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(Adding new entry on Canacona, a scenic region of Goa. I had written this earlier. FN)
 
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'''Canacona''' is in [[South Goa]].
Location In the extreme south of South Goa. Till the eighteenth century, Canacona was outside the 'Goa' boundaries.  Route NH17 from Mumbai to Goa going past Panjim (Panaji) and Margao. Driving straight down takes you to Chaudi, the headquarters town of Canacona. A more scenic route is the coastal road (right after Navelim) going via Chinchinim, Assolna, Betul and
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[[Image:CanaconaCoastlineGoa.jpg|thumb|350px|'''Canacona coastline''', Goa ]]
Canaguinim.
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Located in the extreme south of [[Goa]], Canacona was outside the Goa boundaries until the eighteenth century.
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Canacona is two hours, yet very far removed, from mainstream Goa. This shows. It did not face the fury of sixteenth-century Portuguese rule; and still reflects an unusual Indo-Portuguese fusion. It's less Westernised than the central coast, but obvioulsy very unlike coastal Maharashtra or Karnataka.
+
==Towns and other villages==
  
This is also true for neighbouring Quepem, an even more rustic and less beach-oriented taluka of Goa, where history of the pre-Portuguese era is buried or lives unsung among its small hillocks.
+
* [[Chaudi]], the main town of Canacona.
 +
* [[Palolem]], the "Anjuna" (alternativish, but not-so-freaky) beach of South Goa
 +
* [[Agonda]], a quieter beach-neighbour to Palolem
 +
* [[Cotigao]], a wildlife sanctuary
 +
* [[Cabo de Rama]], the 'Cape of Rama', a promontory jutting out into the Arabian Sea.
 +
* [[Galgibaga]] Galgibaga is, each year, host to scores of turtles visiting its shores. Nesting turtles come only on certain days of the year. For some reason, of all of Goa's long coastal stretch, they choose to zero in on Galgibaga and Morjim (Pernem).
 +
* Secluded areas touching the shore, like Vaturem and Xendrem
  
Being far away from the central core of Goa, it is also far less urbanised, more rustic and an interesting place if you want to just relax and unwind. Don't expect something hectic here.
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==Other destinations==
  
But Canacona has charm of its own. Its coast is scenic and virgin. Tourism is rather people-friendly and relatively more-affordable than other parts of Goa. Small entreprenurs man mostly-tiny touristic ventures, adding a homely touch. Away from the coast, Canacona and its neighbouring Quepem taluka have a number of off-the-beaten-track destinations. This is a Goa where you can still find the secret tracks to the beach, and feel like a traveller... not a tourist.
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* [[Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary]]
 +
* Parthagal math, a centuries-old monastry.
  
No wonder that when Hollywood filmmakers wanted to depict the East India Company's forays into eighteenth century Bombay (or should we us the then Portuguese term, Bombaim?) they zeroed in on Canacona. They've been scouting around the scenic spot where the river meets the sea at Galgibaga.
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==Understand==
  
One added attraction is that the Canacona railway station is located at the centre of this area, close to the coastal belt too.  
+
Canacona's aboriginal population, the Kunbis (with Gaonkar or Velip as their surnames) live in areas around Gaondongri, Cotigao, Chapoli (the site for a new dam), Assali, Kulem, Khola and Agonda. Besides the Kunbi, there are also their tribal-priestly counterparts, the Velips.
  
THINGS TO SEE AND DO
+
==Talk==
  
Canacona's beach belt, 'discovered' only after the 1990s, is among the most scenic. Palolem is a freaky recreation of an east-meets-west Goan beach, with a rich variety of exotic food and accomodation to cater to the international palate.
+
==Get in==
  
But beyond the better-known Palolem and Agonda, there are nearly 20 lesser-known (or even hidden) beaches. So what if you don't find hotels or restaurants there, the idea is fine if you want to escape from it all. In some cases, the road to the beach is nothing but a narrow track.  
+
Route NH17 from [[Mumbai]] to Goa going past [[Panaji]] and [[Margao]]. Driving straight down takes you to [[Chaudi]], the headquarters town of [[Canacona]]. A more scenic route is the coastal road (right after [[Navelim]]) going via [[Chinchinim]], [[Assolna]], [[Betul]] and [[Canaguinim]].
  
