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Goa beautiful beach.JPG
Gallery de Fontainhas.jpg
St. Francis Church at Velha Goa.jpg
Our lady panjim.jpg
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Shantadurga temple.jpg

Sarve Bhadrāṇi Paśyantu Mā Kaścid Duḥkhamāpnuyāt
(May everyone see goodness, may none suffer any pain)
Location of Goa in India
Location of Goa in India
Map of Goa
Map of Goa
Coordinates (Panaji): 15°30′N 73°50′E / 15.50°N 73.83°E / 15.50; 73.83Coordinates: 15°30′N 73°50′E / 15.50°N 73.83°E / 15.50; 73.83
Country India
Formation of state30 May 1987
CapitalPanaji (Panjim)
Largest cityVasco da Gama
 • BodyGovernment of Goa
 • GovernorP. S. Sreedharan Pillai
 • Chief MinisterPramod Sawant (BJP)
 • LegislatureUnicameral (40 seats)
 • Parliamentary constituencyRajya Sabha 1
Lok Sabha 2
 • Chief SecretaryParimal Rai, IAS[2]
 • Total3,702 km2 (1,429 sq mi)
Area rank28th
 • Total1,458,545[1]
 • Rank26th
Demonym(s)Goan, Goenkār
GSDP (2020–21)
 • Total0.815 trillion (US$11 billion)
 • Per capita472,285 (US$6,300)
Time zoneUTC+05:30 (IST)
Area code(s)+91 0832
ISO 3166 codeIN-GA
Vehicle registrationGA-
HDI (2019)Increase 0.763[4] (high)
Sex Ratio973 /1000 [5]
Literacy88.70% (3rd)
Official language
Symbols of Goa
Emblememblem of Goa
Seal of Goa.png
Mottoसर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद् दुःखमाप्नुयात्

Sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu mā kaścid duḥkhamāpnuyāt

(May everyone see goodness, may none suffer any pain)
MammalGaur (Bos gauru)
Indian Bison (Gaur) 1 by N. A. Naseer.jpg
BirdFlame-throated bulbul (Pycnonotus gularis)
Flame-throated bulbul.jpg
FishGrey mullet/Shevtto in Konkani (Mugil cephalus)
Mugil cephalus.jpg
FlowerJasmine (Plumeria rubra)
Fleurs de Frangipanier (Île de la Réunion) (4125134278).jpg
Cashew apples.jpg
TreeMatti Terminalia crenulata
Terminalia elliptica NP.JPG
^* Konkani in Devanagari script is the sole official language but Marathi and English are also allowed to be used for any or all official purposes.[6][7]

Goa (/ˈɡə/ (About this soundlisten)) is a state on the southwestern coast of India within the Konkan region, geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats.[8][9] It is surrounded by the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India's smallest state by area and its fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states,[3][10] two and a half times as high as the GDP per capita of the country as a whole.[11] The Eleventh Finance Commission of India named Goa the best-placed state because of its infrastructure, and India’s National Commission on Population rated it as having the best quality of life in India (based on the commission’s “12 Indicators”).[11] It is the third-highest ranking among Indian states in human development index.[4]

Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margão in Goa still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first voyaged to the subcontinent in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter, whereupon Goa became an overseas territory of the Portuguese Empire, part of what was then known as Portuguese India, and remained as such for about 450 years, until it was Liberated by India in 1961.[12][13] Goa’s official language, which is spoken by a majority of its inhabitants, is Konkani.

Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year because of its white-sand beaches, active nightlife, places of worship, and World Heritage-listed architecture. It also has rich flora and fauna because it lies very close to the North Western Ghauts rain forests, one of the rare biodiversity hotspots of the world.


After the Bahmani-Bijapuri city of Goa was captured by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510, and made the capital of the Estado da Índia, the city gave its name to the contiguous territories.

The origin of the city name Goa is unclear. In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattana, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak.[14] Other historical names for Goa are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.[15]



Rock art engravings found in Goa are the earliest known traces of human life in India.[16] Goa, situated within the Shimoga-Goa Greenstone Belt in the Western Ghats (an area composed of metavolcanics, iron formations and ferruginous quartzite), yields evidence for Acheulean occupation.[17] Rock art engravings (petroglyphs) are present on laterite platforms and granite boulders in Usgalimal near the west flowing Kushavati river and in Kajur.[18] In Kajur, the rock engravings of animals, tectiforms and other designs in granite have been associated with what is considered to be a megalithic stone circle with a round granite stone in the centre.[19] Petroglyphs, cones, stone-axe, and choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in various locations in Goa, including Kazur, Mauxim, and the Mandovi-Zuari basin.[20] Evidence of Palaeolithic life is visible at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon. Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem for determining the exact time period.[21]

Early Goan society underwent radical change when Indo-Aryan and Dravidian migrants amalgamated with the aboriginal locals, forming the base of early Goan culture.[22]

Early history[edit]

In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. Chutus of Karwar also ruled some parts as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 AD), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadav clans of Gujarat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris.[23] The rule later passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 and 753, and later the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas.[24] Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.[25]

In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. The kingdom's grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469 when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa (or Old Goa).[26]

Portuguese period[edit]

The Se Cathedral at Old Goa, built-in 1619, is an example of Portuguese architecture and is one of the largest churches in Asia.

