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Goa  is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population.

Goa is situated on the western coast of the Indian Peninsula. On its north runs the Terekhol River which separates Goa from Maharashtra and on the south lies North Canara district of Karnataka. On the east lie the Western Ghats and on the west the Arabian Sea. Panaji, Margao, Vasco, Mapusa and Ponda are the main towns of Goa.

Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city.

Goa is India's richest state with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country as a whole.

It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

After the discovery of the sea route to India by Vasco-da-Gama in 1498, many Portuguese expeditions came to India. In 1510, Alfonso de Albuquerque with the help of the emperor of Vijayanagar attacked and captured Goa. With the arrival of the Jesuit priest Francis Xavier in 1542 proselytisation began in Goa. However, the Portuguese continued to rule over the territory except for an interlude during the latter half of the 17th century when Shivaji conquered a few areas in and around Goa.

Even after India's independence, Goa continued to be in the hands of the Portuguese. However, they could not fulfil the aspirations of the Goan people and ultimately on 19 December 1961, Goa was liberated and made a composite union territory with Daman and Diu.

On 30 May 1987 Goa was conferred statehood and Daman and Diu was made a separate union territory.

The State has the distinction to have achieved the ISO 9001-2000 certification through the Directorate of Art and Culture. State Cultural Policy has been framed. Tiatr Academy of Goa has been set up. Various schemes such as Kala Sanman, Kalakar Kritadnyata Nidhi are being implemented to assist artists and promote cultural activities.

The state is divided into two districts: North Goa and South Goa.

Tourism is a major industry in Goa.

Goa at a glance
Area 3,702 sq. kms.
Capital Panaji/Panjim
Population 1,457,723
Districts 2
Languages Marathi and Konkani
Assembly Seats 40
Lok Sabha seats 2
Rajya Sabha seats 1
State Day December 19



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