Dona Paula Beach

A secluded bay situated on the Arabian Sea, the Dona Paula Beach is one of the most sought after beaches in Goa. A meeting point of the Zuari and Mandovi rivers the Dona Paula Beach, once a silent village today is one of the most commercialized areas of Goa. An ideal holiday spot for tourists and locals alike this beach is also known as the Lovers Paradise. Named after the daughter of one of the viceroy’s of India Dona Paula de Menzes, a rumour which has spreadtells that she jumped off the cliff because she was not permitted to marry a local fisherman, this beach is haunted by mysticism and divine beauty.


The official residence of the Governor of Goa, Known as Cabo Raj Bhavan is situated on the westernmost tip of Dona Paula. Along the road leading to this place lies the ruins of the small military cemetery the British built at their brief occupation of the Cabo, to deter the French from invading Goa.



History of Dona Paula:

At the place where two famous rivers meet the Arabian Sea lies the once secluded bay of Dona Paula with the fine view of Marmugao Harbour. This place carries with it an aura both romantic and mythical. Here’s a peek into this enigmatic scene.Dona Paula is nestled on a rocky, hammer shaped headland. This former fishing village has now become a commercialized location for beach resorts and restaurants. With the romance and myth attached to it, tourists throng the Dona Paula beach and Jetty in search of the mystery, besides indulging in water sports.There are a number of legends behind the alleged Dona Paula Sculpture.The tourists coming here are often told fascinating stories and misguided by tourist guides such as “Dona was married to Paulo, a lowly fisherman. He ventured into deep seas for fishing and is said to have never returned. His dutiful wife Dona supposedly waited for him at the jetty, for so many years that she finally turned into stone!” or another romantic lore. “Dona and Paulo were lovers separated by their caste and nationality and with no other option left, they decided to end their lives, by jumping off the cliff. The Statue on the rock is dedicated to them.” But the truth is far from romantic and tragic, and lacks the power to attract crowds. The truth finally puts all the legends and folklore behind Dona Paula to rest. “Dona is the title given to married women according to Portuguese customs. And Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior is the lady in debate. She is not a romantic figure but definitely a historical figure. She was the daughter of the Portuguese Viceroy of Jaffnapatnam, in Sri Lanka. She and her familyarrived in Goa in 1644 and she married a Fidalgo from Spain in 1656. Her husband was Dom Antonio Souto Maior. They were an extremely affluent family and the entire property from the present day Cabo Raj Nivas all the way to Caranzalem belonged to the Souto Maiors. She later passed away on December 16, 1682.”The grave of Dona Paula Amaral Antonio de Souto Maior was found in the transept of the Chapel at the Governor’s Palace where a part of her history is engraved on her gravestone. Dona Paula was a woman of charity and is known to have helped the villagers and worked a lot for their betterment, so after her death, the villagers decided to re-name the village as Dona Paula. Initially the village was called Oddavell. The alleged statue of ‘Dona-Paulo’ the statue seen today at the jetty in Dona Paula is in reality the sculpture of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Knox. It was a Dutch sculptress, Baroness Yrse Von Leistner who etched the sculpture as she was in awe of the philosopher Robert Knox.



How to reach Dona Paula:

Well connected by air and road Goa is easily accessible from all parts of the country. The nearest airport is Dabolim and the nearest railway station is Karmali. Situated at just about 7 kms from Panjim, the Dona Paula Beach can be reached easily by bus. Buses to Dona Paula Beach leave at every 15 minutes from the Panjim’s Kadamba Bus Stand.Take the steamer jetty, and at various points along the waterfront.



Attractions in and around Dona Paula:

Dona Paula Beach is nestled on the southern side of the rocky hammer-shaped headlands that divide the Zuari and Mandovi estuaries. It provides a good view of the Mormugao harbor and this beach is fringed by palm trees and casuarinas groves. Some of the place of interest in Dona Paula is the National Oceanography Institute and Caba Raj Niwas. The major attraction of the National Oceanography institute is its Marine Biology Museum and Taxonomy Reference Center. This institute not only delves upon marine biology but incorporates all the major branches of coastal and marine oceanography. The Cabo Raj Niwas is half a kilometer away from the National Oceanography Institute. It houses the tomb of Dona Paula de Menzes in the Cabo Chapel.


This beach is one of the most happening beaches of Goa because of the various water sports facilities offered here. Kayaking, motorboat riding, windsurfing, para sailing, water-skiing, toboggan ski-biscuit, yachting, skibob, sports fishing, snorkeling and harpoon fishing are some of the leisure activities you can indulge into at the Dona Paula Beach.



Accommodations near Dona Paula:


  1. Dona Paula Beach Resort.
  2. Prainha Resort and Cottages By The Sea.
  3. Zuari View.
  4. Hotel O’Pescador.
  5.  L’Hotel Eden.
  6. Hotel Villa Sol.

Place Categories: Beaches and SightSeeing

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