Alternative Lifestyles * Vagabonding Travel * Searching for Hippie Happiness

GOA; some facts you may not know. The Road to Goa pt 3

Its been a rollercoaster ride to get to this point, flights to India have finally been reinstated from December the 13th this year. Trying to sort and fill in the visa application was a nightmare but I finally have my visa application appointment on the 9th December and I’m hoping to finally leave for Goa on the 21st December.

In the meantime, here’s some facts for you about my happy place, taken from my third book Hippie Kushi Life in Goa:

“Goa sits on the southwestern coast of India within the region known as the Konkan, and geographically separated from the Deccan highlands by the Western Ghats. It is surrounded by the Indian states of Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, with the Arabian Sea forming its western coast. It is India’s smallest state by area and its fourth-smallest by population. Goa has the highest GDP per capita among all Indian states, two and a half times as high as the GDP per capita of the country as a whole. The Eleventh Finance Commission of India named Goa the best-placed state because of its infrastructure, and India’s National Commission on Population rated it as having the best quality of life in India (based on the commission’s “12 Indicators”).

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is its largest city. The historic city of Margão in Goa still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first voyaged to the subcontinent in the early 16th century as merchants, and conquered it soon thereafter, whereupon Goa became an overseas territory of the Portuguese Empire, part of what was then known as Portuguese India, and remained as such for about 450 years, until it was annexed by India in 1961. Goa’s official language, which is spoken by a majority of its inhabitants, is Konkani.

Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year because of its white-sand beaches, active nightlife, places of worship, and World Heritage-listed architecture. It also has rich flora and fauna because it lies on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot.

Goa was often the final destinations for hippies travelling the hippie trail in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The hippie trail (also the overland) is the name given to the overland journey taken by members of the hippie subculture and others from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s between Europe and South Asia, mainly through Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. The hippie trail was a form of alternative tourism, and one of the key elements was travelling as cheaply as possible, mainly to extend the length of time away from home. The term “hippie” became current in the mid-to-late 1960s; “beatnik” was the previous term from the later 1950s.

In every major stop of the hippie trail, there were hotels, restaurants, and cafés for Westerners, who networked with each other as they travelled east and west. The hippies tended to interact more with the local population than traditional sightseers did”. (Some specific information taken from Wikipedia)

And still today Goa is exciting, vibrant, and has a beautiful climate, beautiful beaches, incredible wildlife, some amazing markets and great parties and live music. Its food is fantastic, and its people are warm and friendly; what more could you want. Oh, and did I mention its dirt cheap (you can find accommodation as cheap as £3 a night).

I will continue this blog in coming weeks with some more facts about Goa, followed by a bit more about my own experience of this wonderful place. Then I will tell you the story of Goa’s golden years, first the late 1960s and early 70s and then the new golden age of the 1990s which introduced the world to trance music.

The rest of these blog posts will be my Hippie Kushi life in Goa as well as a general guide to all things hippie to do and see: the characters I meet, the adventures I have, where to go, what to see, what not to miss and all there is to do in this hippie paradise. I hope you enjoy my alternative guide to Goa.

Lets just hope everything goes well with my visa appointment (update next time).

Enjoy, to be continued….

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