Goa, popularly known as 'the pearl of the east', is famous for its churches, age-old ruins, palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, ferry rides, and bubbly folk music.
With its 131-km-long coastline, Goa is an important destination in every tourist's itinerary.
Sun, sand and sea being the major attractions, Goa is a perfect heaven for the ones who need and want relaxation.Goa is one of India's special places, a State seemingly blessed with fabulous weather, even more fabulous beaches, delightful people, good food, hill-top forts, little white-washed churches, soaring Portuguese-era cathedrals, a unique cultural legacy-small wonder, therefore, that Goa is one of India's prime holiday destinations.
Goa is packed with jaded yuppies hoping to switch off and unwind for a few days, and sun-starved Europeans, soaking up all that glorious sun and food.The beaches in Goa, like the others along the Konkan coast, are long, and straight, and fringed with palm trees, but unlike much of the neighboring coastline, Goa has an impressive infrastructure of hotels and beach resorts, restaurants and bars, which cater to all price ranges, from top-notch 5-star luxury, to hippy flop-shops.Goa was a part of the Mauryan Empire, around third century BC. The Satvahanas of Kolhapur, and the Chalukyas of Badami, took over the governance later. Other dynasties followed, including a short-lived Muslim invasion, until the Vijayanagar Empire established itself for almost a century. This era ended with the arrival of the Sultans of Gulbarga, from whom the rule passed on to Adil Shah of Bijapur. Soon, the Dutch, English, French and Portuguese, all began struggling for its possession. Ultimately, in 1510, the Portuguese conquered Goa, with Alfonso de Albuquerque leading the invasion. Having ruled for around four centuries, in 1961, fourteen years after the country's independence, the Portuguese had to leave Goa.
Tourist influx started in Goa in the 60s and 70s of 20th century with hippies, followed by exploeres and mass tourist traffic. In 1987, Goa was conferred statehood and Daman and Diu was made a separate union territory.
|Area||3,702 sq km|
|Official Languages||Konkani and Marathi|
Goa is bounded on the north by Sindhudurg district of Maharastra state, on the West by the Arabian sea, on the South by Karwar district of Karnataka state and on the East by Belgaum district of Karnataka state.
With The Majority Of The Population Being Hindu, Goa Has Scores Of Festivals Celebrated All Around The Year. The Festivals Are Celebrated Throughout The Year. Most Of The Goan Festivals Are Jatras (feasts) Of The Local Or Family Deity Celebrated At The Temple, Called Devasthan. There Is Gala Affair In The Temple Complex With Thousands Of Devotees Taking Part In The Colorful Celebrations And The Palakhi Or Palanquin Procession. The Long Period Of Portuguese Colonisation, Has Given Unique Goan Character To The Hindu Festivals And Are Celebrated In Distinctive And Stylish Elegance. Most Of The Hindu, Christian And Other Religious Festivals Are Celebrated In The Same Manner As Around India, But With A Goan Flavour. Mainly Celebrated Hindu Festivals, By The Goans Are Ganesh Chathurti, Gudi Padwa, Diwali, Dassra (dussehra), Holi, Rakshabandhan, Ramnavmi And Krishnajanmashtami.
This Is A Grand Five-day Festival Of Colours, Celebrated Distinctively In The Villages, Corresponding With Holi Or Spring Festival. Held For One-week Up To The Full-moon Day In March, Shigmo Is Universally Celebrated In Goa, But Especially At Panaji, Mapusa, Vasco-da-gama And Margao.
Kalas Utsav Is Celebrated On A Major Scale Every Alternate Year At Sri Morjaee Temple In Pernem. People From Maharashtra And Karnataka Also Attend The Seven-day Socio-religious Event Held Here.
The Farmers, Hindu Or Christian Give Their First Offering To The Church Before Harvesting Their Rice Crop. The Offering Takes Place At The Time Of Novidade, In Which The Parish Priest Himself Harvests A Sheaf Of Rice And Returns With It To The Church. Local People Accompany Him With Music, Fire-works And Jubilation. Women Folk Of Goa's Earliest Tribal Settlers Perform A Dance Called Bhandup In The Second Half Of The Month.
