is a tropical paradise that lies on the west coast of India bathed
by the warm waters of the Arabian sea. It is unique in many ways
but mostly due to its history and geography that have left an
indelible mark on its people for generations.
Having been ruled by the colonial Portuguese for over 450yrs
( as compared to the rest of India that was ruled by the British
for 250yrs) there is still visible a distinct Portuguese / European
flavor that has permeated all aspects of Goa's life including
its food, religion, language, festivals, dances and of course
names. This becomes apparent as soon as you cross the border to
Goa from India or elsewhere.
This unique blend of Indian and Portuguese culture is to a large
extent what makes Goa and the "Goan"
unique. Also unique is the fact that it is one of the few colonies
that India ( an ex- colony itself) liberated in 1961 and this
set the stage for reclaiming history.
Today at the dawn of the "age of Information Technology",
as Goa enters the new millennium, it has plenty
to write about in terms of achievements, some examples being-
the highest per capita income in India, the highest
per personal savings rate in India, the lowest infant mortality
rate in India, one of the highest literacy rate in India and one
of the highest standards of living as compared to the rest of
Beaches of Goa:
To the average tourist interested in having a good time, "
the beaches" is what Goa is all about. It
has been widely publicized in the media, movies and adds to the
mystique of Goa. This is not without reason because
Goa possesses one of the finest stretches of
sandy coastline in India .
The tropical climate, the coconut trees, the white sand beaches
all have been immortalized in many song and dance sequences of
Indian movies and add to the romantic allure of Goa.
It is now the No 1 tourist destination of Indians on the move
especially the newly weds on their honeymoon and the upwardly
mobile Indian gentry.
The beaches have seen some significant commercialization , especially
Calangute with hotels of every shape, size and
class with shops and restaurants to cater to every taste. There
are a few isolated beaches for those in search of peace and tranquility.
In general, the beaches are clustered into two regions, north
and south Goa coastlines with the capital
Panaji and nearby Miramar beach, and Bambolim
beach , in the middle.
The first is the coastline that extends from Fort Aguada and
Sinquerim beach areas and goes upwards along the coastline to
Chapora beach and fort. The beaches along this stretch of coastline
include the following in order
Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator,
Chapora, Morjim, Arambol.
The second is the coastline extending south of Vasco da
Gama and Bogmalo beach and going down along the coastline
to the southern tip of Goa and ending with Paolem Beach.
The beaches along this stretch of the coastline include the following
Bogmalo, Velsao, Majorda, Colva, Benaulim, Betul, Canaguinim,
Agonda, Palolem, Rajbhag.
Goa Local Transport:
Since Goa is one of the most happening tourist destinations in
India. To help tourists explore this place fully and in a considerable
amount of time, Goa has all major modes of public transport. The
local transportation in Goa suits every pocket and every taste.
Right from air conditioned deluxe buses to the auto rickshaws,
you can find the kind of public transport that you require according
to your budget. There is absolutely no dearth of local transport
in Goa and you can find autos and cabs round the clock.
One can always get on a bus that is owned by the state government
or even private tour operators to tour Goa. They charge a considerable
fee for their services and take you comfortably to all major tourist
attractions in Goa. You can pick from the normal buses to the
air conditioned deluxe coaches.
Taxi / Cab:
You can also opt for a taxi or a cab in Goa to visit the famous
tourist destinations of Goa. You can hire the taxi for an entire
day or just from one place to another. Fix the price you are going
to pay before you board the taxi. There is also an option of renting
a car and driving it yourself around Goa.
This kind of taxi is unique to Goa. It consists of a man riding
a two wheeler and takes you as the pillion rider. This mode of
transport is quite swift and takes you even through heavy traffic.
It is locally known as "Pilot".
Auto rickshaw is a vehicle that is also known as a three wheeler.
There is a seat for a single person i.e. the driver in front and
the backseat is wide enough to accommodate 3 - 4 people. Insist
on charging by the meter when you board the auto or fix the price
Ferries / Boats:
Boats and ferries have been used as a mode of local transport
since ancient times. Even today, one can explore some popular
tourist places by going on boats and ferries. They charge a nominal
rate for their service and leave you with an experience that you
won't get anywhere else in India.
A Little Bit of Konkani on Your Tongue:
Konkani is the mother-tongue of Goans - the people of Goa. It
is also the state's official language having been recognized as
so in 1976 and is also one of the languages recognized in the
constitution of India.
The Konkani language is written in both the Roman script and the
Devnagri script used for languages such as Hindi and Marathi.
Since Konkani is used everywhere in Goa in day-to-day life, this
section is intended to provide you with some basics in the native
language of Goa.
The smattering of phrases or words given here will certainly not
make you an expert nor is in any way a substitute for any formal
language training. But the list of essential Konkani words and
phrases given in this section will help you interact with the
locals on your trip to Goa.
Konkani is a beautiful language and we hope with this brief introduction
you will be motivated to learn more and explore it beyond what
is presented here.