Goa Tourism, Goa Travel Guide

About Goa

Goa is world renowned tourist destination that is popular for its scenic natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, historical monuments and heritage sites. This beautiful little state is located on the western coast of Indian Peninsula in the Konkan region known as the Konkan. Goa is also popularly known as the "Rome of the East" among travellers.

The state of Goa was liberated on 19th December, 1961 after 451 years of Portuguese Colonial Rule. Also known as the "Pearl of the Orient" - Goa is among the most visited tourist destinations in the world known for its vibrant lifestyle. It is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north and by Karnataka to the east and south. The almighty Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Its rivers, Tiracol, Chapora, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and Talpona have their origin in the Sahyadri ranges and flow westward into the Arabian Sea.

Goa has been divided into two districts for administrative purposes: North Goa and South Goa with headquarters at Panaji and Margao respectively. The capital of the Goa is Panaji, while the largest city is Vasco da Gama. Goa is the unique blend of different architectural styles-Indian, Mughal and Portugal styles.Goa is quite popular as a tourist attraction for its spice plantation. Some major spices produced in the region called Ponda (central Goa) are: Black pepper, Cardamom, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cloves, Chilies, Coriander, Cashew and Betel nut palm.

Main festival of Goa is the ‘Goa Carnival festival’ which is celebrated by the people of all religion of Goa in the month of February with lots of fun, frolic, amusement and extravaganza. ‘Feni’ is one of the most famous and popular drinks of Goa. This Goan drink is a type of liquor made by fermenting the fruit of the Cashew tree (cashew Feni) and from the juice of toddy plants(Coconut Feni).

History of Goa

Goa and its vibrant history is quite significant in the historical legacy of India. Goa was the first part of India that was colonized by Europeans and also the last to be liberated. In the past it was known as Govapuri, Gomant or Aprant. The Arab sailors knew it as Sindabur, or Sandabur, and the Portuguese as Goa. According to Hindu scriptures, Goa was created by an arrow bowed by Parashuram - the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu as per Hindu Mythology, at the sea asking it to recede.

Goa's known history stretches back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of the Mauryan Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BCE and the 6th century CE, Goa was ruled by the various dynasties like- Satavahana dynasty, Chalukya Empire, the Silharas, the Kadambas and the Chalukyas of Kalyani.

In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate, who was defeated by Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire by 1370. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469. In 1469, however, Goa was reconquered, by the Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarga that was broke up in 1492 by Bijapur Sultanate of Adil Shah, who made Goa Velha their second capital.

In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur kings and established their permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). Goa was known for its spice plantations and exotic spices. As the location of Goa near the sea was favorable for the Portuguese to set up one of the most prosperous trade links in Asia, so they set up a base in Goa to control the spice trade. The architectural splendor of the city was mentioned by St. Francis Xavier in 1542 that reached its climax between 1575 and 1625. Between 1603 and 1639 the city was blockaded by Dutch fleets, though never captured, and in 1635 it was ravaged by an epidemic. With the situation already volatile, Maratha troops entered parts of Bicholim in 1641 and began the minor Bicholim conflict, which ended in peace treaty between the Portuguese and Maratha Empire.

After Third Battle of Panipat, Peshawa control over Maratha Empire got weakened and Portuguese then defeated Rajas of Sawantwadi and Raja of Sunda to conquer area stretched from Pernem till Cancona. This formed the Novas Conquests and thus the present day Goa is formed. In 1843 the capital was moved to Panjim from Velha Goa.

In 1955, after getting independence from the British, Prime Minister- Jawaharlal Nehru declared not to tolerate Portuguese presence in Goa as the Portugal refused to negotiate with India on the transfer of sovereignty of their Indian enclaves. On 12 December 1961, the Indian Army commenced with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, Daman and Diu into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu was made into a centrally administered Union Territory of India. On 30 May 1987, the Union Territory was split, and Goa was made India's twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining Union Territories.



Goa - Places to Visit

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