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Safa Masjid in Ponda

12 Top-Rated Places to Visit in Ponda (2024)

Considered the cultural capital of Goa, Ponda also known as Fonda is geographically located at the heart of Goa. The city of Ponda is immensely rich in diversity and heritage and does full justice to the title given to it. Ponda, unlike the other parts of Goa, is not much crowded and is rather home to a number of scenic villages full of greenery and temples. A lot of factories and industrial estates are also a part of the city which makes it the industrial center of Goa. It is the fastest-growing city in Goa. Not just that, it is also known as “Antruz Mahal” owing to the presence of a large number of temples rich in culture and heritage here.

Exploring The Cultural Capital of Goa – Ponda

Ponda lies 28 km away from the state capital of Goa, Panaji, and 17 km away from Margao which is the district headquarter. Konkani is the official language used in Ponda but the residents also speak English, Marathi, and Hindi. Connected to all the other parts of Goa through either rail or road, Ponda has an excellent transportation network.

Having these many facilities available in just one place, it is a popular tourist spot and attracts visitors from all the parts of the world. Ponda is full of places that are worth visiting and will leave you spellbound after your trip. Be it the temples or the villages, everything in and around Ponda is extremely beautiful and alluring.

Some of these places to visit in Ponda are listed below in great detail. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Butterfly Conservatory of Goa: Located at Priol, the Butterfly Conservatory of Goa is home to more than a hundred varieties of butterflies with a small collection of fishes and birds. It is also called the Mystic Meadows and is truly a perfect destination for a lover of nature and its various creations. The conservatory works towards protecting and preserving these species. Comprising of a lush green view, the conservatory provides a lot of information and research-related education about these butterflies. This Butterfly Conservatory is absolutely free to visit and explore and makes for an amazing place to visit during the morning.
  2. Shivaji Fort: Ponda Fort or popularly known as the Shivaji Fort is an amazing picnic spot for tourists and students. Located at Farmagudi in Ponda, this fort comprises a huge statue of the great Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who captured this fort in 1675 from the Portuguese. Shivaji Fort is a very popular tourist spot overlooking a Ganesha temple which is just to its opposite side. This fort too is absolutely free to visit and makes for the perfect spot to discover and explore the architectural wonders of ancient times.
  3. Old Borim Bridge: Extremely popular among the youth of Goa, this bridge is the one with mind-blowing scenic views. People usually come here for photographs. Home to one of the most beautiful sunsets in Goa, Old Borim Bridge is a favorite of the youngsters. Although it is rumored to be haunted no such paranormal activity has been noticed here. This old bridge’s ruins were discovered in three parts and recently, the middle section of the bridge broke off too but the concerned authorities and departments have already taken grave measures to maintain its safety. Very recently, new and permanent fencing has been added outside the leftover parts of the bridge to prevent any mishap from happening.
  4. Sahakari Spice Farm: The Sahakari Spice Farm is one of the most visited spots in Goa. Located amidst the greenery-filled surroundings of Curti, this spice farm is the perfect destination for the nature and farming lovers of the world. The farm provides a guide who gives you a complete tour of the farm and supplies you with all the required and relevant information about the spices cultivated at the farm. Surrounded by the dense forest cover, the farm cultivates a great number of spice trees and is a perfect spot for relaxation. Not just that, Sahakari Spice Farm also serves traditional Goan food in its main course which is very popular among the visitors.
  5. Safa Masjid: Safa Shahouri Masjid or popularly called the Safa Masjid is among the only two residua of proper Islamic architecture in the entire Goa. Constructed in the year 1560 by Ibrahim Adil Shah, Safa Masjid is believed to be the oldest mosque in Goa. The beautiful water reservoir at the entrance of the masjid is the key highlight of this place. The tank is so built that it mirrors the entire mosque in its water when seen from any angle which is a cherry for every photographer. That’s why this mosque is very popular among photography fanatics and also other tourists.
  6. Shanta Durga Temple: Located in the Kavalem village on a small hill, Shanta Durga Temple is very popular for its religious value. As the name speaks for itself, this temple is dedicated to Shri Jagdamba Devi who took birth to promote peace between Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. Carrying with itself a lot of spiritual importance, this temple is visited by hundreds of devotees every year. A Shanta Durga fair also takes place here in the months of December and January. This temple is definitely a must-visit owing to its amazing historical and spiritual importance.
  7. St. Roque Chapel: Situated in Bandora village of Ponda, St. Roque Chapel is a splendid destination to visit while traveling in Ponda. Alternatively called the Bandora Chapel, this church is located on top of a mini hill and provides for a breathtaking view from over the top. The church is made in honor of St. Rogue and hence the name. Surrounded by a lot of famous temples around it, the church proves an amazing place for tourists and travelers. It is the perfect spot to enjoy a good evening breeze amidst the greenery with your dear ones.
  8. Shri Lakshminarasimha Temple: As the name suggests, Shri Lakshminarasimha temple is entirely dedicated to God Vishnu and his wife Goddess Lakshmi. Located in Ponda, this temple comprises a freshwater spring alongside a water reservoir which are the key highlights of it. Considered very holy and sacred, this water can be used for taking a religious dip. It is an amazing place to visit for the visitors visiting Ponda.
  9. Shri Manguesh Temple: Located at Mangueshi in Ponda, this temple is an amazing architectural masterpiece. The presence of one of the oldest water tanks in Goa makes this temple historically very significant. Influenced by both Islamic and Christian styles, the temple’s architecture is breathtaking. The temple also comprises giant chariots which are used to parade the idols during the time of festivals. The temple is absolutely free of cost to visit and is a great place for peace seekers.
  10. Shri Nagesh Temple: Located at Bandiwade, Shri Nagesh temple is made to worship the god of snakes, Lord Shiva. The temple comprises a wooden gallery on either side to depict various epic stories of Lord Shiva using skillfully carved idols made of woods. The temple holds the great value of religious importance and is visited by a large number of devotees every year.
  11. Tropical Spice Plantation: Situated in Arla Bazar Keri, this spice plantation is surrounded by greenery all around it. Home to some of the traditional and famous spices grown specifically in Goa, this plantation is a must-visit for all the explorers out there. The plantation provides a professional guide for an experience full of in-depth learning. It is an amazing place to explore and learn about the various spices of Goa and how they are cultivated.
  12. Savoi Plantation: Spread in an area of about 100 acres, Savoi plantation is one of the oldest plantations in Goa. Home to a variety of intercropped spices like pineapples, betel nuts, coconuts, etc, this plantation is about 200 years old. It is the perfect spot for agriculture and nature lovers and you can visit it anytime between 9 AM to 4:30 PM.

So, the next time that you visit Ponda, make sure you visit these beautiful places in and around it.

FAQ’s For Tourists Planning to Visit Ponda, Goa

Q1. What Are The Timing, Entry Fees, And Opening Days Of The Shivaji Or The Ponda Fort?

Ans: Ponda Fort, popularly known as the Shivaji Fort is open for a visit on all the days of the week. You can visit it on any day between Sunday to Monday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. There is no entry charge for the fort and you can visit it free of cost.

Q2. Is There A Local Market To Buy Necessary Items In Ponda City Of Goa?

Ans: Yes, there is a local market in Ponda. You can buy handmade stuff worth gifting from there at reasonable prices. It is also an amazing place to do thrift shopping.

Q3. Is A Transport Facility Easily Available In Ponda?

Ans: Yes, the city of Ponda has an excellent network of transportation. Be it railways or roadways, it is connected to all the major parts of Goa through either rail or road. Rental facilities are also readily available in Ponda. You can hire a cab or a bike if you want to travel on your own.

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