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Some Quick Facts about Goa INDIA - To be knwon before you travel Goa

Airport | Visas | Currency | Credit Cards | Tipping | Useful Numbers | Electricity | Health Risks | Time Zone | Business Hours | Holidays | Climate | Clothing | GDP Growth Rate | Inflation | Exports | Industries | Teledensity | Government | Geography | Population | Ethnic Groups | Languages | Literacy | Religion





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Airport
Goa's international airport is Dabolim which is 35/25 Mile from Panaji on the coast near Vasco da Gama. It is one of the few in India where international chartered flights are allowed to land. A number of chartered flights arrive during tourist season, mostly from the European and Middle East regions.

Visas
Citizens of all countries require a valid national passport or valid travel documents and a valid visa granted by Indian Missions abroad for entering Goa. Nepalese and Bhutanese citizens are exempted and just need suitable documents for their identification when coming from their respective countries. Foreign nationals of Indian origin, their spouses and children can obtain visas valid up to 10 years from the consulate. Tourist visas can be obtained for six months, one year and 10 years. Appropriate visas should be obtained by students, businessmen, journalists and others who want to visit India for professional purposes. More information can be obtained from the nearest Indian consulate or embassy.

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Currency
The unit of currency in Goa is the 'Rupee'. Each rupee consists of 100 paise. Currency notes are issued in the denominations of Rs. 500, Rs. 100, Rs. 50, Rs. 20, Rs. 10, Rs. 5, Rs. 2, Re. 1. Coins issued are Rs. 5, Rs. 2, Re. 1, 50 paise, 25 paise, 20 paise, 10 paise, 5 paise.

Credit Cards
Most large establishments in Goa accept international credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, Diners and Amex.

Tipping
It is usual to tip waiters, porters, guides and drivers. Tips are not included in the bill.

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Useful Numbers
Police:   100
Fire Brigade:   101
Ambulance:  102

Electricity
The electricity supply is 220 volts and an international adapter is recommended.

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Health Risks
Water supply for most houses and apartments are drawn from the underground water table. A municipal piped water supply is also available although it can be unpredictable at times because of the increasing demand for it. It is recommended to drink the bottled mineral water sold on shops. restaurants and bars.

There are some mosquitoes in the winter months and these increase in number in the more humid spring months until the onset of the summer monsoon. Consult a doctor or a chemist for appropriate malaria tablets and anti-sting creams and sprays.

Time Zone
GMT + 5:30

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Business Hours
Offices are open for business from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Shops are usually open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm although some small tourist shops close much later. Many offices observe Saturdays as holidays since the Indian calendar is full of festivals and religious holidays. Should one happen to be in India on a holiday, it is advisable to participate in the festivities, possibly with the help of a guide. Banks, offices and most shopping areas are closed on Sundays. Sometimes different markets within the same city close on different weekdays so it may be wise to check from the hotel before setting out.

Holidays
2007
1 Jan Idu'l Zuha/Bakrid (Feast of the Sacrifice).
20 Jan Muharram (Islamic New Year).
26 Jan* Republic Day.
16 Feb Mahashivratri.
31 Mar Mahavir Jayanthi.
1 Apr Milad-Un-Nabi (Birth of the Prophet).
6 Apr Good Friday.
9 Apr Easter Monday.
2 May Buddha Purnima.
15 Aug* Independence Day.
4 Sep Janmashtami.
2 Oct* Mahatma Ghandi's Birthday.
13 Oct Id ul Fitr (End of Ramadan).
21 Oct Dussehra (Vijaya Fashami).
9 Nov Deepavali or Diwali (Festival of Lights).
24 Nov Guru Nanak's Birthday.
25 Dec Christmas Day.

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Climate
Goa is generally humid due to its proximity to the sea. It is cool and pleasant from December to February. March to May are warm summer months, with a hot and humid temperature. June to September is lovely, green and lush but very wet, with the average rainfall of 320cm. October and November are relatively warm and with no rain. The best season to visit is from October to May. Summer temperature is between 24 C and 32.7 C and winter temperature is between 21.3 C and 32.2 C.

Clothing
Thin cotton is the best. A jacket or sweater may be necessary in cool season. Light woolen can be worn during December and January.

GDP Growth Rate
8.3%

Inflation
5.4%

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Exports
Fish, iron ore, manganese, spices, manganese and iron ores, bauxite, fish, and salt

Industries
Iron ore mining, tourism, fertilisers, fisheries, food-canning, distilling of feni, shipping

Teledensity
12 phones per 100 persons

Government
Congress

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Geography
A tiny emerald land on the west coast of India, Goa is better known as a former Portuguese enclave. It is situated between the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The state is separated from Maharashtra by the Terekhol River in the north, Karnataka in the south, the Western Ghats in the east, and the Arabian Sea in the West. It is located between the latitudes 1548'00" North to 1453'54" North and longitudes 74 20'13" East to 73 40'33" East.

Population
India: 1 billion
Goa: 1.3 million

Ethnic Groups
Majority of the people in Goa are Hindu but strong Catholic influences are visible everywhere in the art, culture, and society. This is due to the fact that Goa came under the Portuguese control in the 15th century. There is also a presence of minority Muslim community, a result of the brief period in the early 14th century when Muslim rulers reigned over the state.

Languages
Konkani (Official State Language), Marathi, Hindi, English and Portuguese

Literacy
82.32% (2001)

Religion
Hindu, Muslim, Christian

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