Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in western India. Bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country.
It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot.
Goa may have a long Portuguese history and quite a few famous churches, yet it is also home to beautiful temples and ornate mosques as well. Ponda region in Goa is famous for the 16th century Safa Shahouri Mosque as well as the 450year old Shri Mangesh temple dedicated to Shiva. The highlights of the temple are the seven-story lamp tower (deepstambha), a magnificent water tank, believed to be the oldest part of the temple and there is a prominent Nandi Bull as well inside the temple. Located on a small hillock, it is also one of the largest temples in Goa.
One of India’s most splendid waterfalls, Dudhsagar Falls are located approximately 60 kilometres away from Panjim. This multi-tiered waterfall gushes down milky white waters from a height of 310 metres, making it India’s fifth-highest waterfall. The site, nestled in a completely natural habitat is a pleasure to witness and one can even enjoy some swimming or rock climbing here.
Established in 1599 by Viceroy Francisco da Gama, the Viceroy’s Arch is made up of laterite and green granite. The archway was once the main street for entering Old Goa. The arch was built to commemorate the memory of the famous explorer – Vasco da Gama. The arch is embellished with an imposing statue of Vasco da Gama on the river side and with the statue of St. Catherine on the other side. The original arch collapsed in 1948 and was rebuilt in 1954.
About 9 kms to the south of Bicholim town in North Goa is located the 6th century Pandava cave complex and Arvalem waterfalls. The cave complex is divided into 5 compartments and the ‘linga’ enshrined in the middle compartment is held in great reverence by devotees here.
One of the most popular beaches in Goa and also the largest beach in North Goa. It is also the busiest and commercialized beaches in Goa and during peak seasons, this beach is swamped with people from all over the world. It offers a long coastline with an amazing view of the sea and the beach front is dotted shacks, restaurants, clubs and shopping outlets. Once can also enjoy a plethora of water sports at Calangute beach.
A well-preserved 17 century Portuguese fort, Fort Aguada is located on the Sinquerim Beach in North Goa. Built as the chief defence of Portuguese against the Dutch and Marathas, it was the most prized and crucial fort of the Portuguese. The fort is ringed by thick battlements and a deep dry moat. 2 things worth visiting inside the fort are the 13 metre high lighthouse built in 1864 and a vaulted cistern capable of storing ten million litres of fresh water. From here fresh water was supplied to the ships that stopped there.