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The legend of Dona Paula
Oct 03, 2004 01:41 AM 6208 Views
(Updated Oct 03, 2004 01:44 AM)


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The first ever tourist spot I visited in Goa was the Dona Paula. In some websites and travel books you shall see it mentioned as Dona paula beach. Infact it is not a beach, it is a bay, but since the spot is located near the seashore, it may well be called a beach.

Dona Paula is located about 8 km from the Panjim city.You may travel to this spot by bus , rickshaw or taxi. Dona Paula is also covered in South Goa tour. The bus will cost you about 5 Rs.Make sure the last stop of your bus is Dona Paula otherwise you will be made to get down near the junction of Cabo Raj Bhavan and you shall have to walk about half a kilometre to get to Dona Paula. Avoid visiting Dona Paula during the noon as the sunrays shall practically scorch your skin.

Dona Paula is not a conventional beach. It is more like a concrete causeway jetting out from land and reaching out to the hill near the seashore. There is no sand. On both the sides of the causeway there are hawkers selling camera rolls, handkerchiefs , caps and such other things. At the end of the causeway there is a large viewing point from where you can get a good view of the sea and the Zuari river.

To the right of the viewing point there is a stairway leading up a small hill.As you climb the hill you shall encounter a strange statue. The statue is of the British philosopher Robert Knox and his wife and not of a couple who committed suicide there as the guides tell you.

When you reach atop the hill, there is a Greek style structure.The view from above the hill is magnificent.As you face the sea on your right you shall see the Panjim city spread out and the Mandovi river. The Arabian Sea roars right in front of you and on your far left is the Zuari river. Dona Paula is the confluence of the Mandovi , Zuari and the Arabian Sea. On the top of the hill you shall find a weather cock which turns in the direction where the wind is blowing. Dont forget to carry your cameras to this place.

Legend says that Dona Paula was the daughter of the Portuguese viceroy. She was in love with Gaspar Dias a local fisherman. However , both of them committed suicide by jumping into the sea from this place when her father did not accept their love. However some say Dona Paula beach was named after Dona Sa Maria, the wife of a Portuguese official. Her mortal remains lie buried in a cemetry near Cabo Raj Bhavan.

It is also said that on every full moon night Dona Paula emerges from the sea naked wearing only an emerald necklace. I dont know if this is true but the waters of the sea near Dona Paula are emerald green.You can also enjoy water sports at Dona Paula. Other places situated near Dona Paula are Cabo Raj Bhavan and the British cemetry. Many Bollywood movies , most famous among them being Ek Duje Ke Liye ( last scene ) , were shot at Dona Paula.

Visit this place to discover the legend of Dona Paula and to have a fascinating view of the two rivers meeting the sea from atop the hill. Highly recommended.

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Dona Paula