Cotigao wildlife sanctuary is located within this area. Parthagal math is a centuries-old monastry. Even if Goa's temple splendour is in nearby Ponda, the Zambaulim and Fatorpa temples are surely worth a visit, specially during the festive season. Quepem has a handful of beaches, known for their picture-postcard quality.
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==Get around==
  
Canacona and Quepem are rustic areas, with only small towns in the area. These are not the place to go shopping, though Palolem has a growing number of touristy outlets.  
+
Travel infrastructure is sparse here, except along the main highway (NH17, National Highway 17, going from north to south of Canacona). You would need to be very adventurous to depend on the public buses to make your way around... unless you have a lot of patience or time.
  
WHERE TO STAY
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==See==
  
Unlike the rest of Goa, Canacona and Quepem has very few luxury hotels. But that's where the charm could lie. Paying guest accomodation is easily available on the coastal stretch.
 
  
Canacona's contribution to Goan tourism is the idea of 'coco huts' -- temporary beachside thatched huts built above ground level, right on the beach, during the fair weather (October-May) season.
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{{infobox|Goa's "seven wonders"|
  
Sanvordem and Quepem towns -- Quepem is the name of the taluka as well as its headquarters town -- have many small, functional hotels. In the temples of Mashem, Mallikarjun and Zambaulim rooms are available in agrashalas, primarily for pilgrims.
+
Goa-ologist Dr Nandkumar Kamat says four out of seven "natural wonders" of Goa fall in or around the Canacona-Quepem area.  
  
Religious and cultural practices are colourful and rather different in this part of Goa. Contrary to the image created, there is wide diversity within the different regions of this small state. Variations are only now getting the attention they deserve.
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One giant banyan (Ficus) tree is located just beyond the Vaishnavite Partagal math, a religious centre at Partagal-Canacona. Closeby is the banks of the Talpona river. Some put its age at 2,000 years old, and say its shade could encompass around a thousand people.
  
"There are simply too many things in this region (waiting to be projected). Some might interest only the serious student of archaeology," says Pandurang Phaldessai, an officer at the Panjim-based Kala Academy who has been finalising his PhD thesis on the cultural history of Canacona.  
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Sacred groves -- ancient, protected forests -- are numerous in interior Goa. Kamat sees the one at Morpila (in Canacona's neighbouring Quepem taluka) as the "most interesting of all". It protects the source of a mountain stream.  
  
Mallikarjun Temple, some 2.5 kms away from Chaudi on the main-road leading to Karwar (take the road going left) is one where devotees head for advice from the oracles. Called the 'kaul', the advice of the gods is taken either from priests in a trance or by them interpreting the way flower petals drop down.
+
Chandranath hill is another topographically-interesting feature. It comprises two hillocks of near-uniform contour height.  One hillock is 300m and the other is 350m high. Scientists suggest a meteorite fell on Chandranath mountain during the pre-historic period. 'Chandrashila', the iron-meteorite worshipped in the temple, further adds to the mystery of this place.
  
Canacona's aboriginal population, the Kunbis (with Gaonkar or Velip as their surnames) live in areas around Gaondongri, Cotigao, Chapoli (the site for a new dam), Assali, Kulem, Khola and Agonda. Besides the Kunbi, there are also their priestly counterparts, the Velips. Some of their culture has got shrink-packaged for entertaining tourists, but little has been done for this oft-neglected segment of the Goan population.  
+
South Goa's straight coastline -- of a peculiar linear shape -- stretches from Majorda to Betul, just north of the Canacona-Quepem coast. This could be a much "younger" coast (around 6,000-15,000 years young) compared to the rest of the Goan coast, and is a "trekker's dream-stretch".}}
  
Loliem has a couple of centuries-old 'hero' stones, etchings on stone to record historic events of the time dating back many centuries. This village's statue of Betal, possibly a pre-Hindu deity, itself goes back to the seventh century if not earlier, according to cultural-historian Phaldessai. Canacona has a total of four Betal deities, according to him.
+
Canacona's beach belt, 'discovered' only after the 1990s, is among the most scenic. Palolem is a freaky recreation of an  east-meets-west Goan beach, with a rich variety of exotic food and accommodation to cater to the international palate.  
  
EATING OUT
+
* Beyond the better-known Palolem and Agonda, there are nearly 20 lesser-known (or even hidden) beaches. So what if you don't find hotels or restaurants there, the idea is fine if you want to escape from it all. In some cases, the road to the beach is nothing but a narrow track.
  
Goa's emphasis on foreign tourists -- all of them are assumed to be higher-spenders by those in business -- means that destinations preferred by foreigners are more in the spotlight. Emphasis on the Westerner's food tastes also lends for either an exotic mix of cuisines, or, alternative, a tastelessly watered-down Goan/Indian cuisine.
+
* Canacona and neighbouring Quepem are rustic areas, with only small towns in the area. These are not the place to go shopping, though Palolem has a growing number of touristy outlets.  
  
