(Last Updated on : 04/04/2014)
Vasco da Gama also named as Vasco is the largest city in the state of Goa
. It lies on the west coast of India and serves as the headquarters of the Marmagao
taluka. The city is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. Vasco da Gama
is the biggest town of Goa that lies on the western tip of the Marmagao peninsula, at the mouth of the Zuari River, about 30 kilometres from Panaji
The city was founded in 1543 and was ruled by the Portuguese until 1961. The architecture of the city is aesthetically pleasant with its ancient structures standing in perfect harmony with modern buildings. The Indian Navy's Goa Naval base is located at Vasco from which it manages the Dabolim airport.
Vasco was earlier decided to be the capital of Goa in 1684 when the viceroy D Francisco decided to shift the capital. Subsequently, a number of buildings sprung up across the city to accommodate for future needs. However the dream was, overturned by a Lisbon court, which decided to change the decision.
Vasco da Gama is considered the commercial hub of Goa and many important economic activities are centred here. The town is highly industrialized and houses an important seaport. The city is well connected by road by the NH 17A (National Highway), by rail through South Western Railway, by sea through the Marmagao Harbour and by air through the Dabolim Airport. The Marmagoa Harbor is a very important commercial centre and is the core from which ship vessels are sent off to other countries. Manganese ore mined in interior regions is brought to Marmagoa by barges navigating the rivers Mandovi and Zuari.
Tourist Spots in Vasco da Gama
Being the most important city of Goa, Vasco da Gama has been attracting thousands of tourists here. There are many places to visit in Vasco da Gama. The sandy seashore of Bogmalo Beach
is a magnificent place to visit. Khollant beach (Issorcim), Baina beach, Velsao beach, Majorda beach
and Colva beach
are some other beaches in the nearby areas.
Apart from the beaches The Naval Aviation Museum is also worth visiting. It is the first naval museum in Asia that was inaugurated at Dabolim, Vasco in 1998. The museum showcases the history of Indian Naval Aviation, various aircrafts, safety equipment, weapons, rare photographs depicting Goa's liberation and artefacts. There are other salient monuments like the 400-year old St. Andrews Church located at the entrance of the city. One of Goa's premier musical groups, Diamond Orchestra hails from Vasco. The town has served as the home to several other English bands like the Lynx, Heaven's Touch, and Kollectiv Soul.
Vasco is also famous for annual festivals and celebrations like Shri Damodar Bhajani Saptah fair held in the Shravan month of Hindu lunar calendar that precedes the festival of Raksha Bandhan
. Vasco also celebrates the Shigmo
and Carnival festivals like all the cities of Goa. The festivals are celebrated annually with a street parade where floats from all over Goa participate.