India's smallest state by area and the
fourth smallest by population. Located
on the west coast of India in the region
known as the Konkan, it is bounded by
the state of Maharashtra to the north,
and by Karnataka to the east and south,
while the Arabian Sea forms its western
Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco
da Gama is the largest city. The historic
city of Margao still exhibits the cultural
influence of the Portuguese, who first
landed in the early 16th century as merchants,
and conquered it soon thereafter. The
Portuguese overseas territory existed
for about 450 years, until it was annexed
by India in 1961.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship
and world heritage architecture, Goa is
visited by large numbers of international
and domestic tourists each year. It also
has rich flora and fauna, owing to its
location on the Western Ghats range, which
is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.
an area of 3,702 km² (1,430 sq mile).
It lies between the latitudes 14°53'54?
N and 15°40'00? N and longitudes 73°40'33?
E and 74°20'13? E. Most of Goa is
a part of the coastal country known as
the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising
up to the Western Ghats range of mountains,
which separate it from the Deccan Plateau.
The highest point is the Sonsogor, with
an altitude of 1,167 meters (3,827 feet).
Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 miles).
Goa's main rivers are the Mandovi, the
Zuari, the Terekhol, Chapora River and
the Sal. The Mormugao harbor on the mouth
of the river Zuari is one of the best
natural harbors in South Asia. The Zuari
and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa,
with their tributaries draining 69% of
its geographic area. Goa has more than
forty estuarine, eight marine and about
ninety riverine islands. The total navigable
length of Goa's rivers is 253 km (157
miles). Goa has more than three hundred
ancient tanks built during the rule of
the Kadamba dynasty and over a hundred
Most of Goa's soil cover is made up of
laterites which are rich in ferric aluminium
oxides and reddish in color. Further inland
and along the river banks, the soil is
mostly alluvial and loamy. The soil is
rich in minerals and humus, thus conducive
to plantation. Some of the oldest rocks
in the Indian subcontinent are found in
Goa between Molem and Anmod on Goa's border
with Karnataka. The rocks are classified
as Trondjemeitic Gneiss estimated to be
3,600 million years old, dated by the
Rubidium isotope dating method. A specimen
of the rock is exhibited in the Goa University.
Goa, being in the tropical zone and near
the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate
for most of the year. The month of May
is the hottest, seeing day temperatures
of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled
with high humidity. The monsoon rains
arrive by early June and provide a much
needed respite from the heat. Most of
Goa's annual rainfall is received through
the monsoons which last till late September.
Goa has a short winter season between
mid-December and February. These months
are marked by nights of around 20 °C
(68 °F) and days of around 29 °C
(84 °F) with moderate amounts of humidity.
Further inland, due to altitudinal gradation,
the nights are a few degrees cooler. During
March 2008 Goa was lashed with heavy rain
and strong winds. This was the first time
in 29 years that Goa had seen rain during