Tropical climate Capital: The capital of Goa is Panaji. The largest city in the state is Vasco da Gama. If you visit the historical city Margao, you will find yourself showered with the cultural essence of Portuguese people still found there. Goa has the highest GDP per capita in comparison to all the other states in India, which is two and a half times more than other parts of the nation. The official language of Goa is Konkani, which is spoken by the major population of the city. Konkani and Devnagari script are used for all official purposes in the state though Marathi and English are also used. The government of Goa gives outThe Gomant Vibhushan Award every year since 2010. It is the highest civilian honor of the State of Goa. Geography Goa is a relatively small state in comparison to other states in India. It is parted into two districts – North and South Goa. Further, these 2 districts are divided into 11 talukas. These talukas are not particularly divided as both North, and South Goa has its own ‘coastal’ and ‘interior’ areas. Goa is divided between the coastal areas and the hinterland. The coastal area was under colonial rule for a longer time, and thus one can see Portugal's influence more dominantly in this region. The population is majorly Christian, while the hinterland has a more Hindu population and has more protected forest areas, mining zones, and villages. The tropical climate owing to the geographical location of the state is one of the reasons why tourists come flocking to this state. History and culture Goa was under the realm of the Portuguese empire till 1961. In the 16th century, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yusuf Adil Shah, and from then till the 20th century, Goa was under Portuguese colonial rule. They started with a small settlement in Velha Goa and slowly captured the whole of Goa. In 1560 the Goa Inquisition was formed, which was subsequently abolished in 1812. In 1843, they shifted their capital from Velha to Goa Panaji. In 1961, after the Portuguese declined to leave Goa, the Indian army invaded Goa under Operation Vijay, which resulted in the annexation of Goa and Daman and Diu union territory to India. Thus in Goa, you will find a confluence of Portuguese and Indian culture. This one of its kind confluence of culture, architecture, and tradition in Goa lures tourists from all over the world. Goa finds its inspiration in Portuguese and Ottoman styles. Goa receives millions of tourists every year. Goa’s charm Since its annexation to India, Goa has become one of the favorite haunts for fun lovers all over the world. Goa has become home to hippies, returning expatriate Goans, charter tourists, pilgrims visiting Catholic and Hindu shrines, and party lovers. Goa has become a hub for good seafood and alluring nightlife. The beach shacks and the trendy clubs and bars tempt tourists across the globe. If in Goa, one cannot miss its flashy casinos and charming cafes. Not only this, but Goa’s attraction lies in Goa’s architecture that includes plush old-style bungalows and ancient forts, and huge churches left behind by the Portuguese. Goa was in control of the Portuguese for more than 4 centuries, and its cultural remains can still be found everywhere in Goa. Goa is the perfect amalgamation of Eastern and Western culture and style, with the Western culture having the upper hand. Goan carnival is the perfect example. All festivals, including Christmas, Easter, Carnival, Diwali, Shigmo, Chavoth, Samvatsar Padvo, Dasara, etc. are celebrated in harmony among the locals every year. Dance and music Goa has a very rich history and has an equally opulent set of cultures and traditions. Native to Goa, many dance forms are found. Dekhnni, Fugdi, Corridinho, Mando, Dulpod, and Fado are some of the traditional Goan art forms. The Catholics of Goa are hugely fond of Tiatr (Teatro). In addition to these, Goans are big fans of music, and traditional Goan music can be found ringing out of Goan homes at all times. Violins, guitars, and pianos are some of the Western musical instruments that are used in the religious and social functions of Catholics in Goa. Goa is also considered as the place of origin of trance dance and music. The Hindus in Goa can be seen engaging in Natak, Bhajan, and Kirtan. Many famous Indian classical singers are from Goa, including Kishori Amonkar , Mogubai Kurdikar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Pandit Prabhakar Karekar , Kishori Amonkar, and Jitendra Abhisheki. How to reach Goa? By Road Goa has good connectivity by road; you can reach cities like Panaji, Mapusa, and Margao easily by road. Additionally, a number of bus services run within and outside the state. If you are travelling via the Mumbai and Pune route, you will find heavy traffic. If you are travelling from Maharashtra, you can easily find overnight trains from Mumbai and Pune to deliver you to Goa by morning. But if you are travelling during the weekend or Christmas/New Year time or the Goa Carnival, you will have to book your seat in advance. The number of buses has increased from the Mangalore and Bangalore route owing to the increasing demand by the eager tourists. Goa’s Kadamba Transport Corporation is the state’s transport service. The buses, though in not very good condition, do their job well. Buses run from other states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh also run within the state. In addition, a number of bus services have cropped up in the state owing to the ever-increasing demand. In Panjim, you will find the main bus station in the Kadamba inter-state bus terminus. You can even find tickets for Konkan railway station though you might have to wait in long queues during peak season. By Air Goa has only one airport, and that is in Vasco da Gama. Dabolim airport has amazing connectivity with other states and cities all over India. You can easily find direct, non-stop flights from any part of the country to Goa. People arriving outside of India will have to first land in Mumbai or Delhi and then take a connecting flight to Goa. Domestic airlines provide many cheap options and run daily flights from Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, and other major cities of the nation. You can pre-book your taxi or you can book your taxi on arrival. You can find the pre-paid taxi booth not only 30 meters from the main building. Taking a flight is not only the fastest but also a very convenient way to reach Goa as you save a lot of time, and you can use that time to loiter and have fun in Goa. By Train Another way to reach Goa is by using the Indian railways. Goa has connected to various parts of the country via train service. Cities like Margaon, Vasco- da Gama, Thivim, and many more have fully functioning railway stations. You will find direct trains to Goa from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Kochi, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Goa has connected to Pune via the Belgaum Miraj line. Travelling to Goa by train is a captivating experience as you will find picturesque scenery all along the way with beautiful forests and huge tunnels. If you are planning on visiting South Goa, then book your tickets for Madgaon to help you explore the place in a better way. And if you are planning to visit North Goa, then book your tickets for Thivim railway station. If you get down at Thivim, you will be at an advantage owing to its proximity to all of the famous beaches of North Goa. You will easily find budget and good hotels in this part of the state. If you are on a budget then choosing trains as your means of transport is the best option. It is not only cheap but also it is comfortable and faster than taking a bus. But you have to think ahead and make your reservations early as the trains run fully booked regularly. You can book your tickets online or ask a travel agent.