Goa is a state within the coastal region, known as the Konkan in Western India. It is the smallest state of India by area and fourth smallest by population. It was liberated from the Portuguese rule in 1961 and was part of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu till 30th May, 1987.
Panaji is the capital of this state and Vasco Da Gama is the largest city of this state, while the historic city Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese. Today, Goa is the most visited place by many domestic and international tourists every year. Here are some places in Goa which will remind you of the remarkable past of this state –
- Casa Da Moeda
Casa Da Moeda (The Mint House) literally meaning the ‘House of Coins’ functioned as the Mint of Goa from 1834 – 1841.
With Mandovi river on one side and red and white buildings of the post office on another, Casa Da Moeda is prominent witness to the history of Panjim.
2. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church
It was first built in 1541, as a chapel on a hill side overlooking the city of Panjim. Eventually, it was replaced by a larger church in the 1600s as part of religious expansion of Portuguese in Goa.
This church conducts mass everyday in English, Konkani and Portuguese. Municipal garden of the city lies to its southeast and can be seen from top of the hill.
3. Ribandar Causeway
This small village has always been famous for its scenic beauty and is located between the main city of Panjim and Old Goa. It obtained its name from the Bandar port or docks of Rayas, meaning Kings.
Known to be the longest bridge in Asia once, it is still standing strong today. It boasts of many famous historical places, like other places of Goa.
4. Viceroy’s Arch
In city’s heyday, this archway was the best way to arrive in Old Goa and till date it remains to be so. It was erected in memory of Vasco da Gama by his grandson Francisco da Gama, who became the viceroy in 1597.
Being an ancient and important example of Goa’s pride, this arch still stands erect. When you visit the river banks of Mandovi, you will pass through it with statues of Vasco da Gama and St. Catherine on either side.
5. Basilica of Bom Jesus
The construction work for this church began in 1594 and was consecrated in May 1605. It is India’s first minor basilica and is considered to be one of the best example of baroque architecture in India.
Today, it is the most famous church in India and is revered by Christians worldwide. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and holds the remains of St. Francis Xavier. This more than 408 year old church is open to public every day and the holy body of Saint is displayed every 10 years, on the anniversary of saint’s death.