Splashed by the waters of the Arabian Sea on the Konkan coast, Goa is the smallest state in India by area and the fourth smallest by population. It was ruled by the Portuguese for 450 years, beginning with the arrival of Vasco da Gama in 1498. Its culture has evolved as a colourful blend of Portuguese and Konkan influences. The architecture and décor of its Portuguese mansions have still been preserved at various places, especially in Fontainhas, the old Latin Quarter in Panjim, Goa’s capital.
Goa has attracted tourists from all over India and across the world, much loved for its easy-going lifestyle and hospitable people. The concept of ‘sussegad’ is believed to define the prevailing mood in Goa – a relaxed, laid-back approach to life that happily denies entry to the very idea of stress or strain. The beaches are amongst the finest in India, with clean sands and mostly gentle breakers.
The imposing churches of old Goa are a fascinating repository of its colonial past, while its famed night life, bars, restaurants, beach shacks and flea markets are entirely contemporary.