Asia / India

Goa

Goa offers sun kissed beaches, silver sands surrounded by palm trees with endless flow of local liquor in its full splendor and beauty. Nowhere else in India will you find the laid-back languidness of a Goan lunchtime, the easy charms of its people or the soothing serenity of a day on its beaches.

Goa is a state in India, it is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city which has a Harbor, Airport and the central railway terminal. Ponda is geographical located in the center of Goa and exhibits the cultural influence of the Hindus. It's the industrial hub of Goa. There are many industrial estates in and around Ponda. It's famous for its number of historic temples and the famous Safa Shahouri Masjid. Mapusa city to the north is known for its prominent market center for many centuries. Market day was a major event, with goods brought in from every district to one central area. Mapusa's historic market comes alive on Friday, the traditional market day also known as Mapusa Friday Market. Bicholim is known for its Mayem Lake, waterfalls and the historic Arvalem caves, is also the mining heartland of Goa. The historic city of Margao is the second largest city in Goa and Largest city in south Goa and the commercial headquarters of the State. It still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.

Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.

Goa features a tropical monsoon climate under the Koppen climate classification. Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September.

Goa has a short winter season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by nights of around 21 °C (68 °F) and days of around 28 °C (84 °F) with moderate amounts of humidity. Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler. During March 2008 Goa was lashed with heavy rain and strong winds. This was the first time in 29 years that Goa had seen rain during March.

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