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Goa is the smallest state of the republic of India. It lies on the country’s west coast, about 400 kilometers to the south of Mumbai. Long, sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms make it a tropical paradise for visitors. The three main cities developed in Goa are- the Old Goa, Panaji and Margoa. Today, Old Goa is half into the jungles. Panaji is the capital city of Goa and contains the main administrative buildings of the government. Margoa is the second largest city and the biggest commercial centre. Mormugao, Goa’s major port has a fine harbor- one of the west coast of India and it focuses on the economic activities of Goa.
History of Goa
It was 200 BC during the time of the Mauryan Empire when Goa was a part of it and after the Mauryan period a succession of smaller kingdoms ruled over it. Then the city was actually constructed in the 15th century by Bijapur Sultanate. The modern history and culture of Goa is dominated by the Portuguese who had trading interests and political ambitions in India and slowly took over in Goa. Many tourist attractions are the colonial buildings from the times of 1500’s, built when Goa was the headquarters of the Portugal’s Asian Empire. However, India regained control of Goa from Portuguese in 1961.
Tourist Attractions in Goa
Goa is a major tourist attraction and attracts the most number of tourists coming to India. The culture of Goa has always been different from the other parts of the country, this state do not have as much cultural restriction as the other states of the country and this is what is most admirable thing about the state among the tourists.
St. Xavier’s Church
The World Heritage Site of Basilica of Bom Jesus also called the Borea Jezuchi Bajilika which holds the remains of the famous Christian St. Francis Xavier. The body of the missionary saint is 464 years old and is preserved in a silver casket. The church is a great example of Baroque architecture and is well preserved by the government.
Also known as the Water Fort, the fort is a classic example of the Portuguese style architecture. The Fort Aguada held a lot of significance for the Portuguese. Located on Sinquerim Beach, it was a great defense fort against the armies of Marathas and Dutch. Also it has 2,376,000 gallons of water storage capacity and was used by the ships travelling on this route to replenish waters. From this fort, picturesque views of the Arabian Sea can be captured.
The Goan beaches are the best places in Goa. With more than 50 beaches, Goa has the largest number of beaches in India. The beaches of Goa are extremely beautiful as well with clear waters, white sand and diverse flora around the beaches makes it very attractive place to be. In the North Goa beaches like Arambol, Vagator, Anjuna, Calangute, etc you can try water sport activities like paragliding, parasailing and others. And in the South Beaches of Goa like Palolem you will get some of the best food joints and bars. While most of the beaches are swimmable in Goa, you can have fun with seals and try fishing as well.
Languages Spoken in Goa
The languages used to converse in Goa are English, Konkani, Marathi and Hindi.
Famous Festivals in Goa
The festivals that are celebrated with much charm in Goa are Dusshera, Chovoth (Ganesh Chaturthi), Gudi Padwa and Christmas.
Cuisines of Goa
The staple food of Goa is rice with fish curry. The Goans use rich spices to cook delicious curries and here one can have a variety of vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. Several Pork dishes like Vindaloo, Sorpotel, Xacuti and Chourico are cooked by the Catholics in Goa. Khatkahte, Polle, Sannas, are some dishes with Indian influence in Goa. And last but not the least you will get the whole variety of sea foods in Goa.
Bebinca is a famous layered sweet dish of Goa.
Climate in Goa
Goa has a tropical monsoon climate and receives high rainfall from June to September. The best time to visit in Goa is from October to February.