A place of many faces, Goa is one of the most favored holiday destinations in India. This might well be because of the unique blend of European influences and distinctly Indian hospitality that the state prides itself on. Being liberated from Portuguese rule in the year 1961 after 450 years, more than a decade after the rest of India achieved independence from the British, Goa in some ways, still stands apart.
Rich in cultural and historical heritage architecture, Goa’s landscape is peppered with countless churches, which stand as relics of the widespread conversion undertaken by the erstwhile Portuguese rulers. Besides these, many regal temples still standing today tell a different side to the story. This synergy presents itself in the countless festival celebrated here in union. Religion is no bar whether it is Easter, Ganesh Chaturti, Carnival, Shigmo or Sao Joao.
For a small state, there is much to fill your itineraries with here. Being located on the Western coast of India you will see some of the most pristine shorelines in the country. Across North and South Goa, every beach offer spectacular views of purple skies and orange sunsets, while allowing you to frolic in the sea, build sand castles, read a book while you tan and even enjoy some of the most delicious seafood by far.
Wide expanses of green paddy fields, sleepy buffaloes with egrets perched on their backs and distinctly architectured ancestral homes are what Goa is about away from the sunny shores. Our best kept secret by far is our dense, green forests and sanctuaries that are chocfilled with flora, fauna, rivers, streams and
waterfalls that are the most treasured possessions of the state.
But most of all, what draws people back each time is the quiet peacefulness of the sleepy villages, filled with happy, hospitable people. The leisurely pace of life in Goa is termed by locals as ‘Susegado’ and it is truly a way of life. It is this attitude that perfectly encompasses why Goa is the perfect holiday destination.
Aside from the festivities, architecture and general feel another area where the influence of Europe truly shines through is in the cuisine. The use of spices and the integral palm vinegar ensures that you will not taste food like it anywhere else. Vindalho, a spiced pork curry or Feijoada, a milder form with chorico (pork sausages), chunks of pork and red kidney beans (rajma) are two of an endless repertoire of culinary delights.
The tourism industry in Goa operates on a seasonal basis. October to April every year is considered peak season, while May to September is off-season due to the extremely high rainfall experienced in the state during this period. That said, it is still Goa, but in a greener, more lush avatar, and rest assured despite the lull
during off-season, there is still a influx of domestic tourists that visit Goa during the monsoon, because there is always something to do or see here, no matter what time of the year.