Named after the daughter of the Portuguese viceroy of India during the 17th century, Dona Paula is a highly urbanized village located in the Indian state of Goa. Dona Paula was known for her charity and kindness and was revered among the villagers who named their town after her death in 1682. Interestingly, her ghost is still believed to haunt the shores and according to the local myths can be seen on a moonlight night, ascending from the waves wearing a pearl necklace. Unlike the other beaches in Goa, which are known for their sun and sand, Dona Paula Beach features a contrastingly rocky shoreline and is also a home to the National Institute of Oceanography.
Goa is the smallest states in India and thus most places do not have much variation in the climate. Like the other beaches in Goa, Dona Paula Beach enjoys a monsoon influenced tropical climate which is hot and humid in summers and mild and sunny in winters. The summer months between April and May see the highest temperatures upto 35 degrees with a considerably humid climate. The monsoons hit the state early in the month of July and continue till September. The winters start from late-December till February with average temperatures as low as 25 degrees and nights with mildly chilly sea breeze.
Best Time to Visit
During the peak tourist season, the rocky beach cliffs and the extravagant restaurants and hotels attract a large number of tourists to Dona Paula Beach. The best time to visit Dona Paula is considered to be the monsoon season when the cliffs provide some really enchanting views of the Arabian Sea. It is also frequented by several tourists from the months of October till November due to the pleasant climate and calmer seas making it a great spot for photography and relaxation.
How to Reach and Getting Around
Dona Paula is well connected with the other major cities and towns in Goa via well maintained roads. The closest airport is located in Vasco Da Gama and in Dabolim, both of which are at a short distance from the Beach and can be reached via taxis and buses that are easily available. Dona Paula is also located at a very short distance from Panji. The nearest railway station is located in Karmali which is well connected via major cities in Goa. Getting around is best done by renting a motorcycle or a scooter for cheap price. Walking is also a great option during the evenings when the heat doesn’t make it too harsh to step out. Motorcycle taxis can also be hired which carry just one person.
The beaches are indeed the best attractions at Dona Paula, which feature a distinctively rocky shoreline. Dona Paula is also known to be popular honeymoon destination in India and becomes a hotspot for honeymooning couples during the monsoons. The statue is one of the most popular attractions at the beach which is located near ferry jetty which was sculpted in 1969 by Baroness Yrse Von Leistner. Several theories exist of the statue’s purpose, both of which are interesting to know. The Watersports festival held every November should not be missed along with the various festivals celebrated here.