Vasco da Gama Goa
32 kms south east of Panaji.
Mormugao Port, Pilot Point, Japanese Garden,
Naval Aviation Museum and Saptah Festival.
Best Time To Visit :
October to March.
Introducing Vasco da Gama
is a bustling city always on the move, because it home to Goa's natural
harbour Mormugao Port and Dabolim airport, the only airport of Goa. 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.
The history states that Vasco came under the rule of Portuguese in 1543 and
within a span of few years it became one of the important ports of 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.
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
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.
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
3 Star Hotel :
Hotel La Paz Gardens.
Other Hotels :
GTDC Tourist Hotel, Hotel Bismark, Hotel
Tourist Attractions in Vasco da Gama
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
The Safety room of the museum houses pilot flying gear, while the Archive
Hall has a large model of the INS Viraat Ship. In the Archive Hall, you will
also see the photographs of the Indian Naval Aviation and the liberation of
Bangladesh in 1971. Besides, the museum has other interesting collections
like Super Constellation and a Sea Hawk. The museum is open from 10 am to 5
pm all weekdays, closed on Mondays. Entry fees for the museum is Rs. 15.
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.
Legend goes that, in 1898 an epidemic in Vasco drove residents to the
temple of Lord 'Dam Bab' in Zambaulim for help. A coconut was brought from
Zambaulim and installed in Vasco. The result - the epidemic obligingly died
out. Vasco never forgot the debt to Lord, since then, the people have been
installing a coconut annually at the temple. Saptah Festival begins with a
coconut being carried by a procession to the Damodar Temple.
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.
Vasco da Gama Tour Packages
Features : On day two of Goa
Tour, you can visit the port town Vasco-da-Gama. One of the major cities
of Goa, Vasco-da-Gama is a busy city, remains always on move due to its
closeness to Goa's only airport Dabolim airport. Among the various
attractions, Mormugao Port - the natural harbour is Vasco's prime
attraction. Other attractions of Vasco are Japanese Garden, Pilot Point,
Naval Museum, Bogmalo Beach and Issorcim Beach. You may also plan your
visit around the famous Saptah Festival, celebrated in September.
Features : On India by Day
and Night package, visit the famous town of Vasco-da-Gama. India by Day
and Night takes you to Vasco-da-Gama on ninth day of your trip. You can
visit this town on this tour, which has the tourist attractions like
Mormugao Port, Naval Aviation Museum, Pilot Point and Japanese Garden.
Features : After taking you
round the attractions of Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaisalmer etc, the
tour brings you to Goa on day 15. On 17th day of your trip, Rajasthan
Heritage and Goa takes you to Vasco-da-Gama, one of the important
tourist destinations of Goa. In fact, during your Goa trip you have to
land at Dabolim Airport, located close to the Vasco-da-Gama. Visit this
town on this package and explore the major attractions like Mormugao
Port, Naval Aviation Museum, Japanese Garden and Pilot Point.
Features : Best of South
India, a 13 days tour, takes you to the beautiful state of Goa on very
first Day of your trip. Popularly known as tropical paradise, Goa is
home to enchanting tourist destinations namely Panaji, Old Goa, Mapusa,
Vasco da Gama, Margao, Canacona and Ponda. Each of these destinations
has a gamut of attractions, both in terms of sightseeing and activities.
Visit these tourist destinations on this tour and avail a good chance to
explore and enjoy these attractions.