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Goa - गोंय
Seal of Goa.png
status State
Capital Panaji
surface 3,702 km²
Residents 1,457,723 (2011)
Population density 394 inhabitants per km²
languages Konkani ( Marathi may be used for official purposes.)
governor Satyapal Malik
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant ( BJP )
Website goa.gov.in
ISO code IN-GA
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Goa ( Konkani : गोंय , goṃya ; Marathi : गोवा , govā ) is the smallest Indian state . It is located on the central west coast of India , has an area of ​​3702 square kilometers and almost 1.5 million inhabitants (2011 census). The capital of Goa is Panaji , called Pangim by the Portuguese and Panjim by the British .

Goa is named after the former city of the same name, now Velha Goa . As part of Portuguese India, the region was a Portuguese colony for around 450 years and therefore has a special cultural character. Hardly any Indian state has been culturally influenced by a European colonial power as lastingly as Goa. This is also shown by the high proportion of the Catholic population.


Arambol Beach, Pernem
View over the delta of the Chapora River, Bardez

With an area of ​​3702 square kilometers, a north-south extension of 105 kilometers and a west-east extension of no more than 65 kilometers, Goa is the smallest state in India .

Goa is located on the Konkan Coast, the central west coast of India. It is bordered by the state of Maharashtra to the north, Karnataka to the south and east, and the Arabian Sea to the west . The coastline is 101 kilometers.

The narrow coastal plain is followed by terrace-like, 30 to 100 meter high table lands, which merge to the east into the foothills of the Western Ghats . The mountains of the Western Ghats, which take up around 15 percent of the country's area, are on average 800 meters high, but individual mountains rise to over 1000 meters. Goa's highest point is the Sonsogor at 1167 meters above sea level .

Goa's coastline is divided by wide estuaries. The Mormugao -Bay is considered one of the best natural harbors in South Asia. All major rivers have their source in the Western Ghats. Most important are the rivers Zuari and Mandovi in the center of Goa, Chapora and Terekhol in the north and Sal and Talpona in the south.


The climate is tropical and, as in general in India, is determined by the monsoons . The summer monsoon sets in around mid-June and usually lasts until September. The average annual rainfall is between 2800 and 3500 mm, but in some higher mountain regions the rainfall can also be much stronger (up to 7500 mm). During the monsoons, temperatures fluctuate around 26 degrees Celsius.

The monsoons are followed by the dry season from October to the beginning of June with approximately constant temperatures between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius on average. Only in the hot season in April and May do the average temperatures rise to 29 to 30 degrees, during the day up to 35 degrees. Due to the proximity to the sea, Goa always has a relatively high humidity of around 60 percent, even in the dry season.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: WMO
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Goa
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 31.6 31.5 32.0 33.0 33.0 30.3 28.9 28.8 29.5 31.6 32.8 32.4 O 31.3
Min. Temperature (° C) 19.6 20.5 23.2 25.6 26.3 24.7 24.1 24.0 23.8 23.8 22.3 20.6 O 23.2
Precipitation ( mm ) 0.2 0.1 1.2 11.8 112.7 868.2 994.8 518.7 251.9 124.8 30.9 16.7 Σ 2,932
Rainy days ( d ) 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.8 4.2 21.9 27.2 13.3 13.5 6.2 2.5 0.4 Σ 90.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: WMO


While in all of India around 20 percent of the area is forested, in Goa it is around 38 percent. Dense forest is found mainly in the mountains and highlands. In locations of over 500 meters, there are predominantly evergreen wet forests with magnolia , fig , teak and sage trees as well as a dense undergrowth of bamboo and ferns . Lianas and orchids are also common . Acacias and other deciduous tree species predominate on the lower plateaus . At heights between 50 and 200 meters, the original open bush forests alternate with large cashew tree plantings .

In the lowlands, the original plant cover has been largely destroyed due to the high population density, instead one finds a cultural landscape shaped by arable farming. Mangrove forests are only left at the mouths of rivers , but these are threatened by deforestation for the production of firewood and building materials. Along the coasts, in addition to numerous grasses and bushes, there are mainly palm trees , including the coconut palms , which are also used commercially .


Gaure and the rare Indian leopard are the largest living beings among the 40 or so mammal species found in Goa . Much more common are smaller cat species, especially civets , musangs and reed cats , as well as monkeys and semi-monkeys, including the Hanuman langurs , which the Hindus consider sacred and therefore ubiquitous in populated areas . In contrast, deer species such as sambars , axis deer , hog deer and muntjacs are only found in closed forest areas, as can sloth bears , wild boars and porcupines . Striped hyenas and golden jackals prefer more open terrain. 423 species of birds have so far been recorded in Goa, including stranglers , kingfishers , shepherd mainas , parrots and herons . The most common reptiles are snakes, including the poisonous cobras . Their natural predators are the mongooses , which are therefore also tolerated in the vicinity of human settlements. But also many fishing horrors come from the region.



