Atmaram Travels takes you to the Goa is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located on India's west coast in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.
Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter. The Portuguese overseas territory existed for about 450 years, until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. In 2004, there were more than two million tourists reported to have visited Goa, about 360,000 of whom were from abroad.
Goa has two main tourist seasons winter and summer. In the winter time, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come to Goa to enjoy the splendid climate. In the summertime (which, in Goa, is the rainy season), tourists from across India come to spend the holidays.
With the rule of the Portuguese for over 450 years and the consequential influence of Portuguese culture, Goa presents a somewhat different picture to the foreign visitor than other parts of the country. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada and a new wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage in Old Goa are other tourism destinations.
1) Vagator Beach.
Historic sites and neighbourhoods in Goa
Goa has two World Heritage Sites the Bom Jesus Basilica and a few designated convents. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually the Blessed Joseph Vaz). Once every twelve years, the body is taken down for veneration and for public viewing. The last such event was conducted in 2004. The Velhas Conquistas regions are also known for its Goa-Portuguese style architecture. There are many forts in Goa such as Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama.
In many parts of Goa, mansions constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still stand, though in some villages, most of them are in a dilapidated condition. Fontainhas in Panaji has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing the life, architecture and culture of Goa. Some influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa's temples, notably the Mangueshi Temple and the Mahalasa Temple, although after 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.
Museums and Science Centre.
Goa also has a few museums, the two important ones being Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum. The Aviation museum is the only one of its kind in the whole of India. Also, a place not well known to tourists is the Goa Science Center, which is located in Panjim. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is also located in Goa at Dona Paula.
The Coolest Place in India’ is Goa.
Now our road takes us to the magnificent kingdom of Goa…The people of this kingdom are strong, prudent and very hardworking… The kingdom of Goa is the most important in India…It is civilized, having famous orchards and water. It is the coolest place in India and it is the most plentiful in foodstuffs.
‘The white people make a practice of going to the kingdom of Goa to enjoy the shade and the groves of trees and to savour the sweet betel.’These revealing remarks on Goa come not from the hippies or ‘flower power’ generation of the sixties and early seventies who thronged the beaches of Anjuna, Vagator and Arambol in search of salvation and ‘peace’. These remarks were made over five centuries ago by the Portuguese Ambassador to China who visited Goa around the year 1511. They serve as a vivid precursor to the generations that followed in our times to the fabled land of Goa.In those tumultuous and rebellious times in the sixties, it was then not the ‘sweet betel’ that was the prime attraction but a different kind of ‘weed’. But Goa, since those days of the angry generation, has moved on to attract a multitudinous, peaceful and cosmopolitan school of visitors from all around the globe. Down the corridors of time Goa has been different things to different people. To the Portuguese conquerors it was ‘Golden Goa’, the El Dorado, the ‘Rome of the East’Such was its beauty and grandeur, that a traveller was moved to remark ‘Whoever has seen Goa, need not visit Lisboa’—Lisbon, which was then the grand epicenter of the Portuguese dominions. Some decades later, the early 17th century French traveller Francois Pyrard wrote ‘Whoever has been in Goa may say that he has seen the choicest rarities of India, for it is the most famous and celebrated city, on account of its commercial intercourse with people of all nationalities of the East who bring there the products of their respective countries,articles of merchandize, necessaries of life and other commodities in great abundance because every year more than a thousand ships touch there laden with cargo.’Pyrard continued with near prophetic veracity ‘…as for the multitude of people, it is a marvel to see the number which come and go every day by sea and land on business of every kind…One would say that a fair was being held every day for the sale of all sorts of merchandise.’While the contemporary traveller may not come to modern, thriving Goa ‘for the sale of all sorts of merchandise’, the ‘fair’ is still very much on. The traveller is here to find something different a balm on the busy mind, to enjoy days of freedom on Goa’s magnificent beaches, to parasail or swim with the tide of fellow visitors from all around the globe, to savour its unique cuisine and imbibe its spirits, to take a long and invigorating trek in its unexplored interiors, to marvel at its majestic temples and churches, in short, to be at one with the most friendly people in the country.
Atmaram Travels takes you to the Mumbai formerly called Bombay, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the second most populous city in the world, with a population of approximately 14 million.Along with the neighbouring urban areas, including the cities of Navi Mumbai and Thane, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. As of 2009, Mumbai was named an Alpha world city. Mumbai is also the richest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South or Central Asia.
