Goa Beyond Beaches
Goa is popularly known for beaches and the party destination of India. While, beaches, parties and get together always make it to your to-do list in Goa, let’s remind you that the smallest state of India, is much more than this. May be small compared to other states of India, Goa has varieties that many people miss, if they don't explore.
1. Goa is Green, 40% of Goa is forest
Not only long stretched beaches, Goa is part of Wester Ghats, heavy monsoon, mountains and a lot of green areas, many places it is hard to enter. Around 20% of the land in Goa falls into the beautiful Western Ghats of India, a vast mountain range and treasure house of biodiversity. The forests here are teeming with exotic wildlife, including Indian giant squirrels, mongoose, Slender Loris, Indian macaques and sloth bears. The road sides of Goa is mostly surrounded by greens, so enjoy green drive!
2. Goa, the north and the south
Goa may be the smallest state of India, yet it packs a wallop in terms of sightseeing, adventure, nightlife, food, accommodation and fun activities. But one question visitors mull over is where to go first – North Goa or South Goa? Both are unique and beautiful in their own way. North Goa is all about nightlife, shopping and liveliness, whereas South Goa has unblemished beaches, scenic drives and tranquility. No matter where you decide to go in Goa, you just can’t go wrong as it all depends on what you want to explore and experience. Here’s a rundown on where to head.
3. Goa is monsoon paradise and waterfalls
Being the part of hills and wester ghats, Goa offers uncountable water falls in monsoon seasons, with a number of treks and trails. The rain clouds come in from the Arabian Sea, hit the mountains of the Western Ghats and empty its water content. In July and August, during peak monsoon, rain showers can be especially prolonged. The three rivers of Goa – Chapora, Zuari, and Sal are all swollen. The ponds are also full. There is a lot of greenery everywhere, thanks to the rain, making Goa beautiful in the monsoon. The cloud cover looks good too over the Arabian Sea.
4. Goa has one of India's largest waterfalls
The Dudhsagar Waterfalls can be found in the far east of the state, and is recognized as the second-highest waterfall in the whole of India, measuring an impressive 603 metres tall.
Surrounded by dense jungle, and cascading down a mountainside behind a railway line, it's a sight to behold. Witness its beauty with your own eyes, and even take a dip.
5. Some of India's oldest rocks are found here
Geologists claim that evidence of human inhabitants in Goa can be traced back to the Stone Age.
Some of the oldest rocks in India are found in Goa between Molem and Anmod. Classified as Trondjemeitic Gneiss, these rocks are over 3,600 million years old!
6. More than 7,000 bars/ restaurants to choose from
Being popular tourist destination and way of living it has, Goa is widely known as India's party district, and is visited by thousands of sun-seeking tourists each year.
The state has fulfilled popular demand, with close to 7,000 bars across the state to choose from – and plenty of cheap alcohol. North Goa is generally more lively, although South Goa has its fair share of beach parties too. Well, you may struggle to get a cup of tea!
7. Over 400 species of birds have made Goa their home
There are currently six conservation areas where you can head to explore the birdlife, including the Cotigao, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, Wildlife Sanctuary in South Goa, and the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary in Central Goa. If you're lucky you'll spot some very rare birds, including the Long-billed Vulture, Darter, Great Pied Hornbill, Indian Skimmer and the Asian Fairy Bluebird.
8. Hire two-wheeler taxis
This is the only place in India where you can pay a motorcyclist for a lift, without worrying about riding off with a complete stranger! Goa is full of motorcycle taxis and riders, known as pilots, and they're known as the state's most cost-effective form of transport.
9. Portuguese culture
In 1524, the Portuguese captain Vasco da Gama landed in Goa. More Portuguese arrived in 1510, looking to gain control of the spice root from the East, and two years later Goa became a Portuguese colony.
Goa's colonial history is apparent wherever you go, from the state capital of Panjim and Portuguese quarters, to the churches, museums and colorful houses dotted across the state.
Even the food in Goa showcases the state's Portuguese influence! Feijoada is a must-try – a Portuguese bean stew with either curried pork or beef.
10. Goa off the beach
Portuguese Mansions, historical forts, Explore the Old Goa, Goa’s Latin Quarter and Vasco... there are many other things to do and see apart from beaches.
A. Goa is the smallest state in India
Covering an area of 1,429 square miles, it's only slightly bigger than Sikkim, but has a coastline that stretches for 99 miles. That's not to say that the state has a small amount of attractions and things to do; in fact, it's quite the opposite! Coastline of Goa is 160 km, long enough to keep engaged and searching.
B. The state has the highest per capita income in India
Goa is one of India's wealthiest states, largely thanks to its booming tourist industry.
This beautiful state has also been ranked as the best placed in terms of infrastructure and living standards.