Velha Goa simply means the Portuguese translation for Old Goa. A drive from Panjim crossing the Mandovi River takes one to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Goa, which is a home to several cathedrals, churches, convents and chapels. The road guiding to Old Goa brings with it a complete change in landscape, people and homes. It holds a rich old charm and draws a pragmatic picture of Christianity which cannot be ignored at any point of time.

Religious Goa Far Beyond White Waves and Tropical Breeze

This smallest state of India on the Western Coast was ruled by Portuguese for almost 450 years. It left a huge impact on the culture, food, religion and infrastructure. The unique Portuguese architecture, ornate catholic churches and statues are something exquisite to photograph and preserve as a marvel in history. People from every corner of the earth come exclusively to Old Goa to offer prayers, worship Lord Jesus and Mother Mary and seek blessings for goodwill.

All trips to Goa have one destination in common, Basillica of Bom Jesus. This is one of the most famous Churches of Old Goa as it still restores the relics of St. Francis Xavier, Patron Saint of Goa and Apostle of the Indies. The three storey Church projects an exterior which resembles a fusion of Composite, Corinthian and Doric style architecture. The northern wall of the church bears a bronze monument dedicated to the benefactor of the church, Dom Jeronimos Mascarenha. The old historical walls of the religious monument are built of black laterite stone.

Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is another spectacular tourist attraction of North Goa. The church situated on the banks of river Mandovi is dedicated exclusively to saint St. Francis Xavier.

Styled in Doric architecture, the church is a source of a plethora of hand written scripts related to the saint. As it is considered to be highly miraculous by believers, people from every corner of the world come here to offer prayers.

Se Cathedral, Goa is considered to be the largest church in Asia. It is dedicated to St. Catherine and is a stunning architectural structure spotted with several statues all around. The church was specially constructed to portray the power and fame of Portuguese community and houses a large bell known as Golden Bell.

Church of Our Lady of Rosary is one of the oldest churches of Goa. The church bears a strong historic significance. It was built during the 16th century in the spot where Alphonso de Albuquerque witnessed the conquest of Goa in 1510. Beautifully embedded renaissance and Gothic architecture inside and outside offers several opportunities to use the camera lenses.

So Goa is not only about neon-lit nightclubs, late night beach parties or water sports on the blue sea. It stretches its arm in the most unexceptional way to a colonial address marked by historic churches. Amidst the sandy beaches and lush green surrounding, a morning in Goa do begins with the sacred hymns and ecstatic chimes of church bells.