Goa, a state located on the west coast of India, used to be a Portuguese colony that boasts a rich and deep history. There are 3,700 square kilometres and 1.4 million people. Compared to other Indian states, Goa is fairly small, but the state has a unique blend of both Indian and Portuguese cultures, and there is beautiful architecture there that attracts 2.5 million visitors on a yearly basis.
In the 1960s, Goa attracted a steady flow of tourists, and the first to visit Goa were the hippies and charter tourists who came from Germany. Also, you had pilgrims who were visiting the Hindu and Catholic shrines, and the people of the city eventually settled here as their new home. There has also been a growing number of people who attend conferences and seminars in Goa.
What to Understand About Goa
On a visual basis, Goa looks much different than what you might see in the rest of India. That’s because Portuguese rule isolated the state from the rest of India for more than 451 years. When looking at the religious demographic, Goa has a mixture of both Roman Catholics and Hindus. The distribution in this city sits at around 65 percent Hindu and a smaller 24 percent Christian. You also have a small Muslim population, but despite these religious differences, communal violence in Goa is very rare and next to non-existent. In fact, India labels Goa as the most peaceful state in the country.
Check out the Goan Villages
The heart of Goa lies in its villages, and most Goans do not live in cities. They live in smaller village communities, and they commute to the workplace. Many of the Goan villages hold a lot of quaint charm and character, and holidaying at one of the holidaying at one of the accommodation in Goa offers a unique and unparalleled experience. Unlike many of the urban centres of India, the villages have a higher tendency for neatness, friendliness and better value for your money. Here are some of the villages that you might find interesting:
- Goa Velha
Keep in mind, however, that this is by no means a comprehensive list and just a place to start. In a lot of these villages, you do not even necessarily have to look for accommodation in Goa because a lot of the villages will be close to where the tourists stay.
The best time to buy a plane ticket to Goa is from mid-November to mid-February because the weather is dry, pleasant and comfortable. Also, this is right around the Christmas-New Year time, which can be interesting in India’s smallest state. You have a lot of fabulous local and festive traditions during this time of the year that are unlike anywhere else in India. There are many exceptionally beautiful 17th century churches and cathedrals in Goa. Some of the celebrations include carol singing, illuminated village nativity scenes, lively Christmas markets and street decorations.