5 villages in Goa that will take you back in time
Looking to experience the real local life in Goa; where you can spot women engaged in daily chores, children running around, and market areas buzzing with people? Well, there are still some villages in Goa that have kept the old charm alive. If you are looking for the best villages in Goa, then you’ve just reached the right place! From the many villages, we have chosen the ones that are not only the best villages to visit in Goa, but are also among the heritage villages of Goa.
The coastal village of Beanulim is one of the best villages to visit in Goa. The place is a mix of commercial as well as local life. This is a fishing village, where you can still find fisherman carrying forward the age-old tradition of fishing. Interesting stories and legends are associated with the place, whose roots can be traced back to mythology. One can learn about the interesting past associated with this village. The revered St Joseph Vaz was also born in the Benaulim village. Along the coast, one can enjoy and indulge in seafood and there are abundant options to choose from. Among the many Goa villages, this is also a heritage village, which has an interesting museum that showcases the anthropological heritage of Goa. Goa Chitra is one of the oldest museums in the village, which gives a glimpse of the lifestyle of Goans via the many artifacts, implements and equipment that are on display. A walk through the museum is nothing short of a walk into the past of Goa.
Picture Courtesy: Tourmyindia.com
2. Divar Island
One of the largest islands of Goa has a lot to offer visitors. It, too, makes it to the list of the best villages to visit in Goa. You can find some of the oldest archaeological sites, including Baroque churches, here. This quaint island is filled with heritage and history. To reach here, one needs to take the ferry. After reaching the island, one can ride around and enjoy the entry to the island, which is scenic and beautiful. Goa villages are many, but none like this. The fields, rivers and trees are just perfect. Away from the chaos of city life, one can easily connect with the local life here. You can find some of the most gorgeous Indo-Portuguese houses in this village. At the same time, this village is like a journey back in time. This island comes to life in the month of August, when the famous Bonderam festival, which the festival of flags, takes place. You can find the locals carrying flags and presenting innovative floats, dances and acts. This is one event that you wouldn’t want to miss. In recent times, the Potekar festival, during Carnival time has been gaining a lot of popularity. People don Halloween costumes and go around the village, scaring and simultaneously, entertaining people. This is a not-to-miss village in Goa.
There’s just something about Goa that makes you instantly fall in love with it! And, it is often said that the true charm and essence of this charming land is found in its villages. Saligao is one of those fascinating villages in Goa, which offers a glimpse of, both, colonial as well as local life. As you walk along the narrow, winding roads of Saligao, you’ll be awed by the architecture, people and, of course, the stories. These stories weave an intricate cultural pattern of the land. A warm and welcoming village, Saligao has tales that will make you cherish Goa even more. The main church of Saligao, Mae De Deus, has a distinct design, and is a rare example of Neo-Gothic architecture in Goa. It is one of the must-see spots in Goa. Come, join Make It Happen’s ‘Saligao Village Saunter,’ an experience that will make Goa truly enticing!
Get set to experience the backwaters of Goa! Located along the banks of the River Mandovi, Olaulim is one of the lesser-known villages of Goa. Here, you will find yourself one with nature. Hop into a kayak, row around the village waters, and let its interesting history and heritage sink in. Visit the 350-year-old Church of St Anne and get to know the colourful local folklore and tales from Make It Happen’s storytellers during the ‘Olaulim Village Saunter and Backwater Kayaking’. The experience will give you a peek into another side of Goa and its people, one that you rarely hear about!
After crossing the river Mandovi, one reaches the village of Verem. It is one of the many fishing villages in Goa, and is known for the famous Reis Magos Fort and the Reis Magos Church. The village is situated on the banks of the river Mandovi, and the two important heritage structures here are the fort and church. The fort stands tall on the bank of the river Mandovi, narrating the past of the land. It functioned as a prison during the Portuguese era and one can actually find prison cells alongside canons here. The fort houses an art gallery, which showcases the work of the great cartoonist, Mario Miranda who hailed from the heritage village of Goa – Loutolim. Near the fort is the ‘Reis Magos’ Church also known as the ‘Three Kings Church’ and is famous for the Feast of the Epiphany. On January 6, every year people enact the biblical visit of the three kings to the Baby Jesus, and the locals dress up like kings and go in a procession. The long stairway leading to the church, adds to the charm and breath-taking beauty of the church.