Goa is a tropical paradise
that lies on the west coast of India bathed by the warm waters of the
Arabian sea. It is unique in many ways but mostly due to its history
and geography that have left an indelible mark on its people for
Having been ruled by the colonial Portuguese for over 450yrs ( as
compared to the rest of India that was ruled by the British for
250yrs) there is still visible a distinct Portuguese / European flavor
that has permeated all aspects of Goa's life including its food,
religion, language, festivals, dances and of course names. This
becomes apparent as soon as you cross the border to Goa from India or
This unique blend of Indian and Portuguese culture is to a large
extent what makes Goa and the "Goan" unique. Also unique is the fact
that it is one of the few colonies that India ( an ex- colony itself)
liberated in 1961 and this set the stage for reclaiming history.
Today at the dawn of the "age of Information Technology", as Goa
enters the new millennium, it has plenty to write about in terms of
achievements, some examples being- the highest per capita income in
India, the highest per personal savings rate in India, the lowest
infant mortality rate in India, one of the highest literacy rate in
India and one of the highest standards of living as compared to the
rest of India
The state capital is Panaji, in Ilhas taluka in North Goa.
Winter: Ranges from 21 0C
Summer: 35 0C
Goa receives rainfall from the South West monsoon winds between June
and September. Rainfall received in 1998 was 3008 mm. This is also the
tourist "OFF SEASON".
Goas total population is around 1,169,793 (1991 census of India) The
density of population is 316 per SqKms. Most of Goa's population is
rural ( 690,041), a significant
population is however urban ( 479,752).
Hindus account for a little more than 64.68 per cent of the total
population, Christians (Roman Catholics) nearly 29.86 per cent and
Muslims 5.25 percent of the population.
The remaining 1.21 percent comprise of other religions including
Buddhism, Jainism, Sikh etc. The scheduled castes amount to 2 per cent
of the population. There are no
scheduled tribes in Goa.
Language English, Portuguese, Konkani, Hindi and Marathi.
It has a literacy rate of 77%.
The state of Goa is located between Latitudes 15 degrees, 48'00" N and
between 14 degrees, 53'54" N and Longitudes 74degrees, 20'13" E and 73
degrees 40" 33" E. It is 1,022 meters above sea-level.
It has a land area of 3702 Sq. Kms.
It has a coast line of 104kms
The Goan landscape is bisected by two major rivers that open into
the arabian sea; they are
a) The Zuari which is approximately 39 miles and
b) The Mandovi which is approximately 38.5 miles.
The other major rivers include the Tiracol, Chapora, Sal and the
Talpona rivers. All the rivers originate in the Sayhadri ranges and
flow westward into the Arabian sea and are
navigable throughout the year.
Overall Goa's inland waterways are about 250kms
One third of Goa is covered by forests, the actual number being
1424.38Sqkms. Of this the Government owns 1224.38Sqkms, the rest (
approx 200Sqkm ) is held by the
For its size and topography, Goa is well connected with roads both
locally and nationally via the National Highway system. The
contributions are - National highways
224.00 Kms, the State highways 232.00 Kms, Major district roads 815.00
Kms, Village roads (surfaced) 2086.00 Kms and Village roads
(un-surfaced) 1490.00 Kms.
Aracanut, Cashew, Coconut, Forest Produce, Rice, Millets and
There is only one civilian airport at Dabolim near Vasco which caters
to the domestic and international air traffic.