Dona Paula, which was once a village, is now a tourist destination in the Indian state of Goa. It houses the International Centre Goa, the National Institute of Oceanography and Goa University. The place lies at the spot where two rivers meet to flow into the Arabian Sea.
In the olden days, fishing was the major activity of the people of Dona Paula. However, today, numerous resorts and cottages have come up, making it an important tourist destination of Goa. The erstwhile village is also home to a few top industrialists of India who have set shop here.
History of Dona Paula
The location of Dona Paula and its sculpture has given rise to many myths. The place is situated on a hammer shaped rock. One of the most popular myths related to the area is Dona and Paulo were husband and wife. One day, Paulo went fishing and never returned. His faithful wife, Dona, waited for years for him to return until she finally turned into a stone.
Another myth says that after Dona and Pualo were separated, they jumped off the cliff and ended their lives. The sculpture on the rock has been built to commemorate the love of the two. Paula in the name Dona Paula refers to Paula Amaral Antonio, who was a lady and the daughter of a Portuguese in Sri Lanka. The name of the place is dedicated to her. Dona, in Portuguese means married and Paula was married to a Spanish man, hence the term Dona Paula.
Things to do in Dona Paula
Dona Paula is essentially a beach resort, with water sports being the primary activity. Some tourist attractions of Dona Paula are the National Institute of Oceanography, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and the Cabo Fort.
Like the rest of Goa, Dona Paula has a tropical climate, with high humidity throughout the year. The temperature here ranges from 30-35° Celsius throughout the year, and the best time to visit Dona Paula is during the months of November to February.
Travelling to Dona Paula
The place does not have a railway station or an airport. The best way to reach Dona Paula is by road or via a boat from one of the nearby cities of Goa.