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Goa Car RentalGoa, on the west coast of India is a land of swaying palms, miles of golden sands, lush greenery, an incredible cultural heritage, magnificent churches, temples and monuments and a unique cultural synthesis of the east and west. 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 splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world.
But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer.
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.
Besides the natural beauty, the fabulous beaches and sunshine, travellers to Goa love the laid-back, peaceful, warm and friendly nature of the Goan people. After all, more than anywhere else on planet earth, this is a place where people really know how to relax.
Places of Tourist Attractions in Goa
Skim the waves. Surf the seas. Float across the skies. The fabulous golden Goan coast is sprinkled with water sports excitements from windsurfing to paragliding.
John Lucas, an Englishman, who first came to Goa in the early 70s like thousands of other westerners on a spiritual journey, found his heaven here in Goa. Being a keen windsurfer, the next time he came back to Goa, he had with him, his board and rig. And the trend for water sports in Goa was set.
Today there are a number of water based sports and activities available in Goa. The best season for enjoying water sports in Goa is from October to May when the skies here are cloudless and blue, and the waters fairly placid.
Windsurfing is a unique blend of surfing and sailing, which requires the surfer to adjust his strength and balance to the changing patterns of wind and water. To the expert who has honed himself in all these nuances, windsurfing can indeed be an exhilarating experience.
Windsurfing trainers and experts alike claim Dona Paula bay to be the ideal location for the beginners. The prevailing winds and the calm sea, ensure almost lake-like conditions. The morning breeze is light and steady — just right for learners; while stronger winds that set in during the afternoons offer a perfect challenge for the more experienced.
Scuba diving is also fast gaining popularity. Underwater visibility in the more tranquil of Goa’s bays and lagoons ranges between five to ten meters.
Although Goa does not have magnificent coral reefs it boasts of myriad schools of fascinating marine life.
Attractive coral heads, lobsters, bright colored fish, and other marine life can be conveniently explored in the shallow waters.
There are even a few wrecks dating to colonial Portuguese and British times for you to explore underwater
Goa's equitable climate and rich vegetation support an abundance of birds. This large and diverse population can survive because of its varied habitat that ranges from open forests to shrubs, tracks and dense forests which are ideal for breeding.
Visitors will probably notice a few about town and in temple grounds. On the other hand, a keen bird-watcher will find much to get excited about and a trip to one of the nearby sanctuaries or along a river early in the morning will be particularly rewarding.
Goa is a bird watcher's paradise and keen bird-watchers will be in seventh heaven, and even those who have previously had little interest in birds will wonder at the richness of the birdlife.
Although Goa was made famous for its encouraging attitude towards doing nothing more than lounge by the beach, it's startling just how much else there is to do.
Whether it's at the break of the dawn or dusk, midnight or noon, there is no end of fun and frolic in Goa. The state is plushed with variety of options for the amusement of tourists. If one is longing for a drink check out the pubs and bars situated at all the beach sides and major cities. Or just hangout at the local shacks on the beach any time of the day and enjoy the oceanic panorama.
Those who want to boogie in style, then Goa is a bliss for nightclubs and discothèques. Goa is also home to a number of Casinos and also to Caravela - the only offshore casino located on a ship in India.
A popular alternative to watching the sunset from a beach bar - at least for most Indian tourists - is an evening River Cruise along the Mandovi from Panjim. Snacks and drinks are available, and the price includes a display of Konkani and Portuguese dance accompanied by folk singers in traditional Goan costume, and sometimes a live Hindi cover band.
The Real Taste of Goa
Visitors to Goa tend to think that food and drink in Goa means the famous fish, curry, rice and feni package. And for most Goans these are indeed the three basic necessities of life -- fish, curry and rice.
They combine to make a heavenly daily meal for the average Goan. But Goan cuisine, like the land itself, has many flavours and tastes with its vast treasure trove of culinary delicacies.
The long period of Portuguese rule, besides that of the Muslim and Hindu kingdoms, has left an indelible influence on the original style of Goan cooking and this has led to an exotic mix of truly tasty and spicy cuisine. Most people who sample Goan cuisine, enjoy this different and unique style of food which has a distinct and unique combination of spicy flavours.
A Goan values his food as much as he does his daily siesta (break). And in his daily meal, seafood always has a pride of place is some form or the other. From fried fish to exotic concoctions like ambot-tik, sea food is usually a must on the menu, except for the occasional break for some religious observance.