Part of the Konkan region, Goa is bordered by the state of Maharashtra to the north and by Karnataka to the east and south; the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.
Latitude: 28° 38’ N Longitude: 72° 12’ E
About 1.344 million (2001 census)
The official spoken language is Konkani. Marathi and English are used for education, administration and literary purposes. Other languages spoken include Portuguese, Hindi and Kannada.
Hindus comprise 65% of the population, 27% are Christians and 5% are Muslims. About 2% is constituted by the Gowada, Kunbi, Velip and Dhangar tribes. Small communities of Jews, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs also live in Goa.
The earliest reference to Goa is in the Puranas, dated 3rd century. It was ruled by various dynasties (Mauryas, Satavahanas, Chalukyas, Silharas, Kadambas, Yadavas) until the end of the 13th century. Since the 1400s, Goa changed hands many times – between the Delhi Sultanate, the Vijayanagara empire (which ruled for about 100 years), Adil Shah of Bijapur, the Marathas, and then finally to the Portuguese in 1510. In 1961, Goa became a part of India after gaining independence from Portuguese rule, and attained statehood in 1987.
Goa follows the Portuguese Uniform Civil Code. Goa has a unicameral legislature consisting of a 40 member Legislative Assembly, headed by a Chief Minister who wields the executive power. The Governor is appointed by the President of India and functions as the titular head.
Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party are the largest parties in the state. Other parties are The United Goans Democratic Party, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party.
The Western Ghats, which form most of eastern Goa, is a biodiversity hotspot. Goa is also rich in minerals and ores.
Tourism is Goa’s primary industry, contributing 15% to the state’s domestic product. Mining (ores of iron, bauxite, manganese, clays, limestone and silica) forms the second largest industry. Agriculture offers seasonal employment. Rice is the primary crop, followed by areca nut, cashew and coconut.
Medium scale industries include the manufacturing of chemicals, tyres, tubes, footwear, steel rolling, fruits and fish canning, textiles and brewery products.
Reclaimed over centuries from the sea by dykes (or bunds) and sluice gates made of laterite stone, clay and earth, Khazan lands are the most fertile. These lands are managed by the community, with clearly defined traditional titles and duties. They serve as fields and breeding ground for shrimp and fish.
Shrinivas Dempo (The House of Dempo), Anil Salgaocar (Salgaocar Mining Industries), Vijay, Ashok and Umaji Chowgule (Chowgule Group), Madhusudan Datta Kamat Timblo, Fomento Group.
Goa has a warm tropical climate. May is the hottest month with temperature rising up to 35oc with high humidity. Monsoon starts in early June and lasts till October/ November. A short cool season follows from November to February, with temperatures of 29oc (84oF) in the day, and 20oc (68oF) in the night.
Soil-damage and loss of forest cover due to illegal and excessive mining. The depletion of fish due to excessive trawling is another environmental hazard.
Light cotton and linen are recommended.
All private and public sectors are closed on Sunday. Shops and supermarkets are open seven days a week. ATMs are open 24/7.
IST. Goa is five and a half hours ahead of GMT.
Country dialing code
220 or 240 volts AC 50 HZ
The Feast of Three Kings - Reis Magos, Cansaulim and Chandor Bogdeshwar Jatra - Shantadurga Temple, Quepem, at Bogdgeshwar Temple, Mapusa and Devki Krishna Ravalnath Temple, Ponda.
Pop, Beat and Jazz Music Festival - Kala Academy, Panjim Carnival - primarily Panjim
Shigmotsav - Panjim, Margoa, Mapusa and Vasco Procession of All Saints - Velha Goa Fatorpa Gulal or Vasant Panchami Jatra - Shantadurga temple in Queula, Ponda, in Mangeshi temple at Priol, in Mahalsa Temple at Mardol, Ponda
Good Friday - All churches of Goa
Ram Navami - Temple of Partagal, Canacona
Igitun Chalne - Sirigao, Bicholim
Goa Statehood Day
Festival of St. Anthony
Festival of St. Peter and St. Paul
Feast of St. Lawrence
Bonderam - Divar
Marathi and Konkani Drama Festival - Kala Academy, Panjim
Feast of St. Francis Xavier - Velha Goa
Feast of Lady of Immaculate Conception - Panjim and Margao
Shantadurga Yatra - Fatropa in Quepem, Bogdgeshwar Temple in Mapusa and Devki
Krishna Ravalnath Temple at Marcela in Ponda