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Vasco-da-Gama Beach
Location : 32 kms south east of Panaji.
Attractions : Mormugao Port, Pilot Point, Japanese Garden, Naval Aviation Museum and Saptah Festival.
Best Time to Visit : October to March.
Best Time to Visit : November to March.
Vasco is a bustling city It is 30 kms. from Panaji. A modem, well laid out city close to Mormugs Harbor, has beautiful and extensive avenues. Vasco da gama is slowly developing into an industrial center.
The only airport of Goa Dabolim airport lies on the outskirts of the city. It is also the railway terminus for passenger service in the South Central Railway.

In fact, Vasco is bestowed with a lot of water, swaying palms, sunshine and soothing climate, but the town doesn't provoke you to laze around and savor it all in. This Portuguese port city is also home to people from across India, so wherever you come to Vasco, you will feel that you are in mini-India.

A fort named as Sada Fort was constructed here to monitor the movements of ships into the Zuari river. Soon after its construction, the fort was abandoned and today some remnants of the ramparts can be seen. At the base of the ruined fort is a picturesque beach, which can be reached via steps leading down the steep rock.

Named after Portugal's greatest sailor Vasco-da-Gama, Vasco missed being the capital of Goa by a whisker. In 1684, the Viceroy D Francisco de Tavora, decided to shift the capital from Old Goa to Mormugao peninsula.

A number of buildings were built that include the Viceroy's House, offices and warehouses, but the Lisbon Court cancelled the plan in 1712. Despite the fact, Vasco remains the only city in Goa which has air, rail, road and sea links. Today, Vasco is a well-planned city with a geometric road network, with two main avenues interlinked by small bylanes.

Tourist Attractions in Vasco-da-Gama

Mormugao Port

One of India's few natural harbours, Mormugao Port has its importance as an export point for Goa's mining industry. In the recent years the tourism industry has flourished here alongwith the mining. From Mormugao Port a number of cruise ships sail in morning and steam out in the late evening. You can take a quick tour of Goa's beaches, churches, temples and several other destinations by these cruise ships.

Pilot Point

Take the Mormugao Port Trust Road, which climbs uphill to the Pilot Point. It is an open space with small benches and concreted decoration. Pilot Point provides a spectacular view of the port city, Vasco da Gama and bustling Mormugao Port.

Japanese Garden

Move further ahead the road from Pilot Point, at the top of the Mormugao Ridge is the picturesque Japanese Garden. This garden is famous for housing the ruins of the Fortaleza Santa Catarina. The magnificent wall of the fort runs through the garden and it was of immense significance for defence during the colonial era. Fortaleza Santa Catarina affords a splendid view of the Zuari river. Other attractions of this garden are a small beach and the Shri Durgamata Shiv Mandir.

Naval Aviation Museum

Situated on the Bogmalo Road, Naval Aviation Museum is probably only of its kind in India and one of the few in Asia. Set against the superb backdrop of the Bogmalo beach, the museum exhibits various kinds of aircrafts and the weapons utilized by Indian Naval Air Arm. When you will visit this museum, a guide will accompany you to explain about the exhibits.

Visit the Armament room and see a collection of various bombs used against surface targets and torpedos which target submarines. Further, move to virtual reality centre which offers flight simulator video games and a Sea Harrier cockpit model simulator.

Saptah Festival

Vasco da Gama is renowned for its Saptah Festival, celebrated at the Damodar Temple. The 15 day festival is perhaps the biggest festival in Goa, which is organized in the month of September. During this time, the commercial town of Vasco comes alive with colourful parades and devotional music.

Tourist Attractions Around Vasco-da-Gama

Bogmalo Beach

Bogmalo Beach is just 8 kms south east of Vasco town. The less crowded beach is certainly the most serene beaches of Goa. The green hills on its three sides, golden sand and gentle surf make Bogmalo nothing short of paradise. Out at sea is the Grande Island around which many diving sites are located.

Issorcim Beach

Just 1.5 kms ahead, before you reach Bogmalo is Issorcim Beach. This beach is smaller in size and is good for fishing or passing some lonely moments.

Places Where You Can Stay

Vasco is a port city that caters to the needs of business as well as leisure travellers. The town offers some good options for accommodation, ranging from luxury hotels to mid-range and budget hotels.

Most of the hotels in Vasco da Gama are concentrated around the railway station.

5 Star Hotel : Bogmalo Beach Park Plaza Resort (Near Dabolim airport).
3 Star Hotels : Hotel La Paz Gardens.
Other Hotels : GTDC Tourist Hotel, Hotel

How to Reach

By Air : Vasco is located at a distance of 7 kms from Dabolim airport. The airport has flights for the major cities of India and also from gulf countries like Kuwait and Sharjah. Pre-paid taxis and private taxis are available from the airport to Vasco town.

By Train : Apart from Margao, Vasco is the main station of Goa. Trains from all over India are available to Vasco. The railway station is just one km away from the Vasco city centre and Margao railhed is 28 kms away from Vasco.

By Bus : The interstate Kadamba Bus Stand is 3 kms east of the city centre where all buses from Dabolim airport and other places reach. Regular buses ply from Panaji (32 kms) and Margao (28 kms) to Vasco town.

By Ferry : You may reach to Vasco from Dona Paula by ferry launch.

Local Transport : For local transport auto-rickshaws and motorcycle taxis are available. Local minibuses are also available which carry passengers from the bus stand to the city area.