The history of Goa can traced back to the 3rd
centuary B.C. when it was part of Emperor Ashoka's Mauryan Empire, it
was ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha in the 3rd
century. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD Goa was
ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. In 1312 Goa came under the governance of
the Delhi Sultanate.
In 1510, the ruling Bijapur king was defeated by the Portuguese and a
permanent settlement was setup by themin Velha Goa.
Even after India gained its independence in 1947, Goa was a Portuguese
overseas territory till 1961. Goa was under the control of Portuguese
for about 450 years.
After India’s independence from British in 1947 India requested that
Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be surrendered to
India. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army began military operations
with Operation Vijay resulting in the capture of Daman, Diu and Goa
into the Indian union. Goa along with Daman and Diu was organized as a
centrally administered union territory of India. Goa was made India's
twenty-fifth state on 30 May 1987 the union territory was split.
Geography of Goa
Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km2. The 131 kms long coastline of
Goa is set on the Konkan coast on the Western Ghats along the Arabian
Sea which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. This place is enclosed
by the wooded foothills of the Sahyadri range on the one side and by
the Arabian Sea on the other side. The mountain ranges in Goa houses a
wealth of natural beauty and a totally different way of life.
Jackfruit, mango, cashew nut and pineapple trees can be seen in
plenty. Goa's main rivers are Terekhol, Sal, Mandovi, Zuari and
Chapora kushavati river.
climate of Goa is tropical and the temperature remains from about 21
to 32 degree Celsius. In Goa Monsoon usually begins from June and
continues till September. Goa has a very amazing view during Monsoons.
The monsoon clouds sweeping in from the sea make a sight of total
grandeur. Goa can be visited at any time of the year.
hill slopes and the countryside turns amazingly lush and green. The
rivers swollen with rainwater, flow with a renewed gusto which shows
the mood prevailing at the time and peace reigns unchallenged in this
peaceful land. Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and
February. Best time to visit Goa is from November to February and
during the monsoons.
Cuisine of Goa
is also a gourmet's paradise. Food in Goa is not only a source of
nutrition but also an art. The people of Goa are very special about
enjoying their food. It has to taste good, look good and also smell
good. The coastline of Goa has a large variety of seafood like
oysters, prawns, mussel’s pomfret, crabs, fishes, lobsters and squid.
Each of these varieties are filled with the unique flavours of Goan
cooking which comprises spices, chillies and a variety of curries.
These flavours lend themselves to the alien meat and chicken dishes of
the land. Some of the non- vegetarian dishes of Goa are Sorpotel,
Vindaloo, Chicken Cafrial and Xacuti. There is also a taverna or bar
in Goa. Goa has well furnished, modern bar with colourful names and
shining fittings. The traditional taverna is small and friendly and it
also retained a rural charm. Goan wines are very good and cheap. Feni
is typical and unique Goan brew. It is made from cashews or palm
Beaches in Goa
coastline of Goa is studded with some of the most scenic beaches or
little coves or bays of the world which are completely different and
have a unique attraction. Due to this, Goa is also known as the
India’s Mediterranean. Some of the best beaches of Goa are bordered by
tall laterite cliffs in the north of Panaji in Goa. These beaches are
Chapora, Calangute, Sinquerim, Vagator, Miramar, Baga, and Anjuna
beach. Some of the famous beaches of Goa are Calangute and Baga beach.
These beaches spreads over an area of more than 8 kms. One of the
beach of Goa which is not famous is Candolim beach. Some of the
southern beaches with their areas of luminous white sand and calm sea
comprise Majorda, Bogmalo, Mobor, Colva, Benaulim, Utorda and
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa
Three wildlife sanctuaries are there in Goa which preserves the
habitats and thick forests along the slopes of the Western Ghats,
Wildlife Sanctuaries of Goa include the following the Bondla
Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cotigao Wildlife
wet deciduous forests of these wildlife sanctuaries are the home of
animals like the pangolin, leopard, chital, sloth bear, sambar, bison
etc and have rich bird life. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary has mangrove
forests and a large variety of water birds, it is located on the
Chorao island along with the Mandovi river, close to Panaji.
Adventure Sports in Goa
offers different type of water sports activities which are very
exciting and are blessed with backwaters, rivers and a long coastline.
The water sports changes from the passive to the highly active.
Various water sports are parasailing, sailing, water scooter ride and
Wind surfing is also famous in Goa by the name of body breaking. In
this sport you are alone on a board with a single sail in full control
of your craft flying in front of a brisk land breeze. The experienced
trainers are also there who will take you through the origins you need
to learn in this stimulating sport. The parasailing involves skimming
along behind a motorboat as a cover expands behind you and lifts you
off the surface of the sea. Diving, Swimming, Sunbathing, Snorkeling
and Scuba diving are some of the sports which can also be enjoyed on
the beaches in Goa.
