Goa is located in South West India and is the smallest state by size in the country. Despite its small size, Goa is one of the richest states in India and has the highest GDP per capita. The state’s main economy comes from tourism 12% of the countries tourists visiting the state each year. Goa enjoys two high tourists seasons each year – the winter season when tourists from Europe and further afield visit and the rainy season when other Indians flock to the state for holidays.
Aside from tourism, inland Goa is rich with mineral deposits, with mines and ores forming the second biggest revenue earner for the state. There are a number of mines in the state with iron, limestone, bauxite, silica and manganese being the biggest earners. Agriculture is also a revenue maker, and a large portion of the Goan population is employed in this trade on a part time basis. The main agricultural crop in the state is rice although coconuts, cashew nuts and areca are also farmed. Due to the state’s location on the coast of India, fishing is also a large part of the economy with large mechanized trawling now taking the place of more traditional methods. Around 40,000 locals are employed in the fishing industry. Other money that enters the state comes from individuals working abroad and sending money home, and a number of medium scale industries specializing in alcohol breweries, fertilizers, textiles and canned foods.
Culturally Goa is most well-known for its New Year celebrations. Many tourists and Indians flock to the state for the spectacular Goan carnival. Other large celebrations in the state include Christmas, Easter, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi. Although not as well-known as other states in India for their music and dance, the Goan people do like to take part and their artistic ways can be seen during every festival celebrated in the state.
One thing that must be mentioned is the Goan cuisine. Delicious fish dishes are the main element of the cuisine, often cooked with numerous different spices there are a number of eclectic dishes on the menus. Coconuts and chili peppers are also used for the majority of meals, given Goan food its distinctive edge. Popular meals include Khatkhate – a traditional Goan stew, and Bebinca – a sweet enjoyed at Christmas.