Goa

Capital - Panaji  ~>>  Area - 3,702 sq km  ~>>  Language – Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, English and Portuguese

goa city guideMostly visited for – Panaji (capital of Goa), Old Goa (Imposing Churches and cathedrals including the Basilica of Bom Jesus), Vasco – Da – Gama (a city with Portuguese ambience), Mapusa (commercial market town of Goa), Fort Aguada (17th century Portuguese Fort), Margao (cultural influence center of Portuguese), Ponda (Spice Farm) and a string of beaches from the north to the south (Agonda, Anjuna, Arambol, Baga, Benaulim, Bogmalo, Calangute, Candolim, Cavelossim, Colva, Dona Paula for water sports, Majorda, Miramar, Palolem, Vagator, Varca)

Weather - Summer: Mid March to May, Monsoon: June to October, Winter: November to February.  Climate of Goa is subtropical in nature, owing to its presence near Arabian Sea making the climate hot and humid most of the year.

Connectivity
By Air – International airport of Goa is located at Dabolim, 29 km away from the capital, Panaji.
By Rail- Reaching Goa by train is easy from Mumbai (765 km), Bangalore (560 km), and Delhi (2217 km). Goa’s two main stations are at Margao and Vasco Da Gama.
By Road – Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka State Transport Corporations operate from Panaji’s Kadamba bus stand. One can find buses as well as rent-a-car services in Goa.
By Sea - Several ferry services within Goa are available

History, Geography and Culture of Goa
Vacations are in the air throughout the year in Goa. This prominent beach paradise is known for its impeccable location where Sun, Sand and Sea combine to present a truly laid back holiday. Its history is as exciting and mystical as the destination itself. Though the state is small, still its share of history is contrastingly large, exciting and enticing. Belonging to the 3rd century era under the periphery of Mauryan Empire, Goa witnessed an interesting blend of influences in its journey of time. These include Karvars, Satyavahanas, Bhojas, Konkan Mauryas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, etc in its ancient past. Towards the medieval age, Goa came in the hands of the Delhi Sultanate. Further, the kingdom came into the hands of Vijaynagaras, Bahamani Sultans, Adil Shahis of Bijapur who established as their auxiliary capital in Goa. The most famous link to Goa’s history came in the form of Portuguese, who established a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). In 1843, the Portuguese moved the capital from Velha Goa to Panjim, which was further extended to the present day Goa by 1850.

Simultaneously the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until they stabilized their largest territory in the form of Estado da Índia Portuguesa. After India gained independence and liberation from the British Empire in 1947, the Portuguese refused to negotiate with India on their transfer of power from Goa. In the year 1961, Indian Army began Operation Vijay to bring Goa, Daman and Diu back to the Indian Union. This was made a centrally administered union territory with Daman and Diu. On 30 May 1987, the Union Territory was split, and Goa was made India's twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining a Union Territory.

Geographically lined alongside Arabian Sea, this coastal state is a part of the Konkan region, an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats of mountains, separating it from the Deccan Plateau. The region is known for beaches of renown, spread over 101 km and spice forests. Maharashtra borders Goa on the north, Karnataka on the south and east. The highest point of Goa is Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 meters (3,827 feet). Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora and Sal are the main rivers of Goa. The Mormugao harbour of the River Zuari is famous as one of the best natural harbours in South Asia. Also, the geography of the state is defined by the presence of 40 estuarine, eight marine and around ninety riverine islands. Alongside the rivers and inland regions, the soil is alluvial and rich in minerals, contributing to the lush plantations of the state. The red laterite soil of Goa is rich in ferric aluminum oxides. The state’s economy is based upon farming, fishing, tourism and iron ore mining.

goa tour informationsCulturally, Goa is a defined by the Portuguese Sosegado, meaning ‘laid back’, encapsulating the essence of this jovial state. The state has retained its relaxed feel that has traditionally set it apart from the rest of India. Goa is incomplete without music and football, which is deeply entrenched in its cultural fabric. The state is also known for its history of communal harmony, which can be experienced with the colourful amalgam of festivals celebrated from all walks of life. The sun, sea and sand combine together to present an idyllic location for the vacations.

Religion – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jain, etc

Festivals
Feast of Three Kings (6 Jan; Chandor)
Pop, Beat & Jazz Music Festival (Feb; Panaji,)
Shigmotsav (Shigmo) of Holi (Feb/Mar; statewide)
Sabado Gordo (Fat Saturday; Feb/Mar; Panaji) Part of the statewide Carnival, this festival is held on the Saturday before Lent. It’s celebrated by a procession of floats and raucous street partying.
Carnival (Mar; statewide)
Procession of All Saints (Mar/Apr; Old Goa)
Feast of Our Lady of Miracles (Apr; Mapusa)
Beach Bonanza (May; Calangute, Colva & Miramar)
Igitun Chalne (May; Bicholim)
Feast of St Anthony (13 Jun; statewide)
Feast of St John (24 Jun; statewide)
Feast of St Peter & St Paul (29 Jun; statewide)
Feast of St Lawrence (Aug; statewide)
Fama de Menino Jesus (2nd Mon in Oct; Colva)
Goa Heritage Festival (Nov; Panaji)
Tiatr Festival (Nov; Panaji)
International Film Festival of India (IFFI)
Konkani Drama Festival (Nov/Dec; Panaji)
Feast of St Francis Xavier (3 Dec; Old Goa)
Feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (8 Dec; Margao & Panaji)
Christmas and New Year Celebrations
Liberation Day (19 December) (celebrating the freedom of Goa from Portuguese rule)

Eat – Goa presents a platter of dishes churned out of its fishes, prawns and crabs. During a Goa tour, tourists must try Goan Pork Vindaloo, Assado de Leitoa (Roast Piling), Galinha con Coentro (Chicken with coriander), Galinha Cafreal (Chicken marinated and fried), Goan Sambharachdi Kodi (Prawn curry), Goan Fish Curry (Hot and Sour), Bebinca (a layered 40 egg Pastry with ghee and coconut milk), Balchao (Prawn Preserve), Sorpotel, Goan Egg Curry, Danger (Fish Cutlets). Don’t give a miss to Feni, an indigenous spirit, symbolizing the languid essence of the state.

Buy – The land of crafts and craftsmen, Goa offers numerous souvenirs that can be purchased during its tour. Pottery And Terracotta, Brass Metal Work, Laquerware / Wood carving, Crochet and Embroidery, Bamboo Craft, Fibre Craft are the few of the cherished souvenirs from the heart of the state.
Hotels – There are a number of hotels and beachside resorts that strengthen the hospitality circuit of Goa. Other than that, there are rented serviced apartments that offer tourists the luxury of living life at their own pace in Goa.


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