Vendors in the flea market near Anjuna Beach

According to the 2011 Indian census, Goa has 1,457,723 inhabitants. In terms of population, Goa is the fourth smallest state in India. The population density of 394 inhabitants per square kilometer is only slightly above the national average. Goa's population is mainly concentrated in the northern and central coastal areas, while the highland and mountain areas of the hinterland are much less populated. Of all Indian states, Goa has the highest degree of urbanization with 62.2 percent. On the national average, however, only 31.2 percent of all Indians live in cities.

Thanks to the high standard of living by Indian standards, around one in three Goanese is now an immigrant from another Indian state. About a third of the immigrants come from Karnataka alone , followed by Kerala and Gujarat . A significant proportion of the inhabitants of at least the capital of Goa are of Portuguese descent and Roman Catholic ( Goa Catholics ), the majority of the inhabitants speak the Konkani language , which is strongly influenced by Portuguese . In contrast, a small group of around 25,000 Adivasi (indigenous people), who are known as Gauda , live in rural areas .

Goa census population since the first census in 1951.

Census year population
1951 547,000
1961 590.875
1971 795.997
1981 1,008,373
1991 1,170,115
2001 1,348,900
2011 1,457,723


Languages ​​in Goa
language percent
Distribution of languages ​​(2001 census)

The traditional language of the Goans is Konkani , originally a dialect of Marathi , which was later recognized as a separate language. Konkani has influences from Portuguese and Kannada . It is preferably written in Devanagari , but sometimes also in Latin script. The continued existence of Konkani was threatened by increasing Western influences, the affiliation of Goa to Maharashtra in the 1960s and the planned elevation of Marathi to the official language in the 1980s. However, a movement to preserve the language led to it becoming the common language of the population again and in 1987 the official language of the state of Goa. Marathi, which is spoken as the mother tongue in some rural areas of North Goa, can also be used for official purposes.

Knowledge of English is useful in tourism, which is of economic importance to Goa. Therefore it is more or less well controlled by most Goans. It has largely replaced Portuguese as the language of education. The latter is only maintained by a few Christian families or descendants of Portuguese settlers, most of whom belong to a Brahmin caste. Like English, Hindi is also often used as a lingua franca for communication between speakers of different mother tongues. A mixture of Hindi, Konkani and English has established itself as the colloquial language among the younger population strata of Goa, which is based on the language used in Bollywood films. Immigrants from other states use their mother tongues with one another. Kannada in particular therefore has numerous speakers in Goa.


Religions in Goa
religion percent
Distribution of religions (2011 census)
Colorful Hindu temple in Siolim in North Goa

With 66 percent (2011 census) Hindus make up the clear majority of Goa's population. Since Goa was annexed to India, their share has increased slowly but steadily, which is mainly due to immigration from other states. Due to the Portuguese colonial history, there is also a strong presence of Christians (almost exclusively Catholics ). During the colonial era, Christians made up the majority of the population; today they still make up a significant minority at 25 percent. Thus, after East Timor and the Philippines , Goa is the area with the strongest Catholic character in Asia. Catholicism was introduced in the 16th century through the missionary work of the Portuguese. Under the Inquisition , many Hindus were forced to adopt the Christian faith. Muslims make up 8 percent of the population. While Hindus and Christians are roughly evenly distributed among rural areas and cities, the Muslim minority mostly lives in rural areas.


Goa has a well-developed education system compared to most other states in India. This is most evident in the literacy rate , the fourth highest of all 29 states. According to the 2011 census, it is 87.4 percent (men: 92.8 percent; women: 81.8 percent) and is thus well above the overall Indian average of 74.0%. 97 percent of all school-age children actually go to school.

Goa has also had a university since 1985 . Goa University, located in Taleigao, just outside of Panaji , has eleven faculties . There are also two private and one public technical colleges and a state college for medicine. The Goa Institute of Management is privately owned.

