The name Canacona is a correction of the name Konkan. The area was one of the districts of the former Kingdom of Soonda, itself a remnant of the former Vijayanagara Empire. When Soonda was invaded and partially occupied by Hyder Ali of Mysore, the heirless Raja ceded the remaining parts to Portugal and these were incorporated into Goa as the districts of Quepem, Sanguem and Canacona.
Canacona's beach belt, 'discovered' by tourism only after the 1990s, is among the most scenic. Palolem is a milder recreation of an east-meets-west Goan beach, with a rich variety of exotic food and accommodation to cater to the international palate. Polem is another beach situated at the south of Canacona which too is popular among tourists.
But beyond the better-known Palolem and Agonda, there are nearly a dozen-and-half lesser-known (or even hidden) beaches. Some are just tiny strips of sand. Vaturem and Xendrem are secluded beaches. Quepem's narrow sea front has a two or three beaches, known for their picture-postcard quality.
The most prominent Hindu institution of Canacona, and indeed of all Goa, is the Parthagali Math ("Portuguese Hindu - a five centuries-old ashram and cult headquarters built in a mix of Portuguese and Hindu architectural styles. Besides, there are famous Hindu temples at Zambaulim and Fatorpa. Also the Mallikarjun Temple, Shristhal built by the Kshatriya samaj is very beautiful and known for its versatile festivals.