Goa is India′s smallest state in terms of area and is the country′s most popular tourist destination. Goa is bordered by the Arabian Sea to the West, Maharashtra to its North and Karnataka to its East and South. With a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole, Goa is India′s richest state. Panaji is Goa′s capital city, while Vasco Da Gama is its largest city.
Goa covers an area of 3,702 km sq and has a total population of 1,457,723 (2011 census). Goa is divided into two districts, North Goa and South Goa. Panaji is the headquarters of North Goa and the district is further divided into four sub divisions and six talukas. The headquarters of South Goa is Margao and the district is further divided into three sub divisions and six talukas. Each district is governed by a District Collector appointed by the Government of India.
Goa still displays a strong cultural influence of the Portuguese who ruled the area in the early 16th century. Goa is famous across India and the world for its beautiful beaches, Portuguese style churches, temples varied flora and fauna.
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Goa is essential known for its beaches and some of Goa′s most famous beaches are Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach, Colva Beach, and Palolem Beach among others. Apart from that, Goa is also known for its Portuguese style churches, a lot of which are located in Old Goa. The most famous among these churches are the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine and the Church of St. Anne, among others.
Goa weather in November, December, January, February & March: Cooler months, best time to visit Goa. Weather, Festivals & Night parties will make your holidays very enjoyable.
Goa weather in Mid-March, April, May, June:
Summer season - very hot. Heat will keep you away from beaches. Good for budget holidays.
Goa weather in June, July, August, September:
Rainy season - Goa can be at its most beautiful at this time of year. Parties and celebrations are held to welcome the rain.
Before embarking on your Goa holidays, you need to be aware of a number of dos and don’ts about Goa.
Goa is a paradise for tourists that has many historic forts, churches, temples, beaches and lots more. It is not only known as a place that leaves one spellbound, but is also well equipped to handle emergencies. Given below is a compiled list of the important emergency telephone numbers to make your travel and stay hassle free:
This page contains answers to common questions asked by tourists travelling to Goa.
Anytime is fine. The peak tourist season to visit Goa is between October and January. However, Goa is at its most beautiful during the monsoons from June to September.
Goa is approachable by all means of transportation. The international gateway for this part of India is Mumbai. Goa′s only airport is the Goa Airport at Dabolim near Vasco. Goa is well connected by roads to major neighbouring cities like Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad with good regular bus services. Goa has the most modern railway line in India, the Konkan Railway which connects it to major Indian cities via links and express trains.
Goa has only one airport - the Goa Airport and it is located at Dabolim, near the city of Vasco da Gama. It is classified as an international airport with connections to all major Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Pune and Chennai. It is about 45 minutes drive from the capital city of Panaji.
Printed versions are available at all bookshops and other places around Goa.
Very Good. The local transportation is a mix of Private and Public enterprise. The public enterprise is called the KTC or the Kadamba Transport Corporation. The private buses all have names and locals usually refer to them as such. Most local cities and towns have a designated Bus stand from where most services arrive and depart.
Goans proudly speak Konkani, which is Goa′s official language. There is a lot of variation in the way it is spoken among different communities and locations in Goa, this is partly due to history. Konkani uses "Devnagiri" script which is common with Hindi.
English is widely spoken and understood with an accent variation depending on the educational background of the speaker and the area of origin.
Yes. There are hundreds of Internet cafes scattered all over Goa. The charges are variable.
The dial-up lines are fast and reliable, but most cyber cafes are on ISDN / DSL or broadband lines.
The Indian postal service is very reliable provided all transactions are done at the post office. There is a post office in every village, town and city. The Head Post Office or HPO is in Panaji.
Very reliable. The Inter-state calls (STD calls) and the international calling facility (ISD) are available at most public calling booths and the rates are displayed at the booths. They can also be done at most post offices and hotels.
It is all available in Goa almost everywhere at quite reasonable rates.