Cultural Activities in Goa
Various cultural festivals takes place in the wonderfully designed
Kala Academy of the Goa throughout the year, Kala Academy is located
on the banks of the Mandovi river in Panaji in Goa. The Drama Festival
and the Teatro Festival that celebrates Goa’s folk drama custom is
also celebrated in the Kala Academy. A Beat, Pop and Jazz Music
festival also take place in Goa in the month of May. Sangeet Samaroh
and Bhajan, Kirtan festivals are also celebrated in Goa which draws
attention of a large number of performers from all over the country.
Festivals of Goa
Goa, various Hindu, Christian festivals and temple festivals are
celebrated with enthusisasm. Some of the festivals which takes place
in Goa are New Year, Reis Magos, Diwali, Dussehra, Goa carnival,
Christmas, Feast of our Lady, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, Harvest
Festival etc. Most prominent festival of Goa is the feast day of the
St. Xavier, all people participate in this festival. The three-day
Austere festival of Lent is also celebrated in Goa very brightly.
Hindu festivals are reason of colourful celebrations and processions.
From years a carnival rivaling the Rio celebrations has been an annual
feature of Goa.
Music and Dances in Goa
Music, folklore and dance are extremely rooted in the heart of Goans
and the rhythm runs in the blood of the people of Goa.
1) Goan folklore - Goan folklore includes folk songs, music,
dances and folk tales and visual arts, rich in content and variety.
Some of the young Goans in a twilit evening sing a Mando (traditional
love song) on the guitar.
2) Folk music - Folk music has modern and devotional
implications and it exhibits a lively beat. In the night the sounds of
music can be heard well into the tiny hours as viewers and performers
linger on under starlit skies with the sound of waves filling in the
3) Folk dances - Folk dances reveals the musical liveliness.
Dancing and festivities are an important part of Goan weddings which
combine Catholic and Indian customs. Some of the beaches also provide
the setting for various shows by local artists.
Main Attractions in Goa
Lake is located between the folds of a ring of hills, the wonderful
fortifications of the Church town of Old Goa and the Tirakol fort
which was the seat of Portugese rule in Goa previously.
Our Lady of Immaculate conception Church
church controls the City Square and its steps zig zag up to the hill.
Goa’s Latin Quarter
The old Latin quarter of Fountain has an old world attraction. Its
little lanes and stairways going up the hill are lined with the houses
with wrought iron balconies. The little Chapel of San Sebastian merges
into these surroundings.
present Government Secretariat is situated along the river. Previously
it was a Governor’s dwelling, it was constructed at the site of the
palace of Adil Shah who was the ruler of Bijapur.
Kala Academy is a modern complex in Panaji, it is designed very
wonderfully, it is an important centre of all the cultural activities
Panaji, the capital of Goa is located along the Mandovi river. The
white washed and red tile roofed buildings growing up the hills
provide it a Mediterranean look. Panaji is famous for its superior
Miramar beach is situated near Panaji.
Mapusa is a town situated in North Goa, it is located about 12 km
north of the capital Panaji, Mapusa comes alive each Friday when a
local market takes place.
Maragao is a main commercial centre. It also has some old houses and
churches. Mormugao Port and the towns of Vasco da Gama are situated
Temples in Goa
Goa also has temples in addition to Churches.
Portuguese control can also be seen in the structure and form of these
shrines. When Portuguese persecution was at its peak and
temples were being destroyed in the 16th century, deities from ancient
temples were smuggled out across the border into the nearby areas of
These temples were changed into beautiful temples and built in a style
unique to Goa in the 18th century. The temples are constructed in a
style that incorporates Christian, Islamic and Hindu architectural
elements. These temples have elaborated deepa stambhas, domes which
are circleted by saracenic arches, temple tanks, kalasas and
of the famous temples of Goa are Shri Mahalsa Temple, Shri Ramnathi
Temple, Shri Mangesh Temple, Shanta Durga Temple, and Shri Nagesh
temple. Shanta Durga Temple is devoted to Durga, the Supreme Goddess
Mangesh Temple is situated in the Ponda district and devoted to Lord
Shiva, it is a 15th century shrine. Shri Mahalsa Temple is devoted to
Vishnu, it is situated in Mardol. Mahadeva Temple is the only
surviving example of structural design of Kadamba temple, it is
situated at Tamdi Surla. This temple is made up of black basalt stone
and is adorned with carved and huge pillars, niches and gracefully
Goa is easily reachable by rail from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore,
Ahmedabad, Delhi, Rajkot, Mangalore, Ernakulam, Thiruvanantapuram,
Pune and Chennai.
Goa is well connected by road. Drive from Mumbai to Goa is easy.
The National Highways 4A, 17 and 17A runs through Goa.
Goa is linked by air. Indian Airlines and other private airlines
operate flights to Goa from Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, Delhi and
Bangalore. Indian Airlines also connects Goa with Sharjah and Kuwait.
Damania Shipping Corporation operates non-stop catamaran service
between Goa and Mumbai from October to May.