Goa is a state located in the South western region of India; 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. It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Goa is one of India's richest states with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.
Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot.
|FOUNDED :||Formation 30 May 1987|
|TIME ZONE :||IST (UTC+05:30)|
|LANGUAGE :||Konkani 61%|
|RELIGION :||Hinduism (66.08%)|
Other or not religious (0.2%)
|AREA :||3,702 km2 (1,429 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||15.498605°N 73.829262°E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51.70|
• Female: 48.30
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :|
|WEBSITE :||Official Website|
Goa, a state on India's West coast, is a former Portuguese colony with a rich history. Spread over 3,700 square kilometres with a population of approximately 1.4 million, Goa is small by Indian standards. It has a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures and architecture that attracts an estimated 2.5 million visitors each year (including about 400,000 foreign tourists).
Since the 1960s, Goa has been attracting a steady flow of visitors -- first the hippies and returning expatriate Goans, then the charter tourists (starting with the Germans in 1987), pilgrims visiting Catholic and Hindu shrines, those opting to settle in Goa as their home, people going for medical treatment, and a growing number who attend seminars and conferences in Goa.
reas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. In 2010, there were more than two million tourists reported to have visited Goa, about 1.2 million of whom were from abroad. As of 2013 Goa was the destination of choice for Indian and foreign tourists, particularly Britons and Russians, with limited means who wanted to party. The state was hopeful that changes could be made which would attract a more upscale demographic. Goa also stands 6th in Top 10 Nightlife cities in the world in a National Geographic Book. One of the biggest tourist attractions in Goa is water sports. Beaches like Baga and Calangute offer jetskiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, water scooter rides and more.
Over 450 years of Portuguese rule and the influence of the Portuguese culture presents to visitors to Goa a different environment than what is to be found elsewhere in India. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada and a new wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage in Old Goa are other tourism destinations.
Historic sites and neighbourhoods
Goa has two World Heritage Sites: the Bom Jesus Basilica and churches and convents of Old Goa. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually Saint Joseph Vaz). The relics are taken down for veneration and for public viewing, as per the prerogative of the Church in Goa, not every ten or twelve years as popularly thought and propagated. The last exposition was held in 2014.
Goa also has the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph Vaz in Sancoale. Pilar monastery which holds novenas of Venerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza from 10 November to 20 November yearly. There is also a claimed Marian Apparition at the Church of Saints Simon and Jude at Batim Ganxim, near Pilar, where a number of Goans and non resident Goans visit. There is also the statue of the bleeding Jesus on the Crucifix at the Santa Monica Convent in Velha Goa. There are a number of churches (Igorzo), like the Baroque styled Nixkollounk Gorb-Sombhov Saibinnich Igorz (Church of the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception) in Panjim, the Gothic styled Mater Dei (Dêv Matechi Igorz/ Mother of God) church in Saligao and each church having its own style and heritage, besides Kopelam/ Irmidi (Chapels). The Velhas Conquistas regions are also known for its Goa-Portuguese style architecture. There are many forts in Goa such asTiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Reis Magos, Nanus, Mormugao, Fort Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama.
In many parts of Goa, mansions constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still stand, though in some villages, most of them are in a dilapidated condition.Fontainhas in Panaji has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing the life, architecture and culture of Goa. Some influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa's temples, notably the Shanta Durga Temple, the Mangueshi Temple and the Mahalasa Temple, although after 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.
Museums and science centre
Goa also has a few museums, the two important ones being Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum. The aviation museum is one among three of its kind in the India, the other two being in Delhi and Bengaluru. Also, a place not well known to tourists is the Goa Science Centre, which is located in Miramar, Panjim. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is also located in Goa at Dona Paula
Goa's history goes back 20,000–30,000 years. The rock art engravings exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. Upper Paleolithic or Mesolithic rock art engravings have been found on the bank of the riverKushavati at Usgalimal. Petroglyphs, cones, stone-axe, and choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in many places in Goa, such as Kazur, Mauxim, and the Mandovi-Zuari basin. Evidence of Palaeolithic life is seen at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon etc. Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem for determining the exact time period.
Early Goan society underwent radical change when Indo-Aryan and Dravidian migrants amalgamated with the aboriginal locals, forming the base of early Goan culture.
In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor,Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. Chutus of Karwar also ruled some parts as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 AD), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadav clans of Gujarat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris. The rule later passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 and 753, and later the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by theKadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.
In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. The kingdom's grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of theVijayanagara empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469, when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa (or Old Goa).
In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yousuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally,Timayya. They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa. This was the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until 1961.
In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panjim from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century, Portuguese Goa had expanded to most of the present-day state limits. Simultaneously the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Estado da Índia Portuguesa or State of Portuguese India, of which Goa was the largest territory.
After India gained independence from the British in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army began military operations with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa,Daman, and Diu into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was organised as a centrally administered union territory of India. 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.
Goa features a tropical monsoon climate . Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September.
Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by nights of around 21 °C (70 °F) and days of around 28 °C (82 °F) with moderate amounts of humidity. Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler.
Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km2(1,429 sq mi). It lies between the latitudes 14°53′54″ N and 15°40′00″ N and longitudes 73°40′33″ E and 74°20′13″ E. Most of Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 metres (3,829 ft). Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 mi).
Goa's main rivers are Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora kushavati river and the Sal. The Mormugao harbour on the mouth of the River Zuari is one of the best natural harbours in South Asia. The Zuari and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa, with their tributaries draining 69% of its geographic area. These rivers are some of the busiest rivers in India. Goa has more than forty estuarine, eight marine and about ninety riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa's rivers is 253 km (157 mi). Goa has more than three hundred ancient water-tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty and over a hundred medicinal springs.
