Benaulim or Banavali is a popular beach town of Goa in Salacete district. It is situated slightly south of Margao, along the coastline of southern Goa. It lies 41 km from Panaji and 2 km from the Colva beach. For being one of the untouched beaches in Goa, the Benaulim Beach offers a view of rare species of fish, which also makes this beach one of the most suitable ones for fishing in Goa.
History of Benaulim
The establishment of this town is based on a legend that Parshuram, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, shot an arrow from the Sahyadri Mountain adjacent to Konkan that landed up creating this town. This is why the place is also known as Banavali, which means ‘village of the arrows’ that later changed to Benaulim after the advent of Portuguese. The Benaulim Village is also popular for its rosewood furniture and ancient carvings.
People and Culture of Benaulim
At the beginning of the monsoon, the feast of St. John the Baptist, popularly known as Sao Joao, is celebrated as thanks giving in Benaulim. Jumping in wells to commemorate the St. John’s movement and singing, wearing wreaths of fruits and leaves for gifts, is a popular tradition during this time.
The bull fighting tradition is also quite popular in Benaulim that starts from early October and finishes at the end of May. This bull fighting is not held in any covered or fenced area and is rather carried on in an open space outside the village. The Beach Bonanza Fair that is held at Benaulim beach, every Sunday, is also quite popular.
Things to do in Benaulim
Goa is known for its churches and the popular churches in the Benaulim town comprise the Church of St. John the Baptist and Nossa Senhora De Merces Church. The Church of St. John the Baptist is present on a hill and is popular for its Goan-Christian style of architecture.
Other churches at the place are famous for their white Portuguese architecture. There is also a Christian fishing community at the Benaulim Beach, which is known for providing a variety of seafood in Goa. Vaddi Beach is another popular attraction and is little less developed and crowded than Benaulim Beach.
Travelling to Benaulim
Dabolim Airport serves as the closest airport to reach Benaulim, which is 29 km away from Panaji. There are regular flights from all major cities of India. Tourists can hire a taxi to reach Benaulim. Karmali is the nearest railway station at a distance of 11 km away from Panaji.
Travelling within Benaulim
Tourists can hire motor bikes to travel around Benaulim which costs about Rs 400 per day. Taxi services are also available for tourists who not comfortable with two wheelers. Taxis cost about Rs 6 to Rs 11 per km.
Accommodation options in Benaulim
Tourists in Benaulim can avail various accommodation options, ranging from budget hotels to 5 star hotels. They can also opt for accommodations close to the Benaulim Beach.