Biggest cities

city Residents city Residents
1 Mormugao 94,393 8th Bicholim 16,986
2 Madgaon 87,650 9 Cuncolim 16,623
3 Panaji 70.991 10 Curti 16,385
4th Mapusa 39,989 11 Before lim 15,350
5 Curchorem 22,730 12 Penha de Franca 15,342
6th Ponda 22,664 13 Chimbel 15,289
7th Sancoale 21,923 14th Quepem 14,795
Source: 2011 census


Early history (up to 10th century AD)

Goa's documented history goes back to the 3rd century BC. BC when the local rulers, including the Bhojas residing in Chandrapura in south Goa, were subject to the Maurya Empire. At that time it was already known to the Greeks . The Greek geographer Ptolemy described the coastal area of ​​today's Goa in the 2nd century AD under the name Nelkinda . However , there is no evidence of connections that go back even further, such as the assumption that the Sumerians are said to have traded with Goa 4,000 years ago.

After the collapse of the Maurya Empire after Ashoka's death in 232 BC. In BC Goa came under the rule of the Shatavahanas , who ruled large parts of the dean , including Goa, for four centuries . The Bhojas also had to bow to them towards the end of the 2nd century. Around 250 AD, the Abhira dynasty appeared as rulers of the entire Konkan coast , later the Kalachuris .

Around 580 Goa fell to the Chalukyas , who had established a powerful empire in central and southern India since around 550. The Chalukyas were followed by the Rashtrakutas around the middle of the 8th century . Under their vassal kings, the Silharas , maritime trade with Arabia reached a hitherto unattained heyday.

Independence among the Kadambas (973 to 1237/38)

In 973 the Chalukyas succeeded in eliminating their old adversaries, the Rashtrakutas, and restoring their rule. The Kadambas , however, used the redistribution of forces on the Deccan to seize Goa. King Shastadeva I (ruled around 960 to 1008) moved his capital to Chandrapura. His kingdom is known under the name of Gopakkapattana. For the first time in its history, Goa became the center of an independent empire.

Shastadeva's I successors made Govapuri on the site of today's Velha Goa the capital in 1054 . Trade continued to flourish, and new trade relations to, among others, East Africa , Ceylon , Bengal and Southeast Asia led to prosperity and cultural prosperity.

At its height came the rule of the Kadambas under Jayakeshi II (1104–1148). His aim was to replace the Chalukyas who still controlled the Deccan. Instead, at the end of the 12th century , the Yadavas put an end to the decaying Chalukya kingdom and now also threatened the Kadambas. There were also armed conflicts with the southern Hoysala Empire in the early 13th century. In 1237/38 the incursion of the Yadavas finally led to the end of the independent Kadamba kings, who from then on only ruled as vassals of the Yadavas.

Struggles for supremacy (1310-1510)

With the advance of General Malik Kafur on the Deccan on behalf of the Sultanate of Delhi in 1310, the Yadavas were decisively weakened and extinguished a few years later. In 1312 Goa was also subject to the North Indian Sultanate. After a brief occupation by the Sultanate's troops and the destruction of Govapuri, the Kadambas regained their independence. They made Chandrapura the capital again. However, only a short period of peace was granted to the empire, because already under Muhammad Shah II (ruled 1325 to 1351) the Delhi Sultanate waged war again, destroyed Chandrapura and thus sealed the final fall of the Kadambas.

However, the Sultanate of Delhi was unable to maintain its power in the Deccan for long. In 1347 Goa fell under the rule of the Bahmani Sultanate , which had split off shortly before. For Goa, this began a time of intolerance in which Hindus were persecuted. At the same time, the Hindu empire Vijayanagar began to gain strength in the south and became the main enemy of the Bahmanids. The two warring states also waged war around Goa until it was captured by Vijayanagar in 1380. For several decades there was again peace and prosperity, especially the trade with Arabia, from where the Vijayanagar rulers obtained horses for their cavalry, gained in importance again. The new capital Ela was built on the ruins of the old Govapuri.

It was not until 1471 that the Bahmanids succeeded in retaking, but only a few years later the sultanate began to disintegrate, from which the five Deccan sultanates emerged from 1490 . In the western part of the former Bahmanid Empire, including Goa, the Adil Shahi dynasty established the Sultanate of Bijapur in 1490 .

Portuguese colonial rule (1510 to 1961)

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji , the capital of Goa since 1843

Consolidation of Portuguese rule

In 1498 the Portuguese under Vasco da Gama landed for the first time on the Indian coast near Calicut . They quickly understood how to use the hostility of the Indian regional empires in their favor. Afonso de Albuquerque formed an alliance with Vijayanagar against Bijapur. In 1510 he conquered the area around the present-day cities of Panaji and Velha Goa with the support of Vijayanagar's fleet. In the same year the Sultan of Bijapur died. His successor tried to recapture the lost territory, but ultimately failed. From then on, Goa's fate was almost continuously determined by the Portuguese for around 450 years.

