Goa is quite distinctive among Indias west coast tourist spots. A former Portuguese colony separated from British ruled India by a mountain range, Goa has become well established as a unique and exciting holiday destination.
Goa holidays, Goa Travel
Goa, the smallest of the Indian states, lies on the west coast of India. It is one of Indias major tourist destinations; over a million tourists, mostly from abroad, visit Goa annually. This state with an area of a little over 3000 sq. km. enjoys a coastline of more than 100 km. Its western flank, the coastline, opens on to the Arabian Sea and on its eastern flank is a mountain range.
Visitors are attracted by the lush hills, beaches, cool turquoise blue water and coconut groves of sunny Goa. The mystique of India with its fabric of many religions, diverse languages, and above all its lively spirit and its warm, friendly people attract people the world over.
Except for the period June to August when Goa is lashed by heavy rains; for the rest of the year Goa is warm and humid with temperature ranging between 28-33 C. (average maximum temps). The months between November and February are usually dry.
Open and fun loving, Goans have a passion for music and dance. Virtually every restaurant or bar boasts a live band, even if its no more than a single Spanish guitar! They have an enviable laid-back lifestyle. Goan cuisine is an inspired marriage of local Konkani food style and Portuguese food style; it comprises of fiery curries and stews using beef, pork and fish with generous use of cocoanut in it. Most restaurants serve local specialties as well as other Indian regional cuisines. You can get authentic international cuisines in large hotels and restaurants.
Goa has numerous golden sand beaches along its 105 km long coastline. These golden sand beaches are free of urban pollution and provide relaxation and tranquility. Most of the beaches like Dona Paula, Caranzalem, Calangute, Candolim, Sinquerim, Baga, etc. have small restaurants that supply soft drinks, beer, and snacks. Generally accommodation near the beaches is available. At some of these beaches loungers and umbrellas as well as water scooters and other water sports facilities are available. At Baga beach Dolphin Rides are quite popular among tourists; a boat takes you into the sea to areas where you can see dolphins gliding along.
Nature and Wildlife
Goa has been very conscious of its ecology and nature. It has a number of wildlife sanctuaries and bird sanctuaries. In southern Goa, Bhagwan Mahavir Sanctuary is the largest wildlife preserve where you see herds of deer, Indian bison and black panthers. Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the northern part of Goa. This is a small preserve where you see the Indian bison, jackal, black-faced langur, wild boar and different species of deer.
Famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls are in the eastern part of Goa. Here water in large amounts falls from the height of hundreds feet; this is a picturesque sight which is very popular with nature lovers, hikers and trekkers.
Catholic religion has strong roots in India and there are many Christian churches in Goa that are famous. To name a few: the 16th century Basilica of Bom Jesus has the embalmed mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier enshrined in a silver casket here since 1553; it is famous among Catholics of the world and both Christians and Hindus come to pay homage here. Cathedral of St. Catherine, which has an 80m long aisle and 14 altars is the largest church in Asia,.
There are many 4 & 5 star hotels in various cities of Goa. Apart from that many modest hotels cater to the backpackers and hikers.