Travel Tips Goa India – The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, in the middle of India’s southwest coast, has been a holiday destination since colonial times, when British soldiers and officers would travel here from across the country for a spot of “R&R”. Back then, the three twenty – bars, brothels and liquor – were big attractions. Now it’s the golden, palm-fringed beaches along the state’s 105km coastline that draw tourists – about two million of them each winter. Inexpensive air travel has made it a major package tour destination for Europeans, and recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of recent domestic visitors. Fortunately, despite the increasing chaos of Goa’s main resorts, it’s possible to find the odd quiet corner if you’re willing to explore and avoid the busy Christmas/New Year period. If you know, Goa can still be a wonderful place.
Serving as the linchpin for a vast trade network for more than 450 years, Goa was Portugal’s first foothold in Asia. However, when the Portuguese Empire began to flourish in the 17th century, so did the fate of the capital. Cut off from the rest of India by mountain walls and hundreds of kilometers of rugged alluvial plains, it remained isolated from the wider subcontinent until 1961, when an exasperated Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru finally gave up trying to negotiate with the Portuguese dictator. Salazar and sent to the army.
Travel Tips Goa India
It was shortly after the “emancipation” (or “occupation” as some Goans still consider it) that the first hippie travelers came to the area on the old overland trail. They found a way of life that had changed little over the centuries: Portuguese at the time was still the language of the more educated aristocracy, and the coastal settlements were little more than fishing and coconut farming villages. Relieved to have found somewhere culturally indispensable to party, the “devils” got stoned, watched mesmerizing sunsets over the Arabian Sea and danced like maniacs on full moon nights.
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Since then, the state has taken pains to shed its reputation as a druggie drop-out area, and its beaches have grown in popularity year after year. About two dozen stretches of soft white sand line the region’s coastline, ranging from a spectacular 25km sweep to secluded palm-backed coves. The level of development behind them varies greatly; Some are lined with Western-style resorts, while the most sophisticated structures in others are palm-leaf shacks.
Which beach you choose depends on what kind of vacation you have in mind. Developed resorts such as Calangute and Candolim in the north, and Colva and Benaulim in the south, offer more accommodation than other places. Anjuna, Bhagator and Chapora, where places to stay are usually hard to come by, are the places to aim for if you come to Goa to party. However, most budget travelers who take time off from visiting India end up around Palolem in the south, well beyond the reach of charter transfer buses – although be warned that this too has become a major resort in the past decade, literally attracting. Thousands of long-term visitors during peak season. For a quieter scene, you can head to Putnem, just off the headland from Palolem or Agonda, up the coast, where development is limited to a string of more upmarket hot camps and family guesthouses. The only place where the hippie scene endures to any significant extent is Arambol in the far north of the state, where you can indulge in any number of yoga sessions and holistic treatments between mantras on the beach.
About 10 km from the state capital, Panjim, the ruins of the old Portuguese capital at Old Goa are foremost among the attractions away from the coast – a sprawling array of Catholic cathedrals, convents and churches that attract hordes of Christian pilgrims from all over India. Another popular day trip is Anjuna’s Wednesday Flea Market, a great place to shop for souvenirs and dance costumes. In the south, the district of Salsete, and its main market town, Margao, is also full of distinctive hybrid buildings in the form of Portuguese-era mansions, churches and seminaries. Finally, wildlife enthusiasts may be tempted further inland to visit the nature reserves at Kotigao and Netravali in the far south.
Goa’s sheer remoteness from land has always kept it out of the mainstream of Indian history; On the other hand, its control of the sea and lucrative spice trade made it a very coveted prize for rival colonial powers. Goa was ruled by the Kadamba dynasty for more than a thousand years until a century before the arrival of the Portuguese. They were, in turn, defeated by the Carnatic Vijayanagaras, the Muslim Bahmanis, and Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur, but the capture of the fort of Panjim by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510 marked the beginning of 451 years of Portuguese occupation. .
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As the colony expanded, its magnificent capital (called “Goa Daurada” or “Golden Goa”, because of its incredible prosperity) came to hold a larger population than Paris or London. Although Ismail Adil Shah laid siege for ten months in 1570, and the Marathas came very close to capturing the region, the greatest threat was from other European maritime nations, primarily Holland and France. Meanwhile, the Christian conversion started by the Franciscans gained momentum when St. Francis Xavier established a Jesuit mission in 1542. With the advent of the Inquisition shortly after, laws were enacted banning any faith other than Catholicism. Hindu temples were destroyed, and Hindu converts adopted Portuguese names, such as da Silva, Correa and de Sousa, which remain common in the region. Thereafter, the colony, whose commercial monopoly was broken by its European rivals, went into gradual decline, hastened by the unhealthy, disease-ridden environment of its capital.
Despite some liberalization, such as the restoration of Hindus’ right to worship and the final banishment of the dreaded Inquisition in the 1820s, the nineteenth century saw widespread civil unrest. During the British Raj, many Goans migrated to Bombay and other parts of British India in search of work.
The success of Goa’s freedom struggle after independence was due to the efforts of the Indian government, which broke diplomatic ties with Portugal, such as Menezes Braganza and Dr. In the work of freedom fighters like Cunha. After the “liberation march” in 1955, many died, the state was blockaded. Trade with Bombay ceased, and the railway closed, so Goa set out to connect with international contacts, especially with Pakistan and Sri Lanka: which led to the construction of Dabolim Airport, and a determination to improve local agricultural production. In 1961, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru finally sent in the armed forces. Mounted in defiance of the UN resolution, “Operation Vijay” met only token resistance and the Indian Army occupied Goa in two days. Subsequently, Goa (along with two other Portuguese enclaves, Daman and Diu) became part of India as a self-governing Union Territory, with minimal interference from Delhi.
After independence, Goa prospered, bolstered by iron-ore exports and a growing tourism industry. However, dominated by issues of statehood, Konkani status and ever-increasing levels of immigration, its political life has been dogged for decades by chronic instability, frequent changes of government and chief ministers, punctuated by periodic periods of President’s rule. When the state was to be ruled directly from New Delhi.
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At the beginning of the twenty-first century, new fears over the pace of change along the coastline began to dominate the news. The sudden arrival and sudden disappearance of Russian charter tourists, now replaced by high-rolling property developers in Delhi and Mumbai, has provoked backlash from successive ruling coalitions, with state-sponsored land grabs. Hundreds of resident Europeans had their property confiscated, and fled. A series of high-profile attacks on foreigners, and unexplained deaths, have done little to improve the state’s image abroad. Meanwhile, the region’s survival as a culturally distinct entity hangs in the balance, making Goa’s borders more vulnerable as infrastructural links with the rest of India continue to improve.
Not surprisingly, after 451 years of colonialism, Goan cooking has taken on a strong Portuguese influence – palm vinegar (unknown elsewhere in India), copious amounts of coconut, tangy kokum and fiery local chillies also play their part. Goa is home to the famous vindaloo (from the Portuguese
, literally “garlic wine”), originally an extra hot and sour pork curry, but now made with a variety of meats and fish. Other pork specialties include spicy
, made with lime juice, almonds, coconut, chilli and spiced sauce. The seafood selection is excellent, often cooked in aromatic spices – clams, mussels, crab, lobster, giant prawns – while fish, depending on the type, is either cooked in wet curry, grilled or tandoori. Chicken dishes are included
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, is a steamed cake made from fermented rice flour,