In the 16th century, Portuguese merchant fleets arriving from Lisbon arrived in Goa almost every year . The administration of Goa was incumbent on a governor-general, some of whom also held the title of viceroy , who directly administered all Portuguese possessions in India and East Africa from Goa until the 18th century, but whose sovereignty was also under the governors and governors of other Portuguese possessions in Asia . From 1757 Goa was the center of the Portuguese-Indian colony ( Estado da Índia ). The first governor and viceroy Francisco de Almeida (1505–1509) and his successor Afonso de Albuquerque as the second governor (1509–1515) were formative for the early days of the Portuguese era . Above all, he understood that the small, poorly populated Portugal would not have been able to base its rule on land ownership. Under his leadership, the Portuguese therefore relied on their sea power. Albuquerque conquered and secured the most important bases on the African and Asian coasts of the Indian Ocean, so that in the event of danger, the Portuguese Indian squadron could be quickly relocated to the trouble spots.

In 1543 Portugal wrested the Adil Shahis of Bijapur from the areas of Bardez in the north and Salcete further south on the coast. It also gained bases on the Malabar coast , in Malacca , Ceylon and Macau . At the height of Portuguese power in the 16th century, Velha Goa became a thriving city known as Goa Dourada ("Golden Goa").

With the heyday of the Portuguese colonial empire, Catholicism also increasingly found its way into Goa. Especially Jesuits like Francisco Xavier drove the proselytizing. In 1542, Xavier founded the St. Pauls College for the training of missionaries, making it the basis of the mission. Pope Clement VII established a diocese in Goa on January 31, 1533 , which was elevated to an archdiocese by Pope Paul IV on February 4, 1557 . At that time, your area of ​​jurisdiction extended from the Cape of Good Hope to Japan . The Inquisition was introduced in 1560 and practiced in Goa until 1812.

Downfall of Goa

The decline of the colonial power Portugal began in 1580 with the extinction of the Avis royal family and the resulting personal union with Spain (until 1640). During this time, the Dutch became the main antagonist in Asia. While the possessions on the Malabar Coast were completely lost by 1663, Goa was able to withstand the Dutch attacks of 1603 and 1639. Nevertheless, with the decline of Portugal, the loss of importance of the former “Golden Goas” could no longer be stopped.

In the second half of the 17th century, new danger loomed from the north: the Marathas under Shivaji (ruled 1674–1680) and his son and successor Sambhaji (ruled 1680–1689) extended their power to large parts of the former Bijapur . After the northern regions of Goa had been besieged and conquered, the end of Portuguese rule seemed sealed. Only the war of the Mughal Empire against the Marathas in 1683 dissuaded them from their plan to incorporate Goa. In 1737 there was another war against the Marathas, who overran almost all of Goa within two years. Only the arrival of a fleet of the new viceroy prevented the loss of Goa.

Epidemics had greatly reduced the population of Velha Goa in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. In 1759 the viceroy moved his seat to the nearby, up-and-coming city of Panaji, called Pangim by the Portuguese. Velha Goa remained the capital, but gradually degenerated into a ghost town until the capital was officially relocated to Panaji in 1843.

Towards the end of the 18th century, Portugal expanded its holdings to the size of present-day Goa at the expense of the Sunda Kingdom. Bicholim (1781), Satari (1782), Pernem (1788), Ponda , Quepem , Sanguem and Canacona (all 1791) were the last territorial gains made by the Portuguese on the Indian subcontinent . During the expansion in 1787, the local population revolted against their Portuguese masters for the first time, but without success.

Napoleon's Egyptian campaign (1798–1801) aimed at conquering British and Portuguese possessions in India. The British offered Portugal, meanwhile unable to defend its world empire alone, their protection and occupied Goa from 1799 to 1813. It was only at their pressure that the Inquisition was finally abolished in 1814.

Striving for independence in the 20th century

Coat of arms of Portuguese India from 1935
News footage showing Indian civilians attempting non-violent occupation of Goa in 1955

The proclamation of the republic in Portugal on October 5, 1910 resulted in Goa freedom of belief. For the first time since the beginning of European rule, Hindus were also allowed to practice their religion freely. Even if the first republic in Portugal remained unstable and was overthrown again in 1926, the call for freedom awoke in Goa and resistance against the colonial rulers began to stir along the lines of the freedom movement in British India .

After India's independence in 1947, the pressure on Portugal increased to cede its colonies in India - in addition to Goa, the cities of Daman (Damão) and Diu and the enclaves of Dadra and Nagar Haveli - to India. However , the nationalist Salazar regime rejected requests by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to do so. Internally, too, independence movements such as the Jai Hind movement were sometimes violently suppressed.

