By Indian standard Goa is a tiny state. The coastline on which much of its fame depends is only 97km long. The north and south of the state are separated by the broad estuaries of the Zuari and Mandovi rivers. Joined at high tide to create an island on which Panaji stands, these short rivers emerge from the high ranges of the Western Ghats less than 50 km from the coast and then glide almost imperceptibly to the sea. Alfonso de Albuquerque grasped the advantages of this island site, large enough to give a secure food-producing base but with a defensible.
Most, at the same time well placed with respect to the important northwestern sector of the Arabian Sea. warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax.
The rich lowland soils have a high mineral content, patches of almost sterile red laterite forming upland areas between the lower lying fertile deltas. Huge reserves of manganese and iron ore have been discovered and mined. While the income derived from this has helped to boost Goa’s foreign exchange, it often scars the landscape of the interior and has had a detrimental effect on neighboring agriculture.