Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Dona Paula Beach in Goa

Dona Paula is a former village, and tourist destination, in the suburbs of Panaji, Goa, India. It is today home to the National Institute of Oceanography, and just alongside it lie the Goa University
and the International Centre Goa. It is also home to a number of hotels, small and large, and the luxury Cidade de Goa is situated in the area.


The place is named after Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior, a historical figure in Portuguese India. She was the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka. She and her family arrived in Goa in 1644 and she married a Fidalgo from Spain in 1656. Her husband was Dom Antonio Souto Maior. They were an extremely affluent family, and the entire property from the present day Cabo Raj Nivas all the way to Caranzalem belonged to the Souto Maiors. She died on December 16, 1682.
Dona Paula was a woman of charity and is known to have helped the villagers and worked a lot for their betterment, so after her death, the villagers decided to re-name the village as Dona Paula. Initially the village was called Oddavell.
According to a local myth, Dona Paula entombed in the Cabo Chapel, the residence of the Governor of Goa and is supposed to be seen emerging from the moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace. Several tourists as well as locals guided by this myth visit the beach for a glimpse of Dona Paula. The Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated at a scenic spot of Dona Paula. It is also home of a historic British war-graves cemetery. After the end of Portuguese rule in Goa in 1961, Dona Paula became a fashionable residential area and address.
Location Seven kilometers west of the Indian state of Goa’s capital Panajim (Panaji), Dona Paula Beach is nestled on the southern side of the rocky hammer-shaped headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. Providing a good view of the Mormugao harbor, this beach is fringed by palm trees and casuarina groves. The proximity of the beach to the capital city makes it a popular tourist sight.
 Another legend says that punished for captivating Francisco de Tavora- the Count of Alvor with her charm, the Viceroy's daughter was pushed off a cliff to drown in the waters below. Her irrepressible spirit still continues to haunt every visitor with legends of her lovers. She is even supposed to have been seen emerging from moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace.  Dona Paula Bay is where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian sea. Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, it's also called the Lovers Paradise.

About The Beach

Dona Paula Beach is one of the most romantic beaches in the beach capital of India – Goa. This romantic beach is popularly known as the “Lovers Paradise” which is named after Dona Paula de Menezes. Dona Paula was the daughter of a viceroy in colonial India. She wanted to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar but when her father did not give permission to marry the fisherman, she threw herself of the cliff.
 The beach is named after Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), who threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias. The myth says that Dona Paula is entombed in the Cabo Chapel of the Raj Bhawan and is supposed to be seen emerging from the moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace. With the romance and myth attached to it—haunted by Dona Paula de Menzes—tourists throng the Dona Paula Beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters.
The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and buy cheap seaside goods from local vendors.

            Swaying palm trees and stunning ambience filled with the fragrance of romance and love make it really a Lovers Paradise. Endowed with romance and myth, Dona Paula Beach is not only for famous for its romantic and exotic ambience but also for water sports. Water sport facilities are the major attraction of the beach. This lovely beach offers opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and purchase cheap seaside goods from local vendors.
This beach has also been the location for many Indian movies, the most famous being Ek Duje Ke Liye. Given this dual attraction, Dona Paula Beach has become a popular tourist spot. Two other beaches are also within the proximity of the Dona Paula Beach. These are the Miramar beach, which lies 4 km north of Dona Paula, and the Vainguinim Beach, which is situated 1 km west.

Climate Condition
Climate The climate is equable and moist throughout the year. While it is pleasant and temperate from October to May it is rainy from June to September. Temperature variations throughout the year are mild. May is the warmest month with a temperature of around 30°C and January is coolest with a mean daily temperature of 25°C. Due to its proximity of the sea, the territory is generally humid and even during the summer months humidity is generally above 60 percent.

Festival In Dona Paula
 Dona Paula Beach, Goa is also known for its feast and festivals. Particularly, Festivals of Janmashtami (the birthday of Lord Krishna) and the feast of St. Lawrence are celebrated here with great zeal and enthusiasm. In the month of November, colorful water sports festival is organized at the beach of Dona Paula, Goa which is must visit to tourists. The highlights of this festival are the water scooter and cycle races and surfing competitions. 


