GOA

PARADISE Of INDIA

GOA is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.


History

Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961. In the 3rd century BC, Goa was also part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor,Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa.

Culture

Festivals

The tableau of Goa showcases religious harmony by focusing on the Deepastambha, the Cross, Ghode Modni followed by a chariot. Western royal attire of kings and regional dances being performed depict the unique blend of different religions and cultures of the State. The festival of music and dance, Shigmo Mel or the Holi and Spring celebrations, signify unity in diversity.[45] Prominent local festivals areChavoth, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Shigmo, Samvatsar Padvo, Dasara etc. The Goan Carnival and new year celebration is known to attract a large number of tourists.


Dance and Music

Traditional Goan art forms are Dekhnni, Fugdi, Corridinho, Mando, Dulpod and Fado. Goan Hindus are very fond of Natak, Bhajan andKirtan. Many famous Indian Classical singers hail from Goa, including Kishori Amonkar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Prabhakar Karekar.


Food

Rice with fish curry (xit kodi in Konkani) is the staple diet in Goa. Goan cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oilare widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices and vinegar giving the food a unique flavour. Goan food can be divided into Goan Catholic and Goan Hindu cuisine with each showing very distinct tastes, characteristics and cooking styles. Pork dishes such as Vindaloo, Xacuti, chorisa and Sorpotel are cooked for major occasions among theGoan Catholics. An exotic Goan vegetable stew, known as Khatkhate, is a very popular dish during the celebrations of festivals, Hindu and Christian alike. Khatkhate contains at least five vegetables, fresh coconut, and special Goan spices that add to the aroma. Sannas, Hitt are variants of idli and Polle,Amboli,Kailoleo are variants of dosa are native to Goa. A rich egg-based multi-layered sweet dish known as bebinca is a favourite at Christmas. The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa is feni; cashew feni is made from the fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms. Goa also has a rich wine culture.


- Anagha Kumar