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About Vasco

Vasco is the short form of Vasco da Gama which happens to be the biggest city located in the Goa state of India. The city derives its name from the Portuguese explorer “Vasco da Gama”. The city also boasts to be the headquarters of “Mormugao Taluka” area. Vasco is positioned at Mormugao Peninsula’s western tip and lies at the junction of River Zuari. The city is just 30 kms away from Panaji which is the capital of Goa. The city of Vasco is positioned at 15°23'53' in the North and 73°48'40' in the East. The average elevation of the city is 43 meters or 141 feet. The city has a tropical climate however due to the presence of rivers and seas the city enjoys the cool breezes throughout the year. Thus, the city offers a pleasant climate just like one can experience it in a sea resort.

Vasca da Gama

History of Vasco

As said earlier the city was named after Vasco da Gama, the renowned Portuguese navigator and explorer.  Vasco da Gama was the 1st European who travelled by sea to reach India. When Vasco da Gama came to India for the first time (1497 to 1499) he found the sea route to link Asia with Europe which also included routes which connected the Indian and Atlantic oceans. He finally reached Goa in 1524, 11th September. After 3 months of this he died and at that time he was in Cochin. His dead remains were sent to Portugal which had been buried at the St. Jeronimo’s monastery.

Vasco was established in the year 1543 and was under the influence of Portugese till 1961. The Mormugao Port was built in the year 1888 which happens to be among the most active shipping routes in Asia till date. It is said that this port exports around 1/3rd of India’s Ore, which makes it one of the most important ports of India. The Mormugao Port also used to manufacture Coast Guard and Navy vessels in the year 1957. The port was initially constructed as a yard for barge-repair which has now been stretched to add some more similar activities. There is also a secret association of Indian Navy with Mormugao with a huge campus as well as a good control over the region surrounding the Dabolim Airport.    

Culture of Vasco

Every year during the Shravan month (as per the Hindu calendar), a famous fair called “Sri Damodar Bhajani Saptah” is held in Vasco. This fair takes place just before the Nag Panchami festival.
Vasco city celebrates the Carnival and Xigmo or Shigmo every year with great pomp just like it is done in all the other cities and towns of Goa. The celebrations also include a street parade and a plethora of people from all over the State of Goa take part in it. 

Diamond Orchestra, which happens to be one of the best musical groups of Goa comes from Vasco. Kollectiv Soul and Lynx which are some noteworthy English Bands also hail from the Vasco city.

Tourism of Vasco

Being under a long Portuguese influence, the architecture of the Vasco city is also influenced by Portuguese architecture. The city consists of narrow lanes running parallel to each other and linking each other is an epitome of a properly constructed city. Below are the top allures that are a must-visit in the Vasco city:

Bogmalo Beach

Bogmalo Beach is one of the most sought-after beaches of Goa which is located at about 8 kms from the Vasco city. Even after the commercialization the beach has been able to maintain its splendor and privacy. The dazzling waters and shining silver sands of the beach mesmerize its visitors. The beach also offers a myriad of diving activities. Here one can also savor a range of Goan cuisines. Baina and Hollant are quite small beaches that are also located nearby.

Murmugao Port

This popular port is located at a distance of 4 kms from the Dabolim Airport and from the heart of the Vasco city. This is famous as one of the very few natural ports of India.

Naval Aviation Museum

This beautiful museum was set up in the year 1998. It happens to be one among the 2 Naval Aviation museums of India. The museum exhibits the gradual advancement of Indian Naval Air Arm during all these years. There are 2 parts of the museum – the first part is the indoor exhibit and the second one is the outdoor exhibit.

The indoor exhibit comprises 2 storeys and concentrates on evolution and stories of Naval and Air forces of India. Apart from these it also houses some useful historical records and a few important vintage documents. The outdoor exhibit looks like a park. This area displays huge artefacts.

Issorcim Beach

This beach is quite small in comparison to the other popular beaches of Goa. This secluded beach has a flat surface which makes it very suitable for a variety of water activities. Commercialization hasn’t hit the beach as of yet and hence it appears as one of the most pristine beaches of Goa. The natural beauty, clear waters and a quiet ambience of the beach makes it stand out of the crowd.

St. Andrew’s Church

This popular church of Vasco lies at the entrance of the city. The construction of the church dates back to the 1570 AD. Later it was ruined by Adil Shah’s soldiers in the year 1578 AD. In the year 1594 AD it was built again. Earlier the church owned a lovely façade which was ruined in the year 1950 AD. Due to this reason the exterior of the church is very simple and interiors are quite attractive. St. Andrews Church is a very ancient church of Vasco and it is also a very popular tourist spot. 

Japanese Garden

This beautiful garden is located at the brink of the Mormugao ridge. This offers a picturesque view of the Arabian Sea as well as the islands in the middle of the sea. One can also enjoy the view of a small beach which is located at a walkable distance from this garden. One can also catch a glimpse of the beautiful hillside on this beach. This well maintained garden is generally visited by people for relaxed walks and to catch sight of the beautiful Arabian Sea.  

NCAOR (National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research)

The NCAOR is located in Vasco which is an institution for research and development. It supervises the Indian Antarctic program as well as it also looks after the Antarctic Research Station (by Govt. of India) in Maitri. It offers storage facility for the ice core samples from the Himalayan Mountains and Antarctica, and laboratories for analysis and processing of marine samples.

Transport in Vasco

Vasco is well connected to the other places by strong rail, road and air network. The NH 17A links the city with other important towns and cities. The railway station of Vasco da Gama is the major rail head of Vasco. The city is located just 5 kms away from the Dabolim Airport which is the major airport of Vasco. The Mormuago Port serves as the best sea network.  

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