Goa is a place in India. It is on the coast, but is not an island.

Goa is a form of Techno music, more specifically a form of trance that was born in Goa, India in the late 1980s to early 1990s at outdoor parties. It is definitely dance music not ambient, generally in the range 140 to 150 bpm, with 148 being most common.

It is trippy, acid and is characterised (at its best) by multiple melodic layers and heavy use of the 303 and LSD and a fascination with fluorescent Hindu gods.

Try the following albums for goa. This is not a definitive guide, just a sample. Many bands that made goa later made psy-trance, ambient or even dub.

Later on, (circa 1996) goa evolved into Psychedelic Trance, by a process of exporting the sound to the (mostly indoor) parties in Europe and mutating it slightly into something darker and less uplifting, with a more complex, more European, less melodic and less mystical sound. By 2001, the ever-reinventing genre has already passed though Psychedelic Trance and Psychedelic Techno. The beat has slowed to about 140.

Every movement has its backlash, and Goa trance music was no exception. As is often the case with less mass-market oriented forms of contemporary music, lovers and creators of the form quickly moved on, either incoporating the influences in a new way, or reacting against them and moving on to something entirely different. For other individuals, particularly musicians and DJs on the periphery of the rave subculture, Goa was a sub-genre too far.

The funniest evidence that I saw of this backlash was in the title of a track on "The Blue Lamp", a CD by Jonny Hardie and Gavin Marwick (a pair of accomplished Scottish fiddle players). The title of the track: Goa way.

A subgenre of electronic music, also called psychedelic trance.

Named after the territory Goa in India, which was also (and to a lesser extent arguably still is) a hippy commune in the seventies.

The music itself is hard to describe and quite diverse. The trick is the same as with ancient tribal rituals - a monotonous base drum has an hypnotic effect. Consequently there are many religious (mostly Hindu) elements mixed in, like references to Shiva. As with the shamans, the use of hallucinogenic drugs is also not uncommon.

There are many open-air Goa parties with names like Shiva Moon (Hamburg) or Gaia (Paris), which last several days.

There are a great many Goa artists, so to get an impression I'd recommend listening to one of the Goa Head samplers.

A longer article detailing the development of Goa Parties can be found at http://www.pwrgrrl.com/goatrance.html. For German speakers there's also an article containing some grains of truth under http://www.hclan.ch/goa_partys.htm.

Goa, India

Facts and figures

The coastal state in western India became a household name in the 1960s, when hippies flocked to its yoga retreats to find themselves. Nowadays the westerners who visit are an odd mix of backpackers and package holiday tourists. Some are drawn by the 1000km of exotic coastline, some by the promise of delicious authentic Indian food. Unfortunately, the tell-tale signs of tourism are beginning to show ie. the unspoilt beaches are beginning to be spoilt. Enough about the tourists - let's find out just why they all want to go Goa!


The history of Ancient India is fascinating, and that of Goa, like the rest of the country is a tale of invasions, counter-invasions, colonialism, and finally independence. The state formed part of the Mauryan Empire as far back as the third century BC. Around the time of the beginnings of Christianity, Goa was ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur. In 580AD, control was taken by the Chalukyans of Badami, who remained in power until 750AD. The first successful Muslim invasion in 1312 was short-lived: they were forced out by Harihara I of the Vijayanagar Empire only fifty-eight years later. Over the next hundred years Goa served as an important harbour for transporting Arabian horses on their way to join the Vijayanagar cavalry at the Empire's capital, Hampi.

Then the Portugese colonials arrived in 1510. They had two main aims: to control the spice route from the East, and to work as missionaries to spread Christianity. In 1542, Saint Francis Xavier showed up, with his band of Jesuits. By this time, the Portugese had succeeded in capturing more land, and ruled not only Old Goa, but also the neighbouring provinces of Bardez and Salcete. Goa's Golden Age began when the Turks finally lost control of the trade routes across the Indian Ocean. As a result, the Portugese in Goa became rather wealthy. They made their Indian colony the Viceregal seat of their Eastern Empire.

