Since the late 1960s, Goa has been synonymous to Nirvana for new-age travelers and tourists and was aptly nicknamed as the hippie haven in the 1970s. It was then that the Anjuna Beach was transformed into a party venue luring many to its frenzy party atmosphere. For many, Goa conjures an image of all-night tripping and hippies lazing on sun-soaked beaches, but there is more to this most-visited tourist destination in India. The history of Goa defines its persona of Portuguese and Indian influences, unlike any other place in India.
The Portuguese named Goa as the “Pearl of the Orient” upon their arrival in 1498and stayed for almost 500 years after which they were forced to vacate in 1961, leaving behind their permanent impressions on the local population and its landscape. Today, Goans still enjoy an afternoon siesta. This is where Hindu shrines stand adjacent to Holy crosses, and where you can relish the famous local vindaloo curry made with pork. You can capture views of dainty villas built among the palm groves and rice fields bearing European influences.
Goa beaches are packed with tourists who visit to indulge in the trance culture. Goa is indeed a cosmopolitan tourist-oriented destination of budget to five-star accommodation options and private colonial mansions and villas remodeled for international travelers. When the crowd arrives around Christmas and New Year, the Goan beaches and markets are anything but peaceful. This is where sun beds and shacks line up on beaches for tourists while crowds from neighboring places like Mumbai and Bangalore pack the shoreline restaurants and bars. For party freaks, there are endless opportunities for all-night beach partying, and if a loner, venture to remote beaches set far north and south where semi-private beaches adjoin luxury resorts and tranquil guesthouses set farther inland.