Margao is the capital of Goa and is located 33 kms from Panaji. It is the second largest city in Goa by population, and is the commercial and cultural hub of Goa. Margao’s long white-sand beach stretch was rated by an early-1970s UNDP study as potentially one of the ten best beaches in the world.
Places to stay
Places to stay at Margao include The Margao Residence (Tariff – Rs. 1270), Hotel Woodlands (Tariff – Rs. 1850), Hotel Saaj (Tariff – Rs.1000), and Gold Star Hotel (Tariff – Rs.1000). There are also numerous lodges further away from the city centre (Tariff- Rs. 300-500).
Konkani is widely spoken in Margao. Portuguese is still spoken by a small number of people. English, Marathi and Hindi are also spoken in Margao.
Apart from the common religious festivals, Margao hosts The Winter Carnival (February), The Dindi festival (2nd day after Diwali), Margao Feast Festival (May) and the Goan Carnival (February/March).
Places to Visit
The prime attractions of Margao are the beaches (Colva – 2 kms from bus stand, Benaulim – 7.5 kms from bus stand), Markets (The Old Market - 1 kms from bus stand, Gandhi Market - 2 kms from bus stand) Churches (The Stately Church of the Holy Spirit – 1.3 kms from bus stand, Our Lady of Grace- 2.5 kms from bus stand and Rosary - 2 kms from bus stand).
How to Get There
The nearest airport is Goa Airport, at Dabolim (28 kms).
Margao's train station, Madgaon Junction, is the only stop in Goa for long distance express services on the Konkan Railway.
Margao is well connected with other cities of India. Long distance bus services can be availed from the main Kadamba Bus Stand. Some of the best bus operators that offer a good experience for passengers to Margaoinclude SRS Travels, Neeta Tours, and Atmaram Travels. To book a bus ticket you no longer need to go to a bus counter, as online tickets are available on bus booking portals.
Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, is often referred to as the ‘Garden City’ because of the numerous parks and gardens that dot the localities of the city. It is also considered as a major information technology (IT) hub of the country and thus called the ‘Silicon Valley of India’. Kempe Gowda, a feudal ruler affiliated to the Vijayanagara kingdom, first established a mud fort, which turned out to be the foundation of the present day city. The city passed through a myriad of rulers ranging from the Marathas, Mughals and Mysore rulers before becoming a part of independent India.
Budget Hotels in Bangalore
There are a couple of good budget hotels in the city. Some of the options which are worth a try are Suntrupthi Residency (Tariff – Rs. 950), Citizen Lodge (Tariff – Rs. 850), The Royal Nest (Tariff – Rs. 900), Vijaya Residency (Tariff – Rs. 900) and others.
The official language of Bangalore is Kannada. Hindi, English, Telugu and Tamil are also understood and widely spoken.
Events in Bangalore
The important festivals of the area are Pongal in January, Karaga in April, Ganesh Chathurthi in August-September, Diwali in October-November, the fasting month of Ramadan, the two Eid(s), Easter and Christmas.
Places to See in Bangalore
Some of the places worth trying out in Bangalore are Bangalore Palace, Lal Bagh, Cubbon Park, Bannerghatta National Park,Vidhana Soudha, Seshadari Iyer Memorial, Tipu Sultan’s Palace, Bull Temple, ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple, Meenakshi Sundaram Temple, Holy Trinity Church and St. Mary’s Basilica. Wonderla Amusement Park at a distance of 28 km is popular with youngsters and children looking for a break on weekends.
How to Get There
The nearest airport is the Kempegowda International Airport at a distance of 36 km.
Bangalore City Junction Railway Station is the major railway station in the city.
There is bus service running from almost everywhere in south India to Bangalore city. State transport buses as well as private operators ply their buses to and fro the city. SRS Travels, Kallada Travels and SRM, Travels are some of the major operators in the city as well as the region. Do away with standing in ticket counters and opt for online bus reservation facility instead.