encompasses an area of 3,702 km². 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
metres. Goa has a coastline of 101 km.
Goa's main rivers are the Mandovi, the Zuari, the Terekhol,
Chapora River and the Betul. The Mormugao harbour on the mouth
of the river Zuari is one of the best natural harbours 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. Goa has more than three hundred
ancient tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty
and over a hundred medicinal springs.
The main rivers weave their way throughout the state forming
the inland waterways adding beauty and romance to the land
besides being used to transport Goa's main export commodity
of Iron and Manganese ore to Mormugao Harbour.
Goa's 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. Goa, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian
Sea, has a warm 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 cool season between mid-December and February.
These months are marked by cool nights of around 20°C
(68°F) and warm 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.
Panaji (Panjim) is the state capital located on the banks
of the Mandovi River and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are
the other major towns. Vasco-da-Gama (Vasco) its largest city.
The most historic city is Margao which is second largest and
with the Portuguese style of culture.
The vast green expanse of the Sahyadri mountain range ensures
that Goa has an abundance of water.
Hinduism (65%), Catholicism (30%) and Islam are the three
main religions in Goa.
official language of Goa is Konkani. Following the end of
Portuguese rule, the most widely used languages are Konkani
as the primary spoken language; English for official, literary
or educational purposes; and other languages including Marathi
and Kannada. Hindi, India's national language is also spoken
as a second language. Whereas, in the past, most people spoke
Konkani, nowadays Hindi is increasingly heard due to large
numbers of immigrants from the rest of India.
Subdivisions: The state is divided into two districts: North
Goa and South Goa. Panaji is the headquarters of the north
Goa district and Margao of the south district. Each district
is governed by a district collector, an administrator appointed
by the Indian government.
are further divided into eleven talukas – Talukas of North
Goa are Bardez, Bicholim, Pernem, Ponda, Satari and Tiswadi,
the talukas of South Goa are Canacona, Mormugao, Quepem, Salcete
and Sanguem. Headquarters of the respective talukas are Mapusa,
Bicholim, Pernem, Ponda, Valpoi, Panjim, Chaudi, Vasco, Quepem,
Margao and Sanguem.
In the Parliament of India, Goa has two seats in the Lok Sabha,
one representing each district, and one seat in the Rajya Sabha.