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Goa: The State of Goa is the smallest in area in India and the 4th smallest in population. It is bound in the north by Konkan region of Maharashtra and by Karnataka in the east. In the west is the Arabian Sea. Panaji (also called Panjim) is the political capital of Goa. Vasco da Gama (commonly called Vasco) is the largest city in Goa. Margao is one of the most historic cities of Goa. Portuguese merchants sailed into Goa and annexed it in the 15th century and it remained their overseas colony for almost 450 years until it was liberated by India in 1961.
Goa was in the Mauryan Empire in the 3rd century BCE. The Satavahana Dynasty of Kolhapur reigned over this area around the beginning of Christian era. From 580 to 750 CE the Chalukya Dynasty of Badami ruled on this region. After them the Silhara, Kadamba and Chalukya of Kalyani rulers governed this area. Then the rulers of Deccan India controlled it. Of all these rulers the Kadambas left a long-term impact on Goa’s pre-colonial history and culture. The rulers of the Islamic Khalji Sultanate of Delhi took over this region in 1312 but King Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire conquered it in 1370 and his successors held on to the territory until 1469 when Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarba in present day Karnataka took over this region. The Adil Shahi Dynasty of Bijapur followed as the next rulers of Goa and made their second capital in present day Velha Goa. On May 20, 1498 Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut (Kozhikode) in Kerala. He returned to Calicut on October 30, 1502 this time heading an armada of 20 warships. His third voyage was in 1524 and during his stay in Cochin, Kerala he passed away and was initially buried in the St. Francis Church in Cochin. Ten years later his son exhumed his body and shipped it to Lisbon in Portugal. With the victory of Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque over the ruler of Bijapur with assistance of Timayya, a local chieftain a permanent Portuguese settlement in Velha Goa (Old Goa) was established in 1510. The aim of the Portuguese in Goa was to secure a military base for unhindered export of spices but they also used brutal force to convert the local population to Christianity because they believed that the newly converted would be more loyal to them than the other natives of neighboring region. St. Francis Xavier leading a large group of Jesuit Christian missionaries arrived in Goa in 1542.
After independence of India in 1947 the new Indian government demanded that the Portuguese hand over this colony to India. The Portuguese rejected this demand and the ‘Resolution 1541’ of the United Nations General Assembly in 1960 asked the Portuguese to relinquish their control over Goa. The Indian government launched military action under ‘Operation Vijay’ with 40000 troops on December 11, 1961. The military conflict lasted 26 hours before the Portuguese garrison finally surrendered. On December 19, 1961 the Portuguese territories of Goa, Daman & Diu were declared independent. Daman & Diu were two enclaves surrounded by Gujarat State and the Arabian Sea. Most nations of the world recognized the former Portuguese territories as part of India immediately. Portugal recognized the independence of these territories after the Carnation Revolution in that country in 1974. These territories were split on May 30, 1987 when Goa became India’s 25th State. Daman & Diu were retained as Union Territories.
Goa is famous for its natural sandy beaches and the diverse architecture reminding one of the various dynasties that ruled it in its antiquity. Basilica de Bom Jesus in Velha Goa is one the most important heritage sites from the Portuguese period. Se Cathedral is the other major Christian church in Goa. Apart from these two famous ones there are many historic churches in Goa. Tiracol, Aguada and Chapora are three ancient Forts that are mostly in ruins, the still existing parts of these churches are restored by the Archaeological Survey of India and local State government. Shantadurga Temple in Kevlam and Shri Mahalsa Temple at Mardol are two very unique examples of the distinct Hindu temple architecture of Goa. Apart from these religious sites there are many private mansions scattered all over Goa that have a very typical Goa architecture.
Goa is connected by scheduled flights by many domestic and international airlines. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Jaipur are the cities connected by regular flights.
Dona Sylvia Beach Resort, Cavelossim Beach – 181 rooms
Taj Exotica Goa, Benaulim – 140 rooms
Taj Fort Aguada Beach Resort, Sinquerim, Bardez – 130 rooms including 24 suites
Taj Vivanta Holiday Village Resort, Sinquerim, Bardez – 140 villa rooms
Cedad de Goa Resort, Vainguinim Beach – 210 rooms
The Leela Goa, Mobor – 151 rooms
Hyatt Regency Goa Resort & Spa, Arrossim Beach – 251 rooms
Royal Goan Beach Club, Benaulim – 50 rooms
Ramada Caravela Beach Resort - 202 rooms
Heritage Village Club, Arrossim Beach – 100 rooms
Vainguinim Valley Resort, Dona Paula – 55 rooms
Pousada Tauma, Calagute, Bardez - 12 stylish suites
Shanti Moranda Hotel - 20 rooms
Ashihyana Lachanpal, North Goa - 14 rooms in villas and cottages
Nanu Resort, Betalbatim Beach, Colva – 72 rooms
Oceanic Hotel, Palolem & Putnem Beaches – 12 rooms
Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort, Vadi, Candolim, Bardez – 65 rooms
Lotus Suites, Vasvado, Benaulim – 18 rooms
Majorda Beach Resort, Salcette – 120 rooms
Renaissance Goa Resort, Colva Beach – 192 rooms
Bougainvillia Guest House - 6 stylish suites
Distance from Panaji, Goa in Kilometers and Miles:
Bangalore: 592 Kilometers or 368 Miles
Cittradurga: 394 Kilometers or 245 Miles
Hassan: 543 Kilometers or 337 Miles
Mangalore: 395 Kilometers or 245 Miles
Mumbai: 593 Kilometers or 368 Miles