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Tourism in Goa

The state of Goa, in India, is famous for its beaches and places of worship, and tourism is its primary industry. Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland. Foreign tourists, mostly from Europe, arrive in Goa in winter, whilst the summer and monsoon seasons see a large number of Indian tourists. Goa handled of all foreign tourist arrivals in the country in 2011.This relatively small state is situated on the western coast of India, between the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and is better known to the world as a former Portuguese enclave on Indian soil. Tourism is said to be the backbone of Goa's economy.[3]Influenced by over 450 years of Portuguese rule and Latin culture, Goa presents a somewhat different representation of the country to foreign visitors. Major tourist attractions include: Bom Jesus Basilica, Fort Aguada, a wax museum on Indian culture, and a heritage museum. The Churches and Convents of Goa have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

History of Goa

Goa is the smallest Indian state that lies on the western coast of India. It has an influential historical background. It attracted the powerful traders, merchants, seafarers, dynasties, monks and missionaries as it was one of the major trading centers in India. Through rapid and continuous transformation in its cultural and socio economic development, Goa has left an unforgettable impression.The first settlers of Goa are known to be Brahmins called Saraswats. They were so called because they inhabited originally banks of the River Saraswati in North India. Goa became the part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BC. It was later dominated by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur. Then it was handed over to the Chalukyas of Badami.In 1312, Goa was under the control of the Muslims for the first time. But they were not fond of the beaches and thus left the place in 1370. To carry Arabian horses for the Vijayanagar cavalry through ships, Goa’s harbors were well known as the major landing place.The seafaring Portuguese arrived at Goa in 1510 with a target to take control over the spice route from the East. It was an ideal place for them as it was blessed with wide rivers and natural harbors. The Portuguese had an influential control over the state as they expanded their provinces and were there in Goa for quite a long time. Most of the buildings and edifices of the city resembles the Portuguese architectural style as they constructed several Churches and Forts during their administration.In the later part of 18th century, the Portuguese were defeated by the Marathas. Trade of the Portuguese came to an end in 1961, after the Indian army entered Goa.Goa was officially declared as the 25th state of India in the year 1987, by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. After few years, Konkani- the local language of Goa was considered as one of the 22 official regional languages of India. At present, it is known for having India’s highest per-capita incomes with fishing, farming, tourism and iron-ore mining which are the major sources of its economy.

Best Time to Visit in Goa

The winters in the Himalayan towns and cities are freezing, sometimes making the place inaccessible. Rains thunder down during the monsoon while summers are cool and pleasant. Hence the Summer months from March-May are the best to visit Himalayan destinations like Dalhousie, Shimla, Jammu-Kashmir, Leh-Ladakh etc.

How to Reach Goa

Serene beaches, delicious sea food and myriad ancient architecture are some of the prime factors that draw visitors to Goa from all across the country and globe alike. This beach destination is quite easily accessible from various parts of India by air, rail and road. Dabolim Airport, about 26 km away from Panaji, connects the city with the rest of world while Madgaon Railway Station and Vasco da Gama Railway Station are the two major railheads here. Those travelling by road from nearby cities and towns can choose between options for intra-city and inter-city buses.

By air:

Dabolim Airport, approximately 26 km away from Panaji (capital city of Goa), is the main domestic as well as international aerodrome. This airport has two terminals, Terminal 1 is the domestic terminal and Terminal 2 is the international terminal. All major domestic carriers including AirAsia India, Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet have regular flights from Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kolkata, Indore, Chennai and Pune, among others. Serving international destinations such as Muscat, Doha and Copenhagen are the airlines such as Novair, Qatar Airways and Oman Air, to name a few. Travellers can hire taxis from outside the airport to reach anywhere in Goa.

By road:

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and KTC are some of the prime operators providing bus services from nearby cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Besides, those driving to Goa from Bangalore and Mumbai can take NH 4 route, which is extremely smooth and well maintained while those coming from Mangalore can steer their wheels through NH 17.

By train:

Reaching Goa by train is quite convenient as there are two main railheads serving the state, namely Vasco da Gama and Madgaon. These two railway stations are extremely well linked to other parts of the country via an extensive train network. There are regular trains from Delhi for Madgaon, where Goa Sampark Kranti Express and Trivandrum Express are the most prominent ones. While Madgaon railway station is about 38 km away from Panjim, Vasco da Gama railway is approximately 29 km away. Travellers can avail of taxi services from outside the railway stations.

Shopping in Goa

Goa, the smallest state of the country, is one of the major holiday destinations in India. Goa is a hub of tourist activity and one reason what makes it so is its role as a shopping destination. There are plenty of shopping malls in Goa however, experience Goa at it’s finest and visit the markets that characterize Goa as a tourist destination Being the shopaholic that I am, I couldn’t resist sharing my findings on the best places for shopping in Goa. Whether your budget is big or small or your taste sober or crazy, rest assured Goa has something to please you. Many hotels in Goa are situated close to these markets and will make sure you have an enjoyable trip.From hippie clothing to junk jewellery and gothic accessories, from shell and bamboo work to terracotta and brassware, from feni and bebinca to cashewnuts and Goan sausages, you will find it all here. Shop to your heart’s delight as I bring to you the top five places for shopping in Goa:

Best Things To Do in Goa

Goa is a place with limitless chances to have fun and entertainment and the best things to do in Goa would enthrall every adventure lover. Though it is known as the land of beaches, tourists from all over the world find it as a great spot for indulging in many breathtaking activities in water as well as on land.