|Area||3,702 sq. km|
|Principal Languages||Konkani and Marathi|
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History and Geography
Goa, known in the bygone days as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Gomantak, etc., abounds in a rich historical heritage. Early history of Goa is obscure. In the first century of the Christian era, Goa was a part of the Satavahana empire, followed by the Kadamba, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed, the Chalukyas and the Silharas. The empire of the Yadavas by the end of the 14th century was displaced by the Khiljis of Delhi and thus Muslim rule came to Goa. After the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco-da-Gama in 1498, many Portuguese expeditions came to India. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque with the help of the emperor of Vijayanagar attacked and captured Goa. With the arrival of the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier in 1542 proselytisation began in Goa. However, the Portuguese continued to rule over the territory except for an interlude during the latter half of the 17th century when Shivaji conquered a few areas in and around Goa. Even after India's independence, Goa continued to be in the hands of the Portuguese. However, they could not fulfil the aspirations of the Goan people and ultimately on 19 December 1961, Goa was liberated and made a composite union territory with Daman and Diu. On 30 May 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and Daman and Diu was made a separate union territory.
Goa is situated on the western coast of the Indian Peninsula. On its north runs the Terekhol River which separates Goa from Maharashtra and on the south lies North Canara district of Karnataka. On the east lie the Western Ghats and on the west the Arabian Sea. Panaji, Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Ponda are the main towns of Goa.
Rice is the main food crop. Pulses, ragi and other food crops are also grown. Main cash crops are coconut, cashewnut, arecanut, sugarcane and fruits like pineapple, mango and banana.
Irrigation and Power
With the commissioning of dams like Selaulim and Anjunem and other minor irrigation projects, the area under irrigation is rising steadily. The total irrigation potential created by these projects is 43,000 hectares. All villages have been electrified leading to cent per cent coverage.
Tillari Irrigation which is a inter-state joint venture of the Government of Maharashtra and Goa is aimed at creating an ultimate irrigation potential of 24618 ha for Goa State, besides providing 57.43 mm3 of water for domestic industrial and other non-agricultural purposes.
Industry and Minerals
The State has 7110 small-scale industrial units and 20 industrial estates. Mineral products are ferro-manganese, bauxite and iron ore contributing substantially to the economy of the State through exports.
Fish assumes special significance for the State as 90% of the population of Goa is fish dietarian. The fishery is an important industry in the State providing employment and livelihood to around 1.00 lakh people. 3220 fishermen have been covered under the State Insurance scheme. 718 fishermen are covered under saving cum relief fund.
Art and Culture
The State has the distinction to have achieved the ISO 9001-2000 certification through the Directorate of Art and Culture. State Cultural Policy has been framed. Tiatr Academy of Goa has been set up. Various schemes such as Kala Sanman, Kalakar Kritadnyata Nidhi are being implemented to assist artists and promote cultural activities.
As on 31/12/2008 the total number of driving licenses issued in Goa is 4,40,152 and the total number of vehicles registered in Goa is 6,59,012.
Roads:Of the motorable roads, national highway constitutes 224 kms, state highways 232 kms and district roads 815 kms.
Railways: Goa is linked with Mumbai, Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram through the Konkan Railway, which has introduced several fast trains on these lines. Vasco da Gama is connected with Bengaluru and Belgaum on the South Central Railway, presently for goods traffic only.
Aviation: : Mumbai, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Chennai, Agati and Bengaluru are linked with Dabolim through regular Airlines services.
Ports: Mormugao is the major port in the State. Mormugao handles cargo vessels. Minor ports are located at Panaji, Tiracol, Chapora Betul and Talpona, out of which Panaji is the main operative port. One off-shore berth at Panaji has also been commissioned.
The health care services in the state are made available to the people at their door steps. It is one of the best performing states in India in the matter of health and medical care. Under Mediclaim scheme financial assistance has been enhanced to Rs.8 lakh. Mobile health care vans and the unique 108 ambulance services have been introduced to cater to the health care needs of the people advanced emergency paramedics rooms have been established at Government run primary health centres to stabilise patients inflicted with major diseases.
Anjuna beach Goa
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Important tourist centres are Colva, Calangute, Vagator, Baga, Harmal, Anjuna and Miramar beaches; Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral churches at Old Goa; Kavlem, Mardol, Mangeshi, Bandora temples; Aguada, Terekhol, Chapora and Cabo de Rama Forts; Dudhsagar and Harvalem waterfalls and Mayem lake resort. The state has rich wildlife sanctuaries, viz., Bondla, Cotigao, Molem and Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Chorao covering an area of 354 sq km.
* As per 2011 Census (Provisional Data)
Source: India 2010 - A Reference Annual