VASCO DA GAMA
District : South Goa District
Location : Western tip of Mormugao Peninsula
Known As : Vasco
Best Time to Visit : September to February
Vasco da Gama Port, Goa
|To See :||Bogmolo Beach, Municipal Garden, Mormugao Port, Pilot Point, Shri Durgamata Shiv Mandir.|
|Most Famous For :||The Japanese Garden, which is home to the ruins of the Fortaleza Santa Catarina.|
|Famous Festival :||15 day Saptah at Damodar Temple.|
|Don't Miss :||The Mormugao Harbour, which is one of India's very few Natural Harbours.|
|Must Visit :||The Naval Aviation Museum which is the only one of its kind in India.|
|Getting Around :||Kansarpal-Kalbadevi temple, believed to be about 800 years old lies 14 km from Mapusa, St.Jacinto Island (7 kms).|
|Getting There :||Air - The Dabolim
Airport is the nearest airhead located at 7 km from the downtown
Rail - Madgaon Station is 28 kms from Vasco Da Gama.
Road - NH 17 to Cortalim via Bambolin, Goa
|Inside Tip :||The Pilot Point at Headland Sada offers a magnificent view of the port and the mouth of the Zuari river.|
|Must Try :||The Exotic Sea Food served in the Restaurants around the Bogmolo Beach.|
|Shopping Options :||Handicrafts Emporium (Dabolim Airport), Silk Emporium, Shopping Arcade.|
|Important Distances :||Mumbai 405 kms kms, Pune 351 Km, Panjim 13 kms.|
|Where to Eat :||Annapurna Restaurant, Meghdoot, Lymaur's, Royal Durbar, Anant Ashram, Gomes Bakery, Monginis Cake Shop, Sanman Sweets.|
|Staying Options :||Hotel La Paz Gardens, Karma Plaza Hotel, The Citadel, Hotel Annapurna, Hotel Nagina.|
It is all about a solitary cross that stands on the
sun-kissed sands of Mormugao Harbour, the signature of Vasco da Gama.
Despite perfect leisure options augmented by lots of water, swaying palms,
sunshine and sea breeze, the city doesnot laze around and sip it all in.
Because it is home to Dabolim Airport, Mormugao Port and Goa's biggest
naval base, this slender strip of land is home to people from across
India. Overlooking the Zuari river, it's a city that is named after the
famous Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama. Vasco, today is as busy as Old
Goa might have been at its height of commercial activity.
At one point Vasco, or rather Mormugao, missed being the capital by a whisker. The Viceroy of the time, D Fransico de Tavora on January 12, 1684 decided to shift the state capital to Vasco. The city saw many colossal buildings shed their attire and stand up. Viceroy's Palace, offices and warehouse sprung up to take care of the needs of future. Ironically, the Court of Lisbon brought an abrupt end to all dreams in 1712. The buildings which were designed to carry political activity now stand to entertain the tourists. The colourful and cordial ambiance only add to the flavour. So wherever you come from, Vasco is one place where you will feel perfectly at home.
Follow the Mormugao Port Trust Road, which scales uphill
before turning to an open space with benches and concrete deck. Welcome to
Pilot Point. As the name goes, this serene pad affords a magnificent view
of his port city and of course, Mormugao Harbour. If you happen to visit
Vasco during the monsoons, watch your steps since the floor is mossy. The
rose in the bouquet is apparantly the Mormugao Port. One of India's finest
natural harbours, this classic port is an important passage for Goa's
premier export industry - mining. Beside being an eminent gateway to
tourists, Mormugao Port also carved its own niche in media during the WW
II. Many actions including the finding of the hidden transmitter and the
subsequent raid was made into a film 'Sea Wolves' starring Gregory Peck
and Roger Moore. Enjoy a leisure walk in the evening amidst beautiful
lightings that bedeck the port.
Walk further up the road from Pilot Point, right at the very top of the Mormugao Ridge, to visit the Japanese Garden. It is home to the remnants of the Fortaleza Santa Catarina. Once a strategic point of defence, the ruins now offer an enchanting view of the Zuari river flowing silently into the arms of Arabian Sea. Walk along the paved steps that will lead to a small temple with a large name, Shri Durgamata Shiv Mandir. Take off your shoes before you walk on the blessed ground. A 'pradakshina' (going round around the shrine) is a must in this white temple. Visit the Shiva temple right opposite the main shrine, which houses a beautiful effigy of the Lord. There is a small cross located at a little distance from where you can see the rose-coloured 'shikara' of the temple.
When in Vasco, don't forget to visit the Naval Aviation Museum. This museum, situated on the road to Bogmalo, adjoining INS Hansa is the only one of its kind in India. You will be amazed to see the grand array of aircraft and amunitions housed in this museum headquarter. You will be accompanied with a seaman who will explain the various exhibits to you. Remember to see the rare models and photographs of the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. You can also see a Super Constellation and a Sea Hawk with folded wings. Take a tour to the virtual reality centre which offers flight simulator video games and a Sea Harrier cockpit simulator. The museum is closed on Mondays and is open from 10am-5pm.
Bogmalo Beach, Goa
Once in Vasco, you just can't resist the charm of visiting the Bogmalo Beach, more because, the city's own beach, Baina, is a favoured spot for slumfair. Bounded by green hills on three sides, its grainy golden sand and big surf make Bogmalo a different experience altogether. Enjoy diving at more than half a dozen sites and you can also go for a 3-5 day PADI open water course, which gives you a certificate permitting you to dive anywhere in the world! Don't miss a delicious sea-food lunch at the beach.
Vasco is a planned city with a geometric road network, with two main avenues and smaller connecting perpendicular roads. Situated at the western tip of the Mormugao Peninsula in South Goa, Vasco da Gama nestles 30 km from Panaji confortably by the Zuari River and the Arabian Sea. The Dabolim Airport is just outside Vasco limits, at a distance of 7 km from the downtown. So, once you cross the airport road, you are in Vasco. The South-Central Vasco da Gama railway station is located at the suth end of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Avenue and is connected to many major destinations of south and central India. The Kadamba bus terminal is about 3 km from the city centre, on NH 17A. If you plan to come from Panjim, drive on NH 17 upto Cortalim, with enroute halts at Bambolim, Goa Velha and Agassaim, before you turn towards NH 17A to reach Vasco via Sancoale and Chicalim.
Top 5 Reasons to Visit Vasco Da Gama
The City of Importance
Explore Solitude In The Sound of Waves
Mormugao Port - The Classical Place of Commerce
Temples of Devotion
Valour of Sea Hawks
Best of North and South
South India & Beaches