The market town of Mapusa (pronounced ‘Mapsa’) is the largest town in northern Goa, and is most often visited for its busy Friday market, which attracts scores of buyers and sellers from neighbouring towns and villages, and a healthy intake of tourists from the northern beaches. It’s a good place to pick up the usual range of embroidered bed sheets and the like, at prices far lower than in the beach resorts. And even if you’re not interested in the trappings of commerce, you’ll likely pass through Mapusa in any case, since it’s the major transport hub for northern Goa buses.
There’s not a lot else to see here, though it’s a pleasant, bustling and typically Indian town to wander for a while. Most amenities are arranged around the Municipal Gardens (the Kadamba bus station is just a short walk south on NH17), and around the market site, just to the south.
Both International Animal Rescue and the environmental action group Goa Foundation (www.goafoundation.org) have their headquarters close by.