Goa is the smallest state in India that lies between the Sahyadri range of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India. The capital of Goa is Panaji and its official language is Konkani. Also known as the fun capital, Goa is a tourist destination in India that boasts perky beaches, swanky nightlife, the old city charm of churches and cathedrals, lush green palm trees, cashew plantations, vibrant carnivals, flea markets, scrumptious cuisines, and an array of recreational activities. A party state, Goa throbs with the beats of music as every day is a carnival here. Famous for the cheerful nightlife, Goa is all about fun and merry-making.
The smallest state on the western coast of India, Goa has always attracted the powerful dynasties, traders, merchants, seafarers, monks, and missionaries. Enclosed with the tales of various settlements, wars, and defeats, the history of Goa is replete with events that follow one after the other. Once the major trading centers in India, Saraswat Brahmins are known to be the first inhabitants of the state. In the 3rd Century BC, Mauryans invaded Goa and made it a part of their empire. In the 11th century, Goa was dominated by the Hindu dynasties - Satavahanas of Kolhapur, the Chalukyas of Badami, Silharas, and Kadambas. The first phase of Goa’s Golden Age was marked by the arrival of the Kadamba dynasty.
In the 15th Century, Goa became a part of the Muslim Bahmani Kingdom of the Deccan. In 1498, Vasco da Gama helped the Portuguese to take control over the spice route from the East that was passing through the state and they carried out the control for more than 4 centuries until they were defeated by the Marathas by the end of 18th century. Chapora Fort near Mapusa stands tall even today and has witnessed the power and downfall of many empires. During Portuguese rule, Christian missionaries led by Saint Francis Xavier also made their way in India. In 1961, after the Indian army entered Goa, the Portuguese lost their control over the Indian state. In the year 1987, Goa was officially declared as the state of the Indian Republic by the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Embedded deeply with the multi-cultural influences, Goa transfixes the distinctive culture. Having been ruled by Hindus, Muslims, and Portuguese, the culture of Goa is reminiscent of past history. Strongly influenced by the west, folks of Goa have always had a broader mindset that embraces modernism and their religious fundamentalism is more embracing than rigid. Diversity in the culture of Goa can be noticed in two distinct divisions, North Goa, which is a party hub while South Goa is more hushed and tranquil.
The secular state is a blend of Christians, Catholics, Hindus, and also Muslims that live together harmoniously. The most famous church in Goa is Basilica of Bom Jesus and Shri Mangeshi Temple is one of the most significant Hindu shrines. The folks of Goa are fun-loving, light-hearted, and laid back. They observe siesta which means pulling down the shutters from 1 to 4 to take rest. Also known as Rome of the East or The Miami of India, Goa is famous for its upbeat nightlife, perky carnivals, scenic marvels, pristine beaches, and exotic culinary culture.
The hand-crafted items of Goa are vibrant and exquisite that captivates the fancies of tourists and locals. Displaying the rich handicrafts of India, the handicrafts are a mirror of the perennial beauty of the beach state and also have won the critical acclaim from the connoisseurs of the art world. The bamboo craft is one of the major craft industries of Goa. Mask carving is exclusive in Goa as it is done on coconut shells.
From intricate wood carving to colorful wooden lacquerware, from sturdy bamboo craft to delicate paper-mâché, from fabulous terracotta and brassware to art pieces made from exotic seashells, from intricate crochet and embroidery to rustic jute macramé, from delicate fiber craft to unconventional coconut masks, Goa’s art forms are as varied and colorful as the land itself. From the capital city Panaji to beachlines of Ashwem to flea markets of Baga, you would find streets dotted with vibrant handicrafts of Goa that are hard to resist.
The gastronomic culture of Goa is majorly influenced by the Portuguese since they lived in the coastal region for about 450 years. Being located along the coastline; seafood, rice, and coconuts are found in abundance, making them the staples of the state. The culinary culture is a fusion that includes local spices, Fenni, and vinegar. Goa is popular for non-vegetarian snacks such as croquettes, potato chops, and samosas that are available on the carts. Typical Goan sweets - Bebinca, Dos, Goan Nevri, Bolinhas, Perad, Kulkul, and Baath Cake are delectable and will leave you craving for more.
The intense flavors of Goan curries - Feijoada, Pork Vindaloo, Chicken Cafreal, Chicken Xacuti, Sorak, Prawns Xeque Xeque, Shark Ambot Tik, Xitti Kodi are exotic as their names. The large variety of fishes, prawns, and seafood makes Goa a paradise for seafood lovers. Rava Fish Fried, Fish Recheado, Sanna, Goa sausages, Goan Feni are exquisite and famous food of Goa. The feast of Saint Francis Xavier is one of the biggest events in Goa where you can enjoy scrumptious Goan delicacies. Enjoy unique Goan cuisines basking under the sun near the crashing waves at the spectacular Goan beaches.
The city of beaches, Goa refuel the energy systems of everyone irrespective of their age, color, caste, or religion, be it a young boy or an old woman. The beauty of its beaches makes visitors speechless as these show the sights from the Portuguese era and the western world simultaneously.
Goa is amongst the best holiday places in India that boast the sun-kissed beaches, palm trees, cashew plantations, centuries-old monuments such as Aguada fort, the epic Goan fish curry rice, cashew fenny, Sunburn festival, an array of carnivals, flea markets, Santa Monica Cruise Ride, Spice Farms and WHATNOT! Sun, beach, sand, shacks, live bands, crashing waves, and the most tempting dishes, Goa Tourism promotes the best travel experience for the tourists.