The seven islands that came to constitute Mumbai Atmaram Travels were home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands came under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by the British with large-scale civil engineering projects, and emerged as a significant trading town. Economic and educational development characterised the city during the 19th century. It became a strong base for the Indian independence movement during the early 20th century. When India became independent in 1947, the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as capital. It was renamed Mumbai in 1996.
Mumbai Atmaram Travels is the commercial and entertainment centre of India, generating 5% of India's GDP,and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 40% of maritime trade, and 70% of capital transactions to India's economy.Mumbai is home to important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. The city also houses India's Hindi film and television industry, known as Bollywood. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a potpourri of many communities and cultures.
Mumbai Central is the most important Terminus in the city. All major cities in Maharashtra and nearby states are connected through Mumbai Central Terminus. The other important ST depots are at Parel, Nehru Nagar-Kurla, and Borivali. You can get buses for all over Maharashtra from these depots. But from Mumbai Central you would get buses any time as well as other State Transport buses like Atmaram Travels
There also exist numerous private bus operators who operate a large number of services from/to Mumbai from most major cities like Udaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Indore, Nashik, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Belgaum, Hubli, Bangalore, Mangalore, Trichur and Goa. For Pune, buses depart every 10 minutes. Crawford Market, Dadar T.T, Sion, Chembur and Borivili are the main starting points. Some of the reliable private operators are - National, Sharma, VRL, Konduskar, Dolphin, Paulo and Southern Travels. The above cities can be visited only if you visit the Mumbai through Atmaram Travels
Mumbai has a few beaches, including one in the downtown area. But they aren't that great and the water off Mumbai's coast is extraordinarily dirty. The relatively better ones are in the Northwest Mumbai area. But there are other beaches to be found such as the Girgaon Chowpaty in South Mumbai, The Juhu beach in the western suburbs and Aksa Beach in Malad. The currents don't seem strong, but particularly in the rains, lots of people die from drowning, so avoid getting in the water. A word of advice to women Bombay beaches are not the kind you can wear swimsuits to, particularly two-pieces.Chowpatty beach
Zoos, parks and gardens
Mumbai has a justified reputation as a concrete jungle, but there are some nice pockets of greenery within the city. It is also one of the rare metropolises to have an entire national park within its borders. The city zoo (Veermata Jijabai Udyan) is in Byculla and is a colonial relic which is surprisingly well-preserved. The animals may look rather emaciated, but the sheer diversity of trees on this lush zoo is worth a trip.Some city parks are very well-maintained and combine history as well. The "Hanging Gardens" on Malabar Hill offers stunning vistas of the Marine Drive.Further in South Mumbai, the Mumbai Port Trust Garden, is another hidden gem. This is set off a small side street off the Colaba Causeway 2-3 kms south of the main section. Once again, lovely views of the port, the naval yards, and sunset. In central Mumbai, there are the Five Gardens. Mainly used by walkers in the morning, it is a mess in the evenings. But the gardens encircle some historic, art deco residences.Markets and crowds, Mumbai is probably worth visiting just for its street markets, the hustle of vendors, and the madness of the crowds.
Modern buildings and malls
Once the British left, the zeal to wipe away the traces of colonial rule was, unfortunately, not matched by the enthusiasm to build a new city that matched the grandeur of the British-era buildings. Now, while the shabbiness of the socialist era is thankfully being replaced by architecture with an eye on aesthetics, the new malls, multiplexes, and office buildings that are coming up are indistinguishable from those anywhere else in the world. Still, they are worth a look, especially if you want to have a look at India's success story. Inorbit Mall, the best mall in India, is in Malad.
Powai is a modern central mumbai suburb with European looks. Powai houses the Indian Institute of Technology and is built around fabulous lake. Most of the construction is in a township format and is privately built. It houses twenty top of the line restaurants, two large convenience stores, a handful of coffee shops and entertainment areas. Initially built as an upmarket self contained township, Powai has now grown into a business process outsourcing hub in Mumbai. The township reflects both characteristics; you will often find families shopping and twenty somethings hanging out in tables next to each other.
Mumbai has temples, mosques, churches, Parsi Agiaries, and even a few synagogues reflecting the diversity of its citizens. While these are naturally of interest if you are a believer, some, like the Portuguese church at Dadar are worth visiting just for their unique architecture.Itineraries. Spend time in Mumbai by travelling with Atmaram Travels