Goa is a state on India’s West coast, is a former Portuguese colony with a rich history – one of the most attractive destinations in all India. It all started with the hippies in the 1960s, who started discovering the wonders and mysteries of this magnificent land, but now, Goa hold a little bit for everyone – including you.
It has an extremely rich history that goes back 30.000 years
Goa is one of the most mystical areas on the face of the planet – its history going back 30,000 years. The rock art engravings exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India.
In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of a Buddhist empire, and the Buddhist monks of the time started setting up an entire religious system of temples, some of which still stand to this day. Many kingdoms disputed the area, but it remained almost exclusively Buddhist up until the 1500s, when the Portuguese conquered Goa and held it for more than 4 centuries, until 1961 – an incredibly long period.
All these historical struggles left a deep mark on the Goa culture, and this history is very much present to this day in the people and their culture and mindsets – certainly one of the richest areas of the world in terms of history and culture.
It’s different than the rest of India
Goa has a unique mix of Indian and Portuguese culture. It is very different from the rest of India, owing to Portuguese rule which isolated it for 451 years – one of the main results is that a staggering 25% of the population is Catholic.
As a result, you can visit not only remarkable and soothing Buddhist temples, but also a few fascinating Christian churches. Furthermore, this enticing mixture left a big mark on Goan art. Goa has a more than its fair share of museums, art galleries and libraries – anything from ancient Indian history, to classic Portuguese operas, to surrealism and vintage aircraft.
It has magnificent beaches
The hippies didn’t just come to Goa for the culture – they also came for the beaches. If I’d have to pinpoint three attractions in Goa, it would be beaches, temples and churches – but beaches first. You can enjoy an almost unbroken 70 km coastline of beaches, and since the 60s, things have evolved, and you also have chaise longues, snack shacks, and pretty much everything you’d expect from a beach.
There’s also several diving huts, but be advised that the diving season usually lasts from October to mid May. Diving is not possible during the monsoons in India – as a matter of fact, you may want to avoid the beaches or even Goa altogether during monsoon season.
There’s a little something for everyone
Whether you want to hitchhike and camp like in the old days, or on the contrary, you want to hang out at luxury villas in India, the Goa destination is perfect. Few places on Earth can boast such a diversity of tastes and attractions.
A big plus is that for a destination which tends to be costlier — in almost everything — than the rest of India, Goa has liquors and wines that are priced noticeably low. Accommodation may be fairly expensive (again, compared to the rest of India), but it’s definitely worth it.
So go ahead, relax at the beaches, immerse yourself in the ocean of history and culture, and enjoy one of the most exotic and mysterious destinations on the planet!