South Goa is a popular holiday spot in India for people from around the globe. It is one of the two districts, the other being North Goa, which form the state of Goa. The place is revered for its spectacular beaches, scenic beauty, sumptuous food and cosmopolitan culture.
The history of this place dates back to the 3rd Century BC, when it was ruled by the Mauryas. Subsequently, it came under the control of the Satvahanas, Bhojas, Chalukyas and Silharas. However, it is the reign of the Portuguese, who ruled here for around 450 years, which has left a deep impact on the culture, tradition and lifestyle of this place.
Vasco da Gama and Margao are the two most popular cities in the district. Tourists can indulge in numerous activities here; be it sightseeing or adventure sports. The various monuments and churches dotted around the area are a depiction of the kingdoms and colonies that have ruled here.
People of South Goa celebrate many festivals and fairs, such as Sao Joao, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Carnival, Shigmo and Ganesh Chaturthi, with great zeal and vigour.
Brassware, terracotta, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work and paper-mache are some of the items that can be bought from the marketplaces in South Goa. The Golden Heart Emporium in Margao is a fantastic book store where tourists will find fiction, non-fiction, biographies and books based on the history of Goa. Covered market, Butterfly Book Shop and Goa Animal Welfare Trust Shop are other must-visit shopping centres in South Goa.
It would not be wrong to say that South Goa is a paradise for connoisseurs of food. Various cuisine are available here, but local specialities like rice with fish curry and pickles are a favourite. Cashew feni and coconut feni are two locally brewed beverages that are very popular among tourists. Tato, Vernekar, Longuinho's and Gaylin are some of the popular eating joints in this area.
South Goa abounds in beaches, such as Polem, Cola, Agonda, Mobor and Varca, which are undoubtedly the most popular attractions in town. Taking a boat cruise in South Goa gives tourists a chance to explore the marine life from close proximity. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Fernandes House and Savoi Spice Plantation are some of the must-visit sightseeing places here. Other than these, tourists can also pay a visit to the various temples, forts and churches in the region. The place is also a renowned base for adventure activities like windsurfing, dinghy sailing, scuba diving, water skiing and angling.