Goa, a tiny emerald land on the west coast of India, is a state in India. It was liberated from Portuguese rule in 1961 and was part of the Union territory of Goa, Daman & Diu till 1987, when it became Indias 25th state.
Goa covers an area of 3702 sq km and comprises two revenue districts- North Goa and South Goa. In the north the Terekhol River separates it from Maharashtra. It is bordered in the east and south by Karnataka State and the Arabian Sea forms its western boundary.
Goa is on the western coast of India and is 594 km from Mumbai. The entire State comprises 11 taluks. As per the 2001 census, the population of the State is 1,342, 998.
Terekhol (Tiracol), Mandovi, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and Talpona are the main rivers in the state. They form inland waterways that add beauty and romance to the land besides being used to transport Goas main export commodity of iron and manganese ore to the harbour.
Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks of the Mandovi river and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are the other major towns. Goa is serviced by an international airport located at Dabolim near Vasco. An intrastate and interstate bus network also plays an important role in getting locals and visitors alike in and around Goa.
The vast green expanse of the Sahyadri mountain range (Western Ghats) ensures that Goa has an abundance of water. The sea and rivers abound in seafood - prawns, mackerel, sardines, crabs and lobsters are the most popular with the locals and the visitors.
Along with English which is widely spoken all over Goa, Konkani and Marathi are the state languages. The national language Hindi is also well understood in most areas around the state.
Contrary to popular belief, Goa is not a Christian majority state but a Hindu majority one. The major religions are Hinduism and Christianity, together accounting for more than 95% of the population, while Islam, Buddhism and other religions account for the rest.
Called the Rome of the East, Goa abounds with world famous churches. The Goan ethos has marvelously outlived the infamous inquisition, when during the Portuguese period conversions to Christianity were carried out. Goans are a secular lot.