Distance from Panjim: 62 Km Distance from Margao: 36 Km Must see: Botanical garden, Selaulim Dam, Mahadev Temple
The Selaulim dam lies on the Selaulim river at about 5 km from the Sanguem town. it is Goa’s biggest man-made water storage source that is also a favourite picnic spot for locals.
During the monsoons, the misty outlook of the western ghats against the backdrop of the dam is truly breathtaking. One can spend hours here in its scenic beauty.
For accommodation, an irrigation department rest house and a private resort are located nearby. The tourist department cottages lie unused and there is also a restaurant located in Chinchant.
To get to the Selaulim dam one can enjoy a 35 km picturesque drive from Margao. Once you cross Curchorem and reach Sanguem, the dam lies on Selaulim river.
Distance from Goa: Around 250 Km
The temples were created by the Badami Chalukyas in the 6th and the 7th centuries. Badami cave temples were carved from a massive sandstone cliff located in the city. The sandstone from the cliff was perfect for carving, and the cave temples are marvelous examples of the Badami Chalukya architecture. The temples are located between a ravines surrounded by huge cliffs. The architecture is a fine cross between Nagara (north Indian) and the Dravidian (south Indian).
Distance from Goa: 110 Km to the north of Goa Things to see: Beaches in Vengurla, lighthouse, Fruit research centre, Vengurla Jetty
Vengurla is an alluring beach town, located on the Konkan coast in the southern most district of Sindhudurg in Maharashtra. Just 110 km north of Goa, Vengurla is popular for its long stretch of clear white sand beaches ringed by high mountains.
One of the busiest ports during the reign of Maratha King Chhatrapati Shivaji, the port was a busy trade center between the 16th and 18th century. The existence of huge warehouses, trading centers and markets are pointers to its rich mercantile past. Between 1664 and 1812, the town was twice burned to ground. The residue of the attacks is still seen on the Vengurla rocks, and is now popularly known as Burnt Island. The Burnt Island is group of three large rocks that were once an important navigation point for seafarers. At present, the rocks act as a breeding site for a rare bird, the Indian Swiftlet.
Malvani, a dialect of Marathi, is spoken in Vengurla.
Vengurla boasts of five stunning beaches. Nivati beach, Shiroda beach, Mochemad beach, Sagareshwar beach, and Vayangani beach. Of these, Nivati and Shiroda beaches are highly recommended as they are blessed with crystal clear water and offer great opportunities for water sports.
Vengurla is also famous for its temples like the Mauli Devi Temple, Sateri Devi Temple and Shri Vithoda Temple.
Though not a shopping destination, roasted cashew nuts and sweets made from cashew are worth trying and are found in shops all around the town.
Distance from Goa:1249 Km via NH 7 Things to see: Varkala beach, temples and cliffs, Kappil Lake, Varkala Tunnel Best time to visit: Oct to March
Location: 51 km north of Thiruvananthapuram city in Thiruvananthapuram district and 37 km south of Kollam, south Kerala.
Varkala, a calm and quiet hamlet, lies on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram district. It has several places of tourist interests like a beautiful beach, a 2000-year-old Vishnu Temple and the Ashramam – Sivagiri Mutt a little distance from the beach.
The Papanasam beach (also called as Varkala beach), which is ten kilometers away from Varkala, is renowned for the natural spring. It is considered to have medicinal and curative properties. A dip in the holy waters at this beach is believed to purge the body of impurities and the soul of all sins; hence the name ‘Papanasam beach’.
A two thousand year old shrine the Janardhanaswamy Temple stands on the cliffs overlooking the beach, a short distance away. The Sivagiri Mutt, founded by the great Hindu reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru (1856 – 1928) is also close by. The Samadhi (the final resting place) of the Guru here attracts thousands of devotees every year during the Sivagiri Pilgrimage days – 30th December to 1st January. Sree Narayana Guru propagated the ideology: “one caste, one religion and one god”, in a society torn by the taboos of caste system.
Varkala offers excellent accommodation facilities for tourists and is fast becoming a popular health resort with many Ayurvedic massage centres.
Attractions: Beach, mineral water springs, the Sivagiri Mutt and a 2000-year- old Vishnu Temple.
Distance from Goa:173.9 Km via Nh 17 Things to see: Sindhudurg Fort, Vengurla Jetty Best time to visit:October to March
Located in the Malvan taluka, Sindhudurg is one of the excellent sea forts in Maharashtra whose construction was started in 1664 and completed in 1667. The structure of the fort continues to remain as strong as ever, maybe because its foundations were laid down in lead. The fort is situated on an island called Kurate which is two kilometers from the Konkan shore. Surrounded by rocks, it provided natural protection from enemy ships and gave the Maratha naval ships a secured base in the western sea. In fact, Shivaji was the only Indian ruler at that time who possessed a strong navy.
Sindhudurg was mostly under the command of the Kolhapur branch of the Maratha Empire till 1765 and was then conquered by the British who re-named it Port Augustus. It was again handed over to the Marathas and finally in 1792 it came under British rule as per their treaty with the Marathas. The fort is a masterpiece, surrounded by 42 strong bastions which are still standing tall. There is a temple dedicated to Shivaji on Sindhudurg, in which his idol is depicted as a fisherman sitting in a boat. The ruler’s hand and foot marks have also been preserved here. The fort at Sindhudurg is surrounded by some smaller forts such as Padmagad, Rajkot and Sarjekot which together were the guardians of the region.
Distance from Mumbai: 495 kms
How to reach
Nearest airport is at Ratnagiri (134 km).
Nearest railheads are Kudal and Kanakavali which are 32 km from Malvan.
The Mumbai-Goa road leads you right through the heart of Sindhudurg. The pace of the drive is more than made up for by the views you get. From Pune, the drive is a bit quicker via Kolhapur, where you should turn onto the Mumbai-Goa highway via Gaganbavda towards Sindhudurg.
Distance from Goa:163.4 Km via NH 17 Things to see: Beaches and temples Best time to visit:October to February
Gokarna is a place in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka that is a pilgrimage center and also a tourist spot because of its beautiful beaches. It is located at the confluence of two rivers Aganashini and Gangavali, and the place where the rivers converge forms a shape that’s similar to the ear of a cow, hence the name, Gokarna (Gokarna in the local language literally means cow’s ear).
he Mahabaleshwara Shiva Temple in Gokarna makes this place a holy center for Hindus (especially Shaivites) from all over the country. The temple finds mention in the compositions of Tamil poets Appar and Sambandar who praise the Lord of Tulu Nadu in their hymns. This place was under the rule of the Kadambas, the Vijayanagara kings and was later conquered by the Portuguese.