Visiting Goa India

A Short Visit to a Tiny Indian State

April 18, 2023

We began 6 days in India on April 10, 2023 with a short trip to the state of Goa. It is India’s wealthiest state with a GDP per capita ($7,300) about 2.5 times that of the rest of the country. Among other places, we trekked around the Latin Quarter  to see the architecture and stop in at a local cafe / restaurant to sample the food. As it turns out, this is the area of India that rock starts flocked to in the late 1960s  and early 1970s. It’s where the Beatles stayed when they were communing with Ravi Shankar back in the day.

Goa, India — April 10, 2023. Tourists stop for a breather and snacks in a cafe in Goa, India

Goa is visibly different from much of the rest of India, largely due to the fact that it was colonized by Portugal and remained a Portuguese colony for 450 years. There is a large Catholic population (about 33%) and the vestiges of its Portuguese domination can be seen in its architecture. Goa is a tiny Indian state; it is the smallest state by area and fourth smallest by population (about 1.4 million). Its largest city is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco de  Gamma. Its capital city is Panaji. The official language is Konkani. (India has something like 22 official languages; each of India’s 28 states designates official languages within its jurisdiction). Goa only become part of India in 1961, 14 years after India won its independence from Great Britain. 

Goa, India — April 10, 2023. Colorful Homes on a side street in Goa, India
Goa, India — April 10, 2023. A side street in Goa, India

All in all Goa was an interesting introduction to India—the eclectic mix of cultures, religions and foods. But it is very different from the rest of the country, as we soon found out as we headed for a 5 day overland trip.

Goa, India — April 10, 2023. A woman pedestrian walking in Goa; school boys are in the background.