Entertainment in Goa

Although Goa was made famous for its encouraging attitude towards doing nothing more than lounge by the beach, it's startling just how much else there is to do.

Whether it's at the break of the dawn or dusk, midnight or noon, there is no end of fun and frolic in Goa. The state is plushed with variety of options for the amusement of tourists. If one is longing for a drink check out the pubs and bars situated at all the beach sides and major cities. Or just hangout at the local shacks on the beach any time of the day and enjoy the oceanic panorama.

Those who want to boogie in style, then Goa is a bliss for nightclubs and discotheques. Goa is also home to a number of Casinos and also to Caravela-the only offshore casino located on a ship in India.

A popular alternative to watching the sunset from a beach bar- at least for most Indian tourists - is an evening River Cruise along the Mandovi from Panjim. Snacks and drinks are available, and the price includes a display of Konkani and Portuguese dance accompanied by folk singers in traditional Goan costume, and sometimes a live Hindi cover band.

Nightlife in Goa is exciting and there are many ways to liven up the evening. Goans enjoy going out and it is not unusual to find families out for a night of merriment.

In certain areas, almost every third house has a bar-cum-restaurant. The place may not be anything special, usually just a room in the house that has been opened to the public with a couple of chairs and a table. But the atmosphere is great- totally relaxing and extremely conducive to an enjoyable night out with friends and family.

Most of the places serve exquisite seafood and other Goan delicacies and have well stocked bars. But if you are in the mood to dance to the rhythm of the ocean, get together a group of our friends, some food and drink and hit the beach. You are sure to have a special night - the sand the moon and the pounding waves!

Bird Watching

Goa's equitable climate and rich vegetation support an abundance of birds. This large and diverse population can survive because of its varied habitat that ranges from open forests to shrubs, tracks and dense forests which are ideal for breeding.

Visitors will probably notice a few about town and in temple grounds. On the other hand, a keen bird-watcher will find much to get excited about and a trip to one of the nearby sanctuaries or along a river early in the morning will be particularly rewarding.

Goa is a bird watcher's paradise and keen bird-watchers will be in seventh heaven, and even those who have previously had little interest in birds will wonder at the richness of the birdlife.

Common varieties of birds to be seen in Goa include four different species of eagles, as well as other birds of prey such as kites, buzzards, kestrels and ospreys. There are five types of pigeons, six types of doves, five varieties of cuckoos, six of kingfishers and another six of woodpeckers.

There is enough here to keep even the most ardent enthusiast busy for months. What's more, you don't even have to go very far to see most of these birds. An early morning or evening spent beside one of the rivers, or better still in the boat of a local ramponkar, drifting along the waterways will reveal amazing numbers of unusual species.

For those who are interested in seeing more, a trip to the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on Chorao Island is recommended. Other sites of interest are the wetlands at Carambolim (12km east of Panaj and at Shiroda (40km south-east of Panaji, in Ponda taluka).

A wonderful variety of birds can also be seen readily in Bondla and the other wildlife sanctuaries near the Western Ghats. For seabirds, Morjim beach is recommended.


The first live-game floating casino in India is located on board the MS Caravela (named after the first Portuguese ship that came to Goa in the 16th century).This is a joint venture between Advani Hotels & Resorts India Ltd and Casinos Austria International.

The MS Caravela is a catamaran,twin-engine vessel and can accomodate 270 passengers with 30 crew members. The Caravela is specially designed to sail the river waters of Goa.

The Caravela is built with fire retardant interiors and houses a lavish restaurant with multi-cultural cuisine, a bar, sundeck and a swimming pool. Two suites and four rooms are also provided for the VIP guests. The plush interiors of the vessel gleam with chandeliers from Italy and fire-resistant rugs from the US. The restaurant on board serves a multi-cultural cuisine.

The decor of The Caravela is very modern with vibrant colours and exudes a relaxing effervescent, congenial atmosphere. Glimpses of Goan culture are visible at the restaurant that sports bright pastel shades.

Everything works in numbers here, and tension is thick amid the clinking of coins and glasses. Money changes hands faster than you can imagine, with the cash registers ringing round the clock. The tables offer American roulette, blackjack, Indian rummy complete with slot machines. The 1000-tonne vessel even has a private gaming room for high-fliers.

Among additional convenience are: acceptance of credit cards, travelers cheques Digital security lockers State-of-the art survelliance system .