In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yusuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally, Timoji, a privateer.[27] They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa. This was the beginning of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until its liberation by India in 1961. The Goa Inquisition, a formal tribunal, was established in 1560, and was finally abolished in 1812.[28]

From the latter decades of the eighteenth century, the territory of Goa was composed of two segments: the central nucleus of the Velhas Conquistas (Old Conquests) - Bardez, Ilhas de Tiswadi, and Salsete, which territories had been under Portuguese administration since the sixteenth century; and the Novas Conquistas (New Conquests) - Bicholim, Canacona, Pernem, Quepem, Sattari, Sanguem - territories which had been successively added through the eighteenth century.

In 1843, the Portuguese moved the capital to the Cidade da Nova Goa, today known as Panjim, from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century, Portuguese expansions lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Goa, Damaon& Diu which included Silvassa prior to the Annexation, it was known as Estado da Indìa in Indo-Portuguese, that is the "State of Portuguese India".

Contemporary period[edit]

After India gained independence from British rule in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army invaded with Operation Vijay resulting in the liberation of Goa, and of Daman and Diu islands into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was organised as a centrally administered union territory of India.[29] On 16 January 1967 a referendum was held in Goa, to decide the future of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu. It was the only referendum to have been held in independent India. The referendum offered the people of Goa a choice between continuing as a union territory or merging with the state of Maharashtra and the majority chose the former.[30][31][32] On 30 May 1987, the union territory was split, and Goa was made India's twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining a union territory.[33]

Geography and climate[edit]


Goa coastline at Dona Paula
Picture of coastline of Vasco da Gama, Goa, taken from an aircraft's window.

Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km2 (1,429 sq mi). It lies between the latitudes 14°53′54″ N and 15°40′00″ N and longitudes 73°40′33″ E and 74°20′13″ E.

Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 metres (3,829 ft). Goa has a coastline of 160 km (99 mi).

Goa's seven major rivers are the Zuari, Mandovi, Terekhol, Chapora, Galgibag, Kumbarjua canal, Talpona and the Sal.[34] The Zuari and the Mandovi are the most important rivers, interspaced by the Kumbarjua canal, forming a major estuarine complex.[34] These rivers are fed by the Southwest monsoon rain and their basin covers 69% of the state's geographical area.[34] These rivers are some of the busiest in India. Goa has more than 40 estuarine, eight marine, and about 90 riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa's rivers is 253 km (157 mi). Goa has more than 300 ancient water tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty and over 100 medicinal springs.

Mormugao harbour on the mouth of the River Zuari is considered one of the best natural harbours in South Asia.

Most of Goa's soil cover is made up of laterites rich in ferric-aluminum oxides and reddish in colour. Further inland and along the riverbanks, the soil is mostly alluvial and loamy. The soil is rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive to agriculture. Some of the oldest rocks in the Indian subcontinent are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa's border with Karnataka. The rocks are classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be 3,600 million years old, dated by rubidium isotope dating. A specimen of the rock is exhibited at Goa University.


Goa features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is usually the hottest, seeing daytime temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The state's three seasons are Southwest monsoon period (June–September), post-monsoon period (October–January), and pre-monsoon period (February–May).[34] Over 90% of the average annual rainfall (3,000 mm or 120 in) is received during the monsoon season.[34]

Climate data for Goa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.0
Average low °C (°F) 19.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.2
Average precipitation days 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.8 4.2 21.9 27.2 13.3 13.5 6.2 2.5 0.4 90.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 313.1 293.8 291.4 288.0 297.6 126.0 105.4 120.9 177.0 248.0 273.0 300.7 2,834.9
Source 1: World Meteorological Organization[35]
Source 2: Hong Kong Observatory[36] for sunshine and mean temperatures


Talukas of Goa. Talukas in green shades belong to North Goa district, and orange denote South Goa district.

The state is divided into two districts: North Goa and South Goa. Each district is administered by a district collector, appointed by the Indian government.

Panaji is the headquarters of North Goa district and is also the capital of Goa.

North Goa is further divided into three subdivisions – Panaji, Mapusa, and Bicholim; and five talukas (subdistricts) – Tiswadi/Ilhas de Goa (Panaji), Bardez (Mapusa), Pernem, Bicholim, and Sattari (Valpoi).

Margao is the headquarters of the South Goa district.

South Goa is further divided into five subdivisions – Ponda, Mormugao-Vasco, Margao, Quepem, and Dharbandora; and seven talukas – Ponda, Mormugao, Salcete (Margao), Quepem, and Canacona (Chaudi), Sanguem, and Dharbandora. (Ponda taluka was shifted from North Goa to South Goa in January 2015).

Goa's major cities include Panaji, Margao, Vasco, Mapusa, Ponda, Bicholim, and Valpoi.

Panaji has the only Municipal Corporation in Goa.

There are thirteen Municipal Councils: Margao, Mormugao (including Vasco), Pernem, Mapusa, Bicholim, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Ponda, Cuncolim, Quepem, Curchorem, Sanguem, and Canacona. Goa has a total number of 334 villages.[37]

Government and politics[edit]

The politics of Goa are a result of the uniqueness of this region due to 450 years of Portuguese rule, in comparison to three centuries of British rule experienced by the rest of India. The Indian National Congress was unable to achieve electoral success in the first two decades after the State's incorporation into India.[38] Instead, the state was dominated by the regional political parties like Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the United Goans Party.[39]


Goa has two members of parliament (MP) elected from each district representing the state in the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of the national Parliament of India. It is also has one member of parliament in the Rajya Sabha (Council of the States), the upper house of the Indian parliament.

