Goa is Indias second smallest state in terms of area and the fourth smallest in terms of population (after Sikkim, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh). It is located on the west coast of India, in the region known as the Konkan, and is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and Karnataka to the east and south. The Arabian Sea bounds it to the west. Panaji (Panjim) is the state's capital, and Vasco-da-Gama (Vasco) its largest city. The second largest and most historic city is Margao with the most western Portuguese culture. Portuguese merchants first landed in Goa in the 15th century, and annexed it soon after. The Portuguese colony existed for about 450 years, until it was successfully taken over by India in 1961.
Internationally renowned for its beaches, Goa is visited by hundreds of thousands of foreign and domestic tourists each year, and has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for European travellers.
Besides beaches, Goa is also known for its world heritage architecture including the Bom Jesus Basilica. Goa also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, which are classified as a biodiversity hotspot.