Goa’s Hidden Treasures – Self Drive Adventure

India’s favourite holiday destination is a bouquet of layered history and vibrant cultures. For centuries Goa has been a strategic entry into the western part of the sub-continent for traders and colonial powers. Today, it is a welcome place for intrepid travellers looking for new experiences. With a car rental in Goa, travellers can explore more secluded and offbeat destinations along with the famous party hubs and historical landmarks of the state. Here are some of the many attractions of India’s smallest state.

Mayem Lake

Located just 35 kms from the state capital, Panaji, Mayem Lake provides a serene tropical setting and visitors can spend time boating on the placid waters. The green hills in the backdrop provide a scenic allure to the location and there are many other attractions nearby. Mapusa is a small town where one can explore the markets and indulge in some of the local cuisine while Khumbarwado is a village famous for its Ganesha idols. Bird watching enthusiasts also like to flock to Mayem to observe its diverse ecosystem.

Ponda

Ponda is a charming town in South Goa famous for its temples. A short drive from Margao, this town has a butterfly conservatory set amidst picturesque plantations. Ponda is an ideal base for wildlife enthusiasts who want to visit the nearby Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, home to endemic species like the Indian bison and Malabar giant squirrel. It also houses a small population of rescued animals like leopards and bears. The four-tiered Dudhsagar waterfalls falls from a height of more than 300 metres is another famous natural attraction near Ponda.

Backwaters of Goa

Another inland treasure of Goa is its complex network of backwaters. The villages near these backwaters are a good place to get a dose of the original Goa culture – a rustic, idyllic charm that has been lost in the more commercial areas. A sunset cruise is recommended.

Chapora Fort

Chapora fort has been immortalized in the Bollywood hit ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ but that is far from being its main claim to fame. A lot of Goa’s history unfolded here as the bastions exchanged hands between local rulers before the Portuguese consolidated their dominance and built the present structure in the beginning of the 18th century. The view from the top is enviable – one can take in panoramas of the Chapora River and the expanse of the Arabian Sea. Nearby Vagator Beach is a popular tourist spot famous for its food shacks and backpacker culture.

Travelling around Goa is more fun when done on one’s own terms. Zoomcar is a popular car rental app that offers a wide range of hatchbacks, sedans and SUVs. One can enjoy complete privacy and freedom when moving around in a self drive car. Assurances like 24/7 on-road support and GPS tracking add a layer of security – making it an ideal choice for families and women travellers.

Goa’s hospitality brings people in from far and wide and this fascinating region has a lot to offer culture and nature enthusiasts. Explore responsibly and discover the hidden treasures of the state.

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