North Goa District of Goa at a Glance

About North Goa District :

North Goa District is the administrative hub of the state, with the presence of the State Secretariat and Head offices of all Departments of Goa. Panjim, the capital city of state of Goa, is a small picturesue town on the left bank of the river Mandovi. It is also the headquater of the North Goa District. The North district is divided into four subdivisions – Panjim, Mapusa, Bicholim, and Ponda; and six Talukas – Tiswadi (Panaji), Bardez (Mapusa), Pernem, Bicholim, Sattari (Valpoi) and Ponda. Recently, for administrative convenience, Ponda has been shifted to the South District of Goa.

According to the 2011 census North Goa has a population of 8,17,761 and the district has a population density of 471 inhabitants per square kilometer. North Goa has a sex ration of 959 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 88.5%. Hindus (76.1%) and Christian (16.4%) communities make up almost the entire population of the district with the minority representation of Muslims (7.1%) and other religions.

Location

The North Goa District has an area of 1736 Sq. Km. Its geographical position is marked by 15o 48’ 00” N to 14o 53’ 54” N latitudes and 73o E to 75o E longitudes. North Goa shares its boundaries with the Sawantwadi & Dodamarg, of Ratnagiri District and Kolhapur District of Maharastra state and with South Goa District shares the southern boundary.

Geography

Physical Features :

North Goa being a part of the West Coast region of India, has many physical features that are common to neighbouring regions of Maharastra and Karnataka States. But the features that land the landscape and scenery of Goa a distinctive charm of their own, are the Sahyadris in the east. The middle level plateaus in the center with their detached elements abutting in several places into the sea, and the low-lying river basins and the coastal plains.

The Sahyadris of Goa :

The portion of the Sahyadris lying in Goa has an area about 300 sq. kilometers and an average elevation of 800 metres. If one looks eastwards from the plains of Goa towards the Sahyadris they form on the horizon almost a wall with peaks, connected with saddles below, and clad in azure blue, with mists dominating especially during the rainy season. The water-divide acts as a source region for most of the Goan rivers. The scarp face is furrowed by ungraded streams, many of which in the steep fall, have waterfalls. Of the isolated peaks with which the ranges of mountains are studded the most conspicuous are: On the North Sonsagar, 3827 feet above sea level; Catlanchimauli 2633 feet; Vaguerim, 3500 feet; Morlemgad, 3400 feet all in Sattari taluka.

The Plateaus :

The central portion of North Goa consists by and large,of plateaus at varying levels. The plateaus have typical landforms that are quite characteristic of Goan scenery, the tops are fairly level, but are in places deeply notched by gullies; On the coastline the lateritic plateaus end in headlands; the Aguada. The river basins and the coastal alluvial flats quite in contrast to the lateritic plateaus and abundant in their usefulness are the alluvial lowlands of North Goa. These are the in-filled stretches of the rivers which have deposited the eroded material from the Sahyadrian elevation along their banks, on losing their gradient when they emerge from the highlands to meet the sea. The major riverine plains in North Goa are those of mandovi. Those of Chapora in the North are lesser basins. The coastline of North Goa is a scenic alteration of bays and headlands significantly broken by large estuaries of Mandovi and interspersed with minor estuaries. Of the bays, the Baga, Calangute are extensive curved stretches which with their near white sands and palm fringes form on of the main tourist attractions of Goa. Of the many rivers that drain the land of the district Tiracol, Mandovi & Sal are the most important because of the extent of their drainage areas and the human attraction they hold.

Lakes :

Lakes constitute a scenic feature in Goa, though most of them have a limited and local use for irrigation. Most of them owe their origins to the bunds across stream valleys, large and small, and also on plateau margins and in alluvial flats. The important lakes of North Goa are Mayem, Chimbel, Carambolim & Calapur.

Vegetation Types :

The tropical wet evergreen forests occur in strands in the deeper valleys of the Ghats. This is a rich vegetation of evergreen type with a variety of species. Tall trees, dense canopy, sparse middle layer, climbing creepes and dense humus matting are characteristics. The tropical moist deciduous forests occupy a large area of the Sahyadrian Goa. The include important strands of teak which are estimated to occupy most of the forest area. Bamboo and cane, pre-monsoonal leaf fall of the deciduous species is quite a striking feature.

Mineral Deposits :

Major deposits: Iron, Manganese, bauxite, high magnesia. Limestone and clay. At present iron and manganese mining are the major extractive industries of North Goa.

Climate

The territory, which is situated well within the tropics and flanked by the Arabian Sea to the west and the Western Ghats (Sahyadri) rising to an average height of 1 km. To the east, has tropical-maritime and monsoon type of climate, with profound orographic influence. Accordingly the climate is moist throughout the year. Other features of the climate are the regular and sufficient rainfall 320 cm during the southwest monsoon season, mainly from June to September. The climate is generally pleasant. Discomfort may be felt in the absence of wind particularly during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon months. Due to proximity of the seas, the territory is generally humid, with a further rise in humidity during the monsoon weather. Even in summer the relative humidity is above 60 percent. Temperature variations through the seasons are also slight. May is the relatively warmest month when the mean daily temperature is around 30 degrees C and January the coolest with mean daily temperature at slightly lower value of about 25 degrees C. Along the coast the maximum temperature recorded rarely goes beyond 37 degrees C.

