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Situated in the Konkan region, Goa is the smallest state in India. Synonymous with tourism in India, Goa remains one of the favorite tourist destinations for millions across the globe. Bordered by the Arabian Sea on its west, Goa is blessed in terms of topographical beauty. Goa is divided into two districts North Goa and South Goa. This tiny state is situated on the western coastal region of the Indian Peninsula. Geographically it bears a striking resemblance to its neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. It lies between 15°48'00" north to 14°53'54" north latitudes and 74° 20'13" east to 73° 40'33" east longitudes. The one unique feature about the geography of Goa is that it is a seamless concoction of mountainous, plateau regions and coastal plains.
Panaji literally means land that never floods. It is the capital and most popular city in Goa. Spanning across an area of 36 sq km, Panaji is located on the Mandovi estuary of North Goa. It is the third largest city in Goa which is home to a population of about 114,759 people. A quaint little city that is built perfectly in Latin style, Panaji City in Goa is for all those who enjoy an English charm and feel.
Named after the famous explorer Vasco da Gama, Vasco is the largest city in Goa. Lying on the western edge of the Mormugao peninsula, the Vasco da Gama City dates back to 1543. The distance between South Goa and Panaji is of almost 30 km. It is a major port in the state that serves as an important commercial point for numerous vessels to and from Goa.
Goa is situated on the South Western part of India. It is the smallest state in India spreading over an area of 3,702 sq km. A perfect blend of the colonial and modern charm, Goa simply manages to take your heart away. Reputed for its infrastructure, cuisine, historical monuments and unique culture, Goa has become a one-stop tourist spot for millions of foreign and domestic travelers. Blessed in terms of natural beauty the beaches in Goa cover almost 83 percent of its total coastline. Goa is just not restricted to fun and enjoyment it is also a one-stop pilgrimage center for millions of Christians across the globe.
Goa, by far, is among the most frequented tourist's destinations in India. Considered as one of the best tourist destinations in the country, this beach island witnesses huge influx of travelers from India and abroad alike. In order to facilitate proper lodging, Goa has numerous hotels that range from the luxury to the budget. The hotels in Goa have managed to establish an unmatched reputation for themselves over the years. Most of the hotels are situated close to the major beaches that offer panoramic views of the city. Some of the well known Goa hotels are; Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa Dona Alcina Resort Hotel Park Plaza, The Majestic Hotels Goa, Coconut Grove Hotel Goa etc.
Goa is one of the Indian states that remained under colonial rule for a period of 451 years. The history of Goa dates back to the 3rd century. Goa was first ruled by the Mauryas, then the Satvahanas, Chalukyas and finally the Shilharas and Kadambas. Goa passed into the hands of the Mughals in 1312. in 1510, it was captured by the Portuguese. It was in 1962 that Goa attained freedom from the Portuguese and in 1987 it became an independent state.
Goa has numerous historical monuments and eye catching sights. For the historically inclined, Goa is just ethereal. There are several Churches in Goa which testify the rich historical past of the city. Some of the popular Churches in Goa are; Mary Immaculate Conception, Reis Magos Church, St. Anne Church, Church of St. Augustine, St. Paul Church etc. Goa is also home to numerous forts and museums that offer glimpses of a culturally rich state.
The weather in Goa can be termed as moderate. Since Goa lies in the tropical zone and is also bordered by the Arabian Sea on the West, it experiences hot and humid weather throughout the year. Although the climate is hot and humid, the one good thing about the state is that its temperature is always under control. Neither do the summers get very hot nor do the winters get extremely cold.
Goa is home to some of the finest beaches in the world. One of the major reasons for the popularity of Goa is its sun kissed beaches. The Goa beaches have an abundance of not only clear waters and shimmering sands but flea markets and open shacks that sell mouthwatering Goan cuisine along with a whole lot of music and dance. Since Goa is divided into North and South the beaches are also divided accordingly. The beaches in North Goa are meant for the party lovers whereas the South Goa beaches are more serene and tranquil and act as ideal spots for couples in search of privacy. Some of the most stunning beaches in Goa are Candolim Beach, Baga, Arambol, Vagator, Benaulim Beach and Palolem Beach.
Tourists mostly flock to Goa during the winter months. Another good time to visit Goa would be during the Monsoons. Planning a trip to this state should be avoided in May as this is the hottest month with the mercury shooting up to 35 °C.
Goa is connected by a broad network of roads. Traveling to Goa is extremely easy as it is connected with a number of National and state highways. The roads in Goa are pretty decent which make traveling a lot easier. The best way to travel to Goa is by bus from Mumbai or Pune. The journey is very smooth and offers some of the most enthralling visual sights.
Goa is well connected to the other parts of the country by rail. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai and Pune share a strong railway network with Goa. There are numerous trains that travel to Goa almost daily from these cities. Some of the trains that travel frequently to Goa include; the Mas Vasco Express, Cstm Karwar Express, Cstm Karwar Spl and the Eranakulam Express. Trains from Mumbai generally take about 9 hours to Goa. Goa has two major railway stations situated at Margao and Vasco-da-gama.
The best way to travel to Goa is by flight. Almost all the important cities in India share a good air network with Goa.
Most of the domestic and international flights fly to and from Goa. Some of the popular flights to Goa include; Air India, Spicejet, Jet Airways, Indian Airlines, Indigo, Air Deccan, and GO Air.
Goa State Information
|Date of formation||30 May, 1987|
|Chief Minister||Manohar Parrikar|
|Tourist attractions||Anjuna, Arambol, Basilica of Born Jesus, Se Cathedral|
|Festivals||Carnival, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Shigmotsav, Bonderam Festival|
|Major dance and music forms||Shigmo dance, Manddo, Durpod|
|Arts and crafts||Terracotta or baked clay figurines, utensils etc; crochet tablecloths, curtains, covers, handkerchiefs; cane and bamboo fish traps, mats, baskets.|
|Size||3,702 sq. km|
|Population (Census 2011)||1458545|
|Rivers||Mandovi, Zuari, Tereldiol, Chapora, Sal, Talpona|
|Forests and wildlife sanctuaries||Bondla WS, Modem NP, Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Cotigoa WS, Bhagwan Mahavir WS|
|State bird||Flame-throated bulbul|
|Major crops||Paddy, ragi, maize, cashew|
|Factoids||Goa, Daman and Diu were liberated in 1961 and officially became a part of India in 1962.|
|No. of District||2|