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Goa

Goa (Konkani: ????) is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. Goa is India’s richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole.
Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. The Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.

Goa was the «Hippie paradise» in 1960-70s and still some Hippie spirit exists, especially in the North part, from Anjuna to Arambol.

The first literary reference to Goa is mentioned in the Bhishma Parva of Mahabharata as Gomanta which means the region of cows. Even though there are no archeological and historical evidences, Hindu scriptures mention Parashurama, as its creator (see:Skanda Purana:Sahyadrikhanda). He is said to have settled ten sages in this land and performed fire sacrifices. Another legend has that after performing the penance, the seven sages or the Saptarshis were blessed by lord Shiva therefore known as Saptakoteshwar. Further Lord Shiva is believed to have taken up temporary residence after having tiff with his consort Parvati. Yet another legend says that Lord Krishna defeated Jarasandha the king of Magadha on Gomanchal mountain in Goa. (see:Hari Vamsha purana).

According to the Parshurama legend, Parashurama, the sixth reincarnation of lord Vishnu faces with an order of banishment from the lands that he had once conquered, sets seven arrows fly from the Sahyadris to push back the sea and create a stretch of land which he could claim for himself. The sea-god is believed to have acceded his to wish and crated a region Shurparaka (literally:winnowing fan). This region is also known as Parashurama Kshetra. The legend further tells us that having created Goa thus, Parashurama brought Brahmins from the North and settled them in this land.

 

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