Goa's administrative capital is based in Panaji, often referred as Panjim in English, Pangim in Portuguese& Ponjê in Konkani, the official language of the state. It lies on the left bank of the Mandovi river. The seat of the Goa Legislative Assembly is in Porvorim, across the Mandovi from Panaji. The state's highest judiciary is the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court, a branch of the Bombay High Court permanently seated at Panjim in Goa. Unlike other states, which follow the model of personal laws framed for individual religions introduced in the days of British Raj, the Portuguese Civil Code of Goa and Damaon, a uniform code based on the Napoleonic code was retained in Goa as well as the union territory of Damaon, Diu& Silvassa.

Goa has a unicameral legislature, the Goa Legislative Assembly, of 40 members, headed by a speaker. The Chief Minister heads the executive, which is made up of the party or coalition elected with a majority in the legislature. The Governor, the head of the state, is appointed by the President of India. After having stable governance for nearly thirty years up to 1990, Goa is now notorious for its political instability having seen fourteen governments in the span of the fifteen years between 1990 and 2005.[40]

In March 2005, the assembly was dissolved by the Governor and President's Rule was declared, which suspended the legislature. A by-election in June 2005 saw the Indian National Congress coming back to power after winning three of the five seats that went to polls. The Congress Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are the two largest parties in the state. In the assembly poll of 2007, the INC-led coalition won and formed the government.[41] In the 2012 Vidhan Sabha Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party along with the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party won a clear majority, forming the new government with Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister. Other parties include the United Goans Democratic Party, the Nationalist Congress Party.[42]

In the 2017 assembly elections, the Indian National Congress gained the most seats, with the BJP coming in second. However, no party was able to gain a majority in the 40 member house. The BJP was invited to form the Government by Governor Mridula Sinha. The Congress claimed the use of money power on the part of the BJP and took the case to the Supreme Court. However, the Manohar Parikkar led Government was able to prove its majority in the Supreme Court mandated "floor test".[43][44][45]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Coconut Palm Tree
Coconut palm trees are a ubiquitous symbol of Goa

Equatorial forest cover in Goa stands at 1,424 km2 (549.81 sq mi),[14] most of which is owned by the government. Government-owned forest is estimated at 1,224.38 km2 (472.74 sq mi) whilst private is given as 200 km2 (77.22 sq mi). Most of the forests in the state are located in the interior eastern regions of the state. The Western Ghats, which form most of eastern Goa, have been internationally recognised as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world. In the February 1999 issue of National Geographic Magazine, Goa was compared with the Amazon and the Congo basins for its rich tropical biodiversity.[citation needed]

Goa's wildlife sanctuaries boast of more than 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 species of birds, over 48 kinds of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles.[46]

Goa is also known for its coconut cultivation. The coconut tree has been reclassified by the government as a palm (like grass), enabling farmers and real estate developers to clear land with fewer restrictions.

Rice is the main food crop, and pulses (legume), Ragi (Finger Millet), and other food crops are also grown. Main cash crops are coconut, cashew nut, areca nut, sugarcane, and fruits like pineapple, mango and banana.[14] Goa's state animal is the Gaur, the state bird is the Flame-throated bulbul, and the state tree is the Matti (Asna).

Rice paddies are common in rural Goa.

The important forest products are bamboo canes, Maratha barks, chillar barks, and the bhirand. Coconut trees are ubiquitous and are present in almost all areas of Goa barring the elevated regions. A variety of deciduous trees, such as teak, Sal tree, cashew, and mango trees are present. Fruits include jackfruit, mango, pineapple, and "blackberry" ("podkoam" in the Konkani language). Goa's forests are rich in medicinal plants.

Foxes, wild boar and migratory birds are found in the jungles of Goa. The avifauna (bird species) includes kingfisher, myna and parrot. Numerous types of fish are also caught off the coast of Goa and in its rivers. Crab, lobster, shrimp, jellyfish, oysters, and catfish are the basis of the marine fishery. Goa also has a high snake population. Goa has many famous "National Parks", including the renowned Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary on the island of Chorão. Other wildlife sanctuaries include the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Madei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, and Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary.

Goa has more than 33% of its geographic area under government forests (1224.38 km2) of which about 62% has been brought under Protected Areas (PA) of Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Park. Since there is a substantial area under private forests and a large tract under cashew, mango, coconut, etc. plantations, the total forest and tree cover constitutes 56.6% of the geographic area.


Gross State Domestic Product (in millions of Rupees)[47]
1980 3,980
1985 6,550
1990 12,570
1995 33,190
2000 76,980
2010 150,000

Goa's state domestic product for 2017 is estimated at $11 billion at current prices. Goa is India's richest state with the highest GDP per capita – two and a half times that of the country – with one of its fastest growth rates: 8.23% (yearly average 1990–2000).[48] Tourism is Goa's primary industry: it gets 12%[49] of foreign tourist arrivals in India. Goa has two main tourist seasons: winter and summer. In winter, tourists from abroad (mainly Europe) come, and summer (which, in Goa, is the rainy season) sees tourists from across India. Goa's net state domestic product (NSDP) was around US$7.24 billion in 2015–16.[50]

The land away from the coast is rich in minerals and ores, and mining forms the second largest industry. Iron, bauxite, manganese, clays, limestone, and silica are mined. The Mormugao port handled 31.69  a million tonnes of cargo in 2007, which was 39% of India's total iron ore exports. Sesa Goa (now owned by Vedanta Resources) and Dempo are the lead miners. Rampant mining has been depleting the forest cover as well as posing a health hazard to the local population. Corporations are also mining illegally in some areas. During 2015–16, the total traffic handled by Mormugao port was recorded to be 20.78 million tonnes.

