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Hidden Gems of South Goa: Unveiling Salecte’s Secret Treasures

Explore lesser-known wonders of South Goa with our guide to Salecte's hidden gems. Discover panoramic views, historical forts, and tranquil hilltops away from the
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Hidden Gems of South Goa
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From the bustling city of Margao where you can find everything from locally made artifacts to accessories and goods imported from abroad to the chilled villages of Benaulim and Colva with lush paddy fields and pristine beaches, Salecte locally known as Xaxti is a district worth exploring. Here are some wonderful places to explore, if you ever find yourself in this part of Goa, that most guidebooks or social media influencers won’t know exists but is worth visiting.

1. Monte Hill

Monte Hill is a beautiful hilltop known for its calm ambiance and panoramic views. Nestled at the top of the hill is a Chapel of Calcada de Nossa Senhora de Piedade, which is popularly known as Our Lady of Mercy, from where one can not only see and hear the sounds of the city but can also get views of the coastal belt of Salecte. If you’re in Margao and need a secluded place to watch the sunset other than the beaches, head up to this place for a change.

2. Rachol Fort and Seminary

Located in the quaint village of Rachol, this majestic place used to be the fort of Adil Shah when Goa was under the rule of the erstwhile Bijapur Empire before the Portuguese took over and converted it into a seminary that stands today. Surrounded by a peaceful atmosphere and a river nearby, although it is the place where boys come to become priests, art and history lovers will love this place.

3. Three Kings Church

Three Kings Church, officially Our Lady of Remedios Chapel, is situated in a plush village of Goa called Cansaulim. There are rumours and local folklore that suggests that the Church is haunted, hence it is also known has the “Haunted Church”. Haunted or not, the Three Kings Church is worth visiting. This small hill in the interiors of South Goa is a nature lovers’ paradise. Mind-Blowing aerial view of South Goa mingled with a glimpse of the Arabian Sea says it all. The hill offers a lot for the photographers as there is so much to trap in the lens! Hence, a trip to the Three Kings Church is worth your time in Goa.

4. Chandranath Hill, Paroda

Located in the scenic village of Paroda, a short distance from Margao, the location offers good views of the countryside. The winding road takes one up the hill which is covered with lush green trees and the sounds of birds and other small animals. At its peak, is the Shree Chandreshwar Bhutnath temple, a temple which links to the Nath wing of devotion, a Shaivism sub-tradition of Hinduism, which was established somewhere between 1,000 to 1,150 AD by Goraknath.

Whether it is the beautiful view from the peak, its history or the mythology associated with the place, the Chandranath hill is not only popular among devotees but also with hikers and nature lovers alike.

5. Betul Fort

Located along the Sal River, Betul is a laid-back village known for its fishing community and breathtaking views. One of the hidden gems of the village is the not-much-known Betul Fort, a 17th-century fort that stands at a panoramic vantage point. Little was known about Betul Fort before a bunch of local history enthusiasts, known as the History Lovers Group took the initiative to restore the old derelict remains. History has it that in 1762 the Portuguese, through a pact with the King of Sunda, annexed the area. They later established a customs house, police station, and post office in the fort.

From the existing Southern bastion of the fort, you can view the expansive Betul River emptying itself into the Arabian Sea. The fort provides a relaxed atmosphere, perfect for capturing breathtaking photographs and connecting with the region’s rich heritage.

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