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Goa :: City Information

Goa - weather

Best Travel Duration

In Summer: 32.7 C (Max) - 24 C (Min)
In winter: 32.2 C (Max) - 21 C (Min)

October to May

History of Goa

In the ancient period, Goa was called Gomanchala, Gomant, Goapuri, Gowapur and Gopakapattana. Goan's were originally the descendents from the native Dravidians who where gradually overrun by the Aryan advance from the north around 1500 BC. Aryans who settled in Western India named their state Konkan. Goa, a part of Konkan, became an important port of the ancient and medieval traders like the Phoenicians, the Persians, the Arabs, the Sumarians, the Greeks and the Romans. Until the11th century, there was a succession of empires rising and falling in Goa. Earlier, it was part of the territories of Ashoka, the great Buddhist emperor of the Mauryan Empire who reigned from 273-236 BC. In the 2nd century BC Goa was under the Satavahanas. The Western Kshatrapus ruled next from 150 AD. Then came the Bhojas who made their capital Chandrapur (now Chandor). From AD 540 the Chalukyas of Badami ruled for about 200 years. The Rashtrakutas exercised their influence from 753 AD to 973 AD. Then came the Kadambas who ruled from 1008 AD to 1300 AD. Under their rule Goa became India's maritime power and they built Gopakapattana (now Goa Velha) a few kilometres south west of old Goa which remained the capital until their fall. By1312 the political authority of Goa passed to the Muslims, who under Alaud-din Khilji's general, Malik Kafur defeated the Kadambas. The rise of the Vijayanagar empire had its effect on Goa. Vidyaranya Madhavthe ruler of the Vijayanagar defeated the Muslims in 1370 AD. The Bahamani Sultans dominated the political authority over Goa in about 1470, and in 1498 the Adil Shahi dynasty at Bijapur. It was in 1510, that Alfonso de Albequerque captured Goa from Yusuf Ali Adil Shah.

This brought in the Portuguese who from then onwards influenced every walks of Goan life. Christianity was absorbed by the inhabitants. The intermixture of the locals who settled with the Portuguese soldiers evolved a new culture that was unique. The Portuguese made the city of Panaji the capital of Goa in 1843. It was a Portuguese colony till 1961 after which it became a part of the Indian Union. Goa attained full statehood on 30th May1987 when Daman and Diu retained separate identity as a Union Territory.

Fairs & Festivals at Goa

GOA CARNIVAL - A THREE DAY SAGA

About the Goa Fair

Carnaval in Goa is a non-stop 3-day festival of color, song and music, providing a healthy entertainment for all, young and old.

The soothing climate, full of fun-'n'-frolic which the Carnaval generates is much longed for. It does not matter whether you enjoy or see others enjoying. There is enthusiasm and hapiness all around.

In the 30's, Carnaval was enthusiastically celebrated all over Goa with a festive mood filling the air with the sound of drums and music, procession of masked men thronging the streets of the main towns and even some villages. Gaily decorated gharries, colorful dresses and armed with "cocotes" (powder bombs) wind its way through the streets.

Khells, (esentially of Goan character, are "walking" musical dramas enacted in the open), were specially performed during this period, in the open.

Later, a float parade began to be organized with "King Momo" in command and open air street dances, attracting large crowds.

Places to Visit at Goa

Panaji

Description: Panaji

Panaji is the official capital of Goa. It was called Panjim during the times of the Portuguese and was one of the three principal Portuguese cities along with Velha Goa (Old Goa) and Margao. Though it began as a suburb of Velha Goa it ended up becoming the capital of Goa in 1843 when the Portuguese Old Goa. It is also one of India's smallest and most charming state capitals.

Vasco-da-Gama

 

The town of Vasco-da-Gama was originally called Sambhaji. This spick and span, and geometrically planned well laid out coastal town popularly known as Vasco is also the oldest railway terminus for passenger service.

Margao

Description: Margao

Margao is Goa's second largest city and commercial metropolis of Salcete taluka in South Goa. It still retains semblance of Goa's Portuguese colonial past, and is connected to the rest of the Indian sub-continent by rail. Margao is the headquarters of South Goa District and is considered the main commercial city of Goa. It is famous for its ancient cultural heritage and traditional customs of the people of Goa.

Mapusa

 

Mapusa's main claim to fame is its famous Friday market where people from all over Goa come to buy and sell their wares. It is otherwise a small town forming the hub of north Goa.

Velha Goa

 

Velha Goa or Old Goa rose as the second capital of the Bijapur Kingdom though all that remains of that era today are pieces of the Gateway, part of the wall that surrounded the Sultan's palace. The Portuguese colonization of Goa with Alfonso de Albuquerque's victory over the Sultan's forces also began here. It then served as the Portuguese capital of Goa until 1843 and from the mid 16th century onwards, the Christian Doctrine began to be spread from here by St. Francis Xavier.

Beaches

Description: Beaches

Goa's best-known feature is its lovely languorous golden beaches that stretch across the 60 miles (100 kms) long coastline. While, some of them are well prepared for tourists and appointed with every facility, be it hotels and resorts, beach shacks and small restaurants serving delicious but affordable food, or beach bazaars with colorful balloons, the others are sandy and isolated retreats perfect for unwinding and relaxing. The various beaches in Goa are its must visit places.

Churches

Description: Churches

The churches in the beach capital of India attract pilgrims from far and away. Amongst the most popular churches of Goa are Se Cathedral, Convent & Church of St. Francis of Assisi and Church & Convent of St. Monica.

Ponda

Description: Ponda

The town of Ponda can easily be considered the heart of Hinduism in Goa. For when the Hindus abandoned their coastal settlements and moved inland during the Inquisition, a majority of them settled in Ponda. Ponda is now a transportation hub and some of the best temples in Goa are located here.

How To Get To Goa

By Air:

 

Goa is well connected by airline services to most major cities in India. All flights, national and international, to and from Goa, operate from the Goa Airport.

By Rail:

 

Goa is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Secunderabad, Tirupati via Londa junction on the Mirage-Bangalore sector of south central railway, and to Mumbai, and Mangalore on the Konkan Railway Corporation section. Convenient stations are Margao/Vasco and Karmali.

By Road:

 

Goa, Maharashtra, and Karnataka state transport corporations operate from the Kadamba bus stand at Panaji.