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IconVasco-da Gama

¤ About Vasco-da Gama
Vasco-da GamaVasco da Gama, 29 km by road southwest of Panjim, sits on the narrow western tip of the Marmagoa (also known as Mormugao) peninsula, overlooking the mouth of the Zuari River. Acquired by the Portuguese in 1543, this strategically important site was formerly among the busiest ports on India's west coast. It remains a key shipping centre, with container vessels and iron ore barges clogging the choppy river mouth, but holds nothing of interest for visitors, particularly since the completion of the Konkan Railway, when Goa's main railhead shifted from here to Margao. The only conceivable reason one might want to come to Vasco is to catch a bus to Dabolim airport, of Bogmalo beach, 8-km southeast. Today, Vasco exudes all the charms of a metropolitan city.

People from all over India have made Vasco da Gama their home. The town of Vasco is well planned. It is laid out straight with parallel roads connected to each other by smaller bylanes. Being a commercial hub, Vasco is more liked by business class people. It provides good connectivity and also has a number of good hotels to stay in. However, if you come to Vasco thinking that there are a number worth visiting sites, then probably you'll end up a bit disappointed. This is not to say that there is absolutely nothing at all to see and do in Vasco, but perhaps they are few and numbered. .

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¤ Major Tourist Attractions of Vasco-da Gama
» Bogmalo Beach - This is just 8 km away to the south east of the town. The speciality of this beach lies in the fact that it provides a good combination of serenity and fun. The beach is not as crowded as its counterparts in Anjuna and Calangute, nonetheless, there is no dearth of adventure. Moreover, the natural beauty exuded by hills on three sides is simply magical. Right in the sea water is the Grande Island around which most of the diving sites are situated. You can take a splash in the sea water, or go for diving. Alternatively, you can just walk on the beach barefooted. A little distance before you actually reach the Bogmalo beach is another beach. The Issoricim or Hollant beach, albeit its smaller size, can be a much better place if you really wish to spend a secluded time. And, if you feel like having a bit of adventure, you can undertake a trek to the Bogmalo beach.

» The Naval Aviation Museum - This one is probably the only one of its kind in entire India and one amongst the few in the continent of Asia. With Bogmalo beach providing a wonderful backdrop, the museum exhibits the various type of aircraft and weapon system utilised by Indian naval air arm. A guide will accompany you on your visit and lead to the various sections of the museum. Simultaneously, this person will also provide information on various exhibits. While in the museum, make sure that you visit the armament room, the safety room and the archive hall. The first one of the three houses numerous bombs and torpedos while the second one displays complete pilot safety equipments. In this section you will also find photographs rare photographs of the liberation of Bangladesh in the year 1971. The last one, the archive hall, has a huge model of the ship, INS Virat along with photographs of Bagladesh liberation. Other interesting exhibits of the museum include a Super Constellation and a Sea Hawk. The museum is open from 10 in the morning to 5 in the evening. A small entry charge of Rs 15 has to be paid.

» Mormugao Port - The port is a natural harbour and immensely important from commercial point of view. However, you can also pay a visit to the port because a number of cruise ship sail in every morning. These cruise ships take you round on a trip to Goa, passing through beaches, churches and temples. These trips are basically for few hours since the ship sail out of Goa in the evening.

» Pilot Point - A little ahead of the Mormugao port, an open space uphill is wonderful if you wish to catch glimpses of the port actions.

Vasco-da Gama» Japanese Garden - Still further ahead from the pilot point, at the zenith of the Mormugao ridge is the Japanese Garden. This garden houses the remnants of the Fortaleza Santa Catarina. The fort commanded immense significance during the erstwhile era, however today all it does is to offer a good view of the Zuari river. Other highlights of the garden are the Shri Durga Mata Shiv Mandir and a small beach. Walk on the soft sands of the beach and hear an interesting story related to the temple during your visit to the Japanese Garden.

¤ Shopping
Handicrafts Emporium (Dabolim Airport), Silk Emporium, Shopping Arcade. But more than the shopping items, it's the composite shopping experience in Goa that will leave you mesmerized.

¤ Accomodation
Thanks to its business city status, Vasco boasts a better than average batch of hotels. Most are plush mid-range places, although there are several no-frills lodges near the railway station. Best of the budget bunch is available on the Dattatreya Deshpande Road. One can also try the GTDC Tourist Hostel, off Swatantra Path near the station, or the hotels situated east of the main square on FL Gomes Road.

¤ Climate of Vasco da Gama
Summer - The summer season in Goa lasts from March to May. During this period the weather in Goa becomes moderately hot with temperatures hovering in the mid-thirties. May is usually the warmest month in Goa. For a summer trip to Goa, one should bring cotton apparels and be prepared for a rise in humidity levels towards to the fag end of the summer season.

Winter - The winter months usher in a pleasant weather in Goa. The winter season lasts from December to February and this is the peak tourist season in Goa. Temperatures hover in the lower twenties and the bright sunny weather makes for a perfect outing in the Goa beaches.

¤ How To Reach Vasco da Gama
» Air - Dabolim, Goa's airport, lies on top of a rocky plateau, 4-km southeast of Vasco da Gama. A large new civilian terminal was recently constructed at this naval aerodrome to accommodate Goa's rapidly increasing air traffic, but to avoid delays aim to check in well in advance.

» Rail - Vasco is laid out in a grid, bordered by Marmagao bay to the north, and by the railway line on its southern side. Apart from the cluster of oil storage tanks, the town's most prominent landmark is the railway station at the south end of the main Dr. Rajendra Prasad Avenue.

» Road - Arriving by bus from Panjim or Margao, you'll be dropped off at the Interstate Kadamba Terminus, 3-km east of the town centre. Local minibuses ferry passengers from here to the more central market bus stand.

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