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Know Your City - Goa


Goa has a unique blend of Hindu and Christian cultures which it has inherited from its past. From the 4th to the 14th century, the Bhojas, Chalukyas, Silaharas, Kadambas and the Hoysalas ruled over this coveted territory.

The Portuguese who held on to this settlement till 1961 when the Indian armed forces wrested control have left an indelible mark on Goan culture. Goa is a cultural amalgam very distinct from the rest of India, with Hindus and Catholics dominating the population in equal numbers, with some representation from Muslim and other religions too.

Goa became a Union Territory along with Daman and Diu on December 1961. It was conferred statehood in May 1987 to become the 25th state of the Indian Union. Goa ranks highest among all States and Union Territories on the quality of life, as per the Report of the National Commission on Population (2002). In terms of social indicators such as literacy and infant mortality rate, Goa figures among the top three states.

General information
Area 3,702 km²
Latitude 15.29?N
Longitude 73°49?E
Altitude 1022 meters above sea level
International Time ( + 5 1/2) hours from GMT
Temperature Summer (up to 45C); Winter ( 11C)
Total Population 1.4 million (2001)
Population Density 363/km² (2001)
Languages spoken Konkani, Marathi, English

Places of Interest

Facing the Arabian Sea, Goa carries the Portuguese heritage in its cottages and churches, and is dotted with beaches, seminaries, caves and waterfalls.

Beaches and Waterfalls: The most frequented beaches in Goa are Anjuna, Baga, Calangute, Colva and Benaulim, Dona Paula, Vagator, Chapora, Cavelosim. The magnificent Dudhsagar waterfalls, located 60 kms from Margao they rank amongst the top 100 waterfalls of the world.

Rock-cut caves and Seminaries: The rock-cut caves of Khandepar in Ponda, the Arvalem caves and the Buddhist caves in Sanquelim are worth visiting.

Churches: Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa is a world heritage monument built in 1605, and is the shrine of Goa's patron saint, St. Francis Xavier. The Church of St Cajetan and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi attract many tourists.

Temples: Lord Shiva temple at Tambdi Surla, the Saptakoteshwar temple, Narve, the Sree Mahalaxmi temple in Panaji and the Dattatreya in Mapusa are well known.

Forts: Fort Aguada, housing the Aguada jail offers a breathtaking view of the Arabian Sea and the lighthouse.

Educational institutions in Goa

Ranked the highest educated city by an independent survey in 2005, Goa has a sound educational base, with a high literacy rate of 84.12% in North Goa, and 79.98% in South Goa (2001 census).

Schools in Goa

  • St Ignatius of Loyola High School - in Margao
  • Dr. T.B.Cunha Government High Secondary, Mary Immaculate Girls High School, People's High School and the Rosary School - in Panaji
  • Kendriya Vidyalaya, the Mormugoa Education Society, the Regina Mundi High School, St.Andrews, St. Joseph's and St. Therese - in Vasco

Institutes for Higher Education
There are colleges offering pharmacy, architecture and dentistry along with several private colleges teaching law, arts, commerce and science. Prominent colleges among these are:

  • Government Engineering College
  • Goa Medical College
  • Government Polytechnic, Panaji
  • The Goa Institute of Management (GIM)
  • The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO)
  • Goa College of Pharmacy
  • Government Polytechnic Bicholim
  • Central Library, Panaji
  • Xavier Centre for Historical Research
  • Goa University

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