Timings : 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Time Required : 1 - 2 Hours
Entry Fee : Dona Paula is currently under construction and closed for tourists
Parking : Available
Best Time to Visit : Monsoon
Located around 7kms from Panjim, Dona Paula is one of the most popular tourist hangouts in Goa famous for its vast stretch of beach. The small beach is also popular as the Lover's Paradise and features a jetty (Dona Paula Jetty) adjacent to it, which provides an ethereal view of the Arabian Sea and Mormugao harbour. Another attraction here is the whitewashed statue, called 'Image of India', depicting Mother India and Young India.
The Dona Paula is named after then Goa Viceroy's daughter Dona Paula de Menezes in honour of her tragic love story. She is believed to have fallen in love with a local fisherman but was denied to get married by the Viceroy. This led to her jumping from a cliff which is flanked by and named as Dona Paula.
Dona Paula Beach also is the meeting point of the Zuari and Mandovi Rivers and is beautified by fronds of palm trees breaking the silvery shimmer of the beach sand. The beach is popular for the host of water sports. Dona Paula is also popular as a shooting site. The most prominent Bollywood films shot here are Ek Guje ke Liye and Singham.
Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary: Around 9 kilometres away from Dona Paula, the sanctuary is situated on the western tip of the Choro Island, alongside the Mandovi River. This mangrove forest is home to a variety of domestic and migratory birds.
Reis Magos Church: 10 kilometres away from the Dona Paula beach lies this famous church, which is dedicated to the three wise men of the East who brought the baby Jesus gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.
Ruins of the Cabo de Rama Fort: The Cabo Fort was erected in 1540, and its ruins are a must visit place. The site also houses a 180-year-old cemetery with the memorial tomb of Dona Paula de Menezes in it.
National Oceanography Institute: This institute was opened in 1960 to study local Goan marine life. The Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Centre in this Institute attract travellers from all around the globe.
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