Goa a tiny emerald on the West Coast of India, is the smallest state of the Indian Union. It became the 25th state in the Indian Union on May 30th 1987 while Daman and Diu remained as Union Territory. Goa is situated between Karnataka and Maharashtra which was initially referred as Gomantaka and Gomanchala.Goa with its long beach along the Arabian Sea is an excellent tourist resort.Goa is also known for its hilly terrain which is concentrated more on its eastern side and it is here where the southern part of the Sahyadri range ends. The most pleasing location of Goa is situated in the lower basin of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers which join to form a bay.
HISTORYIn the third century BC Goa was under the reign of the Mauryan Empire. This dynasty was shortly followed by other dynasties like the Satvahanas of Kolhapur, the Chalukyas of Badami and for a very short period a Muslim invader. However only the Vijayanagar Empire ruled the place for a long period close to a century which only came to an end after the arrival of the Sultans of Gulbarga.At one point of time there was a great struggle between then Dutch, English, French and Portuguese to capture Goa.Finally the struggle came to an end when Alfonso de Albuquerque of Portugese invaded Goa and got under his rule from 1510.For the next four centuries Goa was under the reign of the Portuguese and they left only in 1961 after India's independence. Later Goa got the status of statehood in 1987.
LOCATIONGoa located in the coastal belt of Konkan is bordered by Karnataka in the South, Maharashtra in the North, the Arabian sea in the West and Western ghats in the East.
BEST SEASONThe best time to visit Goa is during winter season, from November to March.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS
Goan Carnival which is celebrated for nearly four days falls in the month of February/March is known for its colourful processions, floats and dance at Margao.
Holi which is celebrated here as Shigmotsav takes place for nearly a week which is highlighted by parades with colourful floats with mythological themes and they are as processions into the town.
Ganesh ChaturthiGanesh Chaturthi which is a festival to celebrate and glorify Lord Ganesha is celebrated here with great rejoice during which people return to their ancestral homes and the little villages and towns hum with excitements, as various ceremonies are observed.
DiwaliDiwali, the universal festival of India is also celebrated here in Margao during which an imitative figure of Narkasur is burnt.
Good FridayThe anniversary of Jesus' death on the cross is observed as Good Friday which usually falls on the last Friday before Easter. It is the pinnacle of Holy Week, and Margao Christians observe this day with great humility and reverence and the houses and churches are beautifully decorated.
ChristmasChristmas is the most popular festival in Goa and the state looks like a little paradise that is decorated in shades of red, green and white of gleaming streamers.
St. Xavier's FeastSt. Xavier's Feast is celebrated every year on the 3rd December, marking the death anniversary of this revered saint. St. Xavier who came to Goa along with the Portuguese to propagate the teachings of Christianity to people. Major feasts are organized in the honor of this saint on this festival.
GoluGolu is one of the common Hindu festivals celebrated here in Goa during which the ladies clean up the old dolls and give it to their daughters and buy new dolls for the golu padi which consists of wooden boxes arranged in steps.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Panaji is the capital of Goa situated on the left bank of silvery Mandovi River.Apart being from a district headquarters,Panaj also has Goa's renowned educational, commercial and cultural cente.One can see the typical Goan houses in Panaji along with beautiful Portuguese Baroque style buildings and enchanting old villas. Most of these Goan houses are built in the Latin style of architecture. The town of Panaji is also lined by exotic varities of trees like Gulmohar and Acassia.
MapusaMapusa taking up most of the area of North Goa is situated at a distance of about 13kms from Panaji.There is a weekly fair held in Mapusa on every Friday which attracts local crowd.
Margao one of the most busiest and 2nd biggest town in Goa, India. The architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions of Margao are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science. This place is also known for its traditional customs of the people of Goa.Margao is the commercial capital and administrative HQ of Salcette taluka.Margao contributes to major financial resources of the state by its prospering tourism industry.
Vasco Da Gama
Vasco da Gama which is named after the famous explorer of Portuguese, Vasco da Gama.This place lies at a distance of 30 kms from Panaji is a small city in Goa state on the west coast of India. Generally the people living in Vasco da Gama always likes to have fun and music. This place is supposed to be the abode of the toddy tappers from Goa.