The Zatra Of Shri Shantadurga Is Held At Dhargali In Pernem. The Deity Is Taken Out Of The Temple In A Colorful Procession For The Day. The Annual Zatra Of Shri Shantadurga At Kunkoliemkarin At Fatorpa In Quepem Also Falls In This Month. Thousands Flock To Attend The Festival From Distant Lands
The Feast Of Bonderam Is Celebrated On The Fourth Saturday Of August Every Year At Divar Island, 12-km From Panjim. On This Day, The Quaint Land Of Divar, Away From The Hustle And Bustle Of Panjim, Is Agog With Excitement. Melodious Music Drifts From The Village To Mainland Old Goa - Once The Hub Of Portuguese Goa - Even Before The Crack Of Dawn On The Saturday. At Noon People Begin Trickling Into The Village. By The Evening The Trickle Is A Deluge. An Expectant Crowd Assembles Along Either Side Of The Main Through Fare Of The Village. The Tempo Is Set By Lands And Lasses Wielding "fotashes" Engaging Themselves In Mock Battles. The Gaily Colored Floats Accompanied By Colorfully Dressed Youngsters Make A Pretty Picture.
Carnival In Goa Is A Non-stop 3-day Festival Of Color, Song And Music, Creating A Healthy Entertainment For All, Young And Old. The Soothing Climate, Full Of Fun- 'n' -frolic, Which The Carnival Generates, Is Much Longed For. It Does Not Matter Whether One Enjoys Or See Others Enjoying. There Is Enthusiasm And Happiness All Around.
The Rich Cultural Heritage Of Goa Is A Stark Contrast To The Rest Of India. This Is One Quality That Makes The Culture Of Goa Truly Unique. Goa Is A Place Where You Find People Accepting The Presence Of All Major Religions Without Any Ego Or Hesitation. This Is The Place Where People Follow Tradition As Well As Remain Ahead With Time And Trends. The Goan Culture Is Very Easy Going And Relaxed. You Won't Find People Fighting Or Arguing Over Religious Issues Or Dress Codes. Everyone Is Free Follow The Kind Of Lifestyle They Want To, Unlike The Rest Of India Where Tradition And Conservatism Is An Inseparable Part Of One's Life. The People Of Goa Have The Essence Of Music In Their Culture. In Fact Music Is Quite Dominant Among People Living There. Not Just Indian, They Take Pleasure In Western Music And Listen To The Likes Of Trance, Western Classic Music, Techno, Jazz, Blues, Etc. They Have A Varied Taste And Choice When It Comes To Western Music. Most Goans Have Music In Their Veins And Know How To Play A Couple Of Instruments. You Can Find Many Goans Breaking Into A Peppy Song On A Hot Afternoon Without Any Particular Reason. Most Of The Music That They Sing Has The Typical Portugal Tune And Style. Due To The Portuguese Rule In This Place, The Culture Has Invariably Picked Up On The Portugal Cultural Heritage. Due To The Portugal Rule, Many People Converted To Christianity At That Time. Yet, They Did Not Forget Their Indian Roots And Goa Is One Place Where You Will Find People Celebrating Diwali And Easter With Equal Zest And Passion. Known As The Golden Goa To The Portuguese, This Lovely State Is The Perfect Example Of The East Meeting The West. Along With Portuguese Churches, You Find Ancient Hindu Temples Where People Of Different Religions Come To Pray. At The Same Time, You Will Find People Enjoying Themselves In Playful Abandon On The Gorgeous Beaches Of Goa. The Co Existence Of Different Religious, Traditional And Cultural Sentiments Is What Makes Goa A Heady Place To Visit. The Place Has So Much To Offer Apart From Its Rich Cultural Heritage. Large Five Star Hotels Co-exist Harmoniously With Roadside Shacks. Both Have Their Own Charm And Importance And Form A Part Of The Goan Culture. The Portugal Elements Have Very Beautifully Blended With Indian Elements Thus Giving Us A Unique Kaleidoscope Of Its Amazing Culture. You Find People Wearing Western Clothes As Well As Performing Indian Rituals And Worshipping In The Traditional Way. There Are Fewer Constraints On Women And They Can Be Seen As Confident Individuals Who Live Life Their Way. This Harmonious Blend Of Portuguese And Indian Cultural Elements Has Made Goa Unique In Its Own Way. Visit This Lovely Place To Experience This Feeling On Your Own.