  1. Summer: 24 o C – 32 o C
  2. Winter: 21.3 o C – 32.2 o C
  3. Rainfall: 32 cm (June to September)

Languages Spoken

Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English & Portuguese

Clothing

Tropical clothing throughout the year, light woolen in December- January

Tourist Places :

Aguada Beach :

Aguada Beach in North Goa is a popular tourist attraction. Catching the eyes of the beach lovers, the beach’s highlight is the fort that stands on a cliff that faces the Aguada beach. Pristine and calm, Aguada beach is perfect to enjoy evening strolls and witness the sun setting down. One can enjoy variety of watersports here along with hanging out in cafés, getting a massage and shopping for a range of items. Aguada resort that is perched over the cliff is a popular hotel complex and has kept a partial portion of the beach for its guests. An ideal way to enjoy and explore the beach and the rich history of the fort here would be to check yourself in the Aguada resort.

Baga Beach :

Baga beach is another popular place to visit in North Goa. The beach is located at the end of the stretch Calangute beach. Baga is a bustling beach as it gives visitors lot to enjoy and experience. An unbroken line of shacks overlook rows of sun beds that further overlook a jagged line of motorboats often attached to the paragliders; this is an ideal view of the beach in the daytime. Whereas, the nights at Baga are seductive in its own way, with some really crowd that is mostly comprised of fun loving individuals that enjoy drinking and dancing to some cool music, the beach seems to come alive. There are several restaurants and bars at Baga and each one is swarming with crowd every night.

Goa State Museum :

Goa State Museum is the state’s archaeology museum. Throwing light on the rich history and culture of Goa, this museum is one of the well-maintained places in the state. The museum has fairly a large collection that includes eight thousand relics like rock statues, wood made items, bronzes, artwork, manuscripts, unusual silver coins, numismatic selection, and anthropological collection. There are various Hindu as well as Jain relics and scriptures as well. It is indeed one of the best places to see in Goa and once you explore it completely you’ll find out why

Chapora Fort :

Built in 1617, Chapora Fort was the watch post of the border. Today, the fort lies in ruins; however, it is an incredible vantage point and offers a gorgeous view of Vagator and Anjuna beaches. Though the fort is in ruins today but one can still see the two tunnels which served as emergency escape for the Portuguese. The Portuguese are believed to have ruled over Chapora Fort for more than 150 years. For visitors, this fort that lie in ruins is a great backdrop for photographs and the view from here is undoubtedly scenic

Dona Paula :

Situated on the suburbs of Panaji, Dona Paula is a popular tourist place in Goa. It is recognized as the home of National Institute of Oceanography. Infact, it is a hub for numerous accommodation options in Goa. It is a hammered shaped land that divides the estuaries of Zuari and Mondovi River. The Dona Paula monument is located on a small islet, which is connected with the mainland by a small bridge and a quay. Also on the islet is the Belvedere, which is a Greco – Roman type of structure, from where one can view the Arabian Sea and the River Zuari. Dona Paula has a beautiful stretch of sea that remains crowded; however during the monsoon the stretch is calm and becomes a lovely haunt for romance

Mangueshi Temple :

Reckoned to be one of the largest temples in Goa, Mangueshi shrine is situated in Mangueshi Village in Priol. The main deity in the temple is that of God Mangesh, who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. Mangueshi Temple is 450-year-old that stands out with for its simple and yet exquisitely elegant structure. The temple consists of several domes and balustrades. There even seats a prominent Nandi Bull and a beautiful seven-story deepstambha (lamp tower), stands inside the temple complex. The temple also has a magnificent water tank, which is believed to be the oldest part of the temple. There is a spacious assembly hall which can accommodate 500 people at a time. Chandeliers of the nineteenth century adorn the temple. The annual festivals including Rama Navami, Akshaya Tritiya, Anant Vritotsava, Navaratri, Dussera, Diwali, Magha Poornima Festival (Jatrotsav) and Mahashivratri. Magha Poornima Festival begins on Magha Shukla Saptami and ends on Magha Poornima are celebrated in the temple with much pomp and show.

The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception :

Built in 1541, this is reckoned to be the first church in Goa. Seeing a complete renovation in 1619, The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is a riot of heavy ornamentation. Believed to be a fine example of relatively simple architecture, the church still boasts of two flanking altars that on the left dedicated to Jesus Crucified and the right one dedicated to Our Lady of Rosary. A great deal of carvings can be seen on each side of the marble statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. The main altar is that St. Francis Xavier; his glass encased statue is positioned centrally on the reredos. A large number of visitors come to visit this place of worship in Goa and indeed you should visit this religious place to witness some excellent architecture

Anjuna Beach Flea Market :

Anjuna Beach Flea Market is a small carnival in itself. Held every Wednesday, this market is visited by expats to Indian tourists to locals alike! A happening flea market, where one can find lot of activities till late night. The market evolved in the 1960s, when hippies headed to Anjuna for trance music and parties. Initially, the market was more like a garage sale, where hippies would sell stuff in a bid to earn some extra money. However, the current market is no less than a fashion street, where one can find great souvenirs, fashionable clothes and lovely artifacts. Food stalls are also the part of the market as well, where one can enjoy some authentic Goan food.

Panaji :

Panaji is probably one of mist laidback capitals in India. Overlooking the Mandovi River, Panaji is a perfect place to see the vivid reflections from the culture and traditions of Goa. It is one of those places where the maximum Portuguese influence can be witness. Its old Latin Quarter still offer a glance of Portuguese lifestyle, it is during the daylight the houses glow yellow and their purple doors compliment them. The ochre-coloured mansions with terracotta-tiled roofs, wrought iron balconies and arched oyster-shell windows add more charm to this capital city. Panaji is a one of the best places in Goa to enjoy solitude, peace of mind and culture as unlike any other capital in India it is free from the maddening rush, the polluted air and the hustle and bustle. A day or two in Panaji is mandatory for good Goa vacation experience