Some places nonetheless manage to come out of this trap quite effectively.
+
* Mallikarjun Temple, 2.5 kms away from Chaudi on the main-road leading to Karwar (take road going left) is where devotees head for advice from the oracles, interpreted on where flower-petals drop.
  
Dilip Gaitonde's Palolem Beach Resort, bang on Canacona beach, offer a range from different cuisines. Goan dishes are the favourites. Others on Palolem beach itself include Draupadi (Israeli dishes too), German Bakery (health food, German cakes, pies, strudels, six-grain bread, croissants), Sameer Bar and Restaurant (seafood, Indian, Italian), Silver Star (fish tandoor, sizzlers, beef steak), Ciaran's Camp (pre-booked three-course dinner available), Fernandes Restaurant (Goan food, fresh juices), Cool Breeze ("food from around the world" with Jazz), Simba's, Boom Shankar, etc.  
+
* [[Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary]] is located within this area.  
  
Look out for the other 'shacks' that make their appearance on the coastal stretch when the foreign tourist season starts.
+
* Parthagal math is a five centuries-old monastery.
  
Visits to Anjediva Island are permitted courtesy Station Commander Sea Bird Project.  Such requests should be channeled through Fr. Britto D Silva Parish Priest St. Annes Church, Binaga Karwar. Tel No 08382 31132 and email address frbrittodsilva2002@yahoo.co.in Visits in future could be curtailed due to plans by the Navy to step up security.  
+
* Dolphin-watching and fishing trips are what attract foreign visitors to the area.
  
To visit the Island from Goa one has to proceed by any bus going to Karwar or Mangalore, leaving in the morning.  The journey is about 2-1/2 hrs. From the bus stand to Karwar Port, the charge is around Rs 15 for a shared-auto. A trawler takes you to Anjediv. You might need to alight into a small boat before reaching the shore, due to the shallowness of the island waters.
+
* Palolem, Agonda and the more deserted Cabo de Rama Fort are current hot-favourites.  The first two are still not overdeveloped beach-villages. Cabo de Rama is a place for scenic views of the coast. You need your own transport to reach these places, since public buses are few and far between.
  
Visits are usually around October or February, during local feasts.  
+
* Loliem has a couple of centuries-old 'hero' stones, etchings on stone to record historic events of the time dating back many centuries. This village's statue of Betal, possibly a pre-Hindu deity, itself goes back to the seventh century if not earlier, according to cultural-historian Phaldessai. Canacona has a total of four Betal deities, according to him.
  
WHERE TO STAY
+
* Canacona's contribution to Goan tourism is the idea of beach-huts -- temporary beachside thatched huts built on coconut trees usually above ground level, right on the beach, during the fair weather (October-May) season.
  
OUTSIDE CANACONA
 
  
Just before crossing over into Quepem-Canacona, the Salcete coast is full of hotels. At the extreme southern end is Betul. Check out this one:
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===Itineraries===
  
Betul Beach Resort
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==Do==
SECLUDED AND SCENIC
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Doctor on call, fax, laundry, fishing point.
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Admn office 108 Naina Gracias Plaza, Near Loyola High School, Margao 403601 Tel 725332 Fax 730365
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Resort: Betul Beach Resort, Plot No 1, Rangali, Velim, Salcete, Goa Tel 768123 or 768124.
+
  
Coastal Quepem is not the place to stay. There are very functional hotels in the area's small and dusty towns (close to the mining belt). Hotels are scattered along the Canacona coast, most in pockets around touristic centres discovered by the foreign visitor -- primarily Palolem and Agonda. (Of these two, the latter is a quieter shade of quiet.)
+
[[Image:SunsetAtPalolemBeachGoaIndia.jpg|right|thumb|350px|'''Canacona coastline''', Goa ]]
  
Cotigao wildlife sanctuary has its own accomodation, the Forest Rest House is simple yet charming (affordable too, but bookings are a hassle), while the beach-huts atop coconut trees are a speciality that Canacona is getting known for. Canacona's first luxury hotel, the Goa Grand Inter-Continental, has just come up at Raj Bag.
+
Visits to Anjediva Island are permitted courtesy Station Commander Sea Bird Project.  Such requests should be channeled through Fr. Britto D Silva Parish Priest St. Annes Church, Binaga Karwar. Tel No 08382 31132 and email address frbrittodsilva2002@yahoo.co.in Visits in future could be curtailed due to plans by the Navy to step up security.  
  