Agriculture, while of shrinking importance to the economy over the past four decades, offers part-time employment to a sizeable portion of the populace. Rice is the main agricultural crop, followed by areca, cashew, and coconut. Fishing employs about 40,000 people, though recent official figures indicate a decline in the importance of this sector and also a fall in the catch, due perhaps, to traditional fishing giving way to large-scale mechanised trawling.

Medium-scale industries include the manufacturing of pesticides, fertilizers, tires, tubes, footwear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, wheat products, steel rolling, fruits and fish canning, cashew nuts, textiles, brewery products.

Currently, there are 16 planned SEZs in Goa. The Goa government has recently decided to not allow any more Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Goa after strong opposition to them by political parties and the Goa Catholic Church.[51]

Goa is also notable for its low-priced beer, wine, and spirits prices due to its very low excise duty on alcohol. Another main source of cash inflow to the state is remittance, from many of its citizens who work abroad, to their families. It is said to have some of the largest bank savings in the country.

In 1976 Goa became the first state in India to legalize some types of gambling. This enabled the state to levy taxes on gambling, thereby strengthening the economy.

Goa is the second state in India to achieve a 100 percent automatic telephone system with a solid network of telephone exchanges. As of September 2017, Goa had a total installed power generation capacity of 547.88 MW. Goa is also one of the few states in India to achieve 100 percent rural electrification.[52]



Population growth 

A native of Goa is called a Goan. Goa has a population of 1.459 million residents as of 2011,[53] making it the fourth least populated state of India after Sikkim, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. Population density of Goa is 394 per km2 which is higher than national average 382 per km2. Goa is the state with highest proportion of urban population with 62.17% of the population living in urban areas. The sex ratio is 973 females to 1,000 males. The birth rate was 15.70 per 1,000 people in 2007. Goa also is the state with lowest proportion of Scheduled Tribes at 0.04%.[54] The migrant, or non-Goan Indian origin, the population is currently over 50% of the resident population, outnumbering the native ethnic Goan population.[55]


Languages Goa (2011)[56][57]

  Konkani (66.09%)
  Marathi (10.88%)
  Hindi (7.64%)
  Kannada (5.65%)
  Urdu (2.82%)
  Others (6.92%)

The Goa, Daman, and Diu Official Language Act, 1987 makes Konkani in the Devanagari script the sole official language of Goa, but provides that Marathi may also be used "for all or any of the official purposes". Portuguese was the sole official language during Portuguese colonial rule. The government also has a policy of replying in Marathi to correspondence received in Marathi.[58] There have been demands for according Konkani in the Roman script official status in the state. There is widespread support for keeping Konkani as the sole official language of Goa.[59] The entire liturgy and communication of the Catholic church in Goa is done solely in Konkani in the Roman script.

Konkani is spoken as a first language by about 66.11% of the people in the state, but almost all Goans can speak and understand Konkani. A large population of people can speak and understand English as well. Other linguistic groups in the state per the 2011 census are speakers of Marathi (10.89%), Hindi (10.29%), Kannada (5.66%), Urdu (2.83%) and Portuguese language (1%).[60]

Historically, Konkani was neither the official nor the administrative language of the many rulers of the State. Under the Kadambas (c. 960 – 1310), the court language was Kannada. When under Muslim rule (1312 - 1370 and 1469 - 1510), the official and cultural language was Persian. Various stones in the Archaeological Museum and Portrait Gallery from the period are inscribed in Kannada and Persian.[61] During the period in between the two periods of Muslim rule, the Vijayanagara Empire, which had control of the state, mandated the use of Kannada and Telugu.[61]


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Religion in Goa (2011)[53]

  Hinduism (66.08%)
  Christianity (25.10%)
  Islam (8.33%)
  Sikhism (0.10%)
  Other or not religious (0.39%)
Hindu-Christianity Unity Memorial at Miramar Beach.

According to the 2011 census, in a population of 1,458,545 people, 66.1% were Hindu, 25.1% were Christian, 8.3% were Muslim and 0.1% were Sikh.[53]

According to the 1909 statistics in the Catholic Encyclopedia, the total Catholic population in Portuguese controlled Goa was 293,628 out of a total population of 365,291 (80.33%).[62] Since the 20th century, the Christian population of Goa has been facing continual decline. This is caused by a combination of permanent emigration of Christian Goans from Goa to cosmopolitan Indian cities (e.g. Mumbai, Bangalore) and foreign countries (e.g. Portugal, United Kingdom)[63] with the immigration of non-Christians from the rest of India since 1961.[64]

The Catholics in Goa state and Daman and Diu union territory are served by the Metropolitan Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, the primatial see of India, in which the titular Patriarchate of the East Indies is vested.[65]


Indian and foreign tourists at beaches in Goa. Ships can be seen in the background in the top image, while hills can be seen in the background in the center image and Bogmalo beach near Goa airport in the bottom image.

Tourism is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with lower tourist activity inland. In 2010, there were more than 2 million tourists reported to have visited Goa, about 1.2  million of whom were from abroad.[66] As of 2013, Goa was a destination of choice for Indian and foreign tourists, particularly Britons and Russians, with limited means who wanted to party. The state was hopeful that changes could be made which would attract a more upscale demographic.[67]

Goa stands 6th in the Top 10 Nightlife cities in the world in National Geographic Travel.[68] Notable nightclubs in Goa include Chronicle, Mambos and Sinq.

