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Goa western India, bounded on the north by Maharashtra, and on the east and south by Karnataka, formerly part of Portuguese India. Until May 1987, when it attained statehood, Goa was part of Goa, Daman, and Diu, a union territory named after the three districts it comprised. Daman and Diu retained separate status as union territories. The state capital is Panaji (Panjim). The population of the state (1991 census) is 1,169,793.Goa Information


There are three principal cities: Panaji, Mormugao and Madgaon. The Goa mainland, on the Malabar Cost, is the largest and historically the most important part of the state. Agriculture is the main occupation, with rice, fruits, coconuts, pulses and cashew nuts, the main crop. Fishing is also important and there is some mining of manganese, iron ore and bauxite.


The ancient Hindu city of Goa (Sanskrit Gove, Govapuri, or Gomant) lies in ruins. Nearby, the city of Old Goa (Port., velha Goa), founded about 1440 and conquered try the Portuguese in 1510, is also nearly abandoned, although it contains several very old buildings, including the cathedral founded by the Portuguese conqueror Afonso de Albuquerque in 1511 and the convent of St. Francis of Assisi (1517). At the height of its prosperity (c. 1575-1675). By the early l8th century, attacks by the natives and by rival Dutch traders had almost destroyed the city and in 1759 the capital was transferred to Nova Goa (later called Panjim and now Panaji). Daman (Port., Damdo), a town on the coast of the Gulf of Khambhat, north of Bombay; was sacked by the Portuguese in 1531 and a permanent colony was established there in. 1558. It is a port for trade with the eastern coast of Africa.


Anjuna is still Goa's most popular beaches. All night beach 'parties' continue to attract crowds and the constant thump of rave/dance music pervades all the way to Vagator. Even during the day there is a constant roar of motor bikes and scooters along the roads. Then there is the Wednesday flea market.

Arambol is a large, strung out village by the seashore, approached by a road which winds across the plateau and down through cashew trees. The main beach is a stunning stretch of curving sand still relatively un spoilt. A sign at the cross roads in the middle of the village near the bus stop points down the beach, and the road passes a school and village houses sheltering under coconut palms. The villagers are very friendly, and the place less touristy than many which allows you to see local life or close quarters, and even though there are hawkers, the usual refrain is the harmless "want to buy drum?". The relaxed atmosphere and the relative peace is attracting growing numbers of day trippers including motor-cyclists from Anjuna. To the North you can walk for miles with starfish being washed up by your feet. A well-made track runs round the headland past a series of tiny bays to the second beach, still more secluded and little used. Unlike the headlands around Anjuna, the rocks which run into the sea here are basalt the hexagonal columns tilted almost horizontal but eroded into jagged shapes clearly visible for miles along the coast. There are sulphur pits and a freshwater lake which some visitors use for swimming.

Calangute is the busiest small beachside town with small hotels and guesthouses. It has a good beach-no rocks and good swimming but at weekends it can get uncomfortably crowded with day trippers. There is little of interest in the town but for a fish market and a hexagonal 'Barbeiria' near the bus stand at the 'T' junction. Immediately north, the narrower Baga beach is lined with fishing boats, nets and village huts. A shallow estuary and little headland separate it from Anjuna. The main Baga road has several streets off it giving access to the sea. Village houses take it guests but it is a 500 meters walk across hot dunes to the beach.

Colva Beach:
Colva is one of the most popular beaches in southern Goa though not as developed or busy as Calangute in the north. The beach has beautiful sand, coconut palms gently swaying in the breeze and blue waters (which can sometimes be rough and grey-green). However, beach sellers and stray dogs can be nuisance.

The beach Miramar is very 'Urban' in character, the water is polluted and the beach is not particularly attractive, so it is not the ideal place for a beach holiday. Most of the hotels are on, or just off, the D. Bandodkar Marg, the road to Dona Paula along the coast.

South of Agonda, the beautiful curve of palm-fringed golden sand, is one of the best beaches. The search for the remaining un spoilt idyll brought travelers to Palolem a few years ago but it is no longer a deserted bay. 40 kms from Margao via Cuncolim, Palolem is two kilometers off the National Highway. The fairly narrow strip of beach has rather strange rocky outcrops at each end which are locally referred to as 'Pandava's drums' and 'footprints'. An added attraction here is the freshwater stream to the north, as well as the small Canacona Island which can be reached by a short swim or by wading across at low tide.

At the north end of Anjuna village Vagator is an attractive little hamlet with its small bays between rocky headlands shaded by palms. It is quiet and laid back, though it can sometimes get crowded with day trippers. The beach is particularly pleasant in the early morning, but the sea is not always safe for swimming. Chapora Fort commands the hilltop at the North end of the bay, only a short but steep walk away, immediately above sterling Resorts. Now in ruins, the fort on the south bank of the Chapora river dominates the estuary.

Church of our lady of Lamp: It gives thanks to the safe arrival of a Portuguese vessel after a fierce storm at the sea, built in 1565 AD. The holy hill has number of churches. The CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY (1526) belongs to the earliest period of church building, the architectural style that evolved borrowed from Iberian decoration, but also included many local naturalistic motifs as well as Islamic elements, seen on marble cenotaph owing to the Hindu and Muslim craftsmen employed. The church here has a two storey entrance, a single tower and low flanking turrets. Behind it is the royal chapel of St. Anthony (1543), the national saint of Portugal and tower of Augustine.

Further on it is the convent of St. Monica and church and convent of St. John of God. The other places of interest are House of Jesuit father, modern art gallery, St. catherine (the largest church in old Goa built by the Dominicans between 1562- 1623 AD in a Tuscan style), Palace of Inquisition, the church and convent of Assis, Archaeological museum, the viceroy's arch, Church of St. Cajetan and gate of the fortress of Adil Shah.

