Newbie’s Guide to Goa

Goa is a vacation paradise, rightly said. Located in South Western India, it is famous for three Ss: Sand, Surf and Sea. Never ending stretch of sandy beaches, water sports, flamboyant life style, British reminiscent, history, fairs and festivals make Goa the best, yet economical vacation spot.

Goa owes much to the Portuguese Raj for its architecture and to nature for rich tropical flora and fauna. So, Goa has it all – history, culture and cuisine.

Goa – The Location
Goa lies between the latitudes 14°53’54” N – 15°40’00” N and longitudes 73°40’33” E – 74°20’13” E and covers an area of 3,702 km². It is elongated stretch of coastal land known as Konkan, facing Arabian Sea. The Western Ghats mountain range separates the coastal region from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point on the Western Ghats in Konkan is the Sonsogor (3,827 feet).

Goa – The Land
Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 miles). Speaking in pure geographical language, these are mainly rivulets, the major ones being the Mandovi, the Terekhol, the Zuari, Chapora River and the Betul. The Mormugao harbour is a natural harbour on the mouth of the Zuari. The Mandovi and the Zuari serve as the lifelines of Goa, with their tributaries draining 69% of the area. Goa has more than eight marine and about ninety riverine islands and forty estuarines. The total navigable length of Goa’s rivers is 157 miles.

Each Beach of Goa has an individuality of its own. The beaches have popularized Goa as the Beach Capital of India. They attract over two million visitors annually. The Goa beaches give the visitors a “Take It Easy” feeling. You can follow action after action – endless opportunities to roam around and all-night partying. People of every budget can enjoy the endless abandonment.

The Culture of Goa
Goa exhibits a strikingly different culture from the rest of India. Dravidian Christian culture has blessed Goa a flamboyant yet peaceful identity. The natives observe Christmas, Easter, Ganesh Chaturthi and Shigmo with equal jest.

Goa Cuisine
Rice and fish curry is the staple diet in Goa. The region is well-known for its elaborate fish dishes cooked mainly with coconut oil. For drink, the good old Feni (local brew) is popular. Feni is a ferment of cashew fruit and toddy palms.

How to Reach Goa
By Air: Daily flights available to Goa throughout the year from major cities of India.
By Train: Konkan Railway connects Goa with major cities of the country by express trains such as Shatabdi Express, Konkan Kanya, Netravati and Hapa express. Major railway stations are Vasco, Tivim, Margao and Karmali.