In 1955 unarmed men stormed the Fort of Tiracol and hoisted the Indian flag there. Portugal expelled the men, whereupon Nehru declared that the presence of the Portuguese on the Indian subcontinent was undesirable and ordered a blockade of the Portuguese colonies in India. The government in Lisbon meanwhile did not give in.

Goa in independent India

On December 18, 1961, Indian troops marched into Goa with about 20 times the strength. The company was called "Operation Vijay" (from Hindi विजय vijaya = "victory") and was completed after 26 hours. The Portuguese and Goan troops fought lost. The planned deployment of Portuguese reinforcements was canceled after Egypt's President Nasser blocked the Suez Canal for the fleet . India bombed strategic and civil targets in Goa, Damão and Diu, including the Damão market square. Contrary to the orders to fight to the last man, the Portuguese governor, Manuel António Vassalo e Silva, signed the surrender on December 19, Goa Liberation Day . He was dismissed from the army for cowardice and insubordination , lost rank and pension entitlement and had to go into exile.

The following year, Goa became an Indian union territory together with Daman and Diu . A resolution introduced in the UN Security Council against the annexation failed due to the veto of the Soviet Union. In the following years several governments recognized the annexation. Portugal recognized the annexation to India in 1974 after the fall of the dictatorship in the Carnation Revolution .

In a referendum in 1967, the Goans voted against joining the state of Maharashtra . Critics of the Anschluss feared a disadvantage for the interests of the predominantly Konkani- speaking population. Eventually Goa was removed from the administered territories and on May 30, 1987 raised to an independent state of India; This, however, without Daman and Diu, which are still union territories.


Political system

Goa is administered from the capital Panaji on the left bank of the Mandovi . The seat of Parliament is in Porvorim on the opposite bank of the Mandovi. The highest court responsible for Goa, however, is located in Mumbai, around 400 kilometers away . In Panaji there is only one judge from the Bombay High Court . Goa's parliament, the Goa Legislative Assembly , is a unicameral parliament with 40 members elected for five years. The government rests with the Chief Minister ( Chief Minister ), who is elected by Parliament. Formal suits him appointed by the President of India Governor ( Governor before), but whose duties are mainly representative. The most important function of the governor is the appointment of the chief minister, he also has the right to dissolve the parliament.

Goa has two members in the Lok Sabha , the lower house of the Indian parliament, and one in the Rajya Sabha , the Indian upper house.


Distribution of seats after the
2017 parliamentary elections
INC 17th
BJP 13
Independent 3
total 40

The two strongest political parties in Goa are the Congress Party (INC) and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The two formerly dominant Goan regional parties, however, have lost much support: the traditional of the non- Brahmin Hindus supported Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), which until 1979 the government of Goa prepared by the end of the Portuguese colonial rule in 1962, now has the majority of their core voters to the BJP lost. The United Goans Democratic Party , which used to be elected primarily by the Christian population, is no longer represented in parliament.

The parliamentary elections in 2012 were decided by the BJP in alliance with the MGP. The BJP won 21 of 40 constituencies and was thus able to rule alone, the MGP had three seats in parliament. The previously ruling Congress party was severely punished and only got nine seats. Also represented in parliament were the regional Goa Vikas Party with two MPs and five independents. After the election, Manohar Parrikar was elected Chief Minister Goas by the BJP. He previously held the office from 2000 to 2005. In 2014 Parrikar moved to New Delhi as Federal Minister and was replaced by his party colleague Laxmikant Parsekar . The nationwide victorious BJP in Goa was also successful in the all-Indian parliamentary elections in 2014 and won both constituencies of the state for themselves. In the parliamentary elections in Goa in 2017, the BJP lost significantly and won 13 constituencies. The Congress Party increased accordingly and came to 17. The MGP maintained its 3 seats, the Goa Forward Party (GFP) , which was founded last year , also got 3 seats and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) got one. Three constituencies were won by independents. After brief negotiations, a coalition of BJP, MGP and GFP was formed. On March 16, 2017, Manohar Parrikar, who had already largely led and organized the election campaign of the BJP, was elected as the new Chief Minister. Parrikar died on March 17, 2019 after a long illness. Pramod Sawant (BJP) was sworn in as his successor on March 19, 2019 .

Administrative division

Districts and Talukas of Goa

India's smallest state is divided into two districts , North Goa ( North Goa ) and South Goa ( South Goa ). Each district is in turn divided into several administrative districts, called Taluka . Northern Goa includes the talukas Pernem , Bardez , Bicholim , Satari and Tiswadi . South Goa includes Ponda (since January 2015), Mormugao , Salcete , Sanguem , Quepem , Canacona and Dharbandora . In total, Goa has 12 talukas. The two districts correspond to the constituencies of North Goa and South Goa, which are each represented by a member of the lower house of the Indian parliament, the Lok Sabha .