One of the biggest tourist attractions in Goa is water sports. Beaches like Baga and Calangute offer jet-skiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, water scooter rides, and more. Patnem beach in Palolem stood third in CNN Travel's Top 20 Beaches in Asia.[69]

Over 450 years of Portuguese rule and the influence of the Portuguese culture presents to visitors to Goa a cultural environment that is not found elsewhere in India. Goa is often described as a fusion between Eastern and Western culture with Portuguese culture having a dominant position in the state be it in its architectural, cultural or social settings. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples.[70] The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada and a new wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage in Old Goa are other tourism destinations.

Historic sites and neighbourhoods[edit]

Goa has two World Heritage Sites: the Bom Jesus Basilica[71] and churches and convents of Old Goa. The basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually Saint Joseph Vaz). These are both Portuguese-era monuments and reflect a strong European character. The relics are taken down for veneration and for public viewing, per the prerogative of the Church in Goa, not every ten or twelve years as popularly thought and propagated. The last exposition was held in 2014.[72]

Tourist Arrivals[73]
Year Total Arrivals % Change
1985 775,212 Steady
1990 881,323 Increase 13.3
1995 1,107,705 Increase 23.7
2000 1,268,513 Increase 13.8
2005 2,302,146 Increase 66.3
2010 2,644,805 Increase 13.9
2015 5,297,902 Increase 76.4

Goa has the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph Vaz in Sancoale. Pilar monastery which holds novenas of Venerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza from 10 to 20 November yearly. There is a claimed Marian Apparition at the Church of Saints Simon and Jude at Batim, Ganxim, near Pilar, where Goans and non-resident Goans visit. There is the statue of the bleeding Jesus on the Crucifix at the Santa Monica Convent in Velha Goa. There are churches (Igorzo), like the baroque styled Nixkollounk Gorb-Sombhov Saibinnich Igorz (Church of the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception) in Panaji, the Gothic styled Mater Dei (Dêv Matechi Igorz/ Mother of God) church in Saligao and each church having its own style and heritage, besides Kopelam/ Irmidi (chapels).

The Velhas Conquistas regions are known for Goa-Portuguese style architecture. There are many forts in Goa such as Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Reis Magos, Nanus, Mormugao, Fort Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama.[citation needed]

In many parts of Goa, mansions constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still stand, though, in some villages, most of them are in a dilapidated condition. Fontainhas in Panaji has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing the life, architecture and culture of Goa. Influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa's temples, notably the Shanta Durga Temple, the Mangueshi Temple, the Shri Damodar Temple and the Mahalasa Temple. After 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.[citation needed]

Museums and science centre[edit]

Goa has three important museums: the Goa State Museum, the Naval Aviation Museum and the National Institute of Oceanography. The aviation museum is one of three in India (the others are in Delhi and Bengaluru). The Goa Science Centre is in Miramar, Panaji.[74] The National Institute of Oceanography, India (NIO) is in Dona Paula.[75] Museum of Goa is a privately owned contemporary art gallery in Pilerne Industrial Estate, near Calangute.[76]


Having been a Portuguese territory for over 450 years, Goan culture is an amalgamation of both Eastern and Western styles, with the latter having a more dominant role. The tableau of Goa showcases religious harmony by focusing on the Deepastambha, the Cross, and Ghode Modni followed by a chariot. Western royal attire of kings is as much part of Goa's cultural heritage as are regional dances performed depicting a unique blend of different religions and cultures of this State. Prominent local festivals are Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Diwali, Shigmo, Chavoth, Samvatsar Padvo, Dasara etc. The Goan Carnival and Christmas-new year celebrations attract many tourists.

The Gomant Vibhushan Award, the highest civilian honour of the State of Goa, is given annually by Government of Goa since 2010.[77][78]

Dance and music[edit]

Traditional Goan art forms are Dekhnni, Fugdi, Corridinho, Mando, Dulpod and Fado.[79] Goan Catholics are fond of social gatherings and Tiatr (Teatro). As part of its Portuguese history, music is an integral part of Goan homes. It is often said that "Goans are born with music and sport". Western musical instruments like the piano, guitars and violins are widely used in most religious and social functions of the Catholics.

Goan Hindus are very fond of Natak, Bhajan and Kirtan.[citation needed] Many famous Indian classical singers hail from Goa, including Mogubai Kurdikar, Kishori Amonkar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Prabhakar Karekar.[citation needed]



Natak, Tiatr (most popular) and Jagor are the chief forms of Goa's traditional performance arts. Other forms are Ranmale, Dashavatari, Kalo, Goulankala, Lalit, Kala and Rathkala.[citation needed] Stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata along with more modern social subjects are narrated with song and dance.[80][81]

"Jagor", the traditional folk dance-drama, is performed by the Hindu Kunbi and Christian Gauda community of Goa, to seek the Divine Grace for protection and prosperity of the crop. The literal meaning of Jagor is "jagran" or wakeful nights. The strong belief is that the night-long performance awakens the deities once a year and they continue to remain awake throughout the year guarding the village.

Perni Jagor is the ancient mask dance – drama of Goa, performed by Perni families, using well crafted and painted wooden masks, depicting various animals, birds, super natural power, deities, demons, and social characters.

Gauda Jagor is an impression of social life, that displays all the existing moods and modes of human characters. It is predominantly based on three main characters, Gharasher, Nikhandar, and Parpati wearing shining dresses and headgears. The performance is accompanied by vibrant tunes of Goan folk instruments like Nagara/Dobe, Ghumat, Madale, and Kansale.

