Why Goa should be on your bucket list

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Why Goa should be on your bucket list
As well as the obvious long sandy, palm fringed beaches, warmth and sunshine that we hanker after on every one of our holidays, Goa has earned itself a reputation as India’s party state with cheap alcohol and some 7,000 bars across the state to choose from. 
Goa should not be on our bucket list just for its long sandy beaches with their backdrop of swaying palms, or the party state status that it has acquired – we can find these closer to home on shorter flights. Goa holidays have so much more than this to offer that is not often known about, thought about or even discussed when booking our holidays.

Portuguese Influence 

The great explorer, Vasco Da Gama, left Lisbon, Portugal with his fleet of ships in 1497 and a year later, having completed the first circumnavigation of Africa, hit the shores of India a year later. Portuguese rule was soon established in Goa in the early 16th century and lasted for some 450 years. It became part of India in 1961 and was granted it present day status as a State as recently as 1987.
Today, the Goa offers a holiday steeped in historical Portuguese colonial influence mostly seen in the colourful Portuguese heritage homes, scattered across the state.  It is worth taking a day out of the relaxing on the long sandy Goa beaches to visit Panjim also knows as Panaji, the state capital of Goa situated on the banks of the Mandovi River, in Southwest India. Here, the Portuguese quarter of Fontainhas will instantly take you back to its Portuguese history with its neat cobblestone streets, coloured houses and galleries.

Stunning Scenery 

Forests, jungles and Ghats (mountains) are rarely thought about when considering a holiday to Goa but with around a fifth of the land in Goa falling into the stunning Western Ghats of India and forests packed with an abundance of exotic wildlife including India’s well known macaques, mongoose, giant squirrels, sloths, Slender Loris and hundreds of different species of birds, a day out in one of Goa’s wildlife reserves is well worth a visit. As is a visit to East Goa where India’s second highest waterfall (a striking 603 metres fall), cascades down the mountainside bordered by thick, solid jungle and is the wonder of what is the Dudhsagar Waterfalls.

Tasty Fusion Cuisine

No mention of Goa can be made without a reference to its exceptionally tasty cuisine which is a fusion of Indian and Portuguese influence. A vast array of culinary delights awaits us in Goa and there are too many to mention but Feijoada which is a Portuguese bean stew with curried pork of beef and  the infamous Goan Fish Curry are both a must try before completing any visit to the wonderful Indian State of Goa. Of course, if you are vegan or vegetarian, you will definitely not have to miss out on experiencing authentic Indian cuisine and flavours. India has more resident vegan and vegetarian folk than the whole population of the UK so vegetarian, vegan and non- vegetarian dishes are all part and parcel of the local cuisine and served in all restaurants and hotel menus.
Have you been on a holiday to Goa? If so let us now your hints and tips below in the comment section! 
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