District Administrative headquarters surface Population
North Goa Panaji 000000000001736.00000000001,736 km² 000000000817761.0000000000817.761 000000000000471.0000000000471 inhabitants / km²
South Goa Margao 000000000001963.00000000001,963 km² 000000000639962.0000000000639.962 000000000000326.0000000000326 inhabitants / km²


Women working on the land, Taluka Pernem in North Goa
Market in Mapusa in North Goa
Production of sisal in Goa (Salcete)
Manufacture of rubber in Goa (Salcete)

Agriculture and fishing

As only 38 percent of Goa's land area can be used for agriculture, the state is dependent on food imports from the neighboring states of Karnataka and Maharashtra . The plains along the Mandovi and Zuari rivers are fertile but also densely populated. In addition, the increasing salinity of many soils is a major problem. The high and mountainous regions are barren and partly densely forested. However, a large part of the population still works in agriculture. The most important crops are rice , sugar cane , coconut and cashew nuts . Vegetables and fruits are also grown to a lesser extent, especially mangoes , bananas , pineapples and jackfruits . In 2001/02 agriculture contributed 15 percent to Goa's gross domestic product (GDP).

Fishing has always been of particular importance in Goa and many Goans still make a living from it today. Increasingly, however, traditional fishing boats are being motorized and deep-sea fishing fleets are being equipped. Annual catches now far exceed domestic consumption. The fish processing industry can benefit greatly from this, but many coastal areas are overfished. This has led to declines in fishing yields in recent years.


Goa is one of India's main iron ore producers. In 2001/02 11.4 million tons of iron ore were mined, which corresponded to around 14 percent of the total Indian production. Much of it is exported through the port of Mormugao. The main customer is Japan , which buys around half of the iron ore exported from Goa. In addition to iron ore, manganese is also mined in Goa .


Goa developed into one of the more industrialized Indian states after the Portuguese colonial period. Around a quarter of GDP is generated in the industrial sector. The strongest branches of industry are the food and luxury food, metal processing, wood and paper, rubber, plastics, chemical, pharmaceutical, electrical engineering and textile industries. The computer industry has also recently established itself.


The service sector accounts for over half of the Goanian gross domestic product. It has achieved double-digit growth rates since the mid-1990s. 25 percent of GDP is generated in banking, insurance and real estate. Tourism, gastronomy, transport and communication account for 20 percent.


Tourism is one of the main pillars of Goa's economy. The state is one of the most popular travel destinations in India and contributes around twelve percent to the number of foreign visitors. In 2004, 2.2 million vacationers came to Goa, including over 200,000 from abroad. Goa is particularly popular in the weeks around the New Year. Tourism began in the late 1960s with the arrival of some hippie trail travelers to Goa's beaches.

In the 1980s, Western European companies managed to take possession of parts of the coastal area of ​​Goa through property speculation and bribery , and to build tourist resorts there. The Goanese government prevented coastal settlements, but allowed casinos in the interior. The problem of garbage disposal and the sometimes inadequate supply of drinking water were not solved, as fresh water is derived from the public water supply and used to fill the swimming pools of the resorts . The new buildings are largely limited to the immediate vicinity of the easily accessible beaches on the Arabian Sea .

The Goa parties held in the 1990s and the Goa music created there made the state internationally known. Goa was a popular travel destination for young Israelis after completing three years of military service. Of the 50,000 or so Israelis who finish military service each year, it is estimated that around half made a trip to Goa in the 2000s. Later the region became popular mainly with Russian tourists.


With a per capita gross domestic product of 224,138 rupees (4,903 US dollars ) in 2015, Goa was number 1 out of 29 Indian states. Goa is by far the richest state in India and almost three times more prosperous than the Indian average. Among other things, tourism and the relatively high degree of industrialization contribute to this, as well as the number of Goans abroad who regularly make transfers to their relatives in Goa.

Health care is better than many other states, where it is often viewed as inadequate, especially in the countryside. Therefore, Goa has relatively good health indicators. For example, infant mortality in 2000 was 17 stillbirths per 1,000 live births, below the overall Indian figure (63 per 1,000), but still three to four times higher than the mortality rate in industrialized countries . The fertility rate was 1.74 children per woman (as of 2016) while the Indian average was 2.23 children in the same year.

With a value of 0.763, Goa ranks second among the 29 states of India in the Human Development Index . Only Kerala achieved even better development indicators.


