Goa is India‘s smallest state.
It is situated on the southwestern coast of India.
Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 squares kilometers (1,429 square miles).
It has a population of 1.6 million residents as of 2021, making it India’s 4th smallest state by population.
Panaji is the capital of Goa. It lies on the banks of the Mandovi River estuary in the Tiswadi sub-district. With a population of 120,000 in the metropolitan area, Panaji is Goa’s largest urban agglomeration.
Sandy beaches, estuaries, and promontories characterize the 105-kilometer (65-mile) coastline of mainland Goa.
In the interior region, low, forested plateaus merge with the wooded slopes of the Western Ghats, which rise to nearly 1,220 metres (4,000 feet) on the eastern edge of the state.
The two largest rivers are the Mandavi and the Zuvari, between the mouths of which lies the island of Goa (Ilhas). The island is triangular, the apex (called the cape) being a rocky headland separating the harbour of Goa into two anchorages.
The history of Goa dates back to prehistoric times, though the present-day state of Goa was only established as recently as 1987. In spite of being India’s smallest state by area, Goa’s history is both long and diverse. It shares a lot of similarities with Indian history, especially with regard to
colonial influences and a multi-cultural aesthetic.
The Usgalimal rock engravings, belonging to the upper paleolithic or mesolithic periods, exhibit some of the earliest traces of human settlement in India. The Mauryan and Satavahana Empires ruled modern-day Goa during the Iron Age.
During the medieval period, Goa was ruled by the Kadamba kingdom, Vijayanagara Empire, Bahmani Sultanate and Bijapur Sultanate.
The Portuguese invaded Goa in 1510, defeating the Bijapur Sultanate. The Portuguese rule lasted for about 450 years, and heavily influenced Goan culture, cuisine, and architecture.
In 1961, the Indian Army invaded and annexed Goa after a 36 hour battle.
In 1987, Goa was granted statehood.
Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year because of its white-sand beaches, active nightlife, places of worship, and World Heritage-listed architecture.
Nearly every tourist who visits the area spends a day at Palolem Beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of white sand that overlooks the Arabian Sea in south Goa. While simply hanging out and soaking up the scenery is a perfect way to enjoy this beautiful area.
Known as the “Queen of Beaches” in Goa, Calangute Beach caters to all types of travellers, from nature lovers to adventure junkies to party freaks. Acting as a haven for nature lovers, in particular, this beach is the biggest and the most popular one in North Goa, boasting of scintillating charm as well as beauty.
Colva Beach is another one of the most famous beaches in Goa, especially among Indian tourists.
Dudhsagar Falls is a four-tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa. It is amongst India’s tallest waterfalls with a height of 310 meters (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 metres (100 feet).
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Goa, and is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica is located in Old Goa, former capital of Portuguese India, and holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. ‘Bom Jesus’ (literally, ‘Good (or Holy) Jesus’) is the name used for the Ecce Homo in the countries of Portuguese colonization. The Jesuit church is India’s first minor basilica, and is considered to be one of the best examples of baroque architecture and Portuguese Colonial architecture in India. It is one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World.
The Sé Catedral de Santa Catarina, known as Se Cathedral is also part of the World Heritage Site, Churches and convents of Goa located in Old Goa. The word Sé is Portuguese for See. The Se Cathedral was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over a Muslim army, leading to the capture of the city of Goa in 1510. Since the day of the victory happened to be on the feast of Saint Catherine, the cathedral was dedicated to her.
The Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church is located in Panjim. The Church conducts Mass every day in English, Konkani, and Portuguese. The colonial Portuguese Baroque style church was first built in 1541 as a chapel on a hill side overlooking the city of Panjim. It was eventually replaced by a larger church in the 1600s as part of Portuguese Goa’s religious expansion. This church houses the ancient bell that was removed from the Augustinian ruins of the Church of Our Lady of Grace in the once famed city of Old Goa. This bell is considered to be the second largest of its kind in Goa, surpassed only by the Golden Bell which resides in the Sé Cathedral in Old Goa.
Fort Aguada is a well-preserved 17th century Portuguese fort, along with a lighthouse, standing in Goa, on Sinquerim Beach, overlooking the Arabian Sea. It is an ASI protected Monument of National Importance in Goa. The fort was constructed in 1612 to guard against the Dutch and the Marathas. It was a reference point for the vessels coming from Europe at that time. This old Portuguese fort stands on the beach south of Candolim, at the shore of the Mandovi River. It was initially tasked with defense of shipping and the nearby Bardez sub-district.
Goa is home to a ton of markets, but none offer the liveliness or selection of products found at Anjuna Market. For roughly 50 years, hundreds of vendors have been setting up shop on Anjuna Beach every Wednesday to tempt free-spirited travelers with hippy-inspired trinkets and souvenirs.
South India has been known for its abundance of spices, like black pepper, cardamom, and cloves, for centuries. In fact, these natural flavorings were a major appeal for Portuguese traders who came to Goa hundreds of years ago.
Goa trance is an electronic music style that originated during the late 1980s in Goa. Goa trance often has drone-like basslines, similar to the techno minimalism of 21st century psychedelic trance (psytrance). Psychedelic trance developed from Goa trance.
The music has its roots in the popularity of Goa in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a hippie capital, and although musical developments were incorporating elements of industrial music, New beat and electronic body music (EBM), with the spiritual culture in India throughout the 1980s, the actual Goa trance style did not appear until the early 1990s.
The first parties were those held at Bamboo Forest at South Anjuna beach., Disco Valley at Vagator beach and Arambol beach (c. 1991–1993) and attempts initially were made to turn them into commercial events, which met with much resistance and the need to pay the local Goan police baksheesh. Events were generally staged around a bar, even though these were often only a temporary fixture in the forest or beach. The parties taking place around the new year tend to be the most chaotic with busloads of people coming in from all places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai. Travelers and sadhus from all over India passed by to join in.