Most of Goa's soil cover is made up of laterites rich in ferric-aluminium oxides and reddish in colour. Further inland and along the riverbanks, the soil is mostly alluvial andloamy. The soil is rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive to agriculture. Some of the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa's border with Karnataka. The rocks are classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be 3,600 million years old, dated by rubidium isotope dating. A specimen of the rock is exhibited in the Goa University.
Goa's state domestic product for 2007 is estimated at $3 billion at current prices. Goa is one of India's richest states with the highest GDP per capita — two and a half times that of the country — with one of its fastest growth rates: 8.23% (yearly average 1990–2000). Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it gets 12% of foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In winter, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come, and summer (which, in Goa, is the rainy season) sees tourists from across India.
The land away from the coast is rich in minerals and ores, and mining forms the second largest industry. Iron, bauxite, manganese, clays, limestone and silica are mined. The Marmagao port handled 31.69 million tonnes of cargo last year, which was 39% of India's total iron ore exports. Sesa Goa (now owned by Vedanta Resources) and Dempo are the lead miners. Rampant mining has been depleting the forest cover as well as posing a health hazard to the local population. Corporations are also mining illegally in some areas.
Agriculture, while of shrinking importance to the economy over the past four decades, offers part-time employment to a sizeable portion of the populace. Rice is the main agricultural crop, followed by areca, cashew and coconut. Fishing employs about 40,000 people, though recent official figures indicate a decline of the importance of this sector and also a fall in catch, due perhaps, to traditional fishing giving way to large-scale mechanised trawling.
Medium scale industries include the manufacturing of pesticides, fertilisers, tyres, tubes, footwear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, wheat products, steel rolling, fruits and fish canning, cashew nuts, textiles, brewery products.
Currently there are 16 planned SEZs in Goa. The Goa government has recently decided to not allow any more special economic zones (SEZs) in Goa after strong opposition to them by political parties and the Goa Catholic Church.
Goa is also notable for its low beer, wine and spirits prices due to its very low excise duty on alcohol. Another source of cash inflow into the state is remittance from many of its citizens who work abroad to their families.
North Goa (Bardez,Bicholim, Pernem,Ponda, Sattari,Tiswadi,Dharbandoda)
The northern talukas.
South Goa (Canacona,Mormugao,Quepem, Salcete,Sanguem)
The southern talukas.
By Indian standards, Goa is a very small state with only two districts - North and South Goa. These districts are together further divided into 12 talukas. These divisions, however, don't make much sense for a traveller. North and South Goa are similar, and each has its own "coastal" and "interior" areas. The major division in Goa is actually between the central coastal areas where the beaches are located and the hinterland. The coastal areas were under colonial rule for longer, reflecting more of Portugal's influence, including having a relatively larger Christian population. The interior is more Hindu, and has more protected forest areas, mining zones and villages.
Contrary to popular perception, Goa is not an island, though parts of what was considered "Goa" in the past were cut off from the mainland by the many rivers this region is known for.
- Panaji — also called Panjim, and known as Nova Goa during Portuguese rule – the state capital.
- Mapusa — the town is located in North Goa and around 13 km from Panji. Mapusa is one of the important market centres in Goa
- Margao — second largest city, commercial and cultural capital of Goa
- Old Goa — it is home of sixteenth century churches, convents and monuments
- Vasco da Gama — a populous town located in the south Goa district of Marmagoa Taluka
Goa also has a number of other smaller, charming and sometimes crowded towns such as those along the beach belt (Calangute, Candolim), and in the interior (Chaudi in Canacona, Sanvordem-Quepem, Bicholim, Pernem town, etc.). Some of these are gateways to the nearby touristic areas. In addition, Goa has some nearly 350 villages, often scenic, with each having its own character.
Country code here is +91 (India), Goa is 832, or 0832 if the country code is not prefixed.
At the time of writing, Goa's telephone directory hasn't been published for at least four years. In a state with among the highest teledensities (phones per hundred users) across India, this is a serious handicap. Old telephone directories have segregated phone subscribers on the basis of the many small phone exchanges in the State. (Previously, it needed a trunk-call to call from one exchange to the other, but at least this is not the case now.) So it can be very confusing to locate a particular phone number. However if you do have a phone number for the BSNL Co., then getting the address is easy by dialing 197.
Add to this the reality that the telephone network in Goa is frequently growing, and that telephone numbers have grown from four-digits to the current seven in not too many years, finding the right number you need can be tough.
Goa's main telecom ISP BSNL has an online telephone directory which is somewhat useful.
The Government of Goa's Department of Information and Publicity (located at Udyog Bhavan, near Azad Maidan and the Goa Police Headquarters in the heart of Panjim) comes out fairly regularly with an under-priced -- but not easily available -- pocketbook of phone numbers. This focuses largely on politicians, government officials and media persons. Some useful fax numbers, email addresses and websites mentioned here. But don't expect officials to reply to your e-mail!
Yellow pages are also available. To inquire about local businesses contact Hello 2412121 (0832-2412121), The Talking Yellowpages Of Goa and Online Enquiry Hello Yellowpages Goa. Both these services from Hello Group Goa offer information on a range of businesses in Goa.
Mobile services have grown fast in Goa.
It is fairly easy to get a Prepaid mobile SIM card. It will cost around ₹100, just take a copy of your passport (visa page, entry stamp and photo page) and two passport photos to a phone shop and away you go. It is worth thinking about cost and coverage if you are travelling around India as once you leave Goa and travel to another state you then pay roaming charges for all calls. It is still cheap though. A single text to the UK from Goa costs ₹10 and calls cost about ₹12 a minute.
Internet cafes can be found in Goa's urban areas, tourist spots and hotels. It is not difficult to find an internet centre in a state known for its large expat and tourist population. ID has to be presented and foreigners will need to present their passport before being allowed to use the internet.
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