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About Goa
India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population, Goa is located in West India in the region known as the Konkan. It is a former Portuguese colony with a rich history and a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese cultures and architecture that attracts millions of visitors each year. However, Goa is better known and recognised for its vast stretches of beautiful silver sand beaches, clear blue waters, verdant green mountain ranges and its idyllic lifestyle. Though Vasco-da Gama is the largest city in Goa, Panjim is the capital city.

Goa's state language is Konkani, which is widely spoken but Goans also speak English and Hindi. Portuguese is still spoken by a small segment, especially the elite and earlier privileged class or the older generation who studied in Portuguese-ruled Goa. Goan cuisine is a perfect blend of Portuguese and local flavours and is mostly seafood based. Pork Goan dishes such as Sorpotel and Vindaloo are cooked for major occasions among the Goan Catholics and those with a sweet-tooth, a traditional Goan pudding Bebinca is a must.

Best time to visit:

The best time of the year to visit Goa is September to mid-February when the weather is comfortable, dry and pleasant.

Top five places to see:

Baga Beach – Apart from the usual beach activities and delicious local food, Baga Beach offers an opportunity to enjoy Wind Surfing. The National Wind Surfing Championship is also conducted every year around September to November at the Baga Beach.

Candolim Beach – The Candolim Beach is well known for its serene atmosphere and a long stretch of peaceful silvery beach which has very little commercial activities on it. Parasailing, water-skiing as well as various other adventure water sport activities can be undertaken.

Basilica de Bom Jesus –The Basilica is world famous for housing the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who is considered by Catholics as one of the patron saints of Goa. The body of the saint is still in very good condition even after more than 400 years. It is taken out and kept for public display once in every decade. The basilica is constructed in Portuguese style and the architecture is absolutely mesmerising.

Fort Aguada – The grand fort of Aguada was constructed to prevent the entry of ships into the river Mandovi thus protecting old Goa from enemy attacks. Fort Aguada boasts of the first ever light house in Asia and was the first line of defence for the Portuguese.

Flea Market – Flea markets are an inseparable part of the folklore and culture of Goa. The market basically presents an opportunity to drink, eat, make merry and most importantly shop for some rare antiques, junk jewellery, beach wear, Tibetan crafts, Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional clothes, jhola bags, etc.