Goa has better health facilities for its size as compared to the rest of India. The apex medical institution in Goa is the Goa Medical College Hospital and the campus is located at Bambolim near Panaji. The other towns of Mapusa and Margao are served by district hospitals, namely the Asilo Hospital in Mapusa and the Hospicio Hospital in Margao. Vasco da Gama has a good private hospital, the Salgaocar Medical Research Center. There are a lot of cottage hospitals and primary health centers in every small town and village.
Quite safe, Yes. Goa has a special Women′s Police Station to handle women related crimes.
It is very much safer as compared to the rest of India. However please follow some common Do′s and Don′ts while in India in general. This includes locking your suitcases, keeping an eye on them during travel, locking hotel rooms and placing items of importance in hotel safes for safekeeping.
Please always keep a sufficient amount of money in small bills in Indian Rupees for sundry use. Keep passport on person at all times.
Almost all countries have missions in India.
A visa to India is needed by most foreign nationals visiting India. They are obtainable at the Indian Missions, Consulates, High Commissions Overseas. The visas are valid for the period issued. They range from a 15 day period to up to a six month period for tourists. They are valid from the date of issue and it is wise to start travel as soon as the visa is obtained to take advantage of the entire period of visa validity. Once obtained, visas can be extended in India, ( depending on the application ) at the local "Foreigners Registration Office" located in every major city in India. In Goa it is located at the Police Headquarters in Panaji.
The fees vary with the country concerned and is many a time reciprocal. You have to check and confirm with your local Indian Missions Overseas listing.
It is worthwhile to get vaccinations and immunizations against the following prior to travel to India. Tetanus and Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B, Meningococcal meningitis, TB, Rabies and Japanese B encephalitis. Record all vaccinations in the International Health Certificate available at your local Physician or Health department.
International tourists should carry their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulations, if they originate or are transiting through countries where Yellow Fever is endemic. International travelers / tourists originating from the USA, UK and Canada do not require any mandatory vaccinations.
The International Health Certificate is not normally asked for by immigration officials, however it is better to carry one. It may be of immense help in case of a medical emergency.
To avoid Malaria and Dengue fever, carrying mosquito repellents, nets, and using sprays against insects in rooms is usually sufficient. Taking a first aid kit carrying adhesive bandages, thermometer, water-purification tablets, antibiotics, antiseptic creams and mosquito repellents is recommended.
Clean and decent clothes, preferably cotton as Goa has a tropical climate. Use your discretion. The preferred Indian clothes are pants and shirts, and most women wear saris, Indian dresses, pants and skirts and blouses. Please avoid wearing beachwear in the city as it will invite curious unwanted attention. Nudity is not allowed on Goan beaches.
The usual personal effects along with clothes. Make sure you have personal accessories suited to the appropriate voltage. It is 220V in India. Carry prescriptions of medications and spectacles.
Make sure you have the International drivers license if you wish to drive. Carry enough local currency equivalent to $100 worth at all times to pay for local services. Make sure your documents including cash, passport and credit cards and tickets are secure and keep a copy with you at all times.
Yes. One can never predict when one might need specialized services not available in Goa.
Like the rest of India and the UK, vehicles travel on the left side of the road. An International Drivers License is required.
Preferably Travellers cheques and cash in Indian currency up to $100 at all times to pay for local services. Credit cards such as Masters, Visa, Amex are also widely accepted in Goa.
Yes. Using credit cards to withdraw cash is available at quite a few places in Goa.
The Indian currency is called Rupees. One rupee is made of 100 paise. A rough estimate is 1$ = 58.67 Indian rupees (Check todays value).
The whole of India has one time zone including Goa. It is commonly referred to as IST or the Indian Standard Time. The IST is GMT + 5 & 1/2 hours.
Only if it runs on 220V. If you come from a country with 110V standard, please get a conversion kit or an adapter.
Since there is wide fluctuation in voltage in India, you are advised to use a voltage stabilizer to prevent damage to sensitive electronic equipment.
Drugs are absolutely illegal in Goa with severe penalties if caught in possession of even minute quantities.
Yes. Goa is famous for its own brand of brewing. It is called "Feni ". It is distilled from two sources, Cashew fruits and Coconut trees.