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Calangute Beach

Calangute Beach in GoaA Topping On Tourist Pie
A mere 45 minute bus ride up the coast from the capital, Calangute is Goa's busiest and most commercialized resort, and the flagship of the state government's bid for a bigger slice of India's package-tourist pie. In the 1970s and early 1980s, this once peaceful fishing Village epitomized Goa's reputation as a haven for hedonistic hippies.

The Town And The Beach
The road from the town to the beach is lined with Kashmiri-run handicraft boutiques and Tibetan stalls selling Himalayan curios and jewellery. The quality of the goods - mainly Rajasthani, Gujarati and Karnatakan textiles - is generally high. Haggle hard and don't be afraid to walk away from a heavy sales pitch - the same stuff crops up every Wednesday at Anjuna's flea market.

The beach itself is nothing special, with steeply shelving sand, but is more than large enough to accommodate the huge numbers of high-season visitors.

To escape the hawkers, head fifteen minutes or so south of the main beachfront area, towards the rows of olf wooden boats moored below the dunes. In this virtually hawker-free zone, one'll only come across teams of villagers hauling in hand nets at high tide or fishermen fixing their tack under bamboo sun shakes.

Leisure

Eating Out
Calangute's bars and restaurants are mainly grouped around the entrance to the beach and along the Baga road. As with most Goan resorts, the accent is firmly on seafood, though many places tack on a few token vegetarian dishes. Western breakfasts also feature prominently.
Entertainment
Thanks to repeated crackdowns by the Goan police on parties and loud music, Calangute's nightlife is surprisingly tame. All but a handful of the bars wind up by 10.00 pm. One notable exception is Tito's at the Baga end of the beach, which stays open until 11.00 pm off-season and into the small hours in late December and January.

Unfortunately, the only other places that consistently stay open through the night are a couple of dull hippy hang-outs in the woods to the south of the beach road; Pete's Bar, a perennial favourite next door to Angela P. Fernandes, is generally the most lively, offering affordable drinks, backgammon sets and relentless reggae. Further afield, Bob's Inn, between Calangute and Candolim, is another popular bar, famed less for its court around a large table in the front bar.

How To Get There

By Road
Buses from Mapusa and Panjim pull in at the small bus stand cum Market Square in the centre of Calangute. Some continue to Baga, stopping at the crossroads behind the beach en route. Get off here if one can, as it's closer to most of the hotels.

Places To Stay

Calangute is chock-full of places to stay. Demand only outstrips supply in the Christmas - New Year high season, and at Diwali. Most of the inexpensive accommodation consists of small rooms in family homes, or in concrete annexes tacked onto the backs of houses. The top hotels are nearly all gleaming white, exclusive villa complexes with pools, and direct beach access.
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General Information

Location
16-km From Panjim, North Goa

Useful Information

Wherever one goes, though, remember that Calangute's no nudism rule is for real and enforced by special police patrols; this includes topless bathing.
Recreation Centers
A Taste Of Indian Heritage
Finally, don't miss the chance to sample some real Indian culture while you are in Calangute. The Ekrkar Art Gallery, in Gaura Vaddo, at the south end of town, hosts evenings of classical music and dance every Tuesday and complete with incense and evocative candlelight. The recitals, performed by students and teachers from Panjim's Kala Academy, are kept comfortably short for the benefit of Western visitors, and are preceded by a short introductory talk. Tickets are available in advance or at the door.
Banks / Money Changers
There's a State Bank Of India on the main street, but the best place to change money and Travellers Cheques is Wall Street finances, opposite the petrol pump and in the shopping complex on the beachfront. If they are closed, try the fast and friendly ENEM finances in Baga. For visa encashments, go to The Bank Of Baroda, just north of the temple and market area; a flat commission fee is levied on all visa withdrawls.

