Goa - Geography
Goa is located in the western region of India. The state shares its border with the Arabian Sea to the west, Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the south and the east. It is one of the fastest growing states in the country. Goa has a coastline of about 104 kms and inland waterways of about 250 km. The coast is full of creeks and estuaries formed by rivers. The major rivers flowing through the state are Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora and Betul. The other major rivers include the Tiracol, Chapora, Sal and the Talpona.
The state has a total forest cover of more than 1,424 sq. km covering almost one-third of the total area. Forests provide important products namely bamboo, Maratha barks, chillar barks and bhirand. These are of great economic value for rural mass. Coconut trees are present in almost the whole of Goa except in the upper regions. Goa’s vegetation also includes cashew, mango, jackfruits and pineapples.
Goa is rich in mineral resources. Major minerals include iron ore, manganese, ferro-manganese, bauxite and silica sand. Iron and manganese mining industries are the backbone of Goa’s economy.
Goa is a part of Konkan area. Goa has hills, low and highland areas. Geographically Goa has mainly three natural divisions namely the Low lands, the Plateaus and the Mountain region.
Low Lands : Low land area is mainly coastal lines. It is about 110 km long. Many beaches are along the coast in this area. Many rivers flow east to east in this area therefore this area land is fertile. This area is thickly populated.
Plateau Lands: The plateau region is found between the mountain region in the east and the lowlands in the west. Plateau land height ranges from 30 meters to 100 meters. In this region mainly plenty of laterite stone is found. It is used for building the houses. Some of the part of plateau land is called headland of Goa. Light houses are built on these headlands. Land in the plateau region is not fertile, few crops are taken in this region.
Mountainous region: Sahyadri mountains are to the east of South Goa. This part is covered with dense forest. In this area, some of the mountains are very steep. In South Goa, the peaks are Chandranath at Paroda, Dudhsagar in Sanguem taluka and Cormolghant in Canacona taluka. Many streams and rivers flow from this region to lowands. In South Goa, the rivers are Zuari, Talpona, Sal and Galgibag. Rivers are used for transporation. Inland waterways play an important role in transport of mineral ores from the mining sites in Sanguem taluka such as Costi, Kirpal, Netravalim, Rivona, Ducorcond and Kuddegal to the Mormugao harbour for export South Goa is rich in natural resources like iron, bauxite and manganese ore. These ores are exported mainly to China, Japan, South Korea and some European countries.
Goa is well connected by road, rail, water and air ways. In Goa there are three main national highways N.H.4A, N.H.17, N.H.17A. Panaji, the capital city of Goa is connected by N.H.4A from Belgaum in Karnataka. The N.H.17 starts in Mahad in Maharastra state and enters in Goa through Patradevi and passes through talukas Pernem, Bardez, Tiswadi, Salcete and Canacona talukas. Third highway, N.H.17A is from Cortalim to Mormugao harbour. Cities Panaji and Margao are well connected by road from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Miraj cities in Maharashtra and Banglore, Belgaum, Hubali cities in Karnataka.
Goa is connected by rail route through Konkan Railway and Southern Railway from Delhi. Also, it is well connected by air routes from Bombay and Delhi. Goa has an international airport at Dabolim. The distance from Margao to Dabolim airport is 29 kms.
Most of the rivers in Goa are used for waterways. Ferry boats were means of crossing rivers in Goa. Rivers Mandovi and Zuari are being used for carrying ore to Mormugao harbor. Goa is also connected by waterway from Bombay.
The low-lying valleys of the evergreen tropical forests of the Western Ghats harbour a rare, ancient ecosystem: the Myristica swamps. Comprised mainly of evergreen trees of the Myristicaceae family—one of the most primitive families of flowering plants renowned for the nutmeg tree species, the swamps are rich in biodiversity. Until recently, the northernmost distribution of the swamps in the Western Ghats was reported to be from Goa’s sacred grove “Nirankarachi Rai” in Bambar, Sattari taluka. But in 2018, researchers discovered Myristica swamps further up north in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. These swamps have the potential to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
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