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Goa Holidays Overview
The world famous beach paradise of Goa is located on the Western coast of India.
Goa is also the smallest state India. This coastal state which faces Arabian Sea has a long 105 km coastline that is made up of many simmering sand beaches and quaint villages which are surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Goa is often referred to as India’s ‘Sunshine state’ as it inhabited by perennially happy, laid back folk who believe in enjoying life while following a philosophy of ‘Sosegad’ . The word ‘Sosegad’ is derived from the Portuguese word ‘Socegado’ meaning tranquility. It is fitting that the Goans should follow this policy as Goa was a Portuguese colony for nearly four centuries which only became a part of the Indian union in 1961.
The history of Goa dates back to the third century BCE when it formed a part of the Mauryan Empire which was headed by the Buddhist Emperor Ashoka of Magadha. Subsequently the state was ruled by the several other prominent Southern Indian kingdoms like the Chutus of Karwar, the Bhojas of Gujarat and the Kadambas before it was taken over by the Muslim rulers of the Delhi Sultanate in 1312. The Muslim rulers however were compelled to surrender the control of Goa to the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire in 1370. The kings belonging to this empire ruled Goa until 1469 after it was taken over by the Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarga who later relinquished its control in favor of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur who established their capital at a spot which came to be known as Velha Goa by the Portuguese.
The Portuguese first arrived in Goa in 1510 and they got rid of the ruling Bijapur kings with the help of a local leader and they established a permanent settlement in Velha Goa or Old Goa. The Portuguese brought Christianity to Goa but they also fought many wars with various local neighboring rulers like the Marathas.
The colonists then moved the capital of Goa to Panaji from Velha Goa in 1843 and they concentrated all their efforts on Goa where they created 'the Estado da India Portuguesa'. After India gained her independence from the British in 1947, the Portuguese refused to leave while they clung on to their colony.
On December 12th, 1961 , Goa was captured along with other territories like Damman and Diu in Gujarat by the Indian army. Goa, like Damman and Diu was made into a Union territory which was administered directly by the Central Government of India. Goa was transformed into the twenty –fifth state of the Indian Union on 30th May 1987 but it continues to display a strong Portuguese influence until today.
Goa became a haunt of the hippies and the flower children in the 1960’s as they reveled in the tranquil atmosphere of this congenial state where the sun always shone and the beach sands glistened in the cool sea breeze. These hippies with their liberal care-free lives and their ideals of free love often scandalized the locals but over time they got accustomed to them so much so that some old hippies in fact laid down roots and settled down in Goa. They can now sometimes be seen at Goa’s famed Anjuna flea market which is held every Wednesday at the beach town of Anjuna.
In recent years though the State powers to be have tried to discourage the hippies and budget backpackers, and have concentrated on marketing Goa as a destination for high-end tourism. In fact today several charter flights provide direct air links to Goa from various European cities and the state is annually visited by countless international visitors who come to relax and rejuvenate at Goa’s many beach front hotels and resorts.
Goa enjoys a year round amenable climate which is generally hot and humid all year round. May is usually the hottest month in Goa during which temperatures are known to reach 40ºC or 104ºF. The state then usually experiences a monsoon season which starts in June and lasts until September. The peak tourist season in Goa usually extends from the beginning of the month of October until the end of March. During the months of April and May Goa is usually desolate as many restaurants and bars close for the off-season period.
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holidays - Top Events
The state of Goa celebrates most of the popular f India festivals though it also has elaborate celebrations for Christmas and New Year keeping in line with its Portuguese Christian antecedents. Additionally the state also hosts several unique events like :-
The Goa Carnival
This event harks back to Goa’s colonial past and it is celebrated over three day in the middle of February each year. The carnival features raucous parades, music and dancing and much feasting and merriment which serve to bring together all the various ethnic communities that reside in Goa.
The International Film Festival of India
The International Film Festival of India (IFFI) extends for 10 days at the end of each year. This festival forms a part of the film festival circuit that includes other famous film festivals like the Cannes, Berlin, Venice and Toronto film festivals. This International Film Festival of India originated 1952 but it only moved to the beach front resort destination of Goa in 2004. This film festival attracts high profile Bollywood stars and many famous international celluloid luminaries and celebrities as its program includes both Indian and international films. Many of these films are shown 'in competition' and vie for prizes like the Golden and Silver Peacock awards.
holidays - How to Get There
Singapore Airlines , Qantas, British Airways,Thai airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian Airlines all connect Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne to destinations on the Indian subcontinent like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai from where you can connect on to a domestic flight which will transport you to the beach heaven of Goa.
he flight time of these journeys however depend on the route that you choose to fly and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia does not have a diplomatic mission in Goa but the country has a High Commission in Delhi and consulates in Mumbai and Chennai.