Best Time to Visit : October to March.
Location : 76 kms from Panaji.
Attractions : Palolem Beach, Mallikarjun Temple (Shristal), Cabo Da Rama Fort, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Agonda Beach etc.
Chaudi is the administrative headquarters of Canacona Taluka and it also serves as the gateway to the beaches of South Goa including Agonda and Palolem. It is one of the five Talukas of Goa, which boasts of some of the Goa’s most spectacular scenery. Like most of Goa, you will find little European impact in this pastoral part of Goa.
Tourist Attractions in Canacona
Palolem Beach is one of the most picturesque beaches of Goa. A shallow bay fringed with coconut palms and clear white sands and a lovely village right behind it, the beach attracts thousands of tourists every year. At the northern end of this beach is a small island which you can explore at low tide.
Mallikarjun Temple (Shristal)
From Chaudi drive 5 km down, then turn left to Shristal, 1.5 km away to reach the Mallikarjun Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Mallikarjun, an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The Mallikarjun Temple was originally built in the 16th century and was renovated in 1778. In its interior you will see more than 60 images of several Hindu gods and goddesses.
Every alternate year, in March, the temple organizes the Mallikarjun Zatra, which attracts the Goan devotees and spectators from far and wide. The highlight of the celebrations is the ‘cooking of food on the heads of men.’
Cabo Da Rama Fort
Situated in north Canacona, this fort had been under the control of various rulers until the Portuguese took it over from the Raja of Sonda. In between they they lost control over it but regained possession of the fort in 1763. Later, the fort was occupied by Britishers in 1797. Under the Portuguese, the fort had military barracks, a chapel and quarters for the commandant and 21 guns for defence.
Though the church within the fort is still in use, there is little remains of the fort that you can see today. Make a trek up to the headland of the fort and get the splendid view of sea.
Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in the year 1969, the Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary occupies an area of 85.65 sq. km. Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is 86 kms away from Panaji and 10 kms south-east of Chaudi along the Goa-Karnataka border. Goa’s second biggest wildlife sanctuary, Cotigao is not only home to a wide range of wildlife but also a variety of forests. You can spot a variety of animals here that include two species of Monkey, Wild Boar, Gaur, Gazelles, Sloth Bears, Porcupines, Hyenas, Langur, Bison, Deer etc. Best time to view the wildlife are early in the morning and evening.
Shree Sanusthan Gokarn Parthagali Jeevotham Math (Parthagali) : Founded in the year 1475 by Swami Shreemad Narayanateertha, the math belongs to the Gaud Saraswat community. You can see a temple in the math campus and also a banyan tree called the ‘Tapsya Khestra’.
Fresh Water Springs
In Canacona there are two popular fresh water springs which are worth visiting. The first of these, Puroner water spring is meant to irrigate the lands, but you can also bathe in the fresh water of the spring. Another spring, Gogel boasts of crystal clear water. The charming spring will refresh your soul.
If you are in search for some peaceful moments, head towards the Agonda Beach. Situated 10 kms north of Chaudi, the headquarters of Canacona Taluka, Agonda has just a handful of accommodation facilities. Far from the crowded cities, Agonda is perfect place for the solitude seeker. The beach stretches 3 kms and fortunately is not covered by grass sheds.
Just 11 kms south of Colva, Cavelosim is the last major settlement in southwest Salacate. You can enjoy the ferry ride from Cavelosim to Assolna.
Places Where You Can Stay
Accommodation is available in hotels, rest houses and guest houses. Intercontinental the Grand Resort Goa is the only five star hotel at Canacona. Other popular hotels are the Sun Village (4 Star) and Shangrila Beach Hotel (3 Star).
How to Reach
By Air : Canacona Taluka is around 60 kms away from Goa’s only airport, Dabolim airport. The airport is well-linked with the flights of Indian airlines and other private airlines. Private taxis are available from the airport to Canacona.
By Train : Canacona railway station is connected by direct Superfast Express trains from Panaji (76 kms), Margao (43 kms), Mumbai and Mangalore. The railway station of Margao is the nearest major railhead.
By Bus : NH 17 is the main transport artery of Canacona, which runs across the Sahyadri and Karmali Ghats towards the state of Karnataka via Chaudi. Frequent buses are available from Margao to Karwar halt at Canacona. Mumbai to Goa highway route also connects Chaudi to Margao and Panaji.