Goa - The Destination |
Goa comes as a package—gleaming sands, swaying coconut palms and fresh seafood—a complete tour paradise. If you are a beach
bum, then Goa’s beaches are the place you have to be at. This tiny territory, covering 3660 sq km provides a spectacular
view of bottle green hills, with dense forests of javfruit, mango
and cashew groves cut across by rivers and bordered by miles of unending sun-soaked beaches. But it is not just sun, sand and
psychedelics. The allure of Goa is that it remains quite diverse from the rest of India and can be comfortably explored.
There is so much you can do here—from lazing around on the fine beaches, to taking a stroll among the numerous markets—all this
coupled with its unique and elegant lifestyle, warm sunshine and friendly locals have made it one of the most sought after destinations in India.
Goa - Facts at a Glance
||3660 sq km|
|| Konkani, Marathi, English, Portuguese|
November to February is pleasant while rains start in June and carry on
till September. Which is pleasant too. The temperatures remain quite moderate ranging from 21C to 32C.
|Best Season :
Goa’s tranquil lifestyle is enjoyed during the winter months between
October and the end of February. The months of January, February and March are the best months for Hindi festivals and celebrations.
January has the colourful festival of Shantadurga Prasann, February the three day zatra of Shri Mangesh, and in March is
the festival of Holi, called Shigmo.
Having such a contemporary lifestyle, it is surprising to know that Goa has a history that stretches way back
to the 3rd century BC. It was then part of the Mauryan empire.
Later, it was ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur and then the Chalukyans of Badami, who ruled from 580 to 750 AD. Goa got invaded by the Muslims
in 1312. They were eventually forced out in 1370 by Harihara I of the Vijayanagar empire. Over the next 100 years, Goa's harbor served as
an important port for ships carrying Arabian horses to the Vijayanagar cavalry at Hampi.
The port attracted the Portuguese who made it their base in 1510. Their aim was to control the spice route from the east and also carried a
mission to spread Christianity. St Francis Xavier with his Jesuit missionaries, arrived in 1542. By the middle of the 16th century, Portuguese control
had expanded beyond Old Goa to include the provinces of Bardez and Salcete.
The most prosperous times of Goa happened with the eventual ousting of the Turks, who controlled the trade routes across the
Indian Ocean, and the resultant fortunes made from the spice trade. The colony became the viceregal seat of the Portuguese empire
of the east, which included various East African port cities, East Timor and Macau. But competition from the British, French
and Dutch in the 17th century, combined with Portugal's inability to adequately service its far-flung empire, led to its decline.
The Marathas almost vanquished the Portuguese in the late 18th century, and there was a brief occupation by the British
during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. However, the Portuguese clung on till 1961, when they were finally ejected by India. It remained a
Union territory for 26 years and gained full fledged statehood on August 12th 1987.