The uniqueness of Goa is embodied in its villages. From the tinto, where everyone comes to shop, or the fields where children can be found playing football, each Goan village has a lot in common with each other. What makes them different is a historic landmark, tradition or its natural beauty.
To experience the wonder of a Goan village, you’ll need to spend some time there. Preferably a few days stay. However, if you just want to head down away from the beaches and nightlife spots for a day, then here are a few great villages to visit.
“Houses can tell stories”, that’s a saying that holds true when it comes to the 400 year old Figueredo Mansion in this beautiful southern Goa village. This antique house has been maintained and preserved over generations. Stately rooms, the grand ballroom with its magnificent chandeliers give you a feeling like that of entering into a fantastical world. Another place you can’t miss out on while in Loutolim is The Big Foot Museum. An ancestral home which has been converted into a museum, has preserved traditional information about Goa since previous years – from the occupations, attires, earthenware and various other aspects of Goan life.
Chandor is one of Goa’s most historically significant villages. It was the seat of two ancient dynasties, the Bhojas and the Kadambas. Visit the ancient Shiva temple and then look for remnants of the Nandi bull. The Three Kings Feast in January is best witnessed at the church of Nossa Senhora De Belem in Chandor. Children from the village wait anxiously for January to come around, to be picked to represent the three kings who had come bearing gifts to present at the birth of Jesus Christ; this tradition has been passed down over generations.
In this quaint village, there are a lot of sites to see starting with the Corjuem Fort, which is an inland fort built during the Portuguese reign in Goa, even while in ruins, due to the efforts of villagers and the authorities in preserving, it stands intact. According to many legends told by the older generations, it was said that the fort had been a site for many battles; if you’re a history lover I’m sure you would love to visit this place. Apart from this, Aldona is the only village in Goa to have three bridges – Corjuem Bridge, Stone Bridge, Calvim Bridge, each of these bridges have stories behind them, some overwhelming, bringing tears to the eyes of locals.
Assagao is one of north Goa’s most picturesque villages. The biggest asset of this village is the beauty and quintessential Goan ethos. On both the main roads through the village, you’ll see beautifully maintained Goan houses. Some of them have been converted into restaurants or boutique hotels. It also contains great cafes and yoga retreats. Apart from the idyllic setting, another reason to visit the village is to go to the Dossa Zor, a spring which is said to produce water that can cure eye infections and diseases.
The granary of Goa, Curtorim is filled with verdant fields. Enter the village and you’ll come across a small pond with the village church along its banks. That is a beautiful sight in itself. This is another idyllic village and the community spirit here is strong. During Christmas season the youth of the village come together and work as a community to erect a floating crib which is placed in the pond. And it is a sight to see all lit up during the holiday season.
Most Goan villages give you that sense of calm, as you stroll through the lanes lined with mango and chickoo trees. In March and April, you may even smell the ripening cashew. Some villages have streams running through, some have beautiful beaches, like Candolim, Morjim, Benaulim and Palolem. If these five villages have you intrigued, try heading to Verna, Cansaulim, Siolim, Pomburpa, and Moira too. Sinquerim, next to Candolim, is where you’ll find Marquis Beach resort with it’s amazing beach front, spacious rooms, lovely pool and fantastic restaurants. Do you have a favourite village in Goa? Comment below and let us know!