The idyllic Benaulim beach is situated in South Goa between Colva and Mobor Beaches. Its village name is steeped in folklore. A picturesque fishing village, Benaulim is dotted with paddy fields and still retains the Portuguese feel. There are two beaches, the main Benaulim Beach and a smaller one called Vaddi.
Benaulim boasts of being one of the few ‘white sand’ beaches of Goa, It is an ideal place for tourists longing for serenity and tranquility. Despite being a fishing village, this beach is among the reasonably undiscovered beaches of Goa. Locals are known to visit the beach in the evenings to enjoy the gentle sea-breeze. While on the beach, one can enjoy a variety of water sports including dolphin and crocodile spotting cruises along the estuary.
Besides its beaches, it is also a famous village, why?
Benaulim plays host to a number of famous restaurants and hotels including Furtados, Joecons and The Taj Exotica. Besides, this little village is the birthplace of famous people like (Saint)Blessed Joseph Vaz, an Oratorian Catholic Missionary who lived in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Professor Froilano de Mello, a Goan-Portuguese microbiologist, medical scientist, professor, author and an independent MP in the Portuguese Parliament and Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz, not only a distant relative of Blessed Joseph Vaz but also a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament.
The folklore behind its name ‘Banahalli’ or ‘Banwali’
According to ancient belief, before the advent of the Portuguese, it is said that Lord Parashurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, shot his arrow from the adjacent Konkan into the sea and commanded the sea god Varuna recede up to the point where his arrow landed. The arrow is said to have landed at Banahalli, (ban meaning arrow and halli meaning village) the site of this present-day village.
Pic. Credit: India Mike