is India's smallest state by area and the 4th smallest by population. Located in
forms its western coast. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole. Located in West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole.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.
IIn 1469, however, Goa was reconquered, this time by the Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarga. When this dynasty broke up the area passed to the Adil Shahis of Bijapur who made Goa Velha their second capital. The present Secretariat building in Panjim is the former palace of Adil Shah, later taken over by the Portuguese Viceroys as their official residence. Goa
The Portuguese arrived in Goa in 1510 under the command of Afonso de Albuquerque after having been unable to secure a base on the Malabar coast further south due to opposition from the Zamorin of Calicut and stiff competition from the Turks who, at that time, controlled the trade routes across the Indian Ocean.
Blessed as it was by natural harbours and wide rivers, Goa was the ideal base for the seafaring Portuguese bent on their quest for control of the spice route from the east and the spread of Christianity. For a while, their control was limited to a small area around Old Goa but by the middle of the 16th century they had expanded to include the provinces of Bardez and Salcete.
Goa reached its present size in the 18th century as a result of further
annexations, first in 1763 when the provinces of Ponda, Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona were added and later in 1788 when Pednem, Bicholim and Satan were added. The Marathas nearly vanquished the Portuguese in the late 18th century and there was a brief occupation by the British during the time of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. It was not until 1961, when India ejected the Portuguese in a near bloodless operation, that the Portuguese finally disappeared from the sub-continent.
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. 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 cuisine. Since the arrival of the Hippies in the sixties, Goa has been a major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic tourists.Goa
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.
Places to see in Goa
Panaji, the capital city of Goa is the charming little travel hub for the tourists coming to Goa. Though, it does not possess several world renowned monuments, its bears an ambience which has a captivating charm.
Vasco da Gama, 29-km by road southwest of Panjim, sits on the narrow western tip of the Marmagoa (also known as Mormugao) peninsula, overlooking the mouth of the Zuari River. Acquired by the Portuguese in 1543,
the capital of the Salcete province, houses many commercial establishments. Margao is Goa's second largest city and commercial metropolis of Salcete taluka in South Goa. It still retains the atmosphere of Goa's Portuguese colonial past,