The bay of Dona Paula in Goa lies at the meeting point of the Arabian Sea and the Goan rivers Mandovi and Zuari. Dona Paula is located in the suburbs of the capital Panjim. Originally a fishing village, Dona Paula attracts its fair share of visitors and tourists who come to marvel at its pristine beach, its natural beauty and the romantic legend associated with it.
The Dona Paula Beach is a pristine beach with a tragic love story to its name. It was named after the Portuguese Viceroy’s daughter Dona Paula de Menezes. This young, innocent girl fell in love with a local Goan fisherman. Of course, this match was unacceptable to the Viceroy who forbade his daughter Dona Paula to ever see her young lover again.
Distraught with love and sorrow, Dona Paula could not bear a life without her lover and threw herself off a cliff into the unforgiving Arabian Sea. Left with nothing but his daughter’s memory, the Portuguese Viceroy named the area Dona Paula, as an eternal tribute to his stubbornness and forbidden romance & love.
Today, there is a black stone statue of the young Dona Paula and her Goan lover on a rocky promontory jutting into the sea with a sweeping view of the Marmagoa Port in the background.
When you are in Dona Paula, you must visit the ruins of the Cabo Fort, erected in 1540. The Cabo Raj Niwas is one of the most elegant governor’s residences in the whole of Goa.There is also a 180 year old English cemetery, open to the public along with a chapel, which has a memorial tomb of Dona Paula de Menezes with her history engraved on the tombstone.
In Dona Paula, you also have the National Oceanography Institute which was opened in 1960 to study the local Goan marine life alongwith the Marine Biology Museum. A little further (around 9 kms from Dona Paula) is the famous Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, in the island of Choro by the side of the Mandovi river and named after the famous Indian ornithologist. The Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of 2 sq km and is a delight for bird lovers.
As a passionate traveller, I love to explore many sunsets across the world and capture those Sunset pictures through my camera lens, as they always evoke good memories. Sunset at Chapora fort is really an unforgettable experience for me. The Chapora fort is a hidden jewel in Goa, it has a beautiful view from the top. The fort sits on a prominent position which command the views in all directions. It also has steep slopes on all sides. The fort follows the outline of the higher slopes. It is a pleasant place to wander that offers fantastic views north across the Chapora river to Pernem, south over Vagator and also far out to the Arabian Sea in the West.
It was built by the Portuguese in 1617 on the site of an earlier Muslim structure. Intended as a border watchpost, it fell to various Hindu raiders during the 17th century, before finally being deserted by the Portuguese in 1892. Lying in ruins now, the fort was an attempt by the Portuguese to reinforce their stronghold over the Goa territory and prevent further conflicts.
Inside the fort, the church, once dedicated to St. Anthony, has disappeared and only a few signs exist of the barracks and housing that once filled this vast area. The wide expanse of open space is only a tumble of stones. A natural valley to the beach protected by rocky promontories provides an excellent natural access to the sea.
This place has gained more popularity after it was featured in the bollywood movie, Dil Chahta Hai. Everyone who visits this place take photographs in Dil chahta hai pose. Since we don’t want to copy someone, So we didn’t tried that pose 😛
The surreal beauty of this ancient monument is always observed during two times in a day i.e., sunrise and sunset. Chapora Fort can leave one with a resounding sense of peace and calm. Given all this, the fort has become a major attraction for photographers for its sheer aesthetic beauty. For Tourists, India without Goa and Goa without sunset at Chapora Fort is unimaginable..
More pictures of the sunset:
Tips from my perspective:
- Climb up for either sunrise or sunset.
- The approach to the fort the hill is steep and has small rocks and pebbles all the way due to which you can slip easily. Be careful while climbing.. However it is worth it to climb up the hill to the fort over the gravelly path as the view from top is amazing.
- Carry some snacks and drinks with you..
- This will be definitely a romantic getaway..So plan it well and surprise your spouse 😛