Goa has enjoyed
a prominent place in the travellers' lexicon since the heady days of
the 1960s, but the (in) famous hippies have now been replaced by
backpackers. The locals are relaxed and friendly, and skirts outnumber
When To Go
time to visit Goa is during the cooler months, from November to March.
If you arrive in October, right at the start of the tourist season,
you'll find the beaches pleasantly empty, but may also find that some
of the facilities (such as beach shacks) aren't yet open for business.
April and May can be very humid, and swimming becomes less pleasant as
the sea gets rougher. Some facilities may also be closed, as most
beach shacks pack up after Easter.
Many Goans feel that the monsoon (June to September) is when the state
is at its best, when the countryside turns lush and green almost
overnight. In terms of tourism, Goa is virtually dead, however, and
swimming in the sea is out of the question. The plus side to visiting
at this time is that you will have the place to yourself at very
little cost. The peak tourist season is around Christmas from 22
December to 5 January, when you'll have to book in advance and pay
premium prices. It's a great time to be in Goa - the weather is
perfect, the place is buzzing and in typical Goan fashion there are
parties most nights
smallest state in terms of area and the fourth smallest in terms of
population. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as
the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north,
Karnataka to the east and south and the Arabian Sea forms its western
Panaji (Panjim) is the state's capital, Vasco-da-Gama (Vasco)
the largest city, while the historic city of Margao still exhibits the
influence of Portuguese culture. Portuguese merchants first landed in
Goa in the 15th century, and annexed it soon after. The Portuguese
colony existed for about 450 years (one of the longest held colonial
possessions in the world), until it was taken over by India in 1961
Renowned for its beaches, Goa is visited by hundreds of thousands of
international and domestic tourists each year.
Origin of name
The name Goa came to European languages from the Portuguese colonisers,
but its precise origin is unclear. The Indian epic Mahabharata refers
to the area now known as Goa, as 'Goparashtra' or 'Govarashtra"' which
means a nation of cowherds. 'Gopakapuri' or 'Gapakapattana' were used
in some ancient Sanskrit texts, and these names were also mentioned in
other sacred Hindu texts such as the Harivansa and the Skanda Purana.
An example of traditional Portuguese-influenced Goan architecture.
Mangueshi Temple, a Hindu temple in Old Goa.The most popular
celebrations in Goa are Christmas, Easter Sunday, Ganesh Chaturthi,
Divali, New Year's Day, Shigmo and the Carnival. However, since the
1960s, the celebrations of the Shigmo and carnival have shifted to the
urban centres, and in recent times these festivals are seen more as a
means of attracting tourists. Celebrations for all festivals usually
last for a few days and include parties and balls.
Western English songs have a large following in most parts of Goa.
Traditional Konkani folk songs also have a sizable following. Manddo,
the traditional Goan music which originated in the nineteenth century,
is sung and danced on special occasions. Goa is also known for its Goa
trance music. In the year 2006, the AIR FM channel ran a program "Goa
Top 10", which listed the most requested tracks of the week. During
analysis, it emerged that the song "Faithful" by Lobo had an unusually
high, consistent popularity, in spite of not being a fresh track.