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State Info / Goa
Goa

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This little state on the Konkan coast on the Western ghats of India, attracts a large number of tourists ,from the kids, youngsters to the old. The coastline of Goa is 131 kms long and is rightly called 'Pearl of the East'. This state with its shoreline opening to the Arabian sea has succeeded in winning over the hearts of all its tourists.

Goa is situated amidst the Arabian sea on the west, Terekhol river on the north, western Ghats on the east and North Canara state on the south.

The state is famous for its mind-dazzling and extensive beaches of Colva, Calangute, Harmal, Anjuna Miramar and Vegalor. Basilica of Born Jesus and Se Cathedral churches at Old Goa; Kavlem, Mardol, Mangesh, Bandora temples; Aguad, Terekhol, Chapora and Cabo de Rama Forts are also areas of tourist interest.

Wildlife Sancturies of Bondla, Cotigao, Molem and Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Chorao are also greatly bewildering. Dudhsagar and Harvalem Waterfalls and Mayem Lake Resort are known for their scenic beauty.

History

The History of Goa goes back to the origin of Goa, by Parshurama, who is a God of Hindu pantheon. During the 1st century of the Christian Era, Goa formed a part of the Satavahana empire. After that followed the Rashtrakutas of Malked who were the Kadamba's. Later came the Chalukyas and the Silahars. At the end of the 14th century the empire of Yadavas was taken over by the Khiljis from Delhi, which was the beginning of Muslim rule in Goa.

The touch of Portuguese architecture comes with the history of Goa which began with Vasco da Gama discovering a sea route to India in 1498. In 1510 with the assistance of emperor Vijayanagar, Goa was attacked and taken over by Afonso de Albuquerque. With the arriaval of Jesuit Saint Francisco Xavier, Proselytisation was born in Goa in 1542. The Portuguese ruled over Goa, other than a few areas during the 17th century, as Shivaji captured them. After being ruled by such a wide range of rulers, at last on 19th December 1961. Goa was liberated. It was declared a union territory along with Daman and Diu. But later it was declared a separate state on 30th May 1987.

Goa has always succeeded in amazing tourist by its splendid and striking panoramic charms. The endless beaches, with the vast seas and mind-dazzling sunsets never fails to capture the heats of the onlooker. The strolls on the sea-shores with the melodious sound of the waves ;and the brushing of the palm leaves as they sway, create a soothing effect. Aquatic sports is one more attraction of Goa. The silence and peace of the churches also creates a restful feeling.


State Capital
Panaji

Population ('000s in 1991): 1,170

Area ('000 sq. km): 3.7

Females per 1000 males (1991): 967

Literacy rate (1991): 75.5

Ratio of urban population (1991): 41

Net Domestic Product(Rs. million at current prices in 1992-93): 12,220
Per Capita Income(Rs. at current prices in 1992-93): 10,128

Transport : Air Goa's international airport, Dabolim, is 29 km from Panaji, on the coast near Vasco da Gama. Most of India's domestic airlines operate services here, as well as several direct charter companies that fly into Goa from the UK and Germany. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines operate regular flights between Goa and Mumbai. Indian Airlines also has flights from Goa to Delhi. Gujarat airlines also operates flights from Goa to Pune.

Train The completion of the 760km Konkan Railway linking Mangalore to Mumbai in 1998 has made Goa far more accessible than it used to be. With the conversion to broad gauge also complete, long-haul journeys are faster. Goa's two main stations are at Margao (Madgaon) and Vasco da Gama. Seats and sleepers can be booked at either of these, or at the train reservation office in Panaji's Kaddamba bus stand. Other useful stations on the Konkan route are Mapusa Road (Thivim) for Mapusa and Old Goa (Karmali) for Panaji.

Taxi It takes 14 hours to drive the 600km from Mumbai to Goa, but this can be done over two days. The tourist has to pay for the taxi's return trip and the cost comes around Rs.6000 (Rs 5 per kilometre).

Boat The catamaran service between Mumbai and Panaji, operated by Frank Shipping, has been a bit erratic in recent years due to breakdowns. In theory it sails between October and May. From Goa it sails every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The local transport services include :

Bus The state-run Kadamba bus company is the main operator, although there are also many private companies. Local buses are cheap, services are frequent and they run to just about everywhere, Destination signs at the bus stands are in English, so there are no worries about finding the bus you want. They are, however, fairly slow because they make frequent stops.

Car Rental Self-drive car rental is available in Goa, although it's expensive. Several companies have counters at the airport.

Motorcycle Rental Hiring a motorcycle in Goa is easy, and popular with many tgravellers. The machines that are available are old Enfields, more modern Yamaha 100s and the gearless Kinetic Honda scooters, Prices vary according to season.

Motorcycle Taxi Goa is the one place in India where motorcycles are a licensed form of taxi. They are much cheaper than other transport, and backpacks are no problem. Licensed motorcycles are common and can be identified by a yellow front mudguard.

Bicycle Rental There are plenty of places to hire bicycles in all the major towns and beach resorts - around Rs 40 for a full day.

Besides these there are boats plying between different beaches which make pleasant excursions at reasonable rates.

Language Spoken : Konkani, Marathi,English, Portuguese.

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