CALANGUTE & BAGA BEACH
On the shores of the Arabian Sea, under the shade of palm
trees, bathes the Queen of Beaches-Calangute. Calangute seems
to be a distortion of the local vernacular word-‘Koli-gutti’,
which means land of fishermen. Some people connect it with
Kalyangutti (village of art) or Konvallo-ghott (strong pit
of the coconut tree) because the village is full of coconut
trees. With the advent of the Portuguese, the word probably
got distorted to Calangute, and has stuck till today. In a
green semi-circle, the villages of Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao and
Candolim do their bit to enhance the divine beauty of Calangute.
There are picturesque agors (saltpans) at Agarvaddo, Maddavaddo
is full of madd (coconut trees), Dongorpur skirts a bottle-green
hillock and Tivaivaddo laces the beach. In Gauravaddo lived
the gaudds or milkmen ran dairies.
Calangute became a traveler’s cliché in the
'60s and early'70s. It was the hippies who discovered the
pristine surroundings and blissful serenity and golden sands.
The hippies also spread the word around and brought hordes
of European tourists. Decades later, tourists still trudge
down the dusty, weather-beaten roads in search of that idyllic
coastal Goa. On this lovely beach, Goans and tourists spend
summers, bathing in the quiet solitude of the sea, sun and
Baga is a small but perfect beach located between its two
more famous cousins, Colva on one side and Calangute on the
other. It is a far better place to enjoy some restful moments
if you don’t like the hustle and bustle of Colva or
Calangute. It is a fishing beach with international touriststs
marinating in the sun and domestic visitors paddling. The
fact is that the sand here isn’t either white or gold
but brown. There is the grove of palms that comes fairly close
to the water’s edge. The Baga River flows down one side
of it offering a pleasant diversion for children and those
who love the water but can’t risk the rip currents that
swirl round the mouth. Where the river and the sea meet, and
on the far right bank, there is a group of black rocks against
which the sea crashes in dramatic explosions of spray.
CALANGUTE - TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Fun in the sun, sand and sea along with great opportunities
for feasting on fresh seafood and feni is what a day on the
Calangute beach essentially means. Frolicking families, eager
hands making sand castles, colorful crowds surging towards
the sea, hippies busy remembering the good old times and the
young and old alike lazing on the golden sands are some of
the images that characterize this Queen of Beaches. This picture
of a perfect tourist haven is completed with shacks and stalls
under the shade of palm trees selling everything from fried
prawns and beer to trinkets made of seashells. The rainbow
hued canvas of Calangute has welcomed everyone to it always
though it became popular across the globe only after the hippies
discovered it in the ‘60s.
The St. Alex Church
Kerkar Art Complex
As the vast traffic on the CHOGM road reaches the village,
the Church of St Alex greets with its two towers and a magnificent
dome gracing the façade. The inside of the church is
a display of the line and beauty of its architectural style
and ornate altars. In 1996, Calangute celebrated the fourth
centenary of its parish church.
The Kerkar Art Complex, is the one and only of its kind on
this beach. It is a popular center for exhibitions of arts
and crafts of local artistes. On Thursdays and Fridays, connoisseurs
of Indian classical music and dance can be an audience to
CALANGUTE - LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Calangute and Baga lie on the shores of the Arabian Sea of
North Goa in India. It is encircled by Arpora-Nagoa, Saligao
and Candolim, in the Bardez taluka, and is just 15 km from
Panjim, the capital of the state of Goa.
Goa has a consistent climate through the year with only meager
fluctuations in the temperature. December and January might
require light woolens. April and May are warm. The period
from June to October brings heavy rain, almost up to 320 cm.
The temperature during summers ranges from 24°C to 32.7°C
and during winters, from 21.3°C to 32.2°C.
Calangute Beach and Baga can be visited at any time of the
year, though the monsoon months, which bring heavy rains,
are best avoided. The period from November to February is
the most pleasant for a visit to this beach.
CALANGUTE AND BAGA - EXCURSIONS
The narrow road leading past the Bom Viagem Convent along
the cashew-covered foothills, leads to the springs at Mottant.
This is an ideal spot for picnics and bathing, as the water
is believed to be medicinal.
Baga Retreat House
Overlooking the village and the Arabian Sea, at the Baga
hilltop is the Baga Retreat House dedicated to St Francis
Xavier. It was known as the Casa de Retiros.
CALANGUTE AND BAGA - WHAT TO DO
It’s easy enough to rent a motorcycle or scooter in
Panaji and Mapusa.
Parasailing, water skiing and wind surfing at the beach starts
in the afternoon when the wind is blowing just in the right
direction and it goes on till sunset.
Crocodile and dolphin spotting tours
Backwater crocodile and dolphin spotting down the Mandovi
River to the Zuari River is a favorite pastime for the travelers.
The banks of these rivers are thickly forested with mangrove
trees. Crocodiles inhabit the swamps in this area. At the
open sea at the mouth of the Mandovi River, dolphins can be
Saturday bazaar near the new Post Office is an ideal place
for good bargainers. The bazaar offers commodities like fish,
meat, grocery, textiles, earthenware, household articles and
other provisions. Toys and trinkets, piglets, chicken, eggs,
brooms and all the traditional, rural produce find their way
into the Saturday bazaar.
In the center of Calangute, there is a nice Tibetan market.
It offers all kinds of gems and silverwork, wooden statues
of the Buddha's and Hindu deities. Besides, Calangute and
Baga have been swamped by Kashmiri traders, putting up Kashmiri
carpets, embroidery, and papier-mâché boxes for
There are plenty of guesthouses and hotels in Calangute. One
planning a longer stay should look out for ‘To Let’
signs, as there are plenty along the back lanes
The nearest airport is at Dabolim, which is 29 km away from
Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour’s drive away from
The nearest railway station is at Karmali 11 km away from
Panaji. Panaji is just half an hour’s drive away from
Calangute Beach is about ten minutes from Mapusa, and thirty
minutes from the state capital, Panaji. There are frequent
buses to Panaji and Mapusa from Calangute. Most buses from
Panaji terminate at Calangute and a few trudge further on
up to Baga. Mapusa is 8 km away from Calangute.