Two national highways cross Goa. The NH-17 connects Mumbai in the north with the port city of Mangalore south of Goa . The NH-4A runs between the capital Panaji and the eastern city of Belagavi in Karnataka . Together the National Highways in Goa have a length of 224 kilometers. Goa's road network covers a total of around 7200 kilometers, making it the densest of all Indian states.

Rail connections to the most important cities in the country, including Bangalore , Delhi , Mumbai and Hyderabad , exist via the South Central Railway between Vasco da Gama and Hubli . In addition, Goa is connected to the Konkan Railway between Mumbai and Mangalore. The main means of transport within Goa are privately operated bus routes, which connect the larger cities with rural areas.

There was a regular ferry service between Panaji and Mumbai until the late 1980s . Due to thieves operating on the ships and frequent technical problems due to insufficient maintenance, the traffic was stopped; hovercrafts sometimes operate for tour groups .

Goa's only airport, Dabolim Airport ( IATA code : GOI, ICAO code : VAGO) near Vasco da Gama, was originally a military airfield, which is now also used civilly and has been expanded to become an international airport. There are scheduled flights abroad to the Arabian Peninsula , Western Europe and the USA .

The port of Mormugao

The port of Mormugao is one of the most important export ports in India, especially for iron ore. In 2004/05 30.66 million tons were handled there.


The centuries-long colonial rule of the Portuguese went hand in hand with cultural influences, so that Goa today is the most strongly European of all regions in India. This is most clearly evident in the heartland of Goa, which has been under foreign rule for the longest and has the highest Catholic population. Since joining India, however, several elements of Mediterranean culture have been pushed back. For example, the Portuguese language as an administrative, legal, literary and educational language. The English language later became important . Literary contributions in English were made in the 19th century. Missionary writings contributed to the development of one of the first indigenous languages, the Konkani , in the 16th and early 17th centuries, until the use of the language was banned in 1684. There has been a renewed revival since the beginning of the 20th century and since the recognition of Konkani literature by the Sahitya Academy in the 1970s.

Cathedral of St. Cajetan in Velha Goa : Portuguese colonial heritage

The Portuguese colonial rulers left an architectural legacy in the form of several sacred buildings. For example, the churches and monasteries of the former capital of Old Goa, which since 1986 the UNESCO - World Heritage Site belong. In the Basílica do Bom Jesus , Francis Xavier , regarded by several Catholics as Goa's patron saint, is buried. Manor houses that were once owned by Portugal can still be found in Goa. Examples of old Hindu temple architecture are limited to the rural outskirts, since Christian zealots destroyed several temples in the heartland in the early days of colonial rule. The Mangeshi Temple near Ponda is famous .

Konkani pop and Hindi film scores are very popular today. Goa also gained international fame through the trance style of the same name (see Goa (music) ). In addition, traditional Konkani folk songs are still popular. On special occasions, the resulting in the 19th century is Mando singing and dancing. It shows elements of European dances. Musical instruments characteristic of Goa are the kettle drum made of clay ghumat , the single-headed tubular drum samel , the double-headed tubular drum madlem (name and shape related to the South Indian maddale ) and cymbals ( kansalim ). Portuguese brought violin and mandolin .

The most popular Hindu festival in Goa is Ganesh Chaturthi . The Shigmo festival is celebrated at the same time as the spring festival Holi , which is extremely popular in the rest of India . Also Diwali and Dussehra are important celebration for Hindus. In addition to Christmas and Easter , the Christian population also celebrates Carnival , the latter almost only in the cities and increasingly as a tourist attraction there.

Both Indian and Mediterranean influences are also reflected in the kitchen. Rice and fish are formative for Goanian cuisine. Among other things, coconut oil and pulp, various spices (especially chilli, cumin, coriander, garlic, turmeric ), tamarind and vinegar are used. Meat dishes are much more common among the Catholic population than among the Hindus. On holidays, pork dishes of Portuguese origin such as vindaloo are common. At Christmas one traditionally consumes the lavish Bibingka dessert made from eggs and coconut milk. The most popular alcoholic drink is the high- proof fenny made from cashew apples or from palm wine (toddy) from the coconut palm .


There is hardly any part of India where football is as popular as it is in Goa. Goa has always been well represented in the top division, the National Football League . Cricket , by far the most popular sport in other parts of India, is gaining more and more followers, not least thanks to the intensive reporting in the media.

The football club Sporting Clube de Goa plays in the National Football League. The team plays their home games in Goa's largest stadium, the Nehru Stadium (formerly Fatorda Stadium ) near Margao , which has a capacity of around 27,000. The stadium is also home to the clubs Dempo SC , Salgaocar Sports Club and Churchill Brothers SC . Even the Fransa-Pax FC played here until its dissolution.

The FC Goa plays in founded in 2014 Indian Super League .

