The best time to visit Goa is from October to February. The peak season lasts from mid-December to first week of January. Monsoon lasts from June to September. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.
Goa is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located on the west coast of India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast.
The origin of Goa is lost in the mists of time. In the Vedic period (1000 - 500 BC), when the Hindu epic Mahabharata was written, Goa has been referred to with the Sanskrit name Gomantak, a word with many meanings, but generally signifying a fertile land. In the past, Goa has been known as Govapuri, Gomantak or Aparant. The Arab sailors knew it as Sindabur or Sandabur, and the Portuguese as Goa.
Goans have always had to assert and adapt their identity in relation to foreign influence. Resistance to Portuguese colonialism has changed into pride at having Portuguese roots, while attempts to maintain the distinction between Goa and India reinforce a ‘Goan’ identity that spurs on environmental, economic and social activism in a bid to keep Goa one of the most prosperous states in the country.
Goan architecture is a combination of Indian, Mughal and Portuguese styles. Since the Portuguese ruled for four centuries, many churches and houses bear a striking element of the Portuguese style of architecture. Influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa's temples, notably the Mangueshi Temple, although after 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.
Equatorial forest cover in Goa stands at 1,424 sq. km., of which 1,224 sq. km. is owned by the Government while private forest is estimated at 200 sq. km. Most of the forests in the state are located in the interior eastern regions of the state. The Western Ghats, which form most of eastern Goa, have been internationally recognised as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.