PilarPilar located at a distance of about 11kms from Panaji is one of the important religious centre in this area. The Christian Missionaries in Goa run a number of educational centre in this area. One can get a splendid view of the Mormugao Harbour & Zuari river from a small hilltop situated in Pilar.
Bhagwan Mahavir SanctuaryThe Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary which was originally referred by the name Mollem Game Sanctuary is one of the largest wildlife preserve in Goa.It sprawls over an area of 240 square kilometers and got the status of a wildlife reserve in the year 1969.But however only in the year 1978 a limited portion of the main area of about 107 sq. km. was confirmed as the Mollem National Park.Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary noted for a unique geographical formations and scenic spots is of a major tourist attraction. Apart from this it is also known for its variety of flora and fauna along with the avian species. Adding to the feature of this sanctuary there are also other historically important places in and around this place. The tourists visiting this place can go for adventurous jeep safaris into the wildlife sanctuary.
Dr.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
The Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along river Mandovi near Panaji.The Salim Ali bird sanctuary though sprawls over a small area of about 1.8 square kilometers it houses more than 400 species of birds, both local and migratory. This bird sanctuary which is the abode of a myriad of bird species is named after one of the most famous and renowned ornithologist Dr.Salim.Apart from diversified rare and exotic varieties of birds, at times if you are lucky can also get to witness wild animals like crocodiles, foxes, and jackals. Though the bird sanctuary remains open throughout the year it is best to visit during the winter season for it is the time avians of different species migrate and come to this place from different parts of the world.
Cotigao Wildlife SanctuaryThe Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is supposed to be the second largest wildlife sanctuary in Goa established in the year 1969 at a distance of about 60kms away from Panaji.The Cotiago Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls over an area of about 86 square kilometers with a multi-storied forest geography. Nature is designed in such a way that even the sunlight cannot pass through this deep and thick forest. The Cotiago Wildlife Sanctuary also boasts of two rivers the Talpona and the Galjibaga River. The main attraction of this sanctuary is the 30 meter high trees, 18 meter high treetop access ladders and numerous water holes thus providing the tourists with a rare opportunity to see wildlife in close. Though the strength of the wildlife in this sanctuary is decearsing, it still promises you to observe animals like Wild boars, Gaurs, Monkeys, Deer, Bison, Black Panther, Sloth Bears, Gazelles and Porcupines from a close quarter
Anjuna Beach close to the Chapora fort is situated at a distance of about 18 kms from Panaji.It is a very famous beach where one can spot more number of younger generations passing their evenings.
Calangute BeachThis is the most popular beach in Goa which is visited by almost all the tourists coming here. It remains crowded throughout the year.
Dona Paula BeachThe Dona Paula Beach promises an excellent view of the Zuari River and Mormugao Harbour.This beach s situated at a distance of about 7 kms from Panaji.It is a very good place for entertainment where there is Water scooter facilities available.
Arambol BeachArambol Beach is 50 kms from Panaji. A unique beach in the North Goa, is both rocky and sandy beach and much sought after.
Palolem Beach situated on the southern coastline of Goa is quite famous for it takes the shape of a crescent extending to a distance of about 1.5 kms.Palolem Village is nestled in the palms backed from the beach and not much of development can be seen here for it is still laidback. This beach is situated at a distance of about 37kms away from Margao.
Agonda BeachAgonda beach is situated next to Palolem whose main attractions are the edged beach with palms and casuarinas and also towards the South of the beach there is a huge hill.
Vagator BeachVagator Beach which extends for about 30kms is situated at a distance of about 22 Kms from Panaji in the Bardez taluka.This stretch of beach starts near Fort Aguada and extends further down as Sinquerim beach.
Miramar BeachJust 3kms away from the capital city Panaji is this beautiful Miramar beach which was also known as "Gasper Dias Beach�. It lies adjoining the estuary of the river Mandovi as it opens into the Arabian sea.
