Dona Paula is among some of the most incredible beaches of Goa located 7 kilometers from west Panaji in North Goa district. Because of its engrossing beauty and water sports activities, this beach is one of the busiest beaches of Goa. The juxtaposed beauty of sea, sand and sun on one side and the rows of swaying coconut and palm trees on the other make it an awe-inspiring destination of Goa tourism. Tourists flock here in a large number to spend their memorable holidays amidst serene and scenic ambiances.
This beach has a romantic and mysterious past. It is said that the spirit of Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), haunts the beach. This beach is named after her. It is said that she threw herself off the cliff when her father refused permission to marry her beloved Gaspar Dias, a local fisherman. Locals say that she is sometimes seen emerging from the waves on a moonlit night.
An array of water sports activities make this beach one of the most sought after destinations for water sports lovers. The various water sports activities which can be enjoyed at Dona Paula Beach are kayaking, windsurfing, water-skiing, motorboat riding, skibob, parasailing, yachting, snorkeling, sports fishing and harpoon fishing. The Dona Paula beach also hosts the famous annual water sports festival every November.
Some of the Popular Dona Paula Beach Attractions are
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
It is among the most famous bird sanctuaries of India famous for its diverse and exotic collections of bird species. This bird reserve is named after India’s famous Ornithologist Dr. Salim Ali. Because of its avifauna collections, this sanctuary is often quoted as Ornithologist Paradise, visited by a large number of bird’s lovers and photographers from across the globe.
The Reis Magos Church
This is one of the oldest churches in Goa famous for its rich collection of artifacts. Apart from its historical importance, this Church is also known for its scenic ambiences because of its locations on the beach. The Church is dedicated to the three Magi, the wise men of the East, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. According to Christian legend, it is said that these three wise men were guided by a star to Bethlehem to greet the newborn Jesus.
National Oceanography Institute
The National Oceanography Institute is a research institute of marine biology and all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. It was set up in 1960 by the Government of India for studying Marine ecology. Another major attraction of the institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center.
Shopping at Dona Paula
There are several shops along the beach which make Dona Paula a popular destination. Tourists can buy varieties of goods ranging from eatables to clothes, Feni (Goan liquor) to imported wine and from Indian handicrafts to jewelry.
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