Goa is an interesting mosaic of cultures. During the ancient and pre-medieval times, Hindu kings ruled over and influenced the state. But Goa has a pre-Hindu era in its history as well.
For a short period, Muslim Kings of Hyderabad and Bijapur ruled Goa. Finally, when the Portuguese occupied Goa, they gave it a culture that sets the place apart from any other region. The intermingling of various cultures over the centuries has ensured that communal harmony prevails in Goa.
The Portuguese invasion of Goa resulted in the spread of Christianity there. The conversion from Hinduism to Christianity took place some 400 years ago. Such conversions in those days, used to ensure the retention of property rights. About 26 percent of the population today constitutes of Christians. Most of them are settled in the central taluka – Tiswadi, Mormugao, Bardez and Salcete.
Though not as dominant as in other parts of India, the caste system is still the clinching factor when it comes to marriages in Goa. The dowry system is prevalent among both the Hindus and Christians. Christian weddings, though very similar to those is the West, still have some rituals from the Hindu tradition.
Contemporary View of Goa India
On an average, more than two million people visit Goa every year, adding more color to the already vibrant culture of the state. For tourists, Goa is synonymous with beautiful stretches of beaches, sand, sun, dance and drinks.
The long stretches of more than two dozen beaches, option of numerous adventure sports and excellent tropical climate make Goa a perfect holiday destination. But there is more to Goa than just sand, surf and enticing beaches.
The Goan feni, a bustling flea market, rocking night parties by the beachside and excellent seafood, have all made Goa a huge hit with tourists. Goa is now a fashionable destination for the elite in India who come both on business and pleasure trips.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.