Colva BeachColva Beach is situated near the south circuit which is quite interesting for the tourists coming here for it has a number of air-conditioned resort complexes, tourist cottages, discos, seashell artifact stalls, refreshment stalls, eateries and guest houses. The Colva beach with its enchanting harmony is noted for its scenic beauty. This is part of Salcete, Goa's only Catholic majority sub-district. This beach was initially a very calm district but of late it is been thronged by tourists.
This Archaeological Museum is situated at a distance of about 9 kms from Panaji in Old Goa.It was initially dominated by Portuguese whose evidences can be seen from the fortress walls and administrative buildings, monasteries and impressive churches, especially the Basilica de Born Jesus which contains the mortal remains of Saini Francis Xavier.
Museum of Goa Daman & DiuThis museum houses more of the archaeological and archival material belonging to the different dynasties which ruled Goa.The collections mainly includes inscriptions and manuscripts, coins and textiles,furniture,art objects, especially ivory statues, pertain to Christian-Portugese influences.
Institute Menezes BraganzaThe Institute of Menezes Braganza in Goa is a store of historical stone sculpture, bronzes and terracotta items.The institute also houses other drawings and etchings of coins and stamps.
Se Cathedral ChurchSe Cathedral Church which is supposed to be the largest in Asia belongs to the 16th century and was built by the Portugese which was commissioned by the Viceroy, Redondo.The Cathedral has been built on a raised plinth of laterite, covered over with lime plaster. The tower of this chapel has the largest bell of Goa and is popularly known as 'Golden Bell'.
The Church of St. AnneThe Church of St. Anne which is noted for its excellent architecture is situated at Talaulim.The festival of St Anne popularly known as �Touceachem Fest� is celebrated on the 26th of July with great pomp throughout the city of Goa.
The church dedicated to infant Jesus is situated in Old Goa at a distance of about 10 kilometers east of Panaji which is a World Heritage Monument. It is built in the Baroque style of architecture and the intricate work of the church is a fine example of the excellence of the work of the Portugese architects and artisans.
Reis Magos ChurchReis Magos is a small village situated on the banks of the Mandovi river. The two main attractions of Reis Magos are the Reis Magos fort and the Reis Magos Church. It is here where the unique feast of Feast of the Three Wise Men is held every year on the 6th of January. The interiors of the church are colorful and highly attractive. The Three Wise Men carrying gift to the infant Jesus is very well carved and painted colourfully.
Church of Mary Immaculate Conception
This church which was built in the year 1541 is supposed to be the first built church in Goa and it was again totally rebuilt from its foundation in 1619.The interior of the church is relatively simple by the standards of the time although the backdrop to the main altar, dedicated to Mary Immaculate, is impressive enough.
SHOPPINGGoa is known for its indigenous artifacts and souvenirs. There are also big shopping plazas and malls. People get entranced by the variety of artifacts like crochet work, carved furniture, shell work, bamboo work, brassware, curios and old coins, trinkets etc.Goa Handicrafts Industries Development Corporation emporium is another source of artifacts and handloom materials. The main shopping area extends from south edge of the main square to the old railway station. The beachside shopping is also quite interesting.
2.Mirabai's Goan Village - Calangute/Baga Road
3.Sparrows Nest - Calangute Main Road
4.St. Anthony�s Bar & Restaurant � Baga Beach
5.Florentine - Saligao
6.Pagoda Chinese Restaurant - Baga Road
7.Kim Fa Chinese Restaurant - Baga Road
8.China Highway - On the Calangute/Panaji Highway
9.Oceanic - Right in Calangute Market Place
10.Fiesta - opposite Tito�s Night Club in Baga
Majorda, Salcette, Goa-403713
2.Estrela Do Mar Beach Resort,
Calangute, Bardez Goa India 403516.
18th June Road,
Panaji, Goa 403001,
91- 832 - 2226291 to 99 Extn. 617
5.Holiday Inn Resort
Goa - INDIA. 403 731
6.Hotel Nova Goa
Dr. A. B. Road, Panaji - 403 001.
Goa - India
(0832) 2226231 to 2226237
7.Santa Monica Resorts
9.Royal Heritage Resorts
Near Victor Exotica,
Off Fort Aguada Road
Near Bank of Baroda/One-Stop
Calangute-Goa 403 516