The beaches in south Goa extend from Vasco da Gama and Bogmalo to Palolem Beach. The stretch includes Bogmalo, Velsao, Majorda, Colva, Benaulim, Betul, Canaguinim, Agonda and Palolem.
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South Goa Beaches
According to legend as described in the Skanda Purana, Vishnu, in his sixth incarnation as Parsurama shot an arrow to mark the limit where Samudra, the Indian Neptune should withdraw. Defeated, Samudra receded when the arrow fell in Bannali (Bann: arrow, ali: village). This is how the village of Banali got its name. It was later corrupted by the Portuguese to Benaulim. Banaulim lies 2 kms away from Colva Beach.
Ever since backpackers started patronising the place, this fishing and rice-farming village with coconut groves and paddy fields, has turned into a tourist haven with small guest houses and souvenir stalls. Most visitors to Benaulim are transient budget travellers from Colva.
The gently shelving sands are increasingly being haunted by hawkers, masseurs and fruit-vendors. Otherwise, Benaulim is a relatively quieter beach than many, friendly and warm. The neighbouring beach of Varca, is more peaceful as tourism has not reared its head enough to change the lifestyle of the locals. There are a few bars and restaurants and basic accommodation is available here.
Budget travellers come to spend a laid back holiday, which often stretches to months. The village has several cafes and souvenir stalls catering to day-trippers who arrive in droves on sight-seeing tours of the beaches. Despite the commercialisation, Palolem remains a traditional village, where the easy pace of life is dictated by the three daily rounds of todi-tapping.
Editor: Romola Butalia   (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.