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Favourite Bollywood Destinations in Goa

Goa is a lush tropical region of India nestled on the country’s south-west coast that gets blue skies six months of the year. Establishing itself as the Riviera of the Sub-Continent, it attracts a mix of Bollywood film stars, sports personalities and a steady stream of international tourists. It’s easily accessible from Mumbai and offers experienced crews and the latest equipment.

Despite being India’s smallest state Goa is packed with eye-catching film locations from jungles and nature reserves through to temples, colonial heritage buildings and Western Ghats (beautiful jungle-covered mountains).

Then of course there are the world-famous palm-fringed white sand beaches. What’s more, everything is within a two-and-a-half-hour drive.

Goa’s scenery provides an effective double for many tropical locations. However, producers thinking outside the box could even use it as the Mediterranean as a result of Goa’s Portuguese colonial architecture.

Old Goa

Former colonial capital, Old Goa, is home to 16th century churches and convents which make it a scenic sightseeing spot. The UNESCO World Heritage site is rich in history, and famous for Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St. Augustine, etc. You can opt for the artistically done Christian religious tour at the Sound and Light Gallery Museum. This “other-century” site has been used for shooting several movies like Gumnaam, Pyar Tune Kya Kiya, Khamoshi, Pukar, Rangeela, Singham, etc., and is worth visiting.

Dona Paula Beach in Goa

The major attraction of the area of Dona Paula is its beach, set in on the side of the headlands that separate the estuaries where the Zuari and Mandovi rivers meet the Arabian Sea. It provides a great views of the Mormugao harbor, and is quite close to Panaji, the state capital. Fringed by palm and casuarina trees, the beach offers the opportunity to take a sunbath, or opt for water sports like motorboat riding, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, etc. Of the films shot here, the most famous is Ek Duje Ke Liye.

Sinquerim Beach/Aguada Fort Beach in Goa

Located near Panaji, south of famous beaches like Baga, Calangute and Candolim, is the Sinquerim Beach, one of the most stunning beaches. It is quiet and clean, and offers activities like para-sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, etc. Adjacent to it lies the Aguada Beach near the Aguada Fort that was strategically constructed in 1600s at the Mandovi estuary to control the entry into the river and protect Old Goa. Scenes of Rangeela, Dil Chahta Hai, Golmaal, Dhoom, Honeymoon Travels, etc. have been shot here.

Vagator Beach in Goa

The Vagator Beach near Mapusa has a naturally mystical look, what with its fine white-sand beach, black lava rock and red laterite cliffs, and further marked by freshwater springs and coconut trees. Nestled in its unspoiled ambiance is the isolated Chapora Fort, looming over the beach and offering a commanding view of it. One of the most famous sequences of the Bollywood cult hit Dil Chahta Hai was shot in here. In 2014, a Hollywood film named Vagator Mixer was made, with its theme based on the Vagator Beach.

Anjuna Beach in Goa

Set near Mapusa, between Bagba and Calangute beaches in the south and Vagator and Chapora beaches in the north, Anjuna is more famous for its Wednesday Flea market, night markets, happening bars and night clubs, and outdoor parties that are increasingly interrupted and discouraged by the authorities, than for its beach. This place is popularly dubbed as “Hippies’ Paradise”, mainly because of Curlies, a haunt for trance people, hippies, etc. Rangeela, Khamoshi, Dil Chahta Hai, etc. have been shot here.

Calangute Beach in Goa

On the north coast of Goa, near Mapusa, is Calangute, the most famous holiday resort, flanked by Goa’s flagship beach and known as “Queen of Goan Beaches”. It is the most commercialized beach of the state, dotted with shacks and clubs, and remains choc-a-bloc with the hedonistic tourists. It is a good place to relax, or partake in fun but affordable water sports. One of the most popular Bollywood destinations, it has been used for shooting Bollywood films like Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa, Josh, Love in Goa, etc.

Saligao Church in Goa

The Mae De Deus Church, reflecting Western workmanship through its glorious Gothic architecture, stands tall against the picturesque backdrop in Saligao, one of the daintiest and greenest villages of Goa, surrounded by the beautiful Parram Guirim, Sangolda, Pilerne, Candolim, Calangute and Nagoa villages. The mesmerizing church transforms into a spectacle in itself at night on being illuminated. The church has been featured in films like Josh, Dhoom, Khamoshi, Dil Chahta Hai, Haseena Maan Jayegi, etc.

Panjim Church in Goa

In the heart of the city of Panaji (or Panjim) stands one of the oldest churches of Goa – Our Lady Of The Immaculate Conception Church – constructed in 1541, and rebuilt from it very foundation in 1619 in the shape of a wedding cake. It is an immense church, and is a commentary on the wealth and religious climate of the region at the time of its construction. The interior of the church is simple but colourful. Scenes of films like Haseena maan Jayegi, Josh, Pukar, Jalwa, etc. have been shot at the Panjim Square.

River Cruise in Goa

Enjoy the calm and cool of the River Mandovi as you take a cruise ride in the river. It is a 60 minute journey, with the ship sauntering along, while you can savour live performances of Goan music and dance. Enjoy Dekhni, Fugddi and Portuguese Corredinho; share snacks and down it with inexpensive alcohol. Or, simply stand by the rails to soak in the mind-blowing surroundings. Some of the most famous films shot at Mandovi Boat Cruise are Pyar Tune Kya Kiya, Rangeela, Ram Balram, Khamoshi, etc. Apart from being important as visual lynchpins or historic landmarks, these places have the dual attraction of being witnesses to some memorable moments in Bollywood history.

Other Filmy Haunts

Besides these, there are plenty of other places all around Goa which might be of interest to you if you are a big Bollywood buff. From villages to waterfalls, the scenic spots will definitely remind you of scenes from popular movies

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