In some places, Jagor performances are held with the participation of both Hindus and the Christian community, whereby, characters are played by Hindus and musical support is provided by Christian artistes.[82]

Tiatr (Teatro) and its artists play a major role in keeping the Konkani language and music alive. Tiatrs are conducted solely in the Roman script of Konkani as it is primarily a Christian community-based act. They are played in scenes with music at regular intervals, the scenes are portrayals of daily life and are known to depict social and cultural scenarios. Tiatrs are regularly held especially on weekends mainly at Kala Academy, Panaji, Pai Tiatrist Hall at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao and most recent shows have also started at the new Ravindra Bhavan, Baina, Vasco. Western Musical Instruments such as Drums, Bass, Keyboards, and Trumpets. are part of the show and most of them are played acoustically.[citation needed] It is one of Goa's few art forms that is renowned across the world with performances popular among Goans in the Middle-East, Americas and Europe.

Konkani cinema[edit]

India Goa Film Festival

Konkani cinema is an Indian film industry, where films are made in the Konkani language, which is spoken mainly in the Indian states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka and to a smaller extent in Kerala. Konkani films have been produced in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala.[83]

The first full-length Konkani film was Mogacho Anvddo, released on 24 April 1950, and was produced and directed by A. L.Jerry Braganza, a native of Mapusa, under the banner of ETICA Pictures.[84][85] Hence, 24 April is celebrated as Konkani Film Day.[86]

Since 2004, starting from the 35th edition, the International Film Festival of India moved its permanent venue to Goa, it is annually held in the months of November and December.[87]

Konkani film Paltadcho manis has been included in the world's best films of 2009 list.[88]

Konkani films are eligible for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Konkani. The most commercially successful Konkani film (as of June 2011) is O Maria directed by Rajendra Talak.[89]

In 2012, the whole new change was adopted in Konkani Cinema by introducing Digital Theatrical Film "The Victim" directed by Milroy Goes.[90]

Some old Konkani films are Sukhachem Sopon, Amchem Noxib, Nirmonn, Mhoji Ghorkarn, Kortubancho Sonvsar, Jivit Amchem Oxem, Mog ani Moipas, Bhuierantlo Munis, Suzanne, Boglantt, Padri and Bhogsonne. Ujwadu is a 2011 Konkani film directed by Kasargod Chinna and produced by KJ Dhananjaya and Anuradha Padiyar.


Rice with fish curry (xit koddi in Konkani) is the staple diet in Goa. Goan cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil are widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices, and vinegar, used in the Catholic cuisine, giving the food a unique flavor. Goan cuisine is heavily influenced by Portuguese cuisine.

Goan food may be divided into Goan Catholic and Goan Hindu cuisine with each showing very distinct tastes, characteristics, and cooking styles. Pork dishes such as Vindalho, Xacuti, chouriço, and Sorpotel are cooked for major occasions among the Goan Catholics. A mixed vegetable stew, known as Khatkhate, is a very popular dish during the celebrations of festivals, Hindu and Christian alike. Khatkhate contains at least five vegetables, fresh coconut, and special Goan spices that add to the aroma.

Sannas, Hitt, are local rice cakes and Polle, Amboli, and Kailoleo are rice pancakes; all are native to Goa. A rich egg-based, multi-layered baked sweet known as bebinca is traditional at Christmas.

The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa is feni. Cashew feni is made from the double distillation of the fermented fruit juice of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the double distillation of the fermented sap of toddy palms. Urrak is another local liquor prepared from the single distillation of the fermented cashew fruit juice. In fact the bar culture is one of the unique aspects of the Goan villages where a local bar serves as a meeting point for villagers to unwind.[91] Goa also has a rich wine culture due to Portuguese rule.[92][93]


The architecture of Goa is a combination of Goan, Ottoman and Portuguese styles. Since the Portuguese ruled and governed for four centuries, many churches and houses bear a striking element of the Portuguese style of architecture. Goan Hindu houses do not show any Portuguese influence, though the modern temple architecture is an amalgam of original Goan temple style with Dravidian, Hemadpanthi, Islamic, and Portuguese architecture.[94] The original Goan temple architecture fell into disuse as the temples were demolished by the Portuguese and the Sthapati known as Thavayi in Konkani were converted to Christianity though the wooden work and the Kavi murals can still be seen.[95]

Media and communication[edit]

Goa is served by almost all television channels available in India. Channels are received through cable in most parts of Goa. In the interior regions, channels are received via satellite dishes. Doordarshan, the national television broadcaster, has two free terrestrial channels on air.[96]

DTH (Direct To Home) TV services are available from Dish TV, Videocon D2H, Tata Sky & DD Direct Plus. The All India Radio is the only radio channel in the state that broadcasts on both FM and AM bands. Two AM channels are broadcast, the primary channel at 1287 kHz and the Vividh Bharati channel at 1539 kHz. AIR's FM channel is called FM Rainbow and is broadcast at 105.4 MHz. A number of private FM radio channels are available, Big FM at 92.7 and Radio Indigo at 91.9 MHz. There is also an educational radio channel, Gyan Vani, run by IGNOU broadcast from Panaji at 107.8 MHz. In 2006, St Xavier's College, Mapusa, became the first college in the state to launch a campus community radio station "Voice of Xavier's".[97]

Major cellular service operators include Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular(merged with Vodafone in 2018), Telenor, Reliance Infocomm, Tata DoCoMo, BSNL CellOne and Jio.

