At the place where two of Goa's famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea is the secluded bay of Dona Paula with a fine view of the Marmagoa Harbour. This beach of Goa carries with it an aura of both romance and myth - haunted by Dona Paula de Menezes; tourists throng the Dona Paula beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge in water sports on the clear waters. The Dona Paula Beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and enjoy water scootering and motar boat rides.
Exotic Locales Surrounding Dona Paula
7-km from Panjim, nestled on the south side of the rocky, hammer-shaped headland that divides the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries, this former fishing village of has now become a commercialized beach resort. Beside the beach water sports attractions, do visit the official residence of the Governor of Goa, known as Cabo Raj Bhavan, situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa. The Legend Of Dona Paula
Named after Dona Paula de Menezes, the Dona Paula beach is popularly known as the "Lovers Paradise" due to a myth that has been attached to this place. According one legend the Viceroy's daughter after facing objections from her family about her love affair with a poor fisherman jumped of the cliff.
Another legend says that punished for captivating Francisco de Tavora, the Count of Alvor with her charm the Viceroy's daughter was pushed off a cliff to drown in the waters below. Her irrepressible spirit still continues to haunt every visitor with legends of her lovers. She is even supposed to have been seen emerging from moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace.
Attractions Around Dona Paula Beach The Reis Magos Church:
Among the places of interest at the Dona Paula beachside, there's the Reis Magos Church considered to be one of the oldest churches built in Goa. It is dedicated to the three Magi (the wise men of the East)-Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar who, according to a legend, were guided by a star to Bethlehem to greet the newborn Jesus. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary:
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is situated on the western tip of the island of Choro, along the Mandovi River, about 9-km from Dona Paula beach. Spread over 2-sq-kms, this sanctuary is a mangrove forest. Local and migratory birds are found here throughout the year, making it a bird watcher's paradise. National Oceanography Institute:
Another nearby attraction of the Dona Paula beach site is the National Oceanography Institute. Set up in the 1960s, the National Oceanography Institute delves not only upon marine biology, but incorporates almost all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center. Nearby Beach Sites
Two more beaches are also located within the proximity of the Dona Paula Beach. These are the Miramir beach, which lies 4-km north of Dona Paula, and the Vainguinim Beach, which is situated 1-km west of the beach side. Shopping At Dona Paula
Shopping can become a much more enjoyable experience at the beaches of Goa. Dona Paula is one such place where several shops are located along the beachside, selling variety of goods ranging from eatables to clothes. Fishermen-turned-local vendors also sell straw hats, lace handkerchiefs, and spices in these shops. Feni and port wine, which are the two Goan liquor specialties are a must buy and local liquor is easily available. If you are interested in buying Indian handicrafts and jewellery, then visit the Indian Arts Emporium in Dona Paula.