Dona Paula another popular tourist destination of Panaji which is part of South Goa in India. Dona Paula is actually located on the beautiful and famous sea stretch which spans from Panjim, Miramar. And Dona Paula is a of-course a very famous area frequented by tourists. During the tourist season Dona Paula transforms into a crowded stretch which is otherwise a calm beautiful place during monsoons.
Dona Paula is also home to a number of hotels of different types and the luxury Cidade de Goa is situated in the area. A large part of the famous Hindi movie Ek Dooje Ke Liye was shot here, popularizing the place further. An action sequence from Rohit Shetty's movie Singham was shot here. The idyllic rocky tourist attraction lies at the spot where the Mandovi and the Zuari river meet and confluences with the Arabian Sea at a distance of 1 Km from this point. When we visited Dona Paula, it was almost empty. There were hardly 4-5 cars parked in the parking zone. btw, if you plan to visit during main season, you may not find parking for your vehicles, so keep a closer look at parking place nearby or on the way. Parking zone is located in such a way that if you don't get appropriate parking, you have to go back & find out a space which may eat lot of time to just get out of the parking zone.
At Dona Paula we have the National Institute of Oceanography and just alongside it lie the Goa University and the International Centre Goa. There are twin sculptures of a man and a woman on the rocks at Dona Paula are not of of dona paula. These sculptures are the creation of an artist, A german baroness named Yrsa Von Leistner in memory of Mr. and Ms. Robert Knox, a US senator whose will was posthumously honoured by his brother. They were installed in late 60s. Its is mostly mistaken as that of Dona Paula and her lover. Its famous as a 'lovers spot'. One can see young couples, teenagers and a large number of tourists frequenting this place.
Dona Paula is situated around 6 kilometers from Miramar Beach in Panjim. This place is named after the viceroy's daughter Dona Paula who hurled herself from the nearby cliff. As usual, there are mutiple versions of the story and it's hard to conclude that which one is authentic. One part say that she was the lady in waiting of the Portuguese Governor general's wife and in course of the time the Governor fell victim of her beauty and charms. When the Governors wife learnt of this adulterous realtion she went wild with rage. She had Dona paula stand on the rocky cliff and pushed her into the sea.
Dona Paula has various resorts around it, although it was basically a fishing village earlier. Water sports are carried out here during tourist season. Dona Paula is a very famous place & Cabo Raj Niwas is around the corner. The fort is equipped with several cannons which has a chapel in the fortress. The place has a large garden and a little beach. On one side of the access road is the 'British Cemetery & these days Cabo Raj Niwas is the residence of the Governor of Goa.
There is a long queue of small kiosks selling cloths, hats, drinks and snacks. During Monsoons, we found cocum at Dona Paula only.. During season, kiosks can be seen around other beaches as well. We didn't spend much time at Dona Paula. Had a quick round around the place and some official testing was under progress at the beach, where some officials were checking water quality to ensure that sea-life is safe and there is no indication of some infection etc. Although it's considered as one of the popular tourist destinations in Goa, but I may want to skip it next time.