Goa is a state on the southwestern coast of India. It is situated within the Konkan region, geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It is bound by the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north, and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea in the west. It is India’s smallest state by area and fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times as high as the GDP per capita of the country as a whole The Eleventh Finance Commission of India named Goa the best-placed state because of its infrastructure, and India’s National Commission on Population rated it as having the best quality of life in India (based on the commission’s “12 Indicators”). It is the third-highest ranking among Indian states on the human development index.

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margão in Goa still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first voyaged to the subcontinent in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter, whereupon Goa became an overseas territory of the Portuguese Empire, part of what was then known as Portuguese India, and remained as such for about 456 years until it was annexed by India in 1961. Goa’s official language, which is spoken by a majority of its inhabitants, is Konkani.

Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year because of its white-sand beaches, active nightlife, places of worship, and World Heritage-listed architecture. It also has rich flora and fauna because it lies very close to the North Western Ghats rainforests, one of the rare biodiversity hotspots of the world.

History of Goa

Rock art engravings found in Goa are one of the earliest known traces of human life in India. Goa, situated within the Shimoga-Goa Greenstone Belt in the Western Ghats (an area composed of metavolcanic, iron formations and ferruginous quartzite), yields evidence for the Acheulean occupation. Rock art engravings (petroglyphs) are present on laterite platforms and granite boulders in Usgalimal near the west-flowing Kushavati River and in Kajur. In Kajur, the rock engravings of animals, tectiforms and other designs in granite have been associated with what is considered to be a megalithic stone circle with a round granite stone in the centre. Petroglyphs, cones, stone-axe, and choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in various locations in Goa, including Kazur, Mauxim, and the Mandovi-Zuari basin. Recently these petroglyphs have been included in the tentative list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

Evidence of Palaeolithic life is visible at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon. Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem in determining the exact period.

Early Goan society underwent radical change when Indo-Aryan and Dravidian migrants amalgamated with the aboriginal locals, forming the base of early Goan culture.

Early history

In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. Chutus of Karwar also ruled some parts as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 AD), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadav clans of Gujarat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris. The rule was later passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 and 753, and later the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.

In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. The kingdom’s grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469 when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa (or Old Goa).

Tourist Places In Goa

The state of Goa, in India, is famous for its beaches and places of worship. Tourism is its primary industry and is generally focused on the coastal areas of Goa, with decreased tourist activity inland.

Foreign tourists, mostly from Europe, arrive in Goa in winter, whilst the summer and monsoon seasons see many Indian tourists. Goa handled 2.29% of all foreign tourist arrivals in the country in 2011. This relatively small state is situated on the west coast of India, between the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka, and is better known to the world as a former Portuguese enclave on Indian soil. Thus, Tourism forms the backbone of Goa’s economy.

Major tourist attractions include Bom Jesus Basilica, Fort Aguada, a wax museum on Indian culture, and a heritage museum. The Churches and Convents of Goa have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

As of 2013, Goa was the destination of choice for Indian and foreign tourists, particularly Britons, with limited means who wanted to party. The state was hopeful that changes could be made which would attract a more upscale demographic.

On 24 November 2017, Delta Corp Limited claimed to have set up the first casino game training course centre in India at Goa.

Goa also draws tourists from all over India for its bungee activity, water sports and underwater scuba diving experience.

Panaji City

Panaji should occupy a place in your list of visiting places in Goa, not just because it’s the capital city, but because there are so many places that make for an incredible sightseeing tour.

Margao City

Margao is not the kind of place which you would want to miss while planning to visit Goa. The town claims the tag of being Goa’s cultural capital, and after exploring it, you realize, it’s a tag well deserved.

Vasco da Gama City

The city of Vasco da Gama is named after the Portuguese explorer. If you are planning to visit Goa to spend time on its beaches, then this is where you need to be.

Mapusa Town

There are many reasons to visit Mapusa during your Goa tour, but one that mentions a special mention is the Mapusa Friday Market.

Calangute Beach

Calangute Beach is counted among the most beautiful beaches of Goa, and that is precisely why this town in Bardez district makes it to any Goa travel guide.

Candolim Beach

Candolim, just like Calangute, attracts tourists in Goa for its prime attraction, Candolim Beach. However, if you like your beaches crowded & noisy with a party-like atmosphere, you won’t find much to do here!


If you took a trip to Goa in the 1960s & visited the village of Anjuna, you would find yourself in the middle of trance parties, hippies in psychedelic colours & free-spirited backpackers.


Bambolim will always find a mention among the top 10 places to visit in Goa for its beach. It is a long white sandy stretch of sand, rocks and happily swaying coconut palms that serves both aesthetical & functional purposes.

Agonda Beach

Agonda is a top travel destination in South Goa, as much for its “silent beach” as for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles which lay their nests on it in September.

Old Goa

There was a time when the capital of Goa was not Panaji but Velha Goa, better known as Old Goa today. It was a time when the grandeur and unparalleled splendour swept through the city, much of which was visible in its towering churches, cathedrals and majestic convents.


How about visiting a beach in Goa that also offers the opportunity to enjoy an Ayurvedic massage? Mandrem, a sleepy coastal village makes it to this list of top tourist places in Goa for its beach, which is perhaps the quietest in all of North Goa.


Don’t bother visiting the town of Morjim stretched out on the banks of River Chapora if seclusion, solitude and tranquillity aren’t your thing.


The town of Sanquelim finds a place in the popular tourist attractions in Goa for the Harvalem Caves, Harvalem Waterfalls and Rudreshwar Temple.


Another tourist destination in North Goa where you can explore the rich heritage of Goa is Ponda, with its temples, an ancient mosque and beautiful spice farms.


Home to the most scenic waterfalls at Aravalem, oldest mosques, ancient Hindu temples and Mayem Lake, Bicholim is a beautiful countryside to explore in Goa for a relaxing holiday.

Sanguem, South Goa

Your travel experience will remain incomplete if you don’t visit Sanguem. It is one of the lesser-known destinations to visit in Goa.


The lesser-known village of Quepem will enchant you forever with its serenity and tranquility. For a relaxed holiday it is the best place to visit in Goa.


The city of Canacona lies in close proximity to wonderful beaches like Patnem, Rajbaga, Colomb and Talpona. Each of these beaches have something different to offer.

Turtle Beach Resort

Hotel Mulberry Mint

Anjuna Beach Resort

Hotel Amani Vagator