da Gama, 29-km by road southwest of Panjim, sits on the narrow western tip
of the Marmagoa (also known as Mormugao) peninsula, overlooking the mouth of
the Zuari River. Acquired by the Portuguese in 1543, this strategically
important site was formerly among the busiest ports on India's west coast.
It remains a key shipping centre, with container vessels and iron ore
barges clogging the choppy river mouth, but holds nothing of interest for
visitors, particularly since the completion of the Konkan Railway, when
Goa's main railhead shifted from here to Margao. The only conceivable reason
one might want to come to Vasco is to catch a bus to Dabolim airport, of
Bogmalo beach, 8-km southeast.
Prime AttrACTIONs of Vasco-de-gama
The sandy beach at the end of the cove would be even more
picturesque were it not for the monstrous multi-storey edifice perched above
The first naval museum in Asia was
inaugurated at Dabolim, Vasco in 1998 and opened for public from the 19th
October 1998. The museum showcases the history of Indian Naval Aviation,
various aircrafts, weapons, sensors, safety equipment, rare photographs
depicting Goa's liberation and artifacts. more..
How To Get There - Vasco-da-Gama
Dabolim, Goa's airport, lies on top of a
rocky plateau, 4-km southeast of Vasco da Gama. A large new civilian
terminal was recently constructed at this naval aerodrome to accommodate
Goa's rapidly increasing air traffic, but to avoid delays aim to check in
well in advance.
Facilities in the terminal buildings include State Bank Of India Foreign
Exchange Desks, Post Office Counters, and counters for domestic airlines.
There's also a handy Pre-Paid Taxi Counter outside the main exit.
Kadamba buses for Panjim are supposed to meet domestic airlines flights, or
one can catch a regular bus from the intersection immediately outside the
airport to Vasco, from where there are services to Margao and Panjim, Goa's
principal transport hubs.
Vasco is laid out in a grid, bordered
by Marmagao bay to the north, and by the railway line on its southern side.
Apart from the cluster of oil storage tanks, the town's most prominent
landmark is the railway station at the south end of the main Dr. Rajendra
Arriving by bus from Panjim or Margao,
you'll be dropped off at the Interstate Kadamba Terminus, 3-km east of the
town centre. Local minibuses ferry passengers from here to the more central
market bus stand.
At local minibuses ferry passengers from here to the more central market
bus stand, at the top of the square, where buses from Dabolim airport also
pull in. Auto-rickshaws, and Ambassador and motorcycle taxis, hang around on
the corner of Swatantra Path and Dr. Rajendra Prasad Avenue, near the
station and the small cycle rental stall.
Places To Stay - Vasco-da-Gama
Thanks to its
business city status, Vasco boasts a better than average batch of hotels.
Most are plush mid-range places, although there are several no-frills lodges
near the railway station. Best of the budget bunch is available on the
Dattatreya Deshpande Road. One can also try the GTDC Tourist Hostel, off
Swatantra Path near the station, or the hotels situated east of the main
square on FL Gomes Road.
Moving upscale hotels situated at Pe Jose Vaz Road, currently offers the
best value for money among Vasco's many modern mid-range places. Finally,
for fully air-conditioned comfort, complete with plush bars, restaurants and
a gym, check in to the hotels on Swatantra Path.
Useful Information - Vasco-da-Gama
Money: If one needs to change money, head for The State Bank Of India at the
north end of F L Gomes Road. GTDC's Tourist Information Counter is in the
lobby of their tourist hostel.
Suggested Tour Packages