Dona Paula Beach Goa
With romance is in the air, the beach is bustling with activity throughout the year. Just seven kilometers from the Goan capital, Panjim is Dona Paula, the most happening beach of the state. Dona Paula is nestled on the southern side of the rocky headland dividing Zuari and Mandovi estuaries.
The greenery to the beach is lent by palm trees and casuarina groves and it presents an excellent view to the Mormugao harbour. The beach has the obvious advantage of being in proximity with the capital city. During festivals like Janmashtami and the feast of St. Lawrence, Dona Paula is immersed in the colours of festivity.
What lends the beach romantic angle is the legend behind the name of Dona Paula. The legend has it that Dona Paula was the daughter of the Viceroy in the colonial era and was in love with Gasper Dias, son of a fisherman. As their love could never be realized, they jumped together from the cliff to death. Furthermore it says that she is seen emerging from the sea wearing only a pearl necklace on moonlit nights. Haunted by the romantic tale of Dona Paula, the beach hold dual attraction for the Indian tourists. Its the same beach where film Ek Duje ke liye was shot.
Things to See and Do
Apart from the sun, sand and sea, water sports is a major activity here at Dona Paula. Every day hundreds of tourists flock Dona Paula for adventure. The beach also offers tourists some cheap sea side stuff from local vendors. However, the main attraction remains the water sports. Swimming is safe at Dona Paula but distance of minimum three hundred metres should be maintained from the rivers.
The Dona Paula sports club offer extensive choices in water sports. Waterscooter, cycle, and motor boat rides are most common. Also one can enjoy windsurfing, parasailing, sports fishing, snorkelling, harpoon fishing, kaykaying and yatching. If you happen to be here in November then the colours of water sports festival will not miss your eyes. Not just witness but you can also participate in this event to catch up with some excitement. The excitement is maximum during the water scooter, cycle races and surfing events.
National Oceanography Institute
This institute was set up in 1960, and delves into Marine Biology, Coastal and Marime Oceanography. The major attraction of the institute is the Marine Biology museum and Taxanomy Reference Center.
While there you can also visit the Cobo Raj Niwas (the governor's house) where the tomb of Dona Paula de Menezes in the Cabo Chapel is situated. The Bhavan also offers a picturesque view of the coastline and Aguada fort.
Around ten kilometeres from Dona Paula is one of the oldest churches in Goa, the Reis Nagos Church. Nine kilometres from Dona Paula is Salim Ali bird sanctuary. Spread over two kilometres of mangrove forest, the sanctuary houses several local and migratory birds.
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