Known as the smallest yet the richest state in India, Goa is home to almost 1.5 million Lakh people, covering a total land area of 3,702 square kilometers. Boasting numerous unspoiled white sand beaches, rich ecology and impressive architectural remains, Goa is certainly one of the perfect places in India to spend time in. Despite being a tiny state, Goa’s location is very favorable for tourists as it is accessible by air, land and sea. Getting to Goa is easy, fast and not at all tedious as it has its own railway station and airport, not to mention the available interstate transport.
Where is Goa? Located on the southwestern coast of Indian Peninsula, Goa is bordered by Maharashta in the north, the Western Ghats in the east, Karnataka in south and Arabian Sea in the west with the Terekhol River. Geographically, Goa is situated in between longitudes 74°20’13” East to 73°40’33” East and latitudes 15°48’00” North to 14°53’54” North.
While accessible via land transport, perhaps the best way to get to Goa is by plane. Due to its coastal location, it is relatively distant from the capital city and other major cities in India, with Belgaum City the nearest (154 kilometers), while its distance from Bangalore and Delhi is at 592 km and 1912 km respectively.
Goa’s lone airport, Dabolim, consists of two terminals for domestic and international flights, serving 30-40 flights daily with a large concentration during weekdays from 1pm to 6pm. It is situated about 4 kilometers from Vasco da Gama and can be reached from any part of Goa by riding local transport. If you are planning on getting to Goa by air, Dabolim Airport caters to domestic flights from major Indian airlines including Air India, GoAir, IndiGo, Jet Airways, Jet Life, Kingfisher Airline and SpiceJet. For international flights, it is seasonal and limited only to Persian Gulf regions from two flag carriers: Indian Airlines and Air India. However, just recently, foreign carriers from the UK have obtained permission to operate scheduled flights to Goa.
If you are not in rush, a another option on how to get to Goa is by train. Indian railways links Goa with direct service from various points across India such as Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kochi, Chennai, Thiruvanantapuram and Hyderabad. The railway station is located in Margao at South Goa and is linked to Pune through the Belgaum Miraj Line. Getting to Goa by train can be a pleasant experience as the route travels through many tunnels and wonderful sceneries. For tourists, it is recommended to make reservations beforehand, as major trains are often heavily booked.
Another way of getting to Goa by land is by riding the bus. You can ride in interstate buses run by state-owned tourist corporations to reach Goa. Moreover, the established road system allows people to get to Goa from adjacent states. You can reach it via roads from Mumbai, Pune and Belgaum. It also has three national highways passing through it including NH-17A, NH-4A and NH-17. Overnight buses from Mumbai can be another option instead of flying or taking the train.
The last option is getting to Goa by sea. With the massive Arabian sea flanking its boundary, getting to Goa via cruises from Mumbai can be a terrific experience for tourists. However, every monsoon season, this service is temporarily withdrawn due to the unpredictable behavior of the sea.