The world popular church contains the body of St. Francis Xavier, a former pupil of soldier -turned -saint, Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Order of Jesuits. St. Francis Xavier remains the principal spiritual treasure of the territory .The Jesuits began work on their own church in 1594. By 1605 it was finished and consecrated. In 1613 the body of St. Francis was brought there from the College of St. Paul. It was moved into the church in 1624 and its present chapel in 1655 where it has remained ever since. St Francis was canonijzed by Pope Gregory xv in 1622 and in 1964 Pope Pius Xll raised the church to a minor basilica. The Order of Jesuits was suppressed in 1759 and its property confiscated by the State. The church was, however allowed to continue services.


Fort Aguada:
The Fort is situated at the mouth of Mandovi river, 19 km from Panaji. It was built in 1612 and supposed to have the first lighthouse in lighthouse in Asia having a room for ammunition, barrack and a church. It was a place of strength and power. It houses a jail today. Agua means water in Portuguese. It is said that once this place had seven fountains and the ships used to halt here for collecting sweet water.

Chapora Fort:
Chapora fort commands the hilltop at the north end of the bay. It is an exquisite and interesting fort of the Goa coastline. It was built by the Portuguese in 1617 as a border watch post. The Fort is made of red literate, but now just some scattered remains are found of it. The tunnels which were the supply routes of the besieged defenders are still seen here. This fort is 22 kms from Panaji. North of Chapora, on the Siolim road, Badem Church overlooking the estuary is one of the nicest sunset spots.

Terekhol Fort:
Terekhol Fort is situated on the north west side of Goa and lies within the green and hilly valley in between Terekhol river and Arabian Sea. The fort was built by the Marathas at the beginning of the 18th century later on but was captured by the Portuguese in 1745. In 1794, for a brief spell, it was occupied by the Marathas. In 1825, the people revolted against the then Goanese Governor General D Barnado Peres De Silver, but the revolt was a short lived one. Then again in 1954, the freedom struggle gained momentum in Terekhol.

Regis Magos Fort:
Reis Magos gets its name from the church of the Magi Kings in its surroundings. It was built by Don Alfonso de noronha between 1551 and 1554. in 1703, it was rebuilt; 35 years later it had to face the Maratha onslaught on Bardez and alone with fort Aguada remained in Portuguese hands. It was a continuation of the fort of Aguada to help as an added protection from the enemy at the mouths of the Mandovi river. This fort is located in a village Reis Magos, which is located on the river bank apposite to Panaji, 6 kms away from it.

Old Goa

On the outskirts of Panaji is Velha Goa, the l6th century capital of the Portuguese and a study in splendor then. Today it is almost a ghost city. Old Goa was abandoned after the great plague of 1738 struck it a deathly blow, killing more than 2 lakhs people. But the once great city lives on in its churches. Amazingly numerous in number, majestic and grand though they are, what is most appealing about the churches of Velha Goa is their aura, peculiarly Indian, starting from the face of Christ depicted as that of a Hindu saint. Boom Jesus Basilica, partially in ruins but awesome still, is a fine example of Jesuit architecture. Built in I 594, the interior of this Church is perhaps the richest in Old Goa.


The church's most precious relic is the embalmed body of St. Francis Xavier entombed in a marble mausoleum in the Florentine style presented by the Duke of Tuscany, who received the Saint's pillow in exchange. Once every ten years, the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier are exposed for public veneration. On those occasions, the first week of January. During the intervening years, the festival is celebrated on December 3rd. The body of the Saint was last exposed in 1994. Se Cathedral impresses with its vaulted interiors and lofty belfry from where a huge Golden Bell, the biggest in the world, spreads its thunderous peals across the sornbre ruins of the former golden city The Church has 14 side chapels, each built in a different style. The last chapel, in Mauresque style, preserves across upon which a vision of Christ is said to have appeared in 1919. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, handsome in its simplicity. Built in pure Manueline style, the interior is adorned with a profusion of carvings and exquisite paintings. Outside this church is the Chapel of St Catherine, one of the earliest churches built in Goa. It was constructed in 1510 on the very spot where Alfonse Albuquerque defeated Adil Shah. St. Cajetan Church is built in the Corinthian style, on the lines of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Interesting to note are the interior decorated in pure, unrestrained baroque, the intricately carved pulpit and a interesting church in Old Goa is the Convent and Church of St. Monica. Built in Doric style, this refreshingly simple church was once a nunnery housing more than a hundred nuns, the last of whom died in 1885 St. Augustine Tower is the only remaining tower of the Augustinian Church, which is now in ruins. It was once the largest church in Goa. The Chapel of St. Anthony, the Convent of St. John of god, and the Church of the Rosary have also managed to survive the ravages of time and man.


Dudhsagar Waterfall:
The waterfall is 60km east of Panaji, 10 km from Kolem railway station. It falls from a height of 603 meters. The colour of the water is milky white thus named Dudhsagar or ocean of milk.

Arvalem Waterfall:
In a pleasant shaded site with a temple near their foot, the waterfalls are formed at the end of a small gorge. This waterfall, which cascades down from the mountains, from a height of 50 metres, is one of the most awe-amazing spots. This charming waterfall is a mind-blowing experience, with Rudreshwar temple in its vicinity. The temple holds importance for the Hindus who believe in releasing the soul on the 12th day after death. The Rock cut caves are just situated nearby. The Government has also developed a park from which the view of the waterfall can be peacefully relished.