Prime AttrACTIONs of Panjim

At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagao Harbour. more..
Built in 1602, the only ruin of the Church of St. Augustine on the Holy Hill at Old Goa near the Nunnery, is a lofty 46-metre high tower defying the torrential rains. more..
About 2-km on the main road towards Ponda, a Kuchcha road branches off to a place where a cross is fixed. The road leads to a hill on which, commanding a picturesque view, is the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount more..
In the Holy Hill, on the way to the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, is a huge three-storeyed building of laterite which was originally lime-plastered but is now plastered with cement. more..
The Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary
Not far to the west of the Basilica of the Bom Jesus is the Holy Hill at the extremity of which is the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. more..
To the west of the Se Cathedral is the former palace of the Archbishop that connects the Se Cathedral to the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi. more..
It is built of laterite plastered with lime mortar, with tiled roof supported by wooden rafters is a plain chapel with only one altar. more..
Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders more..
The museum has been functioning since 1964 in the abandoned convent of St. Francis of Assisi and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The collection consists of Brahmanical sculptures hero-stones and sati stones of the early and late medieval periods, portraits, coins and currency, revenue and court fee stamps, wooden and bronze sculptures and armoury of the Portuguese period. more..
The Museum of Goa is housed at a new Building at the Patto Plaze near the Ourem creek, Panaji. The most noteworthy feature of Panjim's State Archeological Museum is its imposing size, which stands in glaringly inverse proportion to the scale of the collection inside. more..
Up in the lush foothills of the Western Ghats, Bondla is good place to see Sambhar and Wild Boar. It is smallest of the Goan Wildlife Sanctuaries. Its area is 8-sq-kms but easiest one to reach. more..
On the way to Dona Paula, 1-km ahead of the confluence of the Arabian Sea and Mandvi River, under the palm shade, is "Gasper Dias" or Miramar Beach and is just 3-km away from the capital city of Panjim. more..
The Portuguese Viceroy Redondo commissioned the Se, or St. Catherine's' Cathedral, southwest of St. Cajetan's, to be "a grandiose church worthy of the wealth, power and fame of the Portuguese who dominated the seas from the Atlantic to the Pacific". more..
3-km away from Banastari Bridge on Panaji-Ponda Road is situated the noteworthy temple dedicated to Devaki Krishna at Marcel. The deity is said to have been brought from Chorao in Tiswadi to Mayem in Bicholim and then shifted to its present place during the days of religious persecution by the alien rulers. more..
Situated in West Goa, the Mahadeva Temple in Tambdi Surla is the state's only prominent reminder of the pre-Portuguese temple architecture. Maintained by the ASI (Archeological Survey of India), this 12th century temple boasts of some fine relief's on the 'Shikhara' (spire) depicting a plethora of Gods and Goddesses. more..
The temple tour can be resumed by offering prostrations unto Goddess Mahalakshmi, the presiding deity of Panaji, the capital of Goa. The main temple has been reconstructed recently. The main festivals at this temple are Navaratri and Chaitra Purnima. more..
As one tries to return to Panaji from Harvalem, one can visit the famous temple of Sri Saptakoteshwar Naroa, Bicholim. Sri Saptakoteshwara was the patron deity of the Kadambas who had built a beautiful temple dedicated to this deity at the Diwar Island. more..
From Kansarpal one can proceed to Sanquelim, the hometown of the Ranes of Satari who played key role in Goa's freedom struggle. The ancestors of the present Rane family, who are believed to have migrated to Goa from Udaipur about 600 years ago, built the famous Sri Vithal temple situated on the bank of Valvanta River. more..
Further to the west of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi is the chapel of St. Catherine. Built of laterite blocks it has a tower on either side of the façade. The chapel in the interior, having only one altar is plain more..
Opposite the Se Cathedral, beyond the road is the large and beautiful church of St. Cajetan built of laterite blocks, which were lime plastered. more..
Nothing remains of the Church of the Carmelites excepting the façade and a raised pavement, which served as an altar. Its location is to the southeast of the Church of St. Cajetan more..
Situated to the east of the tower of St. Augustine it is a plain looking building constructed in the beginning of the 18th century. The convent was abandoned in 1835. The Society of the Misericordia occupied it for some time. more..
On the southern outskirts of Old Goa is a hill on which stand this convent and church. more..
Immediately to the south of the main road is the Professed House, a two-storeyed laterite building covered with lime plaster. Despite the opposition, which the Jesuits faced, the building was completed in 1585. more..
To the west of the tower of St. Augustine is the Royal Chapel dedicated to St. Anthony, the national saint of Portugal and held in great veneration by the Portuguese. It was built in the beginning of the 17th century. more..
Condolim Beach
Four or five years ago, Candolim, at the far southern end of Calangute beach, was a surprisingly sedate resort, appealing to an odd mixture of middle-class Bombayites, and Burgundy-clad Sannyasins taking a break from the Rajneesh Ashram at Pune.
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