Welcome to Goa
known as "Rome of the East", "Tourist Paradise" and "Pearl
of the Orient", 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
splendors of its temples, churches and old houses have made
Goa a firm favorite with travelers 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
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 was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese
colonization 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 Goan people allows them to celebrate
and enjoy the festivals of various religions such as Ganesh
Chaturthi, Diwali, Christmas, Easter and Id with equal
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 justly famous.
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
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
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
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 cuisine.
Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has
been a major destination on the itinerary of international
and domestic tourists.
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 all around.
Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and
sunshine, travelers 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.