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About Goa

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Goa is a state in southwestern India. It is the smallest state in India and is one of the major tourist spots in the country. Panaji is its capital city and the language spoken is Konkani. Some of the major cities in Goa are Vasco da Gama and Margao. The state is hugely influenced by Portuguese culture, as it was their stronghold for about 450 years.

Goa receives one of the highest numbers of domestic and international tourists in India every year. The state is well known for being a biodiversity hotspot. Goa, according to mythological scriptures, was known by many names including Gomanchala, Gomanta, Gopakapuri, Govem, Gopakkapattam and Gomantak, but the name Goa was originally given by the Portuguese. Its history dates back to the 8000-6000 BC to the Mesolithic and Paleolithic ages.

Why Visit Goa

The 2010 tourism reports suggests that Goa witnessed over two million tourists, out of which around 1.2 million were international tourists. The Portuguese inhabited Goa for nearly 450 years and hence Portuguese culture is an integral part of the local scene. The main tourist attractions of Goa are its beaches, nightlife, churches and temples. Anjuna, Baga and Calanguate are the most popular beaches in the area.

Two World Heritage Sites are located in Goa; the convents and churches of Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica. The Bom Jesus Basilica has the remains of the saint of Goa; St. Francis Xavier. Every twelve years, the body is displayed for public view. Portuguese style architecture is starkly evident in the Velhas Conquistas region. There are many forts in Goa, such as Aguda, Corjuem, Chapora, Tiracol, Cabo de Rama and Gaspar Dias.

The Indo-Portuguese architectural style is also evident is some temples such as Mangueshi Temple and Shanta Durga Temple which were demolished in 1961. The National Aviation Museum and the Goa State Museum are the two most important museums in the state.

Exploring the Culture of Goa

The state blends different religions, cultures and ethnicities in the state, harmoniously. Some festivals such as Holi and the Shigmo Mel feature a lot of dance and music and signify harmony. Some prominent festivals in the state are Diwali, Chavoth, Easter, Christmas, Samvatsar Padvo, Shigmo and Dasara.

Bhajan, Kirtan and Natak are popular among the Goan Hindus. The state is home to many Indian classical musicians like Jitendra Abhisheki, Kesarbhai Kerkar, Karekar Kishori Amonkar and Pandit Prabhakar. Some Goan art forms which are popular in the state are Corridinho, Mando, Fugdi, Duplod and Dekhni. True to its name, Goa trance originated from Goa and influenced other genres in trance such as dubstep, polytrance and techno.

Traditional performing arts in Goa are Zagor, Tiatr and Natak. Some of the other forms performed are Dashavatari, Goulankala, Kalo, Ranmale, Kala, Rathkala and Lalit. The staple diet in Goa is rice and fish curry. Seafood is popular amongst the tourists and the major ingredients in any Goan dish are chili peppers, vinegar and spices, coconut oil and shredded coconut. Feni is a popular drink.

Facts for Tourists

The beaches in Goa are fabulous and Goan cuisine is worth trying. Cashew nuts and wine are popular in the state and are must-try items for tourists. Walking alone along the beaches at night might prove to be dangerous for women. The use of drugs is punishable as well as prohibited.




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