Welcome to Goa
While its literary history tumbles names for Goa in the dozens – Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, Gomantak, Aparanta, Nelkinda, Sindapur, Sandabur and Mahassapatam – phew !!!, for millions of travellers and wanderlusts it means just one thing – fun. Beachtrippin fun sunny side up. Goa could have been the perfect contender for the setting of Alex Garland’s Beach or Leonardo De Caprio’s martinis.
Vasco Da Gama, who once held the title of Governor of Portuguese India offered up the tourists mamma gamma on the world map by presenting them Goa. This is where work should come to a standstill and the party begins. Not for nothing does Goa rank 6th amongst the top Nightlife cities in the world in a National Geographic compilation.
With a coastline of 101 kms., dotted by busy rivers and funky beaches, Goa’s offers the virtual 101 on the tropical vibe. It is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats mountain range, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau down South.
Having been a Portuguese territory and hub for over 450 years, it’s an interesting blend of eastern and western cultures. In 1530 Goa became the capital of the Portuguese Empire in the East and mistress of the sea from the Cape of Good Hope to the China Sea. They left in 1961 leaving behind baroque architecture, tall churches and cathedrals, forts, colourful ceremonies, mournful fado music and some of the most exotic delicacies on the table.
Panjim, the capital city splits the frenetic North from the indulgent South of Goa, its two main districts. From the hip to hippie, from lazy beaches to the bustling flea markets, from a classic Hindu orthodoxy to a liberal Portuguese hangover, Goa has a lot to offer.