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Goa Tourism : Goa Travel Guide : General Information

General Information About Goa

In his foreword to "Winds of Change" -- a Commemorative Volume on the Silver Jubilee of the Liberation of Goa, Daman and Diu - Rajiv Gandhi, when he was Prime Minister of India, noted in 1984, that : "The land and the people are a symbol of cultural and religious synthesis. The statues of two figures on the rock at Dona Paula, one facing the East and the other West, can be said to depict this synthesis. While absorbing the essence of various races and civilisations, the Goan has basically remained Goan. Perhaps this is because of the gift of tolerance which Goans have practised for centuries and which comes naturally to them. An inherent non-acquisitiveness and contentment with what one has, described by that uniquely Goan word 'so-cegado', has been an enduring strength of Goan character." And perhaps it is this word 'so-cegado' — a somewhat incomplete translation of which would suggest a peculiar composition of lethargy and a sense of timelessness — that has made Goa one of India's wellknown beautiful beach-cum-liesure centres, with tourists coming from several parts of the world. In fact, in the 1970s, the unspoilt tranquillity of Goa's beaches made it a favourite haunt of the 'flower children', the fugitives from Western civilisation.

However, while Goa — even in the 1990s, still continues to be a popular tourist destination, it has its own General Information About Goahistory, culture, economic traits and one of the highest per capita income ratios in India. Like the rest of modern India, Goa also had been under foreign rule but, unlike other parts of India where either the British or British-dominated Maharajas ruled the country Goa along with Daman and Diu - were ruled by the Portuguese. In the context of Goa's gradual move towards statehood in the Indian Union, the following landmarks seem to stand out:

» 1948:
Vasco-da-Gama who came out from Portugal, landed in India and broke the Arab monopoly of trade.

» 1530:
Goa became the capital of the Portuguese Empire in the East and 'mistress of the sea from the Cape of Good Hope to the China Seas'.

» 1961:
A reluctant Government of India undertook "Operation Vijaya" to liberate Goa from a repressive and harsh Portuguese rule. The first Indian Military Governor of Goa was Maj. Gen. K.P. Candeth who occupied the portion for a short period from 20th December 1961 till 8th June 1962.

» 1987:
On 30th May 1987, Goa be­came a State of the Indian Union while Daman and Diu were made separate Union Territories.

GOA: ORIGIN OF THE NAME

Goa is really known as 'Gowa' or 'Goa' while in Marathi it is known as 'Goven' and in Konkani as 'Goen. It is also believed that the Sanskrit 'go' refers to the cow and possibly cow­herd territory; and the abbreviated term being 'gomant'. Perhaps, the original inhabitants of the Goa region were cowherds and cattlemen and this might have led to the name of Goa being used for this region.


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