Goa is referred as the Pearl of the Orient, and it was conferred statehood in the year 1987, with its capital being Panaji. The major towns of this state are Vasco, Mapusa, Ponda and Margao. It is connected to many important cities around the world due to the presence of an international airport at Dabolim. It is well accessible from many nearby cities as it has an efficient bus network. Therefore, tourists can easily tour this state opting for Goa packages during vacations.
Five different rivers criss-cross the landscape of this state, which finally end into the Arabian Sea. Along its coastline, there are wide stretches of sand beaches, ranging from those with ultra-modern comforts to ones, which are devoid of human habitation. The structural wonders of this area comprising forts, churches, museums, heritage houses and seminaries stand as legacies of the Portuguese colonisation. Its history is marked by mythological interpretations, reign of Hindu dynasties, Muslim invasions, Portuguese conquests, freedom struggle, liberation and conferring of statehood. Today, its lifestyle has been greatly influenced by the overlapping of several cultural influences.
Once a colony of the Portuguese, this place has emerged as a significant tourist destination in recent times. This region has various tourist attractions in the backdrop of its pristine white beaches.
Some of its tourist hotspots are Fort Aguada, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Saptakoteshwar Temple, Namazgah, Pilar Seminary and Dudhsagar Waterfalls. Along with sightseeing in this place, travellers can also experience the Goan hospitality and lifestyle, which is a blend of multiple cultures. Its multi-cultural origin has also affected the eating habits of this state, known for its seafood.
There is a myth associated with this place that its food and drink options are restricted to the staple diet of rice, fish, curry and feni. On the contrary, the area is a treasure trove of many vegetarian and non-vegetarian gastronomical delights as its original style of cooking was influenced by the Hindu and Muslim rulers, other than that of the Portuguese. Goan cuisine is a lot about seafood with a dash of spices, but the influence of Portuguese can only be found in the food cooked by the Christian population residing here. The local dishes cooked in this state still retain a smoky flavour of the traditional cooking style, which is cooking in clay pots on firewood. Some of its local dishes are khatkatem, fish and kokam curry, ambot-tik as well as the prawn kismur or dried mackerel.
The Goan food can be described as hot, spicy and chilly, with the extensive use of items such as fish, rice and coconut. It is a paradise for gourmet appetites with a variety, which ranges from chicken to beef, prawns to sausages and not to forget, the vegetarian dishes. Tourists who want to satisfy their taste buds and relish lip-smacking meals can come to the picturesque state of Goa, one of the best holiday destinations in India.