Goa is a State of Mind

On 30th May 1987, Goa, situated on the south-western coast of India, was granted statehood, which made Goa the 25th state of India. Goa holds the title of India’s smallest state in terms of area.

Goa is a state with only two districts -North Goa and South Goa. Its capital is Panaji and Vasco de Gama is the largest city of the smallest state of India by area.  Goa is bound by Maharashtra in the north, Karnataka to the east and south, and there is Arabian Sea in the west of Goa. It has a population of 1.82 million and the state is spread across an area of 3702 sq m.

Liberation and Referendum

Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was liberated by the Indian army from the Portuguese colonial rule on 19th December 1961, and since then they have become part of the Indian Union. Goa, Daman and Diu became a single centrally administered union territory of India. On 30th May 1987, the union territory was demarcated to make Goa the 25th state of India. Daman and Diu remained and still remains a union territory.

Goa, which is known for its splendid beaches and majestic churches, had been a Portuguese colony for more than 450 years. Portuguese rule in Goa began in 1510, when Portuguese General Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Goa by defeating the then Bijapur Sultan, Yusuf Adil Shah, with the help of a local ally, Thimmayya. Goa was a Portuguese colony before the arrival of the British in India and it remained under Portuguese rule till 14 years after India’s independence from British rule.

The influence of so many centuries of Portuguese rule in Goa is being reflected in Goa’s architectural legacy its, cuisine, Goan language and dialects, and also in the spread of Christianity in Goa.

Here it deserves a mention that on 16th January 1967, a referendum was held in Goa. It was the only referendum in post-independence India. The referendum was for the people of Goa to choose between remaining as a union territory or merge with Maharashtra. Majority of people voted against the merger and Goa continued as an UT for twenty more years.

The Economic Pillars

Today, Goa has the second highest per capita income among all states and union territories of India, with only Sikkim being ahead of it. Per capita GSDP of Goa is three times that of India’s per capita GSDP.

Agriculture, mining and tourism are the three major industries of this prosperous state. The agricultural land in Goa spans around 1400 square kilometers, with the government owning 1200 square kilometers and the remaining 200 square kilometers being privately owned. Rice and coconut form the primary agricultural products of Goa. Paddy is cultivated in the state during the monsoon, from the months of June to September.

According to the Directorate of Mines and Geology, Government of Goa, mining in Goa today is synonymous with iron ore mining. Goa exports its iron ore to China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and countries in Eastern Europe. Iron ore mining in Goa is  in the private sector. The iron ore deposits of Goa are distributed over the northern, southern and central blocks of Goa. The northern block’s iron ore deposits are richer both in terms of quality and quantity of the ore, as compared to those of the southern and central blocks.

Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of Goa and it is one of the favourite destinations for foreign tourists. About 86.2 lakh tourists visited the state during 2023, which is a significant jump over 71.9 lakh tourists visiting the state in 2022.

A Worth Watching State

Basilica of Bom Jesus, which has the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier9it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), St. Cajetan Church, Museum of Christian Art, Fort Aguada, Chapora Fort, Dudhsagar Waterfalls, Anjuna Flea Market and of course its famous beaches (Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach, Candolim Beach, Calangute Beach, Sinquerim Beach and many others) are the highpoints in the tourism landscape of Goa.

Goa has two main tourist seasons, which are winter and summer. Summer in Goa is the rainy season. Whether your interest is religion or nature or water sports, Goa wouldn’t fail to amaze you with its bounties. Carnival in Goa is also a major attraction where one can let one’s hair down and be a part of the exuberance infused celebration.

While travelling through Goa one can realise that Goa is not only a young state with a rich culture but also a state of mind where one may be induced to explore again and again.

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