Below is a review of some hotels, moving north to south.
+
To visit the Island from Goa one has to proceed by any bus going to Karwar or Mangalore, leaving in the morning.  The journey is about 2-1/2 hrs. From the bus stand to Karwar Port, the charge is around Rs 15 for a shared-auto. A trawler takes you to Anjediv. You might need to alight into a small boat before reaching the shore, due to the shallowness of the island waters.
  
AGONDA
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Visits are usually around October or February, during local feasts.
Sunset Bar & Restaurant SEAFRONT
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Val Aframento, Agonda 403702
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Tel 647381
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10 double rooms. Rs 200-300 per day. Some a/c.
+
Open October to March.
+
Valid till season-end (March 2003)
+
Facilities: Restaurant, laundry arranged, food cooked to requirement. Restaurant cuisine: tandoori, fish-curry, beef steak, beef vindaloo. Overlooking the beach, in a quiet area.
+
  
Dunhill Beach Resort SEAFRONT
+
The entry to island is not restricted.
Val, Agonda Beach, Canacona 403702
+
Tel 647328/647604
+
dunnhill_resort@rediffmail.com
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12 double rooms
+
Rs 350 per day. Rs 250 in off season
+
Valid till March 2003
+
Facilities: Dolphin boatrides, sightseeing arranged, sunset view, ticket booking arranged, attached toilets.
+
Cuisine: Chinese, Continental, Indian, Goan. Special dish: chicken xacuti (shacuti). 6.30 am to 9 pm.
+
Nice location. Reputed for its food.
+
  
PALOLEM
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==Eat==
  
Hi-Tide Beach Huts ON THE BEACH
+
Goa's emphasis on foreign tourists - all of them are assumed to be higher-spenders by those in business - means that destinations preferred by foreigners are more in the spotlight. Emphasis on the Westerner's food tastes also lends for either an exotic mix of cuisines, or, alternative, a tastelessly watered-down Goan/Indian cuisine.
Ourem, Palolem Beach, Canacona 403702
+
Tel 643104
+
October 1 to April 31.
+
Website www.goaunplugged.com/beaches/ (See under Palolem)
+
20 double (16 'upstairs' and four down)
+
Rs 300 downstairs, Rs 450 upstairs (Nov 15-March 15)
+
Valid till March 2003
+
Facilities: Restaurant, laundry arranged.
+
Restaurant: Indian, Continental, Chinese, Mexican.
+
Beach-hut, set up on the sands. Peaceful. 24 hour presence of the owner or security. Doctor on call. Internet surfing from the beach itself.
+
  
Maria Guest House NEAR THE BEACH
+
Some places nonetheless manage to come out of this trap quite effectively.
Ourem, Palolem, Canacona 403702
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Tel 643732 Email maria1991@rediffmail.com
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6 double, 5 single. Rs 400/250 in season, Rs 250/200 off-season.
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Open Oct-April
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Facilities: toilets attached, Goan and Indian food, money exchange, STD pay
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phone, laundry arranged, cyber-cafe.
+
Cuisine: Special, as per order.  
+
  
Bhakti Kutir HILLOCK OVERLOOKING BEACH
+
Dilip Gaitonde's Palolem Beach Resort, bang on Canacona beach, offer a range from different cuisines. Goan dishes are the favourites. Others on Palolem beach itself include Draupadi (Israeli dishes too), German Bakery (health food, German cakes, pies, strudels, six-grain bread, croissants), Sameer Bar and Restaurant (seafood, Indian, Italian), Silver Star (fish tandoor, sizzlers, beef steak), Ciaran's Camp (pre-booked three-course dinner available), Fernandes Restaurant (Goan food, fresh juices), Cool Breeze ("food from around the world" with Jazz), Simba's, Boom Shankar, etc.
296 Colomb-Patnem, Palolem, Canacona 403702
+
Tel 643469, 643472
+
Email bhaktikutir@yahoo.com
+
20 rooms. Rs 300-2000.
+
Taxes: 5% luxury tax extra.
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Facilities: Yoga centre, healing centre, boutique.
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Restaurant: Ahaar. Tel 643469-72. Cuisine: Health-organic food and seafood, mainly veg.
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Packaged to the "adventure-seeker, health-conscious, nature-lover and eco-nut".  
+
  