Things To Do

Water Sports and Other Activities

 Tranquil and blue, Dona Paula unravels the ultimate in aquatic sport and fun. The Dona Paula Sports Club at Dona Paula offers some of the best water sports facilities to the sports enthusiasts including Water-scooter rides, Motor-boat rides, etc
Water Sports The most important attraction of this beach is the water sport facilities available here. . Other water sports include windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting. Dona Paula Beach offers a very good view of the Marmagoa Harbor. At Dona Paula Beach, Goa one can enjoy water scootering. It is one of the best places in Goa for water scootering, water-skiing, wind surfing, parasailing, skibob, snorkeling, sports fishing, harpoon fishing, kayaking and motorboat rides.Jet Skiing is a very common sport at this beach.

Sight Seeing

 National Oceanography Institute
National Oceanography Institute Set up in the 1960s, the National Oceanography Institute delves not only upon marine biology, but incorporates almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.

Cabo Raj Niwas
The Cabo Raj Niwas (the Governor’s House) is half a kilometer away from the National Oceanography Institute. It houses the tomb of Dona Paula de Menzes in the Cabo Chapel. The Raj Bhawan offers an excellent view of the nearby coastline and the Aguada Fort.

Magos Church 
Approximately 10 km from the beach is one of the oldest churches built in Goa, the Reis Magos Church.
It is dedicated to the three Magi (the wise men of the East)—Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar who, according to a legend, were guided by a star to Bethlehem to greet the newborn Jesus. This church was once the residence of all dignitaries and a mission center of the Franciscan order.

Marmagao Harbour
The place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the bay of Dona Paula with a very good view of the Marmagao Harbour. 7-km from Panjim, situated on the south side of the, hammer-shaped headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi, is a Fishing Village. This is a spot to sunbathe and relax
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated on the western tip of the island of Choro, along the Mandovi River, about 9 km from Dona Paula Beach. Spread over 2 sq km, this sanctuary is a mangrove forest. Local and migratory birds are found here all through the year. However, permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden is required for visitors.


  Shopping at Dona Paula is one of the most exotic activities. Dona Paula where  There are several shops along the beachside, which sell variety of goods ranging from eatables to clothes. Fishermen-turned-local vendors also sell straw hats, lace handkerchiefs, and spices in these shops. Feni and port wine—the two Goan liquor specialties—are a must buy and local liquor is easily available. Indian handicrafts and jewelry are available at the Indian Arts Emporium in Dona Paula
 shopping. a


What To Eat


There are also many eating joints and restaurants at Dona Paula which offers mouth-watering Goan CuisineThere are a number of multicuisine restaurants that specialize in seafood, Goan cuisine and grill vegetarian dishes. There are also many places to shop for books, trendy clothes and other souvenirs. They are offered by Shacks which are placed all alongside the beach. Deck-chairs and umbrellas are free. The food is tasty, delicious, varied and not so expensive. Fresh cool drinks are also offered here everywhere. 
The coastline is nearly full of beach shacks that offer food as well. For better cuisine you can choose from numerous (tourist) restaurants that are found from the main roads. Food is somewhat expensive by Indian standards, but cheap by Western ones.
Besides the fun for food there are several restaurants that offer excellent seafood though the continental dishes are also available. There are many eating joints in the hotels.



How To Reach

By Air The nearest airport is at Dabolim, which is 29 km away from Panaji and 36 km from Anjuna.

By Rail Goa is connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mangalore, and Thiruvananthapuram by train. The nearest railway station is at Karmali, which is 15 km from the beach.

By Road The Dona Paula Beach is well connected by road. Seven kilometers from the capital city, regular bus and taxi services are easily available. The Kadamba Transport Corporation (Government of Goa Undertaking), and Maharashtra and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporations operate buses from and to Goa.

Local Transport Bus, taxi, auto-rickshaw, and motorcycle services are the available means of local conveyance in the area. A bus or motorcycle-taxi from Panajim or the ferry service from Mormugao can be availed of to reach the beach. In fact, buses to Dona Paula leave every fifteen minutes from Panajim's Kadamba stand.
An interesting mode of conveyance in Goa is the motorcycle taxi. Unique to this state, these “taxis” carry only one passenger. However motorcycles can also be hired for personal use, on the basis of financial guarantee.

Where To Stay

  There are a host of hotels, guesthouses, and beachside huts available at the beach that cater to the budgets of different tourists. Offering a host of hotels, resorts and beach side huts the Dona Paula Beach boasts of a number of accommodation options. There is ample shelter for the budget tourists too in the form of houses that may be rented in the village.


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