The entrance fee for the Dinner Cruises includes meals on board together with soft drinks and beverages along with non negotiable chips.

Access to The Caravela is on a jetty just near the Mandovi Hotel in Panaji. Guests are even picked up from the airport and dropped off either at the cruise ship or at the Renaissance Goa Resort.

Goa has many other casinos, which are mostly in the five star category hotels.

Crocodile Watch

The huge, deadly looking crocodiles with dagger-like teeth are seen in the wild, right here in Goa in the narrow creek that intrudes into the thick mangrove jungle near the small village of Cumbarjua.

Most crocodiles that live in the Cumbarjua canal spend their days sunbathing on the muddy banks of the canal, watching visitors pass by in their canoes. The canal is a 15 km long stretch of water located about 20 minutes drive away from Panaji. It links the two biggest rivers in Goa - the Zuari and Mandovi.

The Cumbarjua canal is the only place in Goa where crocodiles can actually be seen in the wild. Some stray crocodiles are sometimes also found in places like Chorao, Tivim and Quepem.

On the canal, there is a thriving and vibrant mangrove habitat which serves as spawning ground for fish, prawns, and mollusks. This marine-life-rich ecosystem also sustains a healthy population of birdlife and crocodiles. The population of crocodiles in the Cumbarjua canal is currently estimated to be between 40-50.

Interestingly, the crocodiles found in Goa (Crocodylus palustris) are actually freshwater crocodiles - called 'freshies' - and they have actually adapted themselves to surviving in the saline waters of the Canal. This extremely rare phenomenon does not occur anywhere else on the Indian subcontinent.

Called 'mugger' locally, they are pretty harmless unlike their salt-water cousins who prey on livestock and sometimes humans. Most of the Cumbarjua crocodiles are used to human presence so much so that the local children even swim in the canal with the crocodiles nearby.

There has been no case of human killing by the crocodiles here, in recent living memory. If anybody ventures too close, they just jump into water and move away. In the village of Durbhatwadi on the canal, the crocs are even worshipped on the day of the new moon in January as the guardian spirit of the community.

Being cold-blooded, crocodiles need to spend a lot of time in the sun to keep themselves warm. Hence you can see them sunbathing on the muddy shores of the Cumbarjua canal. The greyish-brown skin of the crocodiles ensures they are extremely well camouflaged on the mud banks.

These fresh-water crocodiles are basically scavengers who also prey on sick fish and birds as well as crabs, dogs, cats, and - the very big ones on buffaloes or deer. They may even eat rocks to act as a ballast and help them stay underwater for up to an hour at a stretch. But they don't eat much and get hungry only once every two weeks or so.

The thrill of getting behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive, even if it is just a go-kart cannot be explained. The squealing tyres, burnt rubber and the sheer rush of adrenaline can be invigorating for the true motor racing enthusiast.

Go-karting is the latest craze in Goa. Young and old alike relish this sport, which lets you race around in two or four stroke engine karts. It combines the thrill of fast vehicles with sharp turns and collisions.

Go-Karting requires no special training beforehand, contrary to the fears of most people, it is quite safe and enjoyable. Everyone is welcome to have a go at go-karting and try their hand at maneuvering their way thorough a few winding laps of unmitigated fun.

The venue at Nuvem on the Panaji-Margao Highway has successfully hosted three go-karting events at this venue since inauguration in 2001, which also included the JK Tyre national karting championships.

Participants in various age-groups from all over Goa, including a few foreigners and some ladies, from countries like England, Germany and Ireland have tried their luck.


The Go-Karts are powered by Honda engines. They reach a fairly good speed around the track. The karts driver sits only a few inches above the ground. Go-karts are non-geared and quickly mastered, nevertheless a lot of forethought goes into ensuring absolute safety for the driver.

The safety features include a solid reinforced protective frame; tracks built for excellent traction lined with tyre walls and a guardrail as precautions. Each driver has to compulsorily wear a helmet, loose clothing is discouraged.

The venue is already popular with Goan kids and teenagers who are fast getting obsessed with this unique sport. If you want the thrills without the 'spills', then Go-karting is the place to be.

All these factors make this hot spot the ideal getaway for a relaxing day out with family and friends.

Write your comment now

Reader's comments(1)
1: A must watch places if you visit India.
Posted by: Acharya - 18 Jun, 2014