Palolem Beach Resort RIGHT ON BEACH
+
Look out for the other 'shacks' that make their appearance on the coastal stretch when the foreign tourist season starts.
Palolem, Canacona 403702
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You can also take an excursion to the coastal, sleepy town of karwar; an hour away from canacona. Go and enjoy a nice meal at amrut, an authentic sea-food restaurant in the local market. Not only the fish is very fresh, its also very light on your wallet.
Tel 643054, 644094 Fax 643054
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Email: sunila@goatelecom.com
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Open throughout the year. Tents removed in monsoons.
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12 rooms, 16 tents, 6 huts.
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In season Rs 400 / 350 / 250 for rooms/tents/huts. Rooms Rs 300 off season. Valid upto April 2003
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Taxes 8% extra.
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Visa/Master cards accepted.
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Facilities: Restaurant, STD/ISD, laundry, massage parlour, taxi on hire, site seeing, boat trips, waterfall trips and spice plantation. Restaurant: Tel 643054(also fax). Cusine: Goan, Indian, Chinese. Recommended: Fish rechado, tandoori fish. Open 7.30 am to 11.30 pm.
+
 
+
 
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RAJBAG
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Molyma. NEAR THE BEACH
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PO Chaudi, Canacona, Goa
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Tel 653082, 83 and 87. ???
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Fax 643081
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Email: molymaresorts@yahoo.co.in
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Open year round.
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42 double rooms, on double or single occupancy.
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Tariff valid uptil Sept 2003
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Taxes 4% extra
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Facilities: Laundry, hot/cold shower throughout, restaurant open through year, one km from Canacona railway station.
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Restaurant: Authentic Goan. Breakfast upto 10 am, lunch 11am to 3 pm, dinner 7 pm to 11 pm.  
+
  
Goa Grand Inter-Continental Resort LUXURY
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==Drink==
Rajbag, Canacona 403702
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Tel 643288/643848 Fax 643278
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Email: goa@bharathotels.com
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Mumbai sales office: 2873050
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255 rooms, suites and cottages. (236 deluxe rooms, 3 presidential suites, 2 luxury suites, 12 executive suites, 2 independent two-bedroom cottages)
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Facilities: Bath tub, shower cubicle, tea making facilities, minibar, colour TV, international direct dialing telephones, writing desk, outdoor lounging area, safe deposit locker, 24-hour room service, in-house laundry and drycleaning. Also coffee shop, speciality restaurant, bar lounge and dance floor, pool bar, barbeque, modern gaming club. 9-hole golf course.  Jogging
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track, tennis and squash courts. Banquet and conference halls for 15 to 400 people.
+
  
GALGIBAGA
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Draupadi, on Palolem beach, right next to the main entrance, has a recommendable strawberry cocktail made from freshly pulped strawberries that is only served in the season for strawberries (around winter).
  
Brandon Bar and Restaurant QUIET BEACH
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There are two major brands of beer: King's and Kingfisher. Kings brand of beer is local to Goa and is not available outside the state and many locals swear by it. Kingfisher is the nation's best-selling beer and given the fact that its owner, business magnate Vijay Mallya, has several plush properties in Goa, it is hardly surprising that you will find yourself bombarded by Kingfisher advertising. Yet the beer itself is only average and it is recommended that you ask for King's beer first.
Colsor, Galjibag 403728
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Tel 641512
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3 double rooms, with toilet
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Rs 250
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Open full year.  
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Laundry arranged, Goan food on order.
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Homely setting, surrounded by authentic village and fields. Half-km from the beach.  
+
  
COTIGAO
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==Sleep==
 +
*<sleep name="The Lalit Goa Resort" alt="The Lalit Goa Resort" address="InterContinental The Lalit Goa Resort, Raj Baga, Canacona Goa – 403702, India, Tel: 91 832 2667777 Fax: 91 832 2667711" directions="Canacona Goa" phone="91 832 2667777" url="http://www.thelalit.com/Goa/default.aspx" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">1 km of exclusive beach and a 9-hole golf course.</sleep>
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*<sleep name="Sun Beach Residency" alt="" address="House no.200, Palolem Patnem road , Sawantwada, Palolem, Canacona, Goa - 403702" directions="Ahead of Cleopatra Resorts" phone="+91-9819514908" url="www.sunbeachgoa.com" checkin="11:00 am" checkout="11:00 am" price="INR 1300 onwards" lat="" long="">Sun Beach Residency being strategically located offers a peaceful and quite stay with 13 comfortably proportioned rooms-equipped with American size beds,en-suite bathrooms,LCD TVs,air-conditioning and afternoon verandahs.At the same time is a short stroll from the lively local market place, curio shops, famous Goan shacks and Palolem beach.</sleep>
 +
*<sleep name="Studio Rental" alt="" address="Canacona" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.travelmob.com/canacona-vacation-rentals-house/rohini-canacona-goa-84831542902?page=3&query=India" checkin="2:00 pm " checkout="12:00 noon" price="110 USD" lat="" long="">This property is part of a private home and has 1 bedroom, a private verandah and an attached open to sky shower. It is located in Cancona and serves organic food.</sleep>
  
