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Home :: Goa Beaches :: Dona Paula Beach
Dona Paula Beach, GoaLocation
Seven kilometers west of the Indian state of Goas capital Panaji, Dona Paula Beach is nestled on the southern side of the rocky hammer-shaped headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries.
The climate is equable and moist throughout the year. While it is pleasant and temperate from October to May it is rainy from June to September. Temperature variations throughout the year are mild. May is the warmest month with a temperature of around 30°C and January is coolest with a mean daily temperature of 25°C. Due to its proximity of the sea, the territory is generally humid and even during the summer months humidity is generally above 60 percent.
Named after the Dona Paula de Menzes, daughter of a viceroy (in colonial India), the Dona Paula beach offers an opportunity to the tourists to have a sunbath and buy cheap seaside goods from local vendors. Dona Paula de Menzes threw herself off the cliff, when refused permission to marry a local fisherman, Gaspar Dias. It is said that Dona Paula is entombed in the Cabo Chapel of the Raj Bhawan and is supposed to be seen emerging from the moonlit waves wearing only a pearl necklace. With the romance and myth attached to it tourists throng the Dona Paula Beach not only in search of the deceased beloved, but also to indulge & enjoy in water sports on the clean waters. Providing a good view of the Mormugao harbor, the Dona Paula beach is fringed by palm trees and casuarina groves. The proximity of the beach to the capital city makes it a popular tourist sight.
The Main Attractions of Dona Paula
The most important attraction of this beach is the water sport facilities available here. The Dona Paula Sports Club offers water-scooter, cycle, and motorboat rides. Other water sports include windsurfing, parasailing, water-skiing, toboggan ski-biscuit, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling, harpoon fishing, kayaking, and yachting.
National Oceanography Institute
Established 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.
Cabo Raj Niwas
The Cabo Raj Niwas (the Governors House) is half a kilometer away from the National Oceanography Institute. It houses the tomb of Dona Paula de Menzes in the Cabo Chapel. The Raj Bhawan provides an excellent view of the nearby coastline and the Aguada Fort.
Excursion at Dona Paula
The main attractions near Dona Paula Beach are Reis Magos Church and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary.
Reis Magos Church
Approximately 10 km from the beach is one of the oldest churches built in Goa, the Reis Magos Church. 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. This church was once the residence of all dignitaries and a mission center of the Franciscan order.
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 km, this sanctuary is a mangrove forest. Local and migratory birds are found here all through the year.
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