Dona Paula Jetty – The Lover’s Paradise
The Lovers Paradise – as it is called, Dona Paula Jetty is located on the beautiful and famous sea stretch that spans from Panjim, Miramar and Dona Paula. A thrilling breeze blows over this place and the view is very scenic. This idyllic rocky tourist attraction lies at the spot where the Mandovi and the Zuari rivers meet the Arabian Sea. It provides a magnificent view of the Mormugao harbor. Dona Paula Jetty is nestled on a rocky, hammer shaped headland.
This former fishing village has now become a commercialized location for beach resorts and restaurants but it carries with it an aura both romantic and mythical. Dona Paula was the daughter of Amaral de Menezes. On January 31, 1656 she married Dom Antonio Souto Maior and came to be knows as Dona Paula Menezes e Souto Maior. She performed many acts of charity. The village of oddavel came to be known Dona Paula after her death in 1682.
Dona Paula jetty is only 7 kms away from Panjim and one can get here either by a cab or bus. Buses are available at regular intervals from Panaji’s Kadamba Bus Stand. The Dona Paula-Mormugao Harbor Ferry takes passengers across the bay, every day of the week between the months of October and May.
Tranquil and blue, Dona Paula unravels the ultimate in aquatic sport and fun. The Dona Paula Sports Club offers some of the best water sports facilities to the sports enthusiasts including Water-scooter rides, Motor-boat rides, etc. Other water sports like boating, para-sailing, yachting, swimming, wind surfing and fishing are also available in the area. It is an ideal spot to relax and sunbathe. The exquisite seashore of Dona Paula beach is long stretches of silver white sand and has an excellent view of the waterfront. If you wish to pick up some local knick-knacks, stroll up to the beachside stalls hawking an impressive range of straw hats, lace handkerchiefs, spices, Feni, port wine and some exotic locally made liquor. There are some decent seafood restaurants like ‘Sea Pebble’ near the beach where you can stop for a hearty lunch and unwind after a day of sun-soaking.
The Dona Paula monument is located on a small islet, linked to the mainland by a small bridge and a quay. Also on the islet is the “Belvedere”, a Greco – Roman type of structure, from where one can view the Arabian Sea and the River Zuari. There are twin sculptures of a man and a woman on the rocks at the Dona Paula jetty. These sculptures are the creation of an artist, A German baroness named Yrsa Von Leistner in memory of Mr. and Ms. Robert Knox.
Some tourist attractions of Dona Paula are the National Institute of Oceanography, the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary (where you can spot both migratory and local birds) and the Cabo Fort. For ethnic handicraft and jewelry one can visit the Indian Arts Emporium.
Apart from enjoying the great view from atop the hillock, you can simply relax in benches enjoying the evening sea breeze and sunset. So watch the difference in the water color. See the Arabian sea far into the horizon. And make sure you sip the refreshing lemon drink the locals sell.