Listed as the smallest state of India, Goa is situated in the Konkan Coastal region in Western India sharing its borders with Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to south and east. It is regarded to be the smallest state of India and was ranked the ‘best placed State’ by the “Eleventh Finance Commission” for its infrastructure and is ranked on first position for the ‘best quality of life’ in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators. Panaji is Goa’s capital city while the largest city is Vasco da Gama. Moreover, Goa also shows evidence of the historic city of Margao which demonstrates the cultural influence of the Portuguese during the 16th Century. Goa is the most sought after tourist destination for international and domestic tourists. This State is visited in large numbers every year for its white sand beaches, places of worship, world heritage architecture, rich flora and fauna and its awesome location on the Western Ghats range. Goa consists of 2 districts in total and the main languages spoken here are Konkani and Marathi.
|Established||30 May 1987|
|Total Population (2011)||1,457,723|
|Largest City||Vasco da Gama|
|High Court||Bombay High Court, Goa Bench|
|Rivers||Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chaporakushavati, Sal, Talpona|
|Forests & National Park||Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary|
|Languages||Konkani, Marathi, English, Hindi, Portuguese|
|State Bird||Black Crested Bulbul|
|State Flower||Red Jasmine|
|Literacy Rate (2011)||79.31%|
|Females per 1000 males||968|
|Lok Sabha constituencies||2|
Ancient literature states that Goa was known by various names like Gomanchala, Gopakapattana, Govapuri, etc. Moreover, historically other names for Goa are Sindapur, Sandabur and Mahassapatam. The history of Goa dates back to 10000 years or more since ancient rock art engravings which are believed to be from pre-historic times and stone ages. These engravings are found in various areas of Goa in Usgalimal, Kajur, Mauxim and Mandovi-Zuari basin. Moreover, proof of Paleolithic life is evident at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon. Early Goan culture is also influenced by the migration of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian people. Later Goa was ruled by the Mauryans, Bhojas, Chutus, Satavahanas, Abhiras, Yadavs, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Delhi Sultanate, Vijayanagara and Bahamanis. Later, it came under the rule of Portuguese who ruled Goa for 450 years until it was taken over by India in 1961.
The State of Goa covers an area of 3,702 km2 and is a part of the coastal region of Konkan. The highest point is the Sonsogor with an altitude of 1,167 metres (3,829 ft). Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 mi). The seven main rivers of Goa like Zuari, Mandovi, Terekhol, Chapora, Galgibag, Talpona and the Sal keeps flowing in this State making its land rich and fertile. Goa has a tropical monsoon climate which is categorized under the Koppen climate classification. Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year.
Goa has a population of 1.459 million peoples and the population has a growth rate of 8.23% per decade. Around 63 % of its total population lives in the urban areas. The sex ratio is 973 females per 1000 males. Goa has a literacy rate of 87% with 90% of males and 84% of females being literate.
Goa is considered to be one of the richest Indian State with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita at $3 billion at current prices. Tourism industry is the primary part of Goa’s economy since apart from Indian tourists it also gets around 12% of foreign tourists. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In winter, tourists usually come from abroad especially from Europe and during summer it sees tourists from various parts of India. Goa is rich in minerals and metal ores and this makes mining as the second largest source of economy for the state after tourism. Ores like manganese, iron, bauxite, clays, silica and limestone are mined from various parts of Goa like Marmagao, Sesa Goa and the Dempo. Agriculture is also developed in Goa with rice being the major crop grown here along with fruits like cashew, areca, and coconut. The other flourished industry in Goa is the fishing industry and commercial industries like pesticides, tyres, fertilizers, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, steel rolling, fish canning, etc which also form a part of the economy of the state.
Goa occupies the highest position in tourism in India. The enchanted land of Goa is blessed with exotic landscapes, silvery golden beaches, lush hills, historical monuments. According to the National Geographic Book Goa occupies among top 10 positions for nightlife cities in the world and water sports. Some of the well known tourist spots are Anjuna, Bambolim, Candolim, Dona Paula, Morjim in north Goa or the Benaulim, Colva, Majorda, Palolem, Varca, Baga and Calangute beaches in south Goa. Other tourist spots are the Sahakari spice farms, The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada, Doodhsagar waterfalls and many more on the tourism list of Goa.
Football is the most popular sport in Goa and this sport is regulated by the Goa Football Association. The football powerhouses include Salgaocar Sports Club, Dempo Sports Club, Churchill Brothers, Vasco Sports Club and Sporting Clube de Goa. The first Unity World Cup was held in Goa in 2014. The state’s main football stadium, Fatorda Stadium which is located at Margao and it also hosts cricket matches. Goa also has its own football team- the Goa Professional League. Goa also has its own cricket team and Dilip Sardesai remains the only Goan to play international cricket matches.
Goa has a good network of transportation which connects to other parts of India via Air, Rail, Road and Sea. The Goa International Airport connects to other major cities of India by daily domestic flights. Moreover, international flights are also there to connect Goa between Doha, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah, Kuwait and other Middle East Countries. In case of roads, Goa is well connected to other Indian cities by roads. Public transport like buses plies in Goan roads to connect other places. These buses are managed by the Kadamba Transport Corporation. Road transport connects Goa to other states by NH-66, 4A, 17A and 366. Goa is also well-connected with major cities of India especially on the Western coast via rail network. The rail lines of Goa are run by Konkan railway and South Western Railway. The rivers of Goa such as Mandovi also have ships and streamers for good transportation.
The culture of Goa is a mixture of both Western and Eastern values and styles. Prominent local festivals celebrated here are Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Diwali, Shigmo, Chavoth, Samvatsar Padvo, Dasara etc. The Goan Carnival and Christmas-new year celebrations are well known to attract a large number of tourists. Other festivals are Sao Jao (Feast of John the Baptist) and the biggest feast- Feast of St. Francis Xavier (Goicho Saib).
Goa has good education facilities with some of the best schools like Sharada Mandir School (Miramar), St Mary Angels Convent High School (Chinchinim), Perpetual Succour Convent High school (Navelim), Our Lady of the Rosary High School (Dona Paula), etc. In Goa premium higher education is offered by Goa University and its affiliated colleges, Goa Engineering College, National Institute of Technology Goa, Don Bosco College of Engineering, BITS Pilani (Goa Campus), National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (Vasco da Gama), National Institute of Oceanography (Dona Paula), Goa Institute of Management (Sanquelim), etc.
Hospitals and Health Care
The health care services of Goa is upgraded due to the establishment and services of Manipal hospitals, Victor Hospital, Apollo Hospital and many more good hospitals.