Variously known as "Pearl of the Orient" and a "Tourist
Paradise", the state of Goa is located on the western coast
of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan.
The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours
of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite
with travellers around the world.
But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a
soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some
of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.
Much of the real Goa is in its interiors, both inside its buildings
and in the hinterland away from the coastal area.
Legends from Hindu mythology credit Lord Parshuram, an incarnation
of Lord Vishnu with the creation of Goa.
Over the centuries various dynasties have ruled Goa. Rashtrakutas,
Kadambas, Silaharas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims and most famously
the Portuguese have been rulers of Goa.
Goa was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese colonisation
on December 19, 1961 and became an Union Territory along with the
enclaves of Daman and Diu. On May 30, 1987 Goa was conferred statehood
and became the 25th state of the Indian Republic.
Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures
of East and West over the centuries, Goa has a multi-hued and distinctive
lifestyle quite different from the rest of India. Hindu and Catholic
communities make up almost the entire population with minority representation
of Muslims and other religions.
All the communities have mutual respect towards one another and
their secular outlook has given Goa a long and an unbroken tradition
of religious harmony. The warm and tolerant nature of the Goans
allows them to celebrate and enjoy the festivals of various religions
such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Easter and Id with
The state of Maharashtra borders Goa on the north, the state of
Karnataka on the south and east. The vast expanse of the Arabian
Sea on the west forms the magnificent coastline for which Goa is
Terekhol (Tiracol), Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and Talpona are
the main rivers which weave their way throughout the state forming
the inland waterways adding beauty and romance to the land besides
being used to transport Goa's main export commodity of Iron and
Manganese ore to Mormugao Harbour. Along the way to the coast these
waterways form estuaries, creeks and bays breaking the sandy, palm-fringed
coastline behind which lie the fishing villages among the coconut
Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks of the
Mandovi river and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are the other
major towns. Goa is serviced by an international/national airport
located at Dabolim near Vasco. An intra-state and inter-state bus
network also plays an important role in getting locals and visitors
alike in and around Goa.
The vast green expanse of the Sahyadri mountain range ensures that
Goa has an abundance of water. The sea and rivers abound in seafood
- prawns, mackerels, sardines, crabs and lobsters are the most popular
with the locals and the visitors.
Along with English which is widely spoken all over Goa, Konkani
and Marathi are the state languages. The national language Hindi
is also well understood in most areas around the state.
Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the Goans had to
endure during the centuries. The staple food in Goa is fish and
rice, both among the Hindus and the Catholics. Unlike the Christian
food the Hindu Goan food is not strongly influenced by the Portuguese
Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has been a
major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic
The tourist season in Goa begins in late September and carries
on through early March. The weather in these months is usually dry
and pleasantly cool.
Then the weather gets fairly hot around May and by end of June,
Goa receives the full blast of the Indian monsoon with sudden downpours
and tropical thunderstorms. However it is also during the monsoon
that Goa is probably at its most beautiful, with greenery sprouting
Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine,
travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly
nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on
planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax.
Goa - Information on Fairs & Festivals, Wildlife, Excursion,
Adventure, Weather, Travel, Tourism, Tours and Major Cities of Goa