Calangute and Baga Beaches
Under the shade of palm trees, bathes the Queen of Beaches—Calangute. Calangute seems to be a
distortion of the local vernacular word—‘Koli-gutti’, which means land of fishermen. Some people
connect it with Kalyangutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit of the coconut tree) because the
village is full of coconut trees. With the advent of the Portuguese, the word probably got distorted to
Calangute, and has stuck till today. In a green semi-circle, the villages of Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao and
Candolim do their bit to enhance the divine beauty of Calangute. There are picturesque agors (saltpans)
at Agarvaddo, Maddavaddo is full of madd (coconut trees), Dongorpur skirts a bottle-green hillock and
Tivaivaddo laces the beach. In Gauravaddo lived the gaudds or milkmen ran dairies.
Calangute became a traveler’s cliché in the '60s and early'70s. It was the hippies who discovered the
pristine surroundings and blissful serenity and golden sands. The hippies also spread the word around
and brought hordes of European tourists. Decades later, tourists still trudge down the dusty, weather-
beaten roads in search of that idyllic coastal Goa. On this lovely beach, Goans and tourists spend
summers, bathing in the quiet solitude of the sea, sun and sand.
Fun in the sun, sand and sea along with great opportunities for feasting on fresh seafood and feni is
what a day on the Calangute beach essentially means. Frolicking families, eager hands making sand
castles, colorful crowds surging towards the sea, hippies busy remembering the good old times and the
young and old alike lazing on the golden sands are some of the images that characterize this Queen of
Beaches. This picture of a perfect tourist haven is completed with shacks and stalls under the shade of
palm trees selling everything from fried prawns and beer to trinkets made of seashells. The rainbow
hued canvas of Calangute has welcomed everyone to it always though it became popular across the
globe only after the hippies discovered it in the ‘60s.
The St. Alex Church
As the vast traffic on the CHOGM road reaches the village, the Church of St Alex greets with its two
towers and a magnificent dome gracing the façade. The inside of the church is a display of the line and
beauty of its architectural style and ornate altars. In 1996, Calangute celebrated the fourth centenary of
its parish church.
Kerkar Art Complex
The Kerkar Art Complex, is the one and only of its kind on this beach. It is a popular center for
exhibitions of arts and crafts of local artistes. On Thursdays and Fridays, connoisseurs of Indian classical
music and dance can be an audience to various concerts.
Calangute--Location And Climate
Calangute and Baga lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea of North Goa in India. It is encircled by Arpora-
Nagoa, Saligao and Candolim, in the Bardez taluka, and is just 15 km from Panajim, the capital of the
state of Goa.
Goa has a consistent climate through the year with only meager fluctuations in the temperature.
December and January might require light woolens. April and May are warm. The period from June to
October brings heavy rain, almost up to 320 cm. The temperature during summers ranges from 24°C to
32.7°C and during winters, from 21.3°C to 32.2°C.
Calangute Beach and Baga can be visited at any time of the year, though the monsoon months, which
bring heavy rains, are best avoided. The period from November to February is the most pleasant for a
visit to this beach.
Calangute And Baga--Excursions
The narrow road leading past the Bom Viagem Convent along the cashew-covered foothills, leads to the
springs at Mottant. This is an ideal spot for picnics and bathing, as the water is believed to be medicinal.
Calangute And Baga--What To Do
It’s easy enough to rent a motorcycle or scooter in Panaji and Mapusa.
Parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing at the beach starts in the afternoon when the wind is blowing
just in the right direction and it goes on till sunset.
Crocodile And Dolphin Spotting Tours
Backwater crocodile and dolphin spotting down the Mandovi River to the Zuari River is a favorite
pastime for the travelers. The banks of these rivers are thickly forested with mangrove trees. Crocodiles
inhabit the swamps in this area. At the open sea at the mouth of the Mandovi River, dolphins can be
Calangute And Baga--Shopping
Saturday bazaar near the new Post Office is an ideal place for good bargainers. The bazaar offers
commodities like fish, meat, grocery, textiles, earthenware, household articles and other provisions.
Toys and trinkets, piglets, chicken, eggs, brooms and all the traditional, rural produce find their way into
the Saturday bazaar.
In the center of Calangute, there is a nice Tibetan market. It offers all kinds of gems and silverwork,
wooden statues of the Buddha's and Hindu deities. Besides, Calangute and Baga have been swamped by
Kashmiri traders, putting up Kashmiri carpets, embroidery, and papier-mâché boxes for sale.
Calangute And Baga--Accomdation
There are plenty of guesthouses and hotels in Calangute. One planning a longer stay should look out for
‘To Let’ signs, as there are plenty along the back lanes.
Calangute And Baga--Transportation
The nearest airport is at Dabolim, which is 29 km away from Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour’s drive
away from Calangute.
The nearest railway station is at Karmali 11 km away from Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour’s drive away
Calangute Beach is about ten minutes from Mapusa, and thirty minutes from the state capital, Panaji.
There are frequent buses to Panaji and Mapusa from Calangute. Most buses from Panaji terminate at
Calangute and a few trudge further on up to Baga. Mapusa is 8 km away from Calangute.
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