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Goa  
Goa is India’s smallest state in terms of area and the second smallest in terms of population after Sikkim. It is located on the west coast of India, in the region known as the Konkan, and is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south. The Arabian Sea makes up the state's west coast. Panaji is the state's capital, and Margao its largest town. Tourism is Goa’s primary Industry and has a major share in the economy of Goa. Goa attracted over 2 million tourist last year.

Portuguese merchants first landed in Goa in the 16th Century but soon after, colonised it forcibly, persecuting Hindus and converting the majority of the locals to Christianity. However, not all were persecuted into Christianity, many were converted by choice because of missionaries like St. Francis of the Seven Seas, who is still honored by both present day Hindus as well as Christians. The Portuguese colony existed for about 450 years, until it was annexed as part of India in 1961.

Culture:
CarnivalThe most popular celebrations in Goa are Christmas, Easter Sunday, Ganesh Chaturthi, New Year’s Day, Shigmo and Carnival. However, since the 1960s, the celebrations of the Shigmo and carnival have shifted to the urban centres, and in recent times these festivals are seen more as a means of attracting tourists. Western English songs have a large following in most parts of Goa. Traditional Konkani folk songs too have a sizable following. The food of Goa is a mixture of foods from Portugal, Western India and Arabia. Rice with fish curry is the staple diet in Goa. Goa is renowned for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil is widely used in Goan cooking. A rich egg-based multi-layered sweet dish known as bebinca is a favourite at Christmas. The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa is Cashew Fennyfeni; Cashew feni is made from the fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms.

Goa is one of the few places in India that you can go to a restaurant and order (beside fish and chicken) both beef and pork, which are usually served very lightly spiced; beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks are sold freely. These attributes, together with the fact that Goa’s economy is among the most prosperous in India, have won Goa the nickname "India for beginners" – the great differences between Europe and India, very apparent in other parts of India due to large slums and other problems, are much less pronounced.

Geography and Climate:
Paddy CultivationGoa spread in an area of 3,702 km2 lies between the latitudes 14°53'54" N and 15°40'00" N and longitudes 73°40'33" E and 74°20'13" E. Goa, with a coastline of 105 km, is a part of India’s western coast and western Ghats known as the Konkan. Goa's main rivers are the Mandovi, the Zuari, the Terekhol, the Chapora and the Betul. The Mormugao harbour on the mouth of the river Zuari is one of the best natural harbours in South Asia. The Zuari and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa. Goa has more than forty estuarine, eight marine and about ninety riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa's rivers is 253 km (157 miles).

Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a warm and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35° C coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. Most of Goa's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September. Goa has a short cool season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by cool nights of around 20°C and warm days of around 29°C with moderate amounts of humidity. Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation, the nights are a few degrees cooler.