Pepper Valley NATURE RETREAT
 
Pepper Valley, Dabemola, Near Cotigao Wild Life Sanctuary, Partagal,
 
Canacona. 403702
 
On the banks of the river Talpona
 
Seasonal, open till end April 2003
 
Tel 642370 (sometimes out of order)
 
Email:peppervalleygoa@hotmail.com or faizalsaidali@rediffmail.com
 
Rooms: 6 huts, double accomodation. Shared toilet.
 
Rs 400 throughout this season (till 2003).
 
Facilities: Restaurant, small bar (open sunset till 11 pm), a 'natural
 
swimming pool' in the nearby river, air tubes for swimming, laundry/taxi and sight-seeing arranged.
 
Cuisine: Indian, global. Timing 7 am to 10.30 pm.
 
Scenic settings, close to Cotigao wildlife sanctuary.
 
  
Resort de Polem ON THE HIGHWAY
+
==Stay safe==
Near Check-Post, Polem, Canacona.
+
Tel 640477 or 640737
+
Open year round.
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15 rooms (double, attached bath) (Rs 200 each)
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5 bamboo cottages (Rs 200-500 in off-season/season)
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Tariff valid till September 2003
+
Laundry and sightseeing arranged, black-sand beach one km away.
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Restaurant: Tel 640737. Cuisine Goan, Chines, Continental, Tandoori. Special dish: Chicken 65. Open 9 am till 11 pm.
+
Mostly used by travellers along the highway to Karwar, and a stopover for buses. Goa's "last hotel" before the inter-state boundary.
+
  
WHERE TO EAT
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* Coastal areas in Canacona are perhaps more used to tourists than the interior. Keep in mind that tourism has opened up here only after the 1990s.
 +
* Avoid drugs, and the mafia that peddles them.
 +
* Take usual precautions with raves.
 +
* Locals are trustworthy, but crime against tourists is not unknown -- more in 'wilder' places like Anjuna, up north.
 +
* Warm food and clean water (bottled doesn't necessarily equal hygienic!) is essential to stay healthy.
  
German Bakery & Classic Restaurant and Bar
+
==Get out==
Xitto, Palolem, Canacona
+
Open September to January.
+
Tel 643251
+
Email tedogefernandes@yahoo.com
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Cuisine: Health food, pizza, apple pie, croissant, full veg.
+
Recommended: Paneer tikka, tofu burger, tofu butter masala, chocolate pie, Crastolan cake.
+
Open 8 am to 11 pm.
+
  
Dropadi
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Canacona is connected by road and bus with Margao (to the north) and Karwar (to the south). Canacona is also along the Konkan Railway route, though not all fast trains stop here. The railway station is just outside the small Chaudi main town of the taluka (sub-district).
Palolem Beach, Canacona
+
sanjaybick@rediffmail.com
+
Tel: 644641 (Res: Sanjay Sharma)
+
Cuisine: Indian, Chinese, Italian, Continental.
+
Recommended dishes: Tandoori dishes, spaghettis and lasagne, seafood (all sorts) lobsters.  
+
Timings 8 to 11 pm (including 6.30 pm till 11 pm tandoori) Open year round
+
  
Blue Planet
+
[[WikiPedia:Canacona]]
Near Posro
+
Beach Road, Palolem
+
Tel c/o 643691
+
Email: praveendesai2001@yahoo.com
+
Cusine: Fresh juices, soya bread, brown bread, tofu, soya milk shakes,
+
healthy salads, Indian food.
+
Recommended: Veg mix salad with dressings, humus, eggplant-dip.
+
Open Oct 15 to April 15.
+
  
[FOOTNOTE: The above information needs updating. It was compiled by the writer some years ago. Names of restaurants in operation, and the prices indicated, are likely to have since changed. Phone numbers have meanwhile changed from six-digit to seven-digit in Goa. Usually the number XXXXXX has been upgraded with an additional '2' as prefix, to make it 2XXXXXX. --FN]
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{{isIn|South_Goa}}
 +
{{regionguide}}
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{{outline}}

Revision as of 10:38, 17 January 2013

Canacona is in South Goa.

