Places to visit in Canacona
Location : Canacona is Goa’s southernmost district. It is among the five talukas that collectively form southern Goa. Canacona is bordered by the taluka of Quepeum in the north, Sanguem in the north east, Karnataka in south and the Arabian Sea in the west.
Best Time To Visit : November to March.
The name Canacona is believed to be derived from the word Konkan, based on the old communities residing here. Till date, Konkani is an important official language of the district along with Marathi, English, Portuguese and Hindi. The district is popular for Goa’s most striking and outstanding natural beauty and sun-kissed beaches.
The Canacona region was earlier a part of the Soonda kingdom (a remnant of the powerful Vijayanagar Empire of the Hampi). But when it was defeated by Hyder Ali of Mysore, the king of Soonda surrendered the territory to the Portuguese in 1791. Canacona merged with Goa in 1794. With Chaudi, as its capital today, Canacona is the gateway to many of Goa’s southern tip beaches including Agonda, Palolem and Rajbhag.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, located 10 km south-east of Chaudi, supports wildlife such as tigers, leopards, gazelles, sloth bears, porcupines, panthers, hyenas, monkey, wild boar and the odd gaur. Since its inception in 1969, the wildlife sanctuary protects a remote and vulnerable area of forest lining the Goa-Karnataka border. It boasts of being the second largest wildlife sanctuary of Goa with an overall area of about 86 sq. km.
Pololem Beach is another prominent destination in Canacona, and falls 2 km west of Chaudi. This beach is the nearest destination, if you approach from Karnataka. The beach is about 3 km from the Konkan railway station, which is well connected to all the parts of Goa. The beach is well equipped with all the facilities for water sports and comprises of several eating junctions too.
If you are a nature lover the Cavelossim Beach is a perfect destination. Located 11 km south of Colva, the Cavelossim beach is famous for its beach resorts and the facility it offers for dolphin watching. The beach resorts here provide proper facilities for boat and lights if you are interested in watching the dolphins at night. This beach is the last major settlement in southwest Salcete.
Another beach destination, flanked by the ocean on one side and small hills on the other, is the Agonda beach. The greatest charm of this beach lies in night camping, under the starry skies, listening to the crashing of the waves against the shore. This beautiful stretch of land is among the most beautiful places of Canacona. Located 10 km north of Chaudi, the beach is covered by the Todi trees.
You can visit Shree Mallikarjun Temple in Canacona, which is dedicated to Lord Mallikarjun (a form or avatar of Lord Shiva). The temple is famous for having more than 60 shrines of Indian gods & goddesses. It was built in the 16th century and renovated in 1778. the wooden pillars and doors have wonderful carvings/nakkashis. People visit this temple during the festivals of ‘Rathasaptami’ (the chariot festival; celebrated in February) and ‘Shigmo’ (celebrated in April).
Another religious destination is Shree Sanusthan Gokarn Parthagali Jeevotham Math, which is located at Parthagali. The math belongs to the Gaud Saraswat community, and was established in 1475 by Swamiji Shreemad Narayanateertha. There is a Tapasya Kshetra in the campus under a banyan tree.
The restaurants are good for sea food of all kind. They also serve awesome Italian, Indian and Chinese dishes. Almost each restaurant is clubbed with a bar, which offers a huge array of drinks.
How To Reach
You can reach Canacona by direct Superfast Express trains from Mumbai, Panjim and Mangalore. Apart from this, the district lies on NH-17, hence, buses and taxis from other parts of Goa are easily available for Canacona. Bus services between Canacona and Margao are quite frequent.