Goa occupies a prime location along the Konkan coastal belt on the western coast of India. Known for its beaches and scenic beauty it is bordered by the state of Maharashtra to the north and the state of Karnataka to the south. The Western Ghats in the east contribute to the dense forests of Goa and its bountiful flora and fauna. The Arabian Sea stretches its waves along the coastline of Goa which is well known as a tourist attraction. Rivers such as Mandovi, Tiracol, Zuari, Chapora, Sal and Talpona form the network of navigation for transporting goods, mining ores and other agricultural products in Goa. As these rivers travel their natural path towards the sea, they divide into various estuaries and bays, which multiply the beauty of the coastline.
Coordinates (Panaji): 15.50°N 73.83°E
Photo Credit: GFDL/Nichalp
Goa experiences a pleasant climate all year round which is a boost for the tourism industry. A typical coastal climate with rainy season dominating for four to five months in a year, the summers are hot and humid reaching a high of almost 35°C (95°F) in the month of May. The winters do not contribute much with only 2 months; between mid-December to mid-February dedicated to the season. The temperature drops to around 29°C (84.2°F) during the day while the night experiences around 20°C (68°F). Temperatures may vary slightly according to the location of the coastal and inland region.
Monsoon is the main season of Goa with lashes of rain of around 325cms per day with the sunshine of 3-5 hours per day. This is a prominent change for a region that receives sunshine of 9-10 hours per day during any other season. The tourist season is by and large from October to February when there is no rain, humidity is at its lowest and it’s not too hot either.
The region of Goa is set apart from the Deccan Plateau due to the division made by the Western Ghats. As you travel further from the coastline towards the ghats the slope starts rising to form the cliffs, hills and mountains. Goa is engulfed within these slopes from one side resulting in a favourable climate.
Flora & Fauna
As Goa is partly coastal and partly hilly it exhibits a variety in its biodiversity. Goa forest coverage is around 1,424sq.km. of which 33% is covered by the government forests and 62% is protected under the Protected Areas (PA) of Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Park. These forests are located within the inland regions of Goa and their tropical diversity can be proven the rich examples of flora and fauna such as bamboo canes, chillar barks, Maratha barks and bhirand.
Nearly 56% of Goa is covered under forests and tree cover which includes fields of coconuts, mangoes, cashews, jackfruits, etc.
Animals that rule the forests are boars, foxes and migratory birds. Crabs, lobsters, shrimps, jellyfish, oysters and catfish are some of the aquatic life found in the seas surrounding the Goan coastline. There are various wildlife sanctuaries such as Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Molem Wildlife Sanctuary, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, Madei Wildlife Sanctuary, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, but the most visited is the Salim Ali Wildlife Sanctuary located on Chorao Island, known for its bird species.