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Flag of Goa
Official seal of Goa
A map showing us where the location of Goa is in the Republic of India
A map showing us where the location of Goa is in the Republic of India
Map of Goa
Map of Goa
Country  India
Region West India
Established 1987
 • Legislature Unicameral (295* seats)
 • Total 3,702 km2 (1,429 sq mi)
 • Total 1,457,723

^*  294 elected, 1 nominated

Goa (गोवा) is a state in the Republic of India. It is India's smallest state. It has the second smallest number of people. The total area is 1,430 mi² (3,702 km²), it is bigger than Samoa but smaller than the Georgian territory of South Ossetia. In traditional Indian geography it falls under the South Indian zone. It is on the west coast of India, in the region known as the Konkan. The state of Maharashtra is its neighbour to the north, and Karnataka to the east and south. The Arabian Sea makes up the state's west coast. Panjim is the state's capital, and Margao its largest town.

Portuguese merchants first landed in Goa in the 16th century but soon after, colonised it. It was a part of the Portuguese empire for about 450 years. In 1961 India took control of Goa by sending its army and defeating Portuguese army.


The 1961 Indian annexation of Goa , was an action by India’s armed forces that ended Portuguese rule in its Indian enclaves in 1961. The armed action, code named Operation Vijay by the Indian government, involved air, sea and land strikes for over 36 hours, and was a decisive victory for India, ending 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa. One of the problems vexing the Indian prime minister Jawarhalal Nehru in the 1950s was what to do about Goa. The situation began to come to a head in 1955 when a group of Goanese and Indian protesters staged a ‘liberation march’ in Goa and more than 20 of them were shot and killed.

He announced that Portuguese control of Goa could be tolerated no longer and instituted a blockade, which the Portuguese regime evaded by building an airport into which to fly supplies and by opening up trade with Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Portugese dictator, Antonio Salazar tried to drum up international support from world leaders. President Kennedy wrote to Nehru advising him not to use force and the Portuguese ambassador in London reminded the British government that under the terms of the Anglo-Portuguese alliance of 1899 it was obliged to come to Portugal’s assistance if any Portuguese colony was attacked.

There were more incidents and in November 1961 the Portuguese in Goa opened fire on Indian fishing boats. Nehru lost patience and mounted a military, naval and air attack on Goa using overwhelming force on December 17th. The Portuguese governor, who had at the most 3,000 men to oppose an Indian army of 30,000, blew up a few bridges to delay the invaders but his situation was plainly hopeless and he hoisted the white flag and surrendered. There had been almost no resistance and few casualties. The United States and the UK did not lift a finger to help Portugal in any practical way. Nor did anyone else.


Provincial symbols of Goa