Canacona coastline, Goa

Located in the extreme south of Goa, Canacona was outside the Goa boundaries until the eighteenth century.

Contents

Towns and other villages

  • Chaudi, the main town of Canacona.
  • Palolem, the "Anjuna" (alternativish, but not-so-freaky) beach of South Goa
  • Agonda, a quieter beach-neighbour to Palolem
  • Cotigao, a wildlife sanctuary
  • Cabo de Rama, the 'Cape of Rama', a promontory jutting out into the Arabian Sea.
  • Galgibaga Galgibaga is, each year, host to scores of turtles visiting its shores. Nesting turtles come only on certain days of the year. For some reason, of all of Goa's long coastal stretch, they choose to zero in on Galgibaga and Morjim (Pernem).
  • Secluded areas touching the shore, like Vaturem and Xendrem

Other destinations

Understand

Canacona's aboriginal population, the Kunbis (with Gaonkar or Velip as their surnames) live in areas around Gaondongri, Cotigao, Chapoli (the site for a new dam), Assali, Kulem, Khola and Agonda. Besides the Kunbi, there are also their tribal-priestly counterparts, the Velips.

Talk

Get in

Route NH17 from Mumbai to Goa going past Panaji and Margao. Driving straight down takes you to Chaudi, the headquarters town of Canacona. A more scenic route is the coastal road (right after Navelim) going via Chinchinim, Assolna, Betul and Canaguinim.

Get around

Travel infrastructure is sparse here, except along the main highway (NH17, National Highway 17, going from north to south of Canacona). You would need to be very adventurous to depend on the public buses to make your way around... unless you have a lot of patience or time.

See

Goa's "seven wonders"


Goa-ologist Dr Nandkumar Kamat says four out of seven "natural wonders" of Goa fall in or around the Canacona-Quepem area.

One giant banyan (Ficus) tree is located just beyond the Vaishnavite Partagal math, a religious centre at Partagal-Canacona. Closeby is the banks of the Talpona river. Some put its age at 2,000 years old, and say its shade could encompass around a thousand people.

Sacred groves -- ancient, protected forests -- are numerous in interior Goa. Kamat sees the one at Morpila (in Canacona's neighbouring Quepem taluka) as the "most interesting of all". It protects the source of a mountain stream.

Chandranath hill is another topographically-interesting feature. It comprises two hillocks of near-uniform contour height. One hillock is 300m and the other is 350m high. Scientists suggest a meteorite fell on Chandranath mountain during the pre-historic period. 'Chandrashila', the iron-meteorite worshipped in the temple, further adds to the mystery of this place.

South Goa's straight coastline -- of a peculiar linear shape -- stretches from Majorda to Betul, just north of the Canacona-Quepem coast. This could be a much "younger" coast (around 6,000-15,000 years young) compared to the rest of the Goan coast, and is a "trekker's dream-stretch".


Canacona's beach belt, 'discovered' only after the 1990s, is among the most scenic. Palolem is a freaky recreation of an east-meets-west Goan beach, with a rich variety of exotic food and accommodation to cater to the international palate.

  • Beyond the better-known Palolem and Agonda, there are nearly 20 lesser-known (or even hidden) beaches. So what if you don't find hotels or restaurants there, the idea is fine if you want to escape from it all. In some cases, the road to the beach is nothing but a narrow track.
  • Canacona and neighbouring Quepem are rustic areas, with only small towns in the area. These are not the place to go shopping, though Palolem has a growing number of touristy outlets.
  • Mallikarjun Temple, 2.5 kms away from Chaudi on the main-road leading to Karwar (take road going left) is where devotees head for advice from the oracles, interpreted on where flower-petals drop.
  • Parthagal math is a five centuries-old monastery.
  • Dolphin-watching and fishing trips are what attract foreign visitors to the area.
  • Palolem, Agonda and the more deserted Cabo de Rama Fort are current hot-favourites. The first two are still not overdeveloped beach-villages. Cabo de Rama is a place for scenic views of the coast. You need your own transport to reach these places, since public buses are few and far between.
  • Loliem has a couple of centuries-old 'hero' stones, etchings on stone to record historic events of the time dating back many centuries. This village's statue of Betal, possibly a pre-Hindu deity, itself goes back to the seventh century if not earlier, according to cultural-historian Phaldessai. Canacona has a total of four Betal deities, according to him.
  • Canacona's contribution to Goan tourism is the idea of beach-huts -- temporary beachside thatched huts built on coconut trees usually above ground level, right on the beach, during the fair weather (October-May) season.


