Goa is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population (1.4 million). Located on the west coast of India, it is bound by the state of Maharashtra to the north, by Karnataka to the east and south and the Arabian Sea on the west. Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km² (1,430 sq miles). Panaji is the state's capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. Most of Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats, which separates it from the Deccan plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 meters (3,827 feet). Goa has a coastline of 101 kms (63 miles).
Goa Experiences plenty of warm, sunny weather. Being in the tropical zone the three main seasons that affect the region are the summer (March to May), monsoon (June to September) and winter (November to February). There areno extremes in temperature and no clear demarcations from one season to the other except for the monsoon. During summer the month of May is the hottest, with day-time temperatures touching 33°C (91°F). The monsoons arrive around early June and provide a much needed respite from the heat. The monsoons are the main feature of the climate of Goa with an average rainfall of approximately 325 cms. During the monsoons, the landscape around Goa is transformed becoming lush and green. When the monsoon ends, the weather in Goa becomes pleasant, less humid with fine blue skies and plenty of sunny weather, which rarely feels oppressive.
Renowned for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture, Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year. It also has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats, which is classified as a biodiversity hotspot. Goa's wildlife sanctuaries boast of more than 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 species of birds, over 48 kinds of animals and over 60 genera of reptiles.