Sightseeing of Goa
by the Portuguese colonisation period in the 1500s, Goa has a lot of wonderfully
preserved architecture which reflects this era. A number of forts, churches
and old neighborhoods are what give Goa its cultural depth. The beach
and sea, of course, provide the natural attractions, and when put together,
this town provides a rare blend of culture and outdoor recreation.
Church of Saint
Francis of Assisi
More a piece of art than a church, this 17th century masterpiece is one
of Old Goa's real gems. The octagonal tabernacle has richly ornate interior
decorations, with gilded woodwork, ancient murals showing the life and
events surrounding Saint Francis, and even a whole floor made from old
Fort Cabo da Rama
Right on the coast of Goa, this important fort was built up by successive
rulers until the Portuguese finally took control of it in 1763. Although
the fort itself has fallen into decay of sorts, the hilltop complex offers
some of the very best views of Goa and the headland in the entire area,
making a trip here worthwhile.
Located in Panjim, the real beauty of this church emerges after dark,
when the entire structure is lit up with electric lights that turn the
church into a surreal glowing spectre. It is said that this church's bell
is the second largest in the world.
About 9kms east of Panjim is the historic centre of the city and UNESCO
World Heritage site, known as Old Goa. This charming, traditional part
of town is a great place to explore the many cathedrals and churches that
the Portuguese built during their reign. A few of the truly classic old
buildings have been converted into cultural and historic museums that
are run by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Besides being the capital of Goa, Panjim itself is a lovely little town
along the banks of the Mandovi river. The town has done an excellent job
preserving its Portuguese heritage, and visitors can wander the narrow
winding lanes and admire the old houses with their overhanging balconies.
A number of pleasant cafés and bars can be found in this district,
where the signs still have Portuguese language written on the shop signs.
Check out Azad Maidan square and 18th June road for some the town's best
Ponda (Antruz Mahal)
A number of important Hindu temples are located in this district of Goa,
along with the Safa Masjid mosque from 1560. This is a special part of
Goa if you are interested in seeing the unique Hindu and Islamic temples
of the region, because this is the only part of Goa where the original
ancient temples weren't destroyed by the Portuguese when they arrived.
Vasco Da Gama
To see the modern, cosmopolitan side of Goa, head over to Vasco, a chic
city on the tip of the Mormugao peninsula along the mouth of the Zuari
river. Offering a distinctly different feel from districts like Old Goa,
this is the place to come to see another side to the popular tourist haunt
Goa in Detials