Goa, a state on India’s west coast, is a former Portuguese colony with a fascinating history. Goa is a tiny state in India, covering 3,700 square kilometers and home to around 1.4 million people. It receives an estimated 2.5 million visitors every year because to its unique blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures and architecture (including about 400,000 foreign tourists).
Since the 1960s, Goa has attracted a steady stream of visitors: first, hippies and returning expatriate Goans, then charter tourists (beginning with the Germans in 1987), pilgrims visiting Catholic and Hindu shrines, those deciding to make Goa their permanent home, people seeking medical treatment, and an increasing number attending seminars and conferences in Goa.
reas of Goa, with less tourist activity inland More than two million visitors were believed to have visited Goa in 2010, with over 1.2 million of them coming from outside the country. As of 2013, Goa was the preferred location for Indian and international visitors, notably Britons and Russians on a budget who wanted to party. The state hoped that by making modifications, it would be able to attract a more affluent populace. In a National Geographic book, Goa is ranked sixth among the top ten nightlife cities in the world. Water sports are a popular tourist attraction in Goa. Jetskiing, parasailing, banana boat rides, water scooter rides, and other activities are available at beaches such as Baga and Calangute.
Over 450 years of Portuguese rule and the impact of Portuguese culture create a unique setting for tourists to Goa that is unlike anything else in India. Goa is well-known for its beautiful beaches, churches, and temples. Other tourist attractions include the Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada, and a new wax museum in Old Goa dedicated to Indian history, culture, and tradition.
HISTORIC SITES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS
The Bom Jesus Basilica and the churches and convents of Old Goa are both World Heritage Sites in Goa. The Basilica houses the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, who is revered as the patron saint of Goa by many Catholics (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually Saint Joseph Vaz). The relics are removed for veneration and public sight according to the prerogative of the Church in Goa, not every ten or twelve years as is often believed and perpetuated. The most recent exhibition was held in 2014.
In Sancoale, Goa, there is also the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph Vaz. Pilar monastery, which holds Venerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza novenas from 10 November to 20 November each year. There is also a stated Marian Apparition in the Church of Saints Simon and Jude in Batim Ganxim, near Pilar, which is visited by many Goans and non-resident Goans. The Santa Monica Convent in Velha Goa also has a figure of the bleeding Jesus on the Crucifix. Apart from Kopelam/ Irmidi, there are a number of churches (Igorzo), such as the Baroque styled Nixkollounk Gorb-Sombhov Saibinnich Igorz (Church of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) in Panjim and the Gothic styled Mater Dei (Dêv Matechi Igorz/ Mother of God) church in Saligao (Chapels). The Velhas Conquistas areas are also noted for their architecture in the Goa-Portuguese style. Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Reis Magos, Nanus, Mormugao, Fort Gaspar Dias, and Cabo de Rama are just a few of the forts in Goa.
Mansions built in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still survive in various sections of Goa, albeit in certain communities, the majority of them are deteriorated.
Fontainhas in Panaji has been designated as a cultural quarter, displaying Goan life, architecture, and culture. Several elements from the Portuguese period may be seen in some of Goa’s temples, most notably the Shanta Durga Temple, the Mangueshi Temple, and the Mahalasa Temple, however many of them were destroyed and rebuilt in indigenous Indian design after 1961.
MUSEUMS AND SCIENCE CENTRE
Goa also boasts a few museums, the most notable of which being the Goa State Museum and the Naval Aviation Museum. The aircraft museum is one of three of its sort in India, with the others being in Delhi and Bengaluru. A lesser-known tourist attraction is the Goa Science Centre, which is situated in Miramar, Panjim. Dona Paula is also home to the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO).