very famous for Snorkeling (an adventure water sport) because of lucid water. Here one can hop in the water and roam the underwater world on a snorkel adventure. The tour operators provide training equipment for snorkeling.
At Bat Island, one can also enjoy the day off as there are many boatmen who link themselves off the Vasco City. You can hire a vessel from them to sail it yourself or you can even ask them for the drop at the island while making an arrangement with the boatman to pick you up the next day. You may need to carry your own tent if you are planning an overnight stay at the island.
4. Goa State Museum
The Goa state museum is one such place in Goa which is situated in the center of Nariman Point of Panaji the famous Patto area, holding the heritage and culture of Goa but yet neglected by the major chunk of tourists coming to Goa. The museum is the compilation of historical & cultural inheritance of the state.
The State of Goa has got long historical and cultural tradition. The State Museum of Goa is set up, with the aim at centralizing and preserving antiquities, art objects, and objects of cultural importance, throwing light on the ancient historical and cultural traditions of Goa and exhibiting them thematically, so as to depict different aspects of the Goan History and Culture.
The Museum, at present, has in its possession a fairly large collection which is increasing by the day. The Museum was initially set up on small scale in 1977 at St. Inez, Panaji. After construction of this present building, the same was shifted here and this new Museum Complex at Patto was inaugurated by the then President of India on 18th June 1996.
This may be the place to have fun but surely the people who care about the traditions and culture of the other states will surely want to invest some time into this place. I assure you that you will not get bored as the Museum also has the central library attached to it where you can browse some reading materials.
5. Mollem National Park
Mollem national park also known as Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the northeast border of Goa at Mollem village, it is approximately one and half hour journey from the capital city of Panaji 60KMS approx. Bondla Sanctuary which is situated in Ponda taluka in Goa covers approximately 240 SqKM. of Think vegetation clad slopes on the Western Ghats and its valleys and it is the biggest amongst the three sanctuaries in Goa.
It is a paradise for bird watchers. Besides flora and fauna, there are many important geological and historical features in this sanctuary. Dudhsagar falls, about an hour’s journey from Colem by train is a feast for the eyes. The ‘Devil Canyon is another beautiful geological spot. The famous Lord Mahadeva Temple situated at Tambdi Surla is about 13 km from Molem. The Department of Tourism has built comfortable cottages and dormitories for tourists.
Rich in wildlife, this sanctuary contains pristine vegetation classified as West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forests, West Coast Semi-Evergreen Forests, and Moist Deciduous Forests. The evergreen forests are mainly seen at higher altitudes and along the river banks. The predominant species are Terminalia, Lagerstroemia, Xylia, and Dalbergia.
The forest canopy is almost closed and the availability of grass is very limited. There are several perennial water sources in the sanctuary and the availability of water is not a limiting factor for wildlife. If you are a wildlife lover and bird watcher then this is the right place for you to visit in Goa. Entry fee Rs.10/- per adult, Rs.5/- per child, and Rs.3/- per student.
6. Lamgau Caves
Among the many fascinating tourist places in Goa, Lamgau Caves is another place you can think of visiting. Nestled away in Bicholim, it is situated around 35 km from northeast of Panaji. The caverns are engraved out of decomposed laterite and hence quite delicate and not advisable to venture into it but it makes for quite a vision and an important educational and cultural center.
In here lies a cave that displays an impressive pavilion appearing structure as well as beams and ceiling in the shrine. In the courtyard, you will find a stone linga with a Tulsi Vrindavan as well as a Nandi bull image. There is another cave that is mostly used as a shelter during the time of rain. The passage to this cave is a complicated one.
7. Bamanbudo Waterfalls
If you love to visit the waterfall on rainy days then you must not miss this place known as Bamanbudo waterfalls. This spectacular waterfall is located in Canacona. This waterfall flows down along the rocks looking more like a waterslide than a waterfall. The waterfall flows right by the roadside and is easily accessible.
Since the water slides down the rocks, there is no well at the bottom and bathing is fun due to the force of the water. Other than this, there are streams rushing down the slopes, churning out milky foam amidst the breathtaking scenery.
You might have visited the famous Dudh Sagar waterfall several times while on your trip to Goa but you have surely not tried out this enchanting place, here is the chance to give a try this monsoon
8. Netravalli Waterfall & BudBud Lake
Netravali is a remote village situated in the south of Goa in Sanguem taluka, this village was best known for the dense forest and tribal villagers, but slowly it developed into a remote tourist spot with few neglected places around such as the Netravali waterfall which is accessible only through the 1.5 hrs of hectic tracking fleeting the thick vegetation.
The tracking is a hard task hence the old people and small children are not recommended to accompany in this journey.
Once you reach the waterfall you will not regret the efforts you took. It’s a very small waterfall with a tiny pond at the bottom where you can swim and bathe. The bubble lake is situated just before the journey to the waterfall. Though it is still mysterious as to how the bubble comes out from the water the villagers consider this place as holy and you were not allowed to have baths in this water.
9. Sarzora lake (Google Location)
Sarzora Lake is one of the most secluded and romantic places in Goa. You might be mistaken yourself being in Europe when you look at the view surrounded to this bit of a neglected place in Goa. Situated approximately 8 KM away from the nearest city of Margao and around 2KM from famous village Chinchinim, in south Goa.
This village has a very rich tradition and culture going back ages, most of which are still being followed today. The vast lush green fields and the serene landscape make this an ideal peace lover’s paradise.
It is difficult to believe but true that nobody in the Sarzora lives in a building or in a flat system as every family in this village has its own house be it big or small, which is a unique thing in itself looking at Goa’s rapid urbanization you will find the real essence of the village here.
The famous Sarzora Lake which depicts Europe in itself adds to the beauty of this village. The mighty hills which overlook the village give a visually stunning effect. Though it is not promoted much by the department it has its own charm of being neglected.
10. San Jacinto Island
Last but not least this island is one of the most exotic places situated in south Goa. Located just a few kilometers away from the Vasco city on the way to the Dabolim International Airport this place is preserved by the villagers from the encroachment of builders and hoteliers.
People of this village say that the San Jacinto inhabitants made a vow never to give the island on a lease and let construction companies to built touristic or industrial facilities on their land. That’s why nowadays this small island is a lovely green area, which has preserved the purity and charm of amazing Goa nature.
A major part of the island is covered with forests and only a certain portion of the western coast is dotted with old houses, amongst which you can spot the beautiful old white church is overlooking the above which can be seen far away from the Vasco highway the Local citizens call this church the St. Hyacinthi Cathedral and celebrate its birthday on the last Sunday of September.
Due to the legend, the underground tunnel connects the old chapel with Siridao Beach resort, which is located on the far bank of Mormugao Bay. The island is connected with the nearest part of the mainland by the bridge with the romantic name of Silver Gate Bridge. On San Jacinto Island you can also find a well-preserved old Portuguese lighthouse, from the top of which you can enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful views onto the Indian Ocean and the Goa coast.
Once you visit any of the above places please do not forget to provide your valuable suggestion to the author of this blog so that in case if there is any missing information which we are not aware of we will surely try to incorporate it in the future. Hope you like and enjoy these places and come out with an experience that is positive and good.
“Goa reveals itself to the tourist in ways untold. A walk through Fontainhas and São Tomé, which constitute the Latin quarter of Panjim, is not just a journey back in time but hats off to a state’s zeal to keep its colonial legacy alive” – quote from tourist