Local publications include the English language O Heraldo (Goa's oldest, once a Portuguese language paper), The Gomantak Times and The Navhind Times. In addition to these, The Times of India and The Indian Express are also received from Mumbai and Bangalore in the urban areas. The Times of India has recently started publication from Goa itself, serving the local population news directly from the state capital. Among the list of officially accredited newspapers are O Heraldo, The Navhind Times and The Gomantak Times in English; Bhaangar Bhuin in Konkani (Devanagari script); and Tarun Bharat, Gomantak, Navprabha, Goa Times, Sanatan Prabhat, Govadoot and Lokmat (all in Marathi). All are dailies. Other publications in the state include Planet Goa (English, monthly), Goa Today (English, monthly), Goan Observer (English, weekly), Vauraddeancho Ixtt (Roman-script Konkani, weekly) Goa Messenger, Vasco Watch, Gulab (Konkani, monthly), Bimb (Devanagari-script Konkani).[98]

One electronic mailing list that is based in Goa is Goanet.[99][100][better source needed]


Normally other states are fond of cricket but association football is the most popular sport in Goa and is embedded in Goan culture as a result of the Portuguese influence.[101] Its origins in the state are traced back to 1883 when the visiting Irish priest Fr. William Robert Lyons established the sport as part of a "Christian education".[101][102] On 22 December 1959 the Associação de Futebol de Goa was formed, which continues to administer the game in the state under the new name Goa Football Association.[101] Goa, along with West Bengal and Kerala[101] is the locus of football in India and is home to many football clubs in the national I-League. The state's football powerhouses include Salgaocar, Dempo, Churchill Brothers, Vasco, Sporting Clube de Goa and FC Goa. The first Unity World Cup was held in Goa in 2014. The state's main football stadium, Fatorda Stadium, is located at Margao and also hosts cricket matches.[103] The state hosted few matches of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Fatorda Stadium.[104]

A number of Goans have represented India in football and six of them, namely Samir Naik, Climax Lawrence, Brahmanand Sankhwalkar, Bruno Coutinho, Mauricio Afonso and Roberto Fernandes have all captained the national team. Goa has its own state football team and league, the Goa Professional League. It is probably the only state in India where cricket is not considered the most important of all sports. Goan's are avid football fans, particularly of the football teams from Portugal (Benfica, Sporting), and Brazil especially during major football events such as the 'European Cup' and the 'World Cup' championships. The Portuguese footballer 'Ronaldo' and Brazilian 'Neymar', are revered superstar football players in Goa.

Goa also has its own cricket team. Dilip Sardesai remains the only Goan to date to play international cricket for India.[105]

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has won the right to host the Asian Beach Games in Goa in 2020.[106] India (Goa) is a member of the 'Lusophony Olympic Games' which are hosted every four years in one of the Portuguese CPLP member countries, with 733 athletes from 11 countries. Most of the countries competing are countries that are members of the CPLP (Community of Portuguese Language Countries), but some are countries with significant Portuguese communities or have a history with Portugal. This event is similar in concept to the Commonwealth Games (for members of the Commonwealth of Nations) and the Jeux de la Francophonie (for the Francophone community).


Goa had India's earliest educational institutions built with European support. The Portuguese set up seminaries for religious education and parish schools for elementary education. Founded circa 1542 by Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Paul's College, Goa was a Jesuit school in Old Goa, which later became a college. St Paul's was once the main Jesuit institution in the whole of Asia. It housed the first printing press in India and published the first books in 1556.

Medical education began in 1801 with the offering of regular medical courses at the Royal and Military Hospital in the old City of Goa. Built-in 1842 as the Escola Médico-Cirúrgica de (Nova) Goa (Medical-Surgical School of Goa), Goa Medical College is one of Asia's oldest medical colleges and has one of the oldest medical libraries (since 1845).[107] It houses the largest hospital in Goa and continues to provide medical training to this day.

According to the 2011 census, Goa has a literacy rate of 87%, with 90% of males and 84% of females being literate.[108] Each taluka is made up of villages, each having a school run by the government. Private schools are preferred over government-run schools. All schools come under the Goa Board of Secondary & Higher Secondary Education, whose syllabus is prescribed by the state education department. There are also a few schools that subscribe to the all-India ICSE syllabus or the NIOS syllabus. Most students in Goa complete their high school with English as the medium of instruction. Most primary schools, however, use Konkani and Marathi (in private, but government-aided schools). As is the case in most of India, enrolment for vernacular media has seen a fall in numbers in favor of English medium education. Per a report published in The Times of India, 84% of Goan primary schools run without an administrative head.[109]

Some notable schools in Goa include Sharada Mandir School in Miramar, Loyola High School in Margao and The King's School in São José de Areal. After ten years of schooling, students join a Higher Secondary school, which offers courses in popular streams such as Science, Arts, Law, and Commerce. A student may also opt for a course in vocational studies. Additionally, they may join three-year diploma courses. Two years of college is followed by a professional degree programme. Goa University, the sole university in Goa, is located in Taleigão and most Goan colleges are affiliated with it.

