Dona Paula is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international travelers in the Indian state of Goa. During tourist season this is a place of hectic activity and can be over crowded as well. I visited there towards the end of October in 2012. I found a lot of Tibetans selling cloths on the bridge. At Dona Paula the visiting area extends into the sea through a network of bridge and then connect to an island. We visited there towards the evening and after waking through the bridge, climbed to the highest point of the island hill. Don’t worry! There are stairs to climb. From this point one can enjoy an awesome view of sunset. Then we went on to take a stroll on the network of bridge (platform). It was a good feeling to see blue waters all around with the colors of setting sun in the background.
Located around 7 km from Panaji (capital of Goa), Dona Paula boasts of a lot of institutes like Goa University and high net worth residents. Legend has it that this place was named after a daughter named Paula of the then Portuguese viceroy. There are lots of stories which flies around on this. The residence of the Governor of Goa known as Raj Bhavan is located here.
Two rivers by name Zuari and Mandovi empties themselves here in the Arabian sea. This makes the Mormugao harbor a scenic beauty. The beaches around Dona Paula is infested with rock so be little careful if you venture into the sea.
Summers are pretty hot in Goa and it is humid all year round. One gets dehydrated pretty quickly. The best remedy is to have frequent water. This time we had fresh lime soda sold by one of the two vendors there. It was tasty! While it was getting dark, we decided to try jet ski (water scooter). They charged around Rs 350 per person for about 10 minutes ride into the sea. They give a life jacket and the water scooter is handled by a trained man. The scooter probably reached a speed of 40 km/hr or little more. The navigator took a sharp turn which was thrilling and on the return journey the scooter was flying above water for seconds in between.
Goa is a small state. So one do not need to stay in Dona Paula to see it. However, if you would like to stay in Dona Paula, there are good hotels.
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