In a paradisiacal place with a plenitude of sightseeing attractions, there generally are numerous undiscovered aspects. Although Goa is the fun capital of India, this region was steeped in history. Having seen numerous settlements from across the world over several centuries, the culture of Goa is truly international.
1. Can you guess how many bars Goa has?
This is one of those facts about Goa you didn’t know. For a small state, Goa has an astounding number of bars. In total, there are about 7000 bars and almost all of them are licensed to serve alcohol. But what would be the estimate if you add the number of unlicensed bars to the tally? It would truly be an astounding number! Now would that make Goa the liquor capital of India? Not really. Being an international tourist destination, this is land of high spirits and free-wheeling fantasies. So bars are only enablers of the footloose (not recluse) collective consciousness of this region.
2. The non-decomposing body St. Francis Xavier
In the year 1542, the Portuguese ruled Goa. It was during this time that St. Francis Xavier began his work of spreading the gospel. He was instrumental in helping many people turn to his faith and in 1552; he planned to introduce Christianity in China. He was part of an embassy that left to China. But the embassy members didn’t last the trip. The saint continued on his journey and finally landed at Macau. He died in Macau and his body was brought to Goa in 1553. Enshrined in a glass casing, his non-decomposed body is in the world-famous Basilica of Bom Jesus church.
3. Goa has the highest per-capita income.
When you land in Goa, you don’t want to go back – one of the emotional facts about Goa! You could probably fantasize staying in this place forever leading a life of high spirits and luxury. Amazingly, Goans living and working in the state have a lot of money to spare – lucky them! A national census indicates that on average a Goan makes INR 192, 652 a year. This is enough to lead a comfortable existence in the state. You could envy a Goan given that they have so many avenues for recreation. Beaches, forests, entertainment, casinos, party boats, and money in the hand!
4. Mineral ore exports of Goa are the highest in the country
5. The forest density cover of Goa is over 30%
For those who have not visited Goa, they think this region is only about beaches. But this state has a forest cover in excess of 30%. The forests teem with exotic wildlife and birdlife. An abounding ecosystem characteristic of the Western Ghats can be found here. The equatorial forest cover gives rises to thousands of plant species. Supplementing this vibrant ecosystem is more than 275 species of birds. There are more than 40 types of animals and reptiles in these forests too. The wildlife sanctuaries of the state are amongst the protected ones in the country given the unique flora and fauna that thrives here.
6. Asia’s only Naval Aviation Museum is at Goa
Goa’s Naval Aviation Museum is one of a kind and Asia’s first and only one. There are only about six other such museums in the world. The museum displays India’s naval aviation history. For instance, the giant reconnaissance ship called Lockheed Super Constellation is displayed. India’s first naval aircraft can be seen at the museum. Contemporary aircraft, jet trainers, helicopters, and famous aircraft that were used at wars are displayed. A section of the building houses naval memorabilia. You can visit the armament enclosure to see ammunition that was used and is currently being used as well.
7. The first medical school was setup in the state
Being a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, Goa has a distinct way of life. The Goa Medical College was India’s first medical school setup to educate prospective doctors and also to impart treatments. This is definitely one of the facts about Goa you didn’t know. It was built in the 18th century when the state was still under Portuguese rule. One of Asia’s oldest medical colleges, the library here is one of the oldest as well, with books dating back to the 18th century. The medical college has numerous acclaimed treatments to its credit. Currently the hospital offers a range of treatments including critical ones such as open-heart surgery and knee-replacement surgery amongst many others.
8. Take a two-wheeler taxi – only in Goa!
This is the only place in India where you can ask a biker a lift and actually pay him without worrying about riding with a stranger! Goa is full of motorcycle taxis and riders take you pillion to your desired destination for a charge. It is known to be a cost-effective form of transport and is definitely fuel-effective for the Goan economy too. Referred to as Pilot, these two-wheeler taxis are also a means for ladies to travel to and from destinations. Importantly, tourists can explore the length and breadth of the state without paying too much for fuel and driver costs.
9. Goa remembers its history
The Kadambas ruled this region for more than three hundred years. During their reign over this state starting from the 11th century, a distinct political culture evolved. This period was stable and people began to experience prosperity. So the first Golden Age for the people of Goa was during this period.
During the Kadamba rule, several temples were built. The most famous one, the Tambdi Surla exists inside the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary. The religious tolerance during this dynastic rule is still remembered. It set the context for naming the state’s transport service as Kadamba Tourist Corporation. Uniquely, no other transport service has been named after a dynasty.
10. The first English medium school was in this state
Currently, there are tens and thousands of English medium schools. But given that Goa’s tryst with the English language is centuries old, it was not a surprise that the first English medium school was in this state. The pluralistic and egalitarian essence of this state is vivid. Amidst this diversity, people live in harmony and celebration.
Goa is definitely a unique land bestowed with a charm that transcends cultures. In its imitable style, this region commands the reverence and respect it deserves. Not only a party capital of the country; facts about Goa indicate that this is also a state of firsts.