Visitors To Goa Tend To Think That Food And Drink In Goa Means The Famous Fish, Curry, Rice And Feni Package. And For Most Goans These Are Indeed The Three Basic Necessities Of Life - Fish, Curry And Rice.
They Combine To Make A Heavenly Daily Meal For The Average Goan. But Goan Cuisine, Like The Land Itself, Has Many Flavours And Tastes With Its Vast Treasure Trove Of Culinary Delicacies.
The Long Period Of Portuguese Rule, Besides That Of The Muslim And Hindu Kingdoms, Has Left An Indelible Influence On The Original Style Of Goan Cooking And This Has Led To An Exotic Mix Of Truly Tasty And Spicy Cuisine. Most People Who Sample Goan Cuisine, Enjoy This Different And Unique Style Of Food Which Has A Distinct And Unique Combination Of Spicy Flavours.
A Goan Values His Food As Much As He Does His Daily Siesta (break). And In His Daily Meal, Seafood Always Has A Pride Of Place Is Some Form Or The Other. From Fried Fish To Exotic Concoctions Like Ambot-tik, Sea Food Is Usually A Must On The Menu, Except For The Occasional Break For Some Religious Observance.
Goans Take Pleasure Not Only In What They Eat, But Also How They Cook It. Although Modern Conveniences Have Almost Completely Taken Over In Urban Areas, The Traditional Way Of Cooking In Clay Pots On Firewood Continues In Most Rural Areas Of Goa. This Style Of Cooking Adds An Additional Smoky Flavour To The Food, Highly Valued By Goans.
Despite The Two Schools Of Cuisine Traditions Influenced By The Respective Religions Of Hinduism And Christianity; There Are Some Meeting Points That Present An Interesting Harmony. This Blend Of Various Cooking Styles And Influences Is What Makes Goan Food So Unique Among The Cuisines Of India.
With A Wide Variety Ranging From Prawns To Sausages, Chicken To Beef, And Numerous Vegetarian Dishes, Goan Cuisine Is Able To Satisfy Even The Most Finicky Gourmet Appetites. Goa Has Some Magnificent Culinary Delicacies Like The Prawn Balchao And Sorpotel Which Have Become Famous Around The World.
While Hindu Goan Food Does Not Seem To Have Picked Up Any Major Portuguese Influence, The Christian Food Has Been Influenced Not Only By The Portuguese, But Also By Its Overseas Colonies. Traditional Goan Cooking Calls For Plenty Of Muscle And Time. Grinding Is Always Part Of The Recipe And The Nicer The Dish The Longer It Takes To Make.
Goan Food Is Simple But Most, Though Not All, Of It Is Chili Hot, Spicy, And Pungent. Items Made From Rice, Fish, And Coconut Abound In Nearly Every Goan Meal.
Seafood Such As Prawns, Lobsters, Crabs, Pomfrets, Clams, Ladyfish, Mussels, And Oysters Are Used To Make A Variety Of Curries, Fries, Soups And Pickles. Besides Fresh Seafood, Dried And Salted Fish Dishes Are Also Highly Prized By Goans.