In 2013 Goa hosted the Jogos da Lusofonia , the Games of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries .


Print media

The most widely read daily newspapers in Goa appear in English ( Herald , Navhind Times , Gomantak Times ) or Marathi ( Gomantak , Tarun Bharat ). Only the newspaper Sunaparant , written in Devanagari , appears on Konkani . There are also a number of other newspapers on Marathi, some of which are published in the neighboring state of Maharashtra . National newspapers are also in circulation in the larger cities. The most important magazines include the English-language news magazines Goa Today and Goan Observer and the Konkani weekly Vauraddeancho Ixtt (in Latin script), as well as Gulab , Bimb (Konkani), Goa Messenger , Harbor Times (English) and the computer magazine DigITal Goa .


After the end of the Portuguese colonial era, the state-owned All India Radio took over the former Portuguese radio station Emissora Goa . For a long time, All India Radio's regional program was the only one in Goa, until three private broadcasters received radio permits in early 2006 as part of the general liberalization of the Indian radio market.

watch TV

Almost all national programs can be received in Goa. There are also several regional broadcasters, including Goa Newsline , Goa 365 , Goa Plus and Goa TV . While cable television has established itself in the cities, reception in the country is usually only possible via satellite.

Sons and daughters of Goa


  • Christine Anna Döring: India Goa - Travel in Style. 1st edition. International Travel Books, 2012 ISBN 978-3-00-038816-3 .
  • Alexandra Ardeleanu-Jansen: Goa. 2nd Edition. DuMont, Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7701-2774-9 .
  • Paul Harding: Lonely Planet Goa . Lonely Planet Publications, London 2003, ISBN 1-74059-139-9 .
  • Arthur G. Rubinoff: The Construction of a Political Community, Integration and Identity in Goa . Sage Publications, New Delhi 1998, ISBN 0-7619-9259-6 .
  • Maurice Hall: Window on Goa: A History and Guide . Quiller, London 1992, ISBN 1-870948-98-X .
  • PP Shirodkar: Goa's Struggle for Freedom . Ajanta South Asia Books, New Delhi 1988, ISBN 81-202-0195-7 .
  • António de Oliveira Salazar: The dispute over Goa . Secretariado Nacional de Informação, Lisbon 1954.

Web links

Commons : Goa  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Checklist of the birds of Goa ( Memento of the original from April 10, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 120 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.goaenvis.nic.in
  2. Census of India 2011: Distribution of population, sex ratio, density and decadal growth rate of population: 2011 ( Memento of April 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Census of India 2011: Provisional Population Totals - India - Rural-Urban Distribution. (PDF; 8.1 MB)
  4. ^ Population of Indian States | Indian states population 1901-2011 - StatisticsTimes.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018 .
  5. Indian census 2001
  6. Census of India 2011: Population by religious community.
  7. Census of India 2011: Literates and literacy rates by sex: 2011. ( Memento of April 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  8. 'Goa Inquisition was most merciless and cruel. rediff.com, September 14, 2005, accessed May 20, 2017 .
  9. Naval battle of Goa 1638 on a contemporary drawing in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
  10. Portuguese Governor Who Yielded Goa This , The New York Times, August 13th, 1985, retrieved on April 7, 2020
  11. Goa Assembly Election Results Leads 2017 Live Updates: Goa Forward Party issues statement, says it hasn't given any consent of support to either BJP or Congress. The Financial Express, March 12, 2017, accessed March 12, 2017 .
  12. Manohar Parrikar: BJP's poster boy in Goa returns as Chief Minister. The Economic Times, March 16, 2017, accessed March 16, 2017 .
  13. Mrityunjay Bose: Pramod Sawant, a Parrikar loyalist rises to the top. Deccan Herald, March 19, 2019, accessed June 15, 2019 .
  14. ^ Census of India 2011: Provisional Population Totals. Paper 1 of 2011: Goa. (PDF; 38.1 MB)
  15. VidCGN: Israelis on Goa - ZDF Auslandsjournal 02.03.2011. March 3, 2011, accessed February 14, 2019 .
  16. ^ Comparing Indian States and Countries by GDP per capita - StatisticsTimes.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018 .
  17. Source: Mospi ( Memento of the original from April 13, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / mospi.nic.in
  18. ^ Fertility Rates. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on June 18, 2018 ; accessed on March 19, 2018 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  19. ^ Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab. Retrieved August 12, 2018 .
  20. Goajourno: Launch of TV Channel ( Memento of the original from March 12, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / puggy.symonds.net

Coordinates: 15 ° 24 '  N , 74 ° 3'  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on August 27, 2006 in this version .