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Goa, India

15 Oct Posted by in India, South Asia | Comments
Goa, India
 
Shri Mangeshi Temple, Goa, India

Shri Mangeshi Temple, Goa, India
Image Credits:Aruna Radhakrishnan

Goa is an Indian state, located in the West coast, where the Arabian Sea meets India, forming the beaches that Goa is most famous for. The state of Goa is the smallest Indian state with a surface area of just 3,702 Km2. According to legend, Goa emerged when Parashurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu, shot his arrow into the sea and commanded Lord Varuna, the sea god, to recede the waters up to where the arrow fell. The region has been part of different Indian empires through the centuries but fell under Muslim rule in 1350. The region switched back and forth between Muslim and Hindu rule until its conquest by the Portuguese in 1510. Goa remained under Portuguese control even after India’s independence in 1947. The Indian army invaded the area in 19 December 1961 and forced the Portuguese to an unconditional surrender. The state of Goa celebrates its liberation on this day annually.

In the 1960’s, Goa attracted large crowds of hippies in search of an Eastern utopia. This led to the creation of a popular, idealized image of Goa and Goan beach life that attracted even larger crowds and facilitated the development of a counter-culture scene that evolved into the rave scene in the late 80’s- early 90’s. Goa still somewhat retains its counter cultural image and a has a very vivid party scene, although interest in Goa as a holiday destination has largely crossed over to the mainstream. This has led to intense tourism infrastructure development in order to accommodate the ever increasing crowds that arrive every year. Concerns have been raised about the implications to the region’s economy if the tourism boom was to stop but also about the impact on the environment if it were to continue.

Tourist Season

The tourism season in Goa starts in November and ends in March, with its peak around late December-early January. These are the coolest months in the region and many people find it pleasant to be there in that time of the year. Others will say that the best time to visit Goa is just before the Monsoon visits the area, which is around June and lasting until September.
Making a decision on when to visit depends on one’s tastes; if you were to visit just before or during the monsoon season, Goa would be at its lowest in terms of tourism. Some facilities may have closed during this period and swimming in the sea would not really be a possibility. On the plus side, you would avoid large crowds of tourists, enjoy empty Goan beaches and spend very little money during your stay. Additionally you would have the opportunity to attend celebrations and parties that are held in order to welcome the monsoon and you would also enjoy a lush, green countryside.

While in Goa, you will most probably be seeing a lot of its beaches and you can also find accommodation in a beach hut. If you like shopping, you will not run out of places to shop as the region is brimming with all sorts of flea markets. Goa is a center for all things new-age. You will have no difficulty to find some yoga classes, a personal healer or even to get a first class massage from a practitioner.

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