embodies all the most touted virtues of the state. With its beautiful beach, which is perfect for swimming; abundance of restaurants, historical church and a plethora of shopping areas, sightseeing locales and hopping night life, Calangute is a favoured tourist spot in Goa. Calangute is also the location of Osbourne resorts, along with a number of other hotels in Goa. Simply put, it is all that you have heard about Goa and more.
Calangute beach began its existence as a little fishing village. Caressed by the sea breezes and the timeless tide, the village was a slice of paradise dotted with coconut trees and charming cottages. The fisher folk were a simple people, making their living off sea’s bounty.
One version of the origins of the name Calangute is that the name came from the Goddess Kali, who the villagers prayed to, asking that she give them an abundant catch. Originally named ‘Kolongutt’ the name was later adapted by the Portuguese colonists into Calangute, still keeping the ‘Cal’ which was a symbol of Kali.
Others say that the name actually comes from the word ‘Kalyan Gutti’ which means “village of art” or “beautiful village”. Another version is that the etymology of the name lies in the word “Konvallo Ghott” which references the abundance of coconut trees. ‘Konvallo ghott’ means “coconut with a strong pith”.
The wide stretch of golden sand that crowns the seashore at the beach Calangute is perhaps the most popular of all the Goan beaches. It is popularly thought to have been ‘discovered’ in the 60’s by the hippies who came to Goa; and its popularity has only grown since.
The warm sunshine and balmy breezes, especially prevalent from October to May, make sunbathing and swimming extremely enticing. Even in the monsoon (June to September) with cloudy skies and intense winds and stormy seas battering it, the beach is beautiful. However, swimming is unsafe at this time of year.
The Calangute beach is also known for water sports operators who offer enticing adventure sports for the more intrepid tourist. Water-skiing, jet ski rides, scuba diving and snorkelling, parasailing and speed boat rides are just some of the options available at the Calangute Beach Goa.
There are many restaurants in Goa hotels to choose from in the Calangute area. The cuisine available ranges from Indian, most especially local Goan delicacies to Continental fare. There is always seafood available and in recent years there are a growing number of vegetarian and vegan options available. The restaurants themselves range from swanky, up-scale elegance; to simple bakeries and cafés, all the way to rustic beach shacks where you can walk in wearing a swimming costume or sarong.
Some of the places that you can visit here include : The Café Infantaria – a popular place for baked goods and continental fare at the Calangute Baga crossroads Koi – a relatively new departure in cuisine that serves excellent Pan Asian fare, A Reverie – a great place for a romantic candle lit meal, Souza Lobo – a well-known and respected beach shack serving the best of Goan food The Plantain Leaf – for Pure veg fare.
The shops that line the main thoroughfare at Calangute have a wide variety of wares for sale. Whether you’ve left your swim trunks at home and need a spare pair or you just want a sarong or beach cover up, you can be assured that you will be spoilt for choice. They also have summer dresses, skirts, shorts, hats and many other holiday clothes.
The handicrafts, curios and jewellery sold here come from across India with shawls from Kashmir beaten silver jewellery as well as garments strewn with the ‘shisha work’ (mirror embroidery) that Rajasthan is famous for. There even antiques and collectibles that have been imported from Tibet and Indonesia most especially at the Tibetan
Though most people think of only the beach and the shops when they think of Calangute, there are also plenty of sight-seeing spots in this little village. These include religious monuments, heritage structures as well as a prominent art gallery.
Perhaps the most well-known tourist sight in Calangute is the Church of St. Alex, a proud old building which is a fine example of Mannerist Neo- Roman Style architecture, with Rococo features. It is still very much in use today with masses held daily, although the only English mass is at 8.45am on Sundays.
Another popular tourist attraction is the Kerkar Art Complex that displays the paintings and sculptures of Subodh Kerkar and other contemporary artists of India. The paintings and sculptures mainly depict various aspects of life in India with a focus on Goa, with some fanciful works as well. Beisdes the depictions of the local fisher folk, royalty and the Sea Queen; the main attractions are the terracotta works and elliptical collectibles.
Calangute is also home to several Hindu temples dedicated to various deities. Some of the temples that can be visited in Calangute include Shri Shantadurga Mandir (Porbawaddo, Calangute), Babreshwar Temple and Fondyeshwar Temple (Khobrawaddo Calangute) and the Thoteshwar Rashtroli Mandap (Umtawaddo Calangute)
A popular heritage home in Calangute is the Casa dos Proenca which stands near the busy Calangute market junction. It was built in the 18th century by the then-wealthiest family of Calangute. It is notable for its superb architectural structure and planning that has given it a natural air-conditioning system. Another similar heritage house is the Casa de Braganza.
Calangute is sandwiched between the twin attractions of Baga and Candolim, Candolim being a more quiet and serene place whilst Baga is home to a large portion of Goa’s nightlife. The villages of Anjuna (famous for its market days), Sinquerim (home to the Fort Aguada), Mapusa (a prominent market town), Saligao (known for the Neo-Gothic style Mae de Deus Church) and Arpora (known for its Saturday night market) are within easy commuting distance.
For those who like to be in the thick of things, Calangute is the place to be with its crowds and fun-filled, carnival like atmosphere that pervades the locality all year round. Whether you want to visit for a day or stay Osborne Hotel in Calangute is a place that has to be experienced at least once on any Goa vacation. But be warned this popular place fills up fast and it is best to book your stay at the Osbourne hotel in Goa in advance to avoid confusion.