'Goa has all the swaying palms and white sand beaches you could ever want, but to go beyond he beach and you'll find hidden delights. Portuguese mansions and Hindu temples, bike rides among shimmering rice paddies, walks through lush spice plantations. Discover the tropical indulgences of India's most laid back region'.
(Lonely Plant 5th edition)
Goa is found midway down the Western Coast of India, tucked between the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. It is the smallest state of India being just 3700sq km.. Goa's climate is distinctive. Hot days mingle with cooler evenings between November and February. Things then hot up a little as the air gets more moist with the approach of the monsoons between March and May. June to Sept see's the sometimes relentless torrents of rain that the monsoon can bring with wild and wet days intertwined with magical calm sunny ones. Post monsoon, the temperatures are still in their mid 30's with night time temperatures and humidity giving little relief from the daytime heat.
THE STATE OF GOA
There are about 1.4 million people in Goa, with a large number still living in rural communities. There is a good mixture of people in Goa, with approximately 33% Catholic, 65 % Hindu, 1% Muslim and 1% being made up of other religions. English is widely spoken in the state along with the native tongue Konkani and the national language Hindi.Goa was taken by the Portuguese in the 16th Century and remained a Portuguese colony until 1961 when the Indian army liberated Goa. The state became India's 25th in 1987, after that date Goa started to make a mark for itself on the tourism map. Portuguese architecture is still widely seen in Goa and gives it much of its character.
THE CURRENCY IN GOA
The currency in Goa is the Rupee. This is a closed currency and therefore not available in banks or currency exchanges outside India. There are however many ways of getting money here. Travelers cheques issued in GBP or US dollars are widely accepted in currency exchanges along with cash from many foreign currencies. There are also ATM machines in abundance so you are never very far away from your cash if you have a Visa or Master card. For larger sums of money, large banks accept direct transfers (for a fee payable at source) from foreign banks and there are also many branches of Western Union Money Transfer. Anyone is permitted to open a bank account in the state as long as they produce a copy of their passport and a photograph.
VISA FOR GOA/INDIA
It is very important to note that a valid visa is required to enter India which must be purchased in the country of your origin before you travel.
TAXI FROM THE AIRPORT OR TRAIN STATION
Many visitors to Goa like to get straight to the hotel from the airport, with this in mind we have provided the following link to the standard govt approved taxi prices from the Dabolim Airport and Thivim and Margao train stations as well as prices from the northern market town of Mapusa. We keep these updated but please confirm all prices with your driver before departure as these are for provided for informational purposes only and we do not provide or endorse any taxi services.
For lots of information on Goa, please head over to www.poipleshadow.com for their Goa information page which includes help with Visas, Weather, Taxi Prices, Restaurant Prices and lots more!