During the seventeenth century, however, the Portugese colony became less stable and successful. Portugal found it more and more difficult to keep a reign on its far-flung subsidiary, and its hold began to slip. This, combined with growing competition from the British, French, and Dutch, led to a terminal decline. In the late eighteenth century, the colonials came close to being ousted by the Marathas. During the Napoleonic Wars in Eurpoe, the British managed to rule Goa for a short while.

The first rumblings of the independence movement were heard in the late nineteenth century in Goa. The push for liberation began in earnest when the Portugese monarchy collapsed in 1910. It was not until 17th December 1961, when Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ordered an invasion, that the colonials were finally removed from power.

The turbulence did not come to and end even once Goa had been liberated. The difficulty now lay in finding its place within India. There was local resistance to the attempts to merge Goa with neighbouring states. In May 1987, Goa became India's 25th state, and its predominant language, Konkani was recognised as (yet another) national tongue.

Places of Interest

The beaches remain one of the biggest appeals to tourists. It is still possible to find a few straggling (and often ageing) hippies at places such as Anjuna and Arambol. Calangute, once the resort of preference for those in search of inner peace, has now become one of the main package holiday destinations in Goa.

Old Goa, the former capital of the Portugese colonials, exists now as little more than a handful of imposing churches and cathedrals, and a pile of stones which used to be a spectacular gateway. The hundreds of thousands of citizens of Old Goa were driven out by a wave of epidemics, leaving the maze of Mediterranian-style alleys and plazas to crumble away. The churches remain, as does the city's status as the spiritual heart of Christian Goa.

Panaji became the state capital in 1843, after the decline of Old Goa. For most tourists, it serves as little more than an arrivals lounge or bus depot, but it is worth exploring further. Unlike the former capital, Panaji has retained its Iberian air, and contains many splendid governmental buildings, some dating back to before colonisation.

Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary is located 50km south-east of Panaji and provides a home for sambar, wild boar, and deer, as well as containing a zoo.

Anjuna flea market is no longer the preserve of hippies alone, and now sells more than incense. The traders come from as far afield as the Himalayas to sell their wares.

Lonely Planet

Goa, in western India, is one of the best holiday destinations in the country and a very popular one. It is that perfect beachside state with a happy overabundance of beaches and plenty of water sports to go with. Major Goa beaches like the Calangute, Candolim, Vagator, Anjuna and Colva are not only beautiful but many of them are quite commercialized. They offer sporting retreats like scuba diving, parasailing, snorkeling, banana boating, scooting and so on. Goa has over 40 beaches but each has its own flavor and has no resemblance with the other. Some are noted for their sunsets while some are notorious for their rockiness. And there are others like the Dona Paula which have apocryphal legendary tales of undying (and scandalous) romance associated with them.

Away from the sun-drenched beaches, Goa is a potpourri of heritage architecture, beautiful markets, lovely food and an even lovelier culture. Saturday Night’s Ingo Bazaar is a must-stop for any shopper and the churches and chapels of Old Goa should be visited for their nostalgia and chastity. The state has other attractions too. There are those dilapidated but still-domineering forts punctuating the length & breadth of the state; a few wildlife parks would also grab your attention, and the waterfalls like the Dudhsagar are always worthy of a visit.

In short, Goa is that perfect place where everyone can have his share of fun.

Best time to visit Goa: November-March

Major Goa attractions:

-          Basilica of Bom Jesus

-          Anjuna Beach

-          Baga Beach

-          Calangute Beach

-          Aguada Fort

-          Se Cathedral

-          Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary

-          Ingo’s Saturday Night Market

-          Chapora Fort

-          Dudhsagar Falls

-          Salem Ali Bird Sanctuary

Traveler’s tip: If you wish to cut down your hotel & flight bills (by as much as 50%), then plan a Goa trip during the lean season between April and September.


Resources: Goa Tourism Guide http://www.weareholidays.co.in/travel-guide/goa-tourism


Go"a (?), n. Zool.

A species of antelope (Procapra picticauda), inhabiting Thibet.


© Webster 1913.

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