A beach in Goa, India.

Government of Goa’s department of tourism hosted a reception to promote the tourism industry in Goa. Inviting members of the media and travel industry at the New Delhi restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., Feb. 28.

Goa government’s chief secretary Sanjay K. Srivastava and director of tourism Swapnil Naik presented a slide show and talked about what Goa has to offer as a tourist destination and highlighted the features of this hot favorite destination for foreigners and NRIs worldwide.

The evening came alive with kids performing Goan dances on “Galiyan Sankli Soniyachi,” a song from Aamir Khan-Pooja Bhatt starrer, Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahi. The New Delhi restaurant in San Francisco served a variety of Indian dishes for dinner.

Variously known as “Pearl of the Orient” and a “Tourist Paradise,” the state of Goa is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan.

The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendor of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favorite with travelers around the world.

Much of the real Goa is in its interiors, both inside its buildings and in the hinterland away from the coastal area.

Legends from Hindu mythology credit Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu with the creation of Goa.

Over the centuries various dynasties have ruled Goa. Rashtrakutas, Kadambas, Silaharas, Chalukyas, Bahamani Muslims and most famously the Portuguese have been rulers of Goa.

Having been the meeting point of races, religions and cultures of East and West over the centuries, Goa has a multi-hued and distinctive lifestyle quite different from the rest of India.

The vast expanse of the Arabian Sea on the west forms the magnificent coastline for which Goa is justly famous.

Panaji is the state capital and Vasco, Margao, Mapusa and Ponda are the other major towns. Goa is serviced by an international/national airport located at Dabolim near Vasco.

Goan cuisine is a blend of different influences the Goans had to endure during the centuries. The staple food in Goa is fish and rice. The sea and rivers abound in seafood – prawns, mackerels, sardines, crabs and lobsters are the most popular with the locals and the visitors.

The tourist season in Goa begins in late September and carries on through early March. The weather in these months is usually dry and pleasantly cool.

Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travelers to Goa love the friendly nature of the locals.