Goa is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in West India in
the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by
Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. 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.
Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still
exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as
merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese colony, the Portuguese
overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large
numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its
location on the Western Ghats range, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.