Goa, Travel, Hotel, Accommodation, India

 

How to Go Goa ?

Goa's sole airport, the Dabolim Airport, is both a military and civilian airport catering to domestic and international airlines that stop en route to other Indian destinations. In addition to regular flights, the airport handles a large number of chartered flights. Goa receives International flights from Dubai, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East and from the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia during the charter flight tourist season. Dabolim airport is serviced by the following carriers - Air India, Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Kingfisher airlines, Go air, Spice jet, Jet Airways besides Charter flights from Thomas Cook (condor) etc.

Goa's public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas. Government-run buses, maintained the Kadamba Transport Corporation, links both major routes (like the Panjim–Margao route) and some remote parts of the state. In large towns such as Panjim and Margao, intra-city buses ply. However, public transport in Goa is less developed, and residents depend heavily on their own transport, usually motorised two-wheelers. Goa has two National Highways passing through it. NH-17 runs along India's west coast and links Goa to Bombay in the north and Mangalore to the south. NH-4A running across the state connects the capital Panjim to Belgaum in east, linking Goa to cities in the Deccan. The NH-17A connects NH-17 to Mormugao Harbour from Cortalim, and the new NH-17B, once complete will be a four lane highway connecting Mormugao Harbour to NH-17 at another location, Verna, via Dabolim airport. Goa has a total of 224 km (139 mi) of National highway, 232 km (144 mi) of state highway and 815 km of district highway.

Hired forms of transport include unmetered taxis, and, in urban areas, auto rickshaws. A unique form of transport in Goa is the Motorcycle taxi, operated by drivers who are locally called "pilots". These vehicles transport a single pillion rider, at fares that are usually negotiated prior or after the journey (it is always better to ask locals on the correct fare before you try any negotiations yourself). In some places in Goa, there are river crossings which are serviced by the ferry boats, operated by the river navigation departments. Goa has two rail lines — one run by the South Western Railway and the other by the Konkan Railway. The line run by the South Western Railway was built during the colonial era linking the port town of Vasco da Gama with Hubli in Karnataka via Margao. The Konkan Railway line, which was built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast connecting Mumbai to the Malabar Coast.

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Goa can be reached by its lone airport (Dabolim), by train (Konkan Railway or via Londa, and by the many buses connecting the state with cities in India (primarily Mumbai and Bangalore). The once-popular steamer service that connected Goa with Bombay via a 22-hour inexpensive journey however no longer plies.

By bus
There are several bus routes from various cities, but most traffic is from mainly Bombay and Pune, but with increasing demand from the south, there has been an increase in buses and trains from Bangalore and New Delhi. Overnight buses from Mumbai to Goa are one alternative to trains and flying. Note that while many of the coaches are newer Volvo models, you will share your sleeper bunk with one other person. (2 Person bunk)

By train
Indian Railways connects Goa with direct train services from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvanantapuram, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The destination station is usually Madgaon in South Goa. Travelling to Goa by train is a real pleasure as the route passes through greenery and many tunnels.
A railway station which most tourists tend to miss is Thivim, which is served by most trains and is just 20 minutes away from Calangute beach by taxi.

For budget travellers, this is the cheapest option, apart from being faster and much more comfortable than travelling by road. Also note that trains from Mumbai and most other places have a quota of seats set aside for tourists. When purchasing tickets, its advisable to go several days in advance and purchase the tourist quota tickets. Quota tickets must be purchased in person at the rail station by the tourist and cannot be booked via a travel agent. Tickets can also be booked online.

By air
Some airlines fly directly to Dabolim Airport (GOI) at Goa, but most international flights arrive via Mumbai.

Goa has daily flights to and from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Pune (no flights return to Pune) and has flights twice a week to Chennai and Cochin.

Domestic Airlines flying into Goa include Kingfisher airlines, spicejet, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Air Deccan, Indigo and GoAir.

There are international flights to Kuwait and UAE twice a week on Air India and charter flights to the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Switzerland.

By sea
The steamer and catamaran services connecting Goa with Mumbai no longer plies.
 

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