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India Travel >>Travel to Goa >>Canacona in Goa

Canacona in Goa

Canacona in GoaThe Far South District Of Canacona Ceded to the Portuguese by the Raja of Sund in the treaty of 1791, Goa's far south - Canacona district - was among the last parts of the territory to be absorbed into the Novas Conquistas, and has retained a distinctly Hindu feel.

The area also boasts some of the state's most outstanding scenery. Set against a backdrop of the Jungle covered Sahyadri Hills (an extension of the Western Ghat Range), a string of pearl white coves and sweeping beaches scoop its indented coastline. Enfolded by laterite headlands and colossal piles of back boulders.


Places to see
Munnar Hill Station-Kerala Catigo Wildlife Sanctuaryt : The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, 10-km southeast of Chaudi, was established in 1969 to protect a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa- Karnataka border. Encompassing 86-sq-kms of mixed deciduous woodland, the reserve is certain to inspire tree lovers, but less likely to yield many wildlife sightings: its Tigers and Leopards were hunted out long ago, while the Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Panthers and Hyenas that allegedly lurk in the woods rarely appear.

Visitors however, stand a good chance of spotting at least two species of Monkey, a couple of Wild Boar and the Odd Gaur. The sanctuary is best visited between October and March months. Cotigao is a peaceful and scenic park that makes a pleasant day trip from Palolem, 12-km northwest. The wardens at the reserve's small Interpretative Centre will show one how to get to a 25m-high treetop watchtower, overlooking a waterhole that attracts a handful of animals around dawn and dusk.

Pololem Beach : Palolem, 2-km west of Chaudi, pops up more often in glossy holiday brochures than any other beach in Goa; not because the village is a major package tour destination, but because its crescent shaped bay lined with a swaying curtain of coconut palms, is irresistibly photogenic. Hemmed in by a pair of wooded headlands, a perfect curve of white sand arcs north from a pile of hug boulders to the spur of Sahyadri Ghat, which here tapers into the sea.

Until recently foreign tourists were few and far between in Palolem. Over the past five or six years, however, increasing numbers of budget travellers have begun to find their way here, and the village is now far from the undiscovered idyll it used to be, with a string of cafes, Karnatakan hawkers and a tent camp crowding the beachfront.

Souvenir stalls have also sprung up, catering mainly for the mini-van and boat parties of charter tourists on day trips from resorts further north. In spite of these encroachments, Palolem remains a resolutely traditional village, where the easy pace of life is dictated more by the three daily rounds of Todi (also spelt as Toddy) tapping than the exigencies of tourism.

Cavelosim Beach : Sleepy Cavelossim, straddling the coast road 11-km south of Colva, is the last major settlement in southwest Salcete: its only claim to fame. A short way beyond the village's picturesque church square, a narrow lane veers left across an open expanse of paddy fields to the Cavelossim-Assolna ferry crossing near the mouth of the Sal River.

If one is heading south to Canacona, turn left off the ferry and carry on as far as Assolna Bazaar, clustered around a junction on the main road. A right turn at this crossroads puts you on track for Canacona.

MABOR
Carry straight on at the junction just past the square in Cavelossim and one'll eventually arrive at Mobor, where Colva beach fades into a rounded sandy spur at the mouth of the Assolna River. This would be an exquisite spot if it weren't the site of South Goa's largest, and most obtrusive, package tourist enclave.

Crammed together on to a narrow spit of dunes between the surf and estuary, the holiday inns and beach resorts combine to create a holiday camp ambience that has as little to do with Goa as their architecture.
 

How to reach :
By Rail
For the last year or two, it has been possible to reach Canacona by direct "Superfast" Express trains from Mumbai, Panjim and Mangalore.
By Road
The regions main transport artery is the NH-17, which crawls across the Sahyadri and Karmali Ghats towards Karnataka via the district headquarters, Chaudi. Bus services between here and Margao are quite frequent.
 
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