by Dr. Venugopal Menon


This, the smallest Indian state on the southwestern coast in the Konkan region, stands separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It still exhibits the influence of the Portuguese, who landed there in the 15th century and established it as the overseas territory of the Portuguese empire. It was annexed to India in 1961. The majority of people speak Konkani. Goa is famous for its beaches, nightlife, and rich flora and fauna.

Carnival in Goa:

(The day before Ash Wednesday)

Also called Carnaval or Intruz, or Mardi Gras, Carnival is the largest in India and one of the few traditional Catholic celebrations in Asia. The carnival was resurrected from a minor street celebration in 1965 by a Goan musician Timoteo Fernandes and since then has turned into a major tourist attraction. It dates back to the introduction of Roman Catholic traditions during the Portuguese conquest of Goa. Today, the urban parade includes floats from local villages, commercial entities, and cultural events. The carnival starts on Fat Saturday and concludes on Fat Tuesday, before Ash Wednesday. In Panjim, the capital of Goa, it is complemented by ‘Grape Escapade’, a local wine festival, and dance at Samba Square in the Garden of Garcia da Orta. The parade is headed by King Momo, Mr. Sixtus Eric Dias from Candolim (in 2021). The procession would have horse-drawn carriages, balloons, decorated bullock carts and elaborate floats, dancing groups, revelers wearing masks, music and sports competitions, food, and drinking.