The Local Handicrafts Of Goa Truly Make For Colourful Souvenirs. You Can Find Them Wherever You Go, Peeking Out From Shop Windows And Calling Out To You In Noisy Flea Markets. From Intricate Wood Carving To Colourful Wooden Lacquerware, From Sturdy Bamboo Craft To Delicate Papier-mache, From Fabulous Terracotta And Brassware To Art Pieces Made From Exotic Sea Shells, From Intricate Crochet And Embroidery To Rustic Jute Macrame, From Delicate Fibre Craft To Unconventional Coconut Masks, Goa's Art Forms Are As Varied And Colourful As The Land Itself. The Crafts Of The State Are Intricately Beautiful, Capturing The Fancies Of Tourists And Locals Alike. These Crafts Are A Mirror Of Goa's Perennial Beauty And They Have Won Critical Acclaim Of The Connoisseurs Of The Art World. Goan Lace Can Be Found Here, As Are Colourful Masks, Cotton Bags, Wooden Toys, The Excellent Shopping Bags And Table Mats Woven From Sisal Or Banana, Coconut Or Pineapple Fibre. The Major Art Forms Of The State Include Bamboo Craft, Woodcarving, Brass Metals, Seashell Craft, Papier-mache, And Wooden Lacquer Ware. Other Important Crafts Are Jute Macrame, Fabric Collage, Plaster Of Paris, Crochet And Embroidery, Fiber And Batik Prints Along, Fiber Stone Carving, Coconut Shell Carving, Metal Embossing, Silver And Imitation Jewelry, Cotton Dolls, Soft Toys, Woolen Tapestry, And Artistic Weaving. Goa Does Not Lag Behind As Far As Local Arts And Crafts Are Concerned And With The Outstanding Craftsmanship Of The Local Artisans, It Has Managed To Carve Out A Niche For Itself In This Highly Competitive Field. Local Artists Make Excellent Souvenirs From A Wide Range Of Materials. These Items Are Crafted By Professional Artisans In Their Ethnic Ambience In The Rural Areas, And Also By Artisans Working At The Arts And Crafts Complexes Run By The Government. The Products Are Sold Through Various Handicraft Emporia And At Stalls At All The Major Tourist Spots. The Art And Craft Of Goa Is The Product Of The Aesthetic Blend Of Portuguese And Indian Cultures.
These Are Traditional Crafts With Utility-cum-decorative Items Produced By The Potters With Artistic Perfection And Realistic Finish. The Items Produced With This Craft Include Flower Garden Pots, Bowls With Floral Designs, Figures Of Saints, Gods' And Goddesses', Animals, Ashtrays And Penholders, Etc
While Utensils Of Utility Are Made Of Sheet Metal (copper), Brass Metal Casting Is A Craft Passed On From One Generation To Another Practiced On Hereditary Basis. The Items Produced Include Oil Lamps In Various Designs, Candle Stands, Temple Towers, Church Bells, Ashtrays, Etc
Some Of The Most Exquisite Items Produced In Goan Woodcraft Include Cradles, Baby Carts, Toys, Corner Stands, Etc. Which Are Used Mostly By Hindu Families On Religious Occasions.
Works Such As Tablecloths, Children And Ladies Garments, Pillow, Cushion Covers And Linen Form A Breathtaking Apparel Range.
One Of The Major Crafts Industries Of Goa Is The Bamboo Craft. The Lists Of Popular Bamboo Products Include Flower Baskets, Mats, Letter-holders, Pen Stands, Fans And Other Decorative Items.
Shopping Bags, Ladies Purses, Coasters, Wall Hangings And Other Essential Accessory Items Used In Daily Purposes Are Made Of Banana Or Sisal Fibre. The Major Fibre Craft Centre Is Situated In Corlim.
Jute Craft Is Known To Be One Of The Most Unique Crafts Of India And Items Such As Decorative Bags, Belts, Wall Hangings, Lamp Shades, Flower Pots, Hangers, Etc Are Popular Goan Souvenirs.
Mask Carving Has Got A Whole New Look In Goa As It Is Done On Coconut Shells. Sea Shell Craft Produces Ashtrays, Lamp Shades, Coasters, Chandeliers, Curtains, Pot Hangers, Table Mats, Clocks, Mirror Frames, Etc.