India has diverse natural and cultural beauty spread over its vast landscape. There are umpteen tourist destinations of all kinds in our country. But if you ask which one is the most popular, internationally, there is complete unanimity on the answer. It’s Goa!
Goa is the smallest state of India, and used to be a Union Territory till a few years ago. The capital of Goa is Panaji. The state exhibits great influence of Portuguese culture even today. Goa is a favorite destination of all sea, sand and beach lovers all over the world. Goa has some of the most amazing beaches lining its coastline on the Arabian Sea.
Goa is famous for its un-spoilt beaches, bio-diversity, places of worship, great architecture and a curious blend of cultures. These are a few reasons hwy Goa is visited by a large number of international tourists, and domestic tourists every year. So we have put together some information about Goa, to help you plan a trip.
The Monsoons make it difficult for tourists to visit Goa during June-September. Goa gets a good amount of rainfall during these months, just like the rest of Konkan. Many places shut shop during these months. The best time to visit Goa is from October-February. These months are neither too hot, nor too humid or rainy. What’s more, Chritsmas and New Year celebrations are very popular in Goa. The last week of the year is probably the busiest in this beach state.
Goa has many rivers, that are navigable by ferries. The ferries offer free rides to foot passengers and charge a very nominal sum for motor cycles. It would interest you to know that hiring a scooter or a motor cycle is very easy and cheap in Goa and the rentals are easily available. Apart from this, there is a great network of public and private local buses. The local buses go almost everywhere and have a very nominal pricing. You can also hire a taxi for sightseeing.
Goa is quite safe for tourists. There have been instances of muggings in secluded places. But you will be safe as long as you stay away from such places. Like in every other tourist destination, you may be duped or your things may be stolen. So you obviously have to watch out for yourself and your belongings. The sea can be extremely dangerous during the monsoons. This is one very real threat from the seas!
Places To Visit
For the sea, beaches and seafood, the best places are Arambol, Anjuna and Palolem. For shopping, there is nothing like the Mapusa Market. You can also explore Old Goa and visit the body of St Xavier in the former capital. To explore the old world charm and see lovely Portuguese architecture, visit Panaji.
There’s a spice plantation at Ponda and you may also enjoy the picturesque Dudhsagar Falls, the largest waterfall in Goa. For animal lovers, there’s a wild life sanctuary at Cotigao.
The main languages spoken in Goa are Konkani, Marathi, English, Hindi and Portuguese. If you are interested in planning a trip to Goa with your friends and family, start planning right away!