Located on the country’s south west coast, it is synonymous with partying and beach holidays, but also has an array of other sights and experiences for travellers. Portuguese traders very first landed on the shores of Goa in the 1500s and the area existed as a Portuguese colony for centuries, until it was annexed as part of India in 1961.
Goa has far more than 20 delightful stretches of white sand beach down its 101km extended coastline, some of which are crowded year round with holidaymakers, whilst others present secluded palm-fringed paradises for these in search of a quieter break. Every single variety of traveller and size of wallet is catered for and accommodation along the coast ranges from 5 star hotels to palm-leaf shacks. Goa is now India’s richest state and has observed a enormous influx from neighbouring areas in recent years.
Calangute and Baga in northern Goa are heavily developed resorts and full of the usual tourist amenities, the south offers simpler and a lot more peaceful resorts like Colva and Benaulim, although partygoers head to Anjuna, Vagator, and Chapora.
Goa was popular as the hangout for hippy travellers and the psychedelic generation during the 1960s and 1970s and it nonetheless attracts similar guests as effectively as more traditional vacationers, luxury travellers and backpackers, and there are a quantity of popular yoga resorts in the north of the state.
The Portuguese influence is widespread and meals in Goa is a delicious blend of meat and fish cooked with Indian spices in a way unique to the area. Alcohol is freely accessible in the state and Goa produces huge quantities of rice and coconuts, which function in several of the dishes.
The ruins of the former Portuguese capital at Old Goa are a essential tourist attraction, with an exotic mix of European and Indian architecture and a quantity of quaint churches and cathedrals. The influence of early Portuguese merchants can also be observed at the ruins of Fort Aguada in north Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica, which houses the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier.
Goa has a number of charming marketplace towns, as properly as the bustling state capital Panaji. Vasco-de-Gama, the biggest town in the state, has some exciting colonial and native architecture, while the town of Anjuna has a common weekly flea industry. Other towns of interest contain Margao, Marmagao, and Mapusa. The state is dotted with ornate and colourful Hindu temples and holds a quantity of lavish annual Hindu and Christian celebrations.
As India’s smallest state, Goa represents a manageable slice of the vast country and has just 1.4 million inhabitants. Inland visitors can walk in the Western Ghats range of mountains, a planet biodiversity hotspot, pay a visit to quite a few estuaries and river valleys, and a quantity of tiny islands. Its tropical jungles in the east of the state are house to bright birds, wild boars and the area has a massive snake population. The Salim Ali Bird sanctuary is particularly intriguing, with its exotic mynas and parrots.
Guests to Goa usually arrive by air or travel to the state from the Indian capital Mumbai. The Konkan Railway line, built throughout the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast among Mumbai and Goa. After in the state, public transport largely consists of buses, unmetered taxis, auto rickshaws and the state’s special yellow-and-black motorcycle taxis.
Goa’s official language is Konkani, but a lot of Indians speak English and travellers will not struggle to get about the a lot more heavily populated places. The nation has a warm and humid climate for most of the year, with temperatures hottest in May and a cooler spell in between December and February. The annual monsoon season begins in early June and runs to late September.
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