There are six engineering colleges in the state. Goa Engineering College and National Institute of Technology Goa are government-funded colleges whereas the private engineering colleges include Don Bosco College of Engineering at Fatorda, Shree Rayeshwar Institute of Engineering and Information Technology at Shiroda, Agnel Institute of Technology, and Design (AITD), Assagao, Bardez and Padre Conceicao College of Engineering at Verna. In 2004, BITS Pilani one of the premier institutes in India, inaugurated its second campus, the BITS Pilani Goa Campus, at Zuarinagar near Dabolim. The Indian Institute of Technology Goa (IIT Goa) began functioning from its temporary campus, located in Goa Engineering College since 2016. The site for permanent campus was finalised in Cotarli, Sanguem.[110]

There are colleges offering pharmacy, architecture and dentistry along with numerous private colleges offering law, arts, commerce and science. There are also two National Oceanographic Science related centres: the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research in Vasco da Gama and the National Institute of Oceanography in Dona Paula.

Goa Institute of Management located at Sanquelim, near Panaji is one of India's premier business schools.

In addition to the engineering colleges, there are government polytechnic institutions in Panaji, Bicholim and Curchorem, and aided institutions like Father Agnel Polytechnic in Verna and the Institute of Shipbuilding Technology in Vasco da Gama which impart technical and vocational training.[111]

Other colleges in Goa include Shri Damodar College of Commerce and Economics, V.V.M's R.M. Salgaocar Higher Secondary School in Margao, G.V.M's S.N.J.A higher secondary school, Don Bosco College, D.M.'s College of Arts, Science and Commerce, St Xavier's College, Carmel College, The Parvatibai Chowgule College, Dhempe College, Damodar College, M. E. S. College of Arts & Commerce, S. S. Samiti's Higher Secondary School of Science and Rosary College of Commerce & Arts. As the result of renewed interest in the Portuguese language and culture, Portuguese at all levels of instruction is offered in many schools in Goa, largely private ones. In some cases, Goan students do student exchange programs in Portugal.



Goa International Airport, new terminal building

Goa International Airport, is a civil enclave at INS Hansa, a Naval airfield located at Dabolim near Vasco da Gama.[112] The airport caters to scheduled domestic and international air services. Goa has scheduled international connections to Doha, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East by airlines like Air Arabia, Air India, GoAir, Indigo, Oman Air, SpiceJet and Qatar Airways. Though night operations were not permitted till recently, the military now allows civil airlines to fly during the night. A greenfield airport is under construction at Mopa in Pernem taluka.[113] It is expected to be completed by 2022.[114]


Most of Goa is well connected by roads.
Government-run Kadamba buses at a bus station in Goa

Goa's public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas. Government-run buses, maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, link major routes (like the Panaji–Margao route) and some remote parts of the state. The Corporation owns 15 bus stands, 4 depots and one Central workshop at Porvorim and a Head Office at Porvorim.[115] In large towns such as Panaji and Margao, intra-city buses operate. However, public transport in Goa is less developed, and residents depend heavily on their own transportation, usually motorised two-wheelers and small family cars.

Motorcycle Taxi or "Pilots"

Goa has four National Highways passing through it. NH-66 (ex NH-17) runs along India's west coast and links Goa to Mumbai in the north and Mangalore to the south. NH-4A running across the state connects the capital Panaji to Belgaum in east, linking Goa to cities in the Deccan. The NH-366 (ex NH-17A) connects NH-66 to Mormugao Port from Cortalim. The new NH-566 (ex NH-17B) is a four-lane highway connecting Mormugao Port to NH-66 at Verna via Dabolim Airport, primarily built to ease pressure on the NH-366 for traffic to Dabolim Airport and Vasco da Gama. NH-768 (ex NH-4A) links Panaji and Ponda to Belgaum and NH-4. Goa has a total of 224 km (139 mi) of national highways, 232 km (144 mi) of state highway and 815 kilometres (506 miles) of district highway. National Highways in Goa are among the narrowest in the country and will remain so for the foreseeable future, as the state government has received an exemption that allows narrow national highways. In Kerala, highways are 45 metres (148 feet) wide. In other states National Highways are grade separated highways 60 metres (200 feet) wide with a minimum of four lanes, as well as 6 or 8 lane access-controlled expressways.[116][117]

Hired forms of transport include unmetered taxis and, in urban areas, auto rickshaws. Another form of transportation in Goa is the motorcycle taxi, operated by drivers who are locally called "pilots". These vehicles transport a single pillion rider, at fares that are usually negotiated. Other than buses, "pilots" tend to be the cheapest mode of transport.[118] River crossings in Goa are serviced by flat-bottomed ferry boats, operated by the river navigation department.


Margao railway station

Goa has two rail lines – one run by the South Western Railway and the other by the Konkan Railway. The line run by the South Western Railway was built during the colonial era linking the port town of Vasco da Gama, Goa with Belgaum, Hubli, Karnataka via Margao. The Konkan Railway line, which was built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast connecting major cities on the western coast.


The Mormugao Port Trust near the city of Vasco handles mineral ore, petroleum, coal, and international containers. Much of the shipments consist of minerals and ores from Goa's hinterland. Panaji, which is on the banks of the Mandovi, has a minor port, which used to handle passengers steamers between Goa and Mumbai till the late 1980s. There was also a short-lived catamaran service linking Mumbai and Panaji operated by Damania Shipping in the 1990s.

Sister states[edit]

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Andrada (undated). The Life of Dom John de Castro: The Fourth Vice Roy of India. Jacinto Freire de Andrada. Translated into English by Peter Wyche. (1664). Henry Herrington, New Exchange, London. Facsimile edition (1994) AES Reprint, New Delhi. ISBN 81-206-0900-X.

External links[edit]

General information