Ponda, Goa is one of the highlighted tourist destinations in Goa. There are many interesting things to know about this place and the first thing is that it’s located in the hinterland of Goa. It is not the only town with huge temples but the kind of grand shrines. Ponda has are very different from the rest of town. The architecture of the temples reflects some of the brilliant cultural heritage of India. The designs are artistic and the temples look spectacular and also reflect the ancient history and heritage of India.
Since Ponda is famous for temple and holy shrines, like Shri Shanta Durga and Shri Mangeshi are few of the most famous ones. If you love to explore the ancient traditions of a place, then Ponda in Goa will give you a complete glimpse of the 6th and 7th century AD. This town also has a Buddhist cave in Rivona, this will also be an amazing platform for witnessing ancient history.
This small town is situated on the Panjim –Belgaum highway. Ponda is also known as the heartland of Hindus and it is around 30km (18 miles) from Panjim and 17km (10 miles) from Margao. Apart from famous temples and mosques, Ponda is also very famous for having spice plantation. Here are some of the famous temples in this town that you can visit Mangeshi Temple, Laxmi Narasimha Temple, Mahalsa Temple, Nagesh Temple, Shantadurga Temple, Shri Mahalaxmi Temple, and Ramnath Temple.
If you love exploring some ancient ruins, then you will enjoy visiting the Mardangad which recently underwent the renovation numerous times.
Why You Must Visit Ponda?
• Ponda is a laidback town located in the hinterland of Goa, this place is surrounded by an ancient temple and green villages.
• This small town also lies on route to Bondla and the Mahavir wildlife sanctuary, and also touches the Dudhsagar Waterfalls.
• Surprisingly, Ponda is also considered to be the gateway to some of the neighboring towns like Dandeli, Hubli, and Belgaum.
• Any tourists traveling from Panjim to North Goa visit the famous temple situated in Ponda called the Mangeshi Temple and Nagesh Temple.
How to Reach Ponda, Goa
Nearest Airport –Dabolim (34 km) 21 miles, Belgaum (110 km) 68 miles, Hubli (155 km) 96 miles
Hire a cab to get to the Ponda easily without any break journey. Here is how you will be able to reach the destination.
• 55 min (33.0 km) 20 miles via NH366, MDR44 and NH566
• 1 h 5 min (38.1 km) 23 miles via NH566
• 1 h 14 min (43.0 km) 26 miles via NH748
Nearest Railway Station - Madgaon (19 km) 11 miles, Karmali (20 km) 12 miles, Vasco da Gama (39 km) 24 miles, here is how you can get to the center of the city from.
• Madgaon Junction, Sanscar Society, Margao, Goa 403601=> Margao - Karwar via Canacona towards Margao via Canacona=> Margao - Kolhapur via Belgaum Cbt towards Kolhapur via Belgaum Cbt => Vasco - Ponda towards Ponda=> you will reach to the old bus stand and just take a walk from there to the location.
• Madgaon Junction, Sanscar Society, Margao, Goa 403601=> Margao - Karwar via Canacona towards Margao via Canacona=> Margao - Kolhapur via Belgaum Cbt towards Kolhapur via Belgaum Cbt => Ponda will just be in walking distance from the bus stand.
5 Places to Visit in Ponda, Goa
1. Butterfly Conservatory of Goa
The best place for butterfly lovers, the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa is a mesmerizing destination located at Priol. You will come across some of the beautiful species of birds, butterflies, and a few fishes as well. The best time to visit the butterfly conservatory is in the morning and very closes by the spice plantation.
2. Old Borim Bridge
Ask any college student of Goa, you will know the importance of the Borim Bridge. The students often come here to click photographs in the scenic location; there is also an interesting fact about this bridge. There are rumors of this bridge being haunted; however, it doesn’t stop people from visiting this location. The bridge keeps getting regular renovation because the middle part of the bridge recently collapsed. Frequent measures are taken to sort out the safety of the bridge.
3. Shivaji Fort
The Ponda is located in the Farmagudi, it is also known as the Ponda Fort. This fort is one of the famous tourist destinations in Goa, due to the beautiful location, it has a brilliant view and well-known for photography. People visit this place for picnics; the fort has a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with a Ganapati temple just opposite to it.
4. Sahakari Spice Farm
This is a spice plantation and it is frequently visited by tourists. The place is located in the middle of the lush greenery of Curti. People who love to be surrounded by nature will enjoy the beauty of dense forest cover. You will also find many tour guides who can show you around the spice plantation by delivering relevant information. As long as the food is concerned, you will find Goal style food on the farm and many other interesting entertainments.
5. Shri Shantadurga Temple
This temple is situated in the Kavalam village in Ponda. It receives frequent visitors and tourists from around the world. Devotees looking for peace and spirituality visit this place, if you are planning to visit this temple in between December and January, then you will be able to catch the annual fair known as the Shantadurga Temple fair.
Shopping in Ponda
If you are a person who wouldn’t leave your travel destination without getting a souvenir, then you will love this information. Let’s mention some of the famous things to buy from Ponda as a souvenir.
• Cashew nuts
• Wooden craftwork
• Painted tiles
Apart from the mainstream things of Goa, Places like Ponda market and many other places have some of the customized items to buy. You will love the unique items and vibrant environment these places radiate with.
If you are visiting Ponda in Goa, then get ready to explore some of the spiritual places and sacred temples in town. You will love the vibe this place radiates with; make sure you are carrying your camera to capture the beauty of this place.