GOA state of mind
2 min

What Is Goa?

2 min

If you're new to the scene, you may have started seeing it pop up every now and then: Goa. But what does it stand for and what is it exactly? Find out everything you need to know about Goa and impress your friends with your new found knowledge. Only at Zamnesia, of course!


Have you ever wondered what Goa is exactly? Goa is a general term that can be used for many different things. Let us begin with exploring the origins of the term ‘Goa’ itself.

Goa India

Goa is a state in India within the coastal region known as the Konkan in Western India. It is India’s richest state and was ranked the best-placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission regarding infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population, based on 12 indicators. As a former Portuguese province, the Portuguese overseas territory called Portuguese India had existed for about 450 years until its annexation by India in 1961. The city Margao still shows the cultural influence of the Portuguese merchants who first set foot there in the early 16th century.

This makes Goa an interesting melting pot of both Eastern and Western styles, which can be seen in the Western royal attire of its kings and the presence of numerous Catholic churches and monasteries that were built there in the past. Similarly, the regional dances that are performed depict a unique blend of several religions and cultures that are present in the state of Goa.

Goa is also known for its rich tropical biodiversity; Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries boast hundreds of different species of plants and animals. It is also known for its coconut cultivation.


The Portuguese were not the only European Nation in history to control Goa. The British colonists occupied the region twice: first from 1797 to 1798 and again from 1802 to 1813. The Indian Army seized control of Goa in 1961. This was also the time where the first beach parties took place and this is where the Goa Trance genre was rooted. Until the mid-70’s there was no legal limitation to the consumption of hashish; this attracted a lot of Europeans and Americans to the region. However, all of this changed when the US government pressured the Indian authorities into banning this practice.

Goa Party

Also, numerous settlers that were coming to India were seeking spirituality and were part of the hippie culture. The first modern settler on the beaches of Goa, eight-finger Eddie, organised the first parties where people could experience feelings of absolute freedom and happiness through dancing and psychedelic drugs.


The music at the time of the first beach parties was more related to the psychedelic rock genre, with bands like Grateful Dead, The Doors, The Eagles and Pink Floyd. It wasn’t until the 80's that Goa, as an electronic music genre, was founded.

Goa Gil was one of the pioneers that introduced Goa-influenced electronic music. He called it the ‘Neue Deutsche Welle’, the first post-punk experimental electronic dance music coming from Europe. Goa is an electronic music genre with heavy beats in diverse rhythms. The key element of Goa music is the psychedelic sound effects added to the tracks. The first Goa trance was heavily influenced by classical traditional Indian music, which was easily recognised in the Goa trance sound. A small group of DJs from mainly France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland formed the contemporary scene in Goa by exchanging and collecting music that was brought in from Europe. The focus was on getting as much rare hard-to-get music as possible, while also selecting on psychedelic rarities. The consumption of LSD played a big role in their inspiration and the creative process. For that reason, the drug became a symbol of Goa parties and it was easy to get and mostly free.

Goa Festival tired

In the 90's, the Goa beach parties lost their intimate and underground feeling because of growing popularity. The tourist numbers increased and the Goa Trance music genre became more and more popular. Goa parties started to occur in the rest of the world as well, the most known ones were in Byron Bay (Australia), London and Manchester. During 1993 to 1999 there were six golden years of Goa trance where many new artists, publishers, and DJs had emerged.


Although the Goa scene has its origins in the state of Goa, India, the Goa mindset of absolute freedom and happiness through dancing and psychedelic experiences is found all over the world. It would be fair to say that Goa not only symbolizes the place where it all began, but also the state of mind of the people that sympathize with the Goa culture. Ultimately, it stands for the mutual inspiration and influencing of different cultures and religions that can bring people together in order to celebrate the diverse beauty that life has to offer us.


Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
Miguel Antonio Ordoñez
With an AB Mass Media and Communications degree, Miguel Ordoñez is a veteran writer of 13 years and counting and has been covering cannabis-related content since 2017. Continuous, meticulous research along with personal experience has helped him build a deep well of knowledge on the subject.
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