Known as "Pearl of the Orient" or "Tourist Paradise", the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India.
The state of Maharashtra borders Goa on the north, the state of Karnataka on the south and east. The vast expanse of the Arabian Sea on the west forms the magnificent coastline for which Goa is justly famous.
But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into it’s unique history and rich culture showcasing the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses as well as some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.
Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures of East and West over the centuries, Goa has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of India. Hindu and Catholic communities make up almost the entire population with minority representation of Muslims and other religions.
Along with English which is widely spoken all over Goa, Konkani and Marathi are the state languages. The national language Hindi is also well understood in most areas around the state.
Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the Goans had to endure during the centuries. The staple food in Goa is fish and rice, both among the Hindus and the Catholics. Unlike the Christian food the Hindu Goan food is not strongly influenced by the Portuguese cuisine.
Goa is a major destination on the itinerary of international and domestic tourists. The tourist season in Goa begins in late September and carries on through early March. The weather in these months is usually dry and pleasantly cool. Then the weather gets fairly hot around May and by end of June, Goa receives the full blast of the Indian monsoon with sudden downpours and tropical thunderstorms. However it is also during the monsoon that Goa is probably at its most beautiful, with greenery sprouting all around.
Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travelers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax, making Goa a firm favourite with travelers around the world