Goa, a tiny stretch of land located on the western coast of India has everything (and perhaps more) that makes for a veritable tourist paradise. Monikered the 'Pearl of the Orient,' Goa spills over with an astounding wealth of tourist attractions spanning picturesque beaches, exotic wildlife, sacred shrines, magnificent mansions and imposing forts. No wonder, Goa boasts of an unrivaled stature in India's tourism sweepstakes.
A state much eulogized for its scenic beauty, Goa has been copiously
endowed with all the bounties of nature. The sun-kissed beaches of Goa,
which beckon travelers and backpackers from all over the world, are the
proverbial cherry atop the Goa tourism cake. Apart from the breathtaking
confluence of sun, sand and sea, these beaches are shopping havens with
beach-side stalls selling traditional artifacts and curios. Then there
are the wildlife sanctuaries like Bondla and Mahavira teeming with
exotic species of flora and fauna.
But beneath all these grandeur and pizzazz, lies a history marked by
invasions and bloodshed. Having conquered Goa in 1510, the Portuguese
unleashed a reign of terror destroying shrines of other religions and
forcefully converting thousands by the infamous 'Inquisition' process.
But all these atrocities notwithstanding, the Goa of today embodies the
tenets of religious harmony like no other state of India. Irrespective
of their religious affiliations, the people of Goa have carved a unique
niche for themselves and their warm, friendly nature has endeared them
to tourists and vacationers from all over the world.