Itineraries

Do

Canacona coastline, Goa

Visits to Anjediva Island are permitted courtesy Station Commander Sea Bird Project. Such requests should be channeled through Fr. Britto D Silva Parish Priest St. Annes Church, Binaga Karwar. Tel No 08382 31132 and email address frbrittodsilva2002@yahoo.co.in Visits in future could be curtailed due to plans by the Navy to step up security.

To visit the Island from Goa one has to proceed by any bus going to Karwar or Mangalore, leaving in the morning. The journey is about 2-1/2 hrs. From the bus stand to Karwar Port, the charge is around Rs 15 for a shared-auto. A trawler takes you to Anjediv. You might need to alight into a small boat before reaching the shore, due to the shallowness of the island waters.

Visits are usually around October or February, during local feasts.

The entry to island is not restricted.

Eat

Goa's emphasis on foreign tourists - all of them are assumed to be higher-spenders by those in business - means that destinations preferred by foreigners are more in the spotlight. Emphasis on the Westerner's food tastes also lends for either an exotic mix of cuisines, or, alternative, a tastelessly watered-down Goan/Indian cuisine.

Some places nonetheless manage to come out of this trap quite effectively.

Dilip Gaitonde's Palolem Beach Resort, bang on Canacona beach, offer a range from different cuisines. Goan dishes are the favourites. Others on Palolem beach itself include Draupadi (Israeli dishes too), German Bakery (health food, German cakes, pies, strudels, six-grain bread, croissants), Sameer Bar and Restaurant (seafood, Indian, Italian), Silver Star (fish tandoor, sizzlers, beef steak), Ciaran's Camp (pre-booked three-course dinner available), Fernandes Restaurant (Goan food, fresh juices), Cool Breeze ("food from around the world" with Jazz), Simba's, Boom Shankar, etc.

Look out for the other 'shacks' that make their appearance on the coastal stretch when the foreign tourist season starts. You can also take an excursion to the coastal, sleepy town of karwar; an hour away from canacona. Go and enjoy a nice meal at amrut, an authentic sea-food restaurant in the local market. Not only the fish is very fresh, its also very light on your wallet.

Drink

Draupadi, on Palolem beach, right next to the main entrance, has a recommendable strawberry cocktail made from freshly pulped strawberries that is only served in the season for strawberries (around winter).

There are two major brands of beer: King's and Kingfisher. Kings brand of beer is local to Goa and is not available outside the state and many locals swear by it. Kingfisher is the nation's best-selling beer and given the fact that its owner, business magnate Vijay Mallya, has several plush properties in Goa, it is hardly surprising that you will find yourself bombarded by Kingfisher advertising. Yet the beer itself is only average and it is recommended that you ask for King's beer first.

Sleep

  • The Lalit Goa Resort (The Lalit Goa Resort), InterContinental The Lalit Goa Resort, Raj Baga, Canacona Goa – 403702, India, Tel: 91 832 2667777 Fax: 91 832 2667711 (Canacona Goa), 91 832 2667777, [1]. 1 km of exclusive beach and a 9-hole golf course.
  • Sun Beach Residency, House no.200, Palolem Patnem road , Sawantwada, Palolem, Canacona, Goa - 403702 (Ahead of Cleopatra Resorts), +91-9819514908, [2]. checkin: 11:00 am; checkout: 11:00 am. Sun Beach Residency being strategically located offers a peaceful and quite stay with 13 comfortably proportioned rooms-equipped with American size beds,en-suite bathrooms,LCD TVs,air-conditioning and afternoon verandahs.At the same time is a short stroll from the lively local market place, curio shops, famous Goan shacks and Palolem beach. INR 1300 onwards.
  • Studio Rental, Canacona, [3]. checkin: 2:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 noon. This property is part of a private home and has 1 bedroom, a private verandah and an attached open to sky shower. It is located in Cancona and serves organic food. 110 USD.


Stay safe

  • Coastal areas in Canacona are perhaps more used to tourists than the interior. Keep in mind that tourism has opened up here only after the 1990s.
  • Avoid drugs, and the mafia that peddles them.
  • Take usual precautions with raves.
  • Locals are trustworthy, but crime against tourists is not unknown -- more in 'wilder' places like Anjuna, up north.
  • Warm food and clean water (bottled doesn't necessarily equal hygienic!) is essential to stay healthy.

Get out

Canacona is connected by road and bus with Margao (to the north) and Karwar (to the south). Canacona is also along the Konkan Railway route, though not all fast trains stop here. The railway station is just outside the small Chaudi main town of the taluka (sub-district).




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