Sight Seeing & Recreation








Sé Catedral at Old Goa*

The largest of the churches at Old Goa, the construction of Sé Catedral began in 1562 during the reign of King Dom Sebastião (1557-78) and substantially completed by 1619. The cathedral was built for the Dominicans and paid for by the Royal Treasury out of the proceeds of the sale of the Crown's property. Architecturally, the building is Portuguese- Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. There were originally two towers, one on either side of the façade, but the one on the southern side collapsed in 1776. This Cathedral has five bells. The existing tower houses a famous bell, one of the largest in Goa and often referred to as 'Golden Bell' on account of its rich sound. The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and old paintings on either side of it depict scenes from her life and martyrdom.

Basilica of Bom Jesus at Old Goa*

The tomb and mortal remains of St.Francis Xavier is kept at  the Basilica of Bom Jesus .
Apart from the richly gilded altars, the interior of the church is remarkable for its simplicity, and this is the only church which is not plastered on the outside. It was commenced in 1594 and completed in 1605. The remains of the body are housed in a silver casket which at one time was covered in jewels. On the walls surrounding it are murals depicting scenes from the saint's journeys, including on his death on the Sancian Island. 

St. Augustine's Tower at Old Goa 

All that is left of this church is the enormous 46 metre high tower which served as a belfry and formed part of the façade of the church. What little is left of the other parts of the church is choked with creepers and weeds, and access is difficult. The church was constructed in 1602 by Augustinian friars who arrived in Goa in 1587. It was abandoned in 1835 as a result of repressive policies followed by the Portuguese government, which resulted in the eviciton of many religious orders from Goa. The church fell into neglect and the vault collapsed in 1842 followed by more parts in 1938. 

Church & Convent of Santa Mónica at Old Goa 

This huge, three storeyed laterite building was commenced in 1606 and completed in 1627, only to burn down nine years later. Reconstruction started the following year, and it's from this time that the buildings date. It was once known as the Royal Monastery on account of the royal patronage which it enjoyed. The building is now used by the Mater Dei Institute as a nunnery which was inaugurated in 1964.There are fading murals on the western inside walls.

Church of Our Lady of Miracles*

The St. Jerome's Chruch of Mapusa is more known for the devotion of Our Lady of Miracles. The church was first built in 1594 AD and was reconstructed in 1674 AD. After having been partially destroyed in fire in 1836, it was built in 1839 AD. 

Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Panaji 

The second leg of church pilgrimage can well commence with a visit to the Majestic Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Panaji which is famous for its artistic staircase besides the abounding veneration on the part of the faithful. A chapel existed here well before 1541 AD and it was made a parish church in 1600 AD. Some years later, the structure was re-erected from its foundation. The church feast held in December draws large crowds of devotees.

Temple of Shri Mahadeva at Tambdi Surla 

66 Kms. in Sanguem Taluka at the foot of the Ghats, is the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture (13th century) in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa, a motorable road connects Sancordem to this temple complex. 

Shri Manguesh at Mangueshi, Ponda*

22 Kms. (26 Kms from Margao) at Priol-Ponda Taluka. It is located on a hillock surrounded by rolling green hills. Though small, it has an air of distinctive elegance. Its lofty white tower at the entrance is a landmark of the country side. This is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

Shri Ramnath at Ramnathi, Ponda 

33 kms. in Ponda Taluka. Besides the shrine of the main Ramnath deity it has four small temples of Shri Laxminarayan, Shri Shantadurga (Sateri), Shri Betal and Shri Sidhanath. The five together, constitute Shri Ramnath Panchayatan. The legend in mythology says that Rameshwar is the original abode of Lord Ramnath.

Jama Masjid

26 Kms from Margao at Sanguem. Built in the last century, the Jama Masjid was completely renovated in 1959. The new structure is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and elegant simplicity. It has four minarets whilst the entrance facade is flanked by two elegant turrets surmounted by pillared kiosks. A domeshaped kiosk rises in the centre of the four minarets. Festivals are celebrated here with due solemnity and eclat by the devotees. 

Safa Masjid*

The Shahouri Masjid, the biggest and most famous of the 27 mosques in Ponda taluka was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adilshah of Bijapur. Adjacent to the Mosque is a well-constructed masonry tank with small chambers displaying 'meharab' designs. The mosque and the tank were formerly surrounded by an extensive garden with many fountains. They were all destroyed during the Portuguese rule. The two major festivals Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha are celebrated at this mosque with great pomp and are attended by a large number of people.

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Last Updated on June 13, 2000.