Goa: South Goa



South Goa:

It’s evident that the tourists’ attraction of Goa is gradually increasing. But, South Goa is not a prominent tourists’ destination in the map of Goa as compared to that of North Goa. South Goa, however, is an important junction of Goa. The connecting airport of South Goa is placed adjacent to Vasco in Dabolim. Even though the trains run to Vasco, but the railway station of Konkan Railways is situated at Margao. A number of pretty sea beaches along the coastal lines are there around the Margao railway station. The port city and district head quarter of South Goa, Margao, is adorned wonderfully. The structures of the roadside homes of Margao resemble the sumptuousness of Lisbon.

Margao: Margao, the capital of Salcete talukas, can be accessed crossing the Zuari River.

The port at the right hand side of the city is a place where you can see a lot of Indian and overseas ships. Beautifully designed homes, located at the left hand side of Margao, are exhibiting Latin architectural excellence. All these roadside homes are bedecked with red tiled roofs. The well adorned Margao with dotted orchards and consecrated temples looks almost like the dream city Lisbon.

4 floors of the ancient Sat Burzam Ghor had now been completely destroyed. But this edifice with historical values should be witnessed on the way for rest of its 3 floors. Even though there are few travelers who access the city but it definitely has got its prominence as a commercial and cultural capital of Goa now. Holiday makers who get down at Margao railway station should avail a bus to Panjim. It takes 1 ¼ hours to reach Panjim from Margao.

Take a walk to the market, positioned adjacent to the railway station. If you want, then you can buy some patent substances of Goa from this market as well.

The Church of the Holy Spirit was erected on the ruins of the Hindu hallowed temple during 1564. It, however, was destroyed by brutal Muslim force in 1589. Tourists now can watch the splendor of the newly built church (1675). The walls of the Church are festooned with altars and crystal works. The golden pillar is standing at the back end of the throne. The windows of the Church resemble the structural elegances of the conch shells. These windows offer the Church altogether a different looks.

The ultra modern port of West India, Marmagao, is only 1 km away from Margao. Anchored ships are coming from all over the world. Even though Marmagao was once a popular spot of Goa but all those historical evidences have now been lost. Once upon a time there was a historical fort which was owned by Portuguese merchants during 1683.

Marmagao has now become a well connected city which is accessible by bus from Goa and many more cities of West and South India. Frequent bus services from Margao to Colva Beach are available. The beautiful Gokarn Beach, at the border of Karnataka and Goa is accessing from Margao as well. Karwar can also be accessed from Margao by bus in 4 ½ hours. Frequent bus services are available on this route as well. The city of Margao is located at a distance of 1 km away towards the south- eastern side of the railway station. Another important spot of Margao, the Kadamba bus stand is not more than 1 ½ km away from the city premise. Different places of Margao are well connected with each other by autos and by taxis. For any assistance, you can contact Goa Tourism Tourists Office in Margao Residency @ 2222513.

The consecrated Damodar temple (about 2 km away from Kadamba Bus Stand), Municipal and Children’s Park (Adjacent to the city bus stand), 46 feet tall idol of Mirabai and Rua do abode Faria Church Square are the other sought after tourists’ destinations of Margao. The scenic view of the entire city from the Monte Hill would impress one and all.

Lutolim, about 10 km away towards the north- eastern side of the city of Margao, is a charming destination as all of the roadside homes of the city recalls the memories of the age- old Portuguese architectural splendors. About 13 km away towards the eastern side of Margao, the museum town, Chandor, is another nearby place which is also adorned with wonderful looking roadside homes. Stylish Portuguese architectural touches are prominent on the decoration and structures of these homes as well. Hire an auto or taxi to move to various spots of Margao.

The newest allurement of Margao is “The Museum of Christian Art” which is first of its kinds in Asia. About 12 km off Margao, the museum was built during 1994 and is exhibiting impeccable assortments of time-honored and historical articles of Goa. A nail of a finger of St. Xavier is maintained with due respect in the museum as well. The museum is open to the mass every day of the week except on Mondays.

Ponda: Ponda, on the Panjim- Bangalore NH- 4A, is situated 17 km away towards north- eastern side of Margao.

The historical Safa Mosque, erected by Adil Shah during 1560, is the prime allurement of Ponda and is, however, in ruins now. About 2 km away towards the western corridor of Ponda, the likeable holy mosque, is small but imposing. It looks even more attractive along with the towering mountains at the back end. The local and Bijapuri architectural touches are commingles and are significant on the bow- shaped vault of this hallowed mosque. The roof on the rectangular base is made up of terracotta laterite tiles. Muslim spiritual crowds celebrate both Eid- Ul- Fitr and Eid- Ul- Zoha with fervor on the premise of the well- known mosque. Another distinguished and prominent enticement nearby is Adil Shah Fort. This historical fort was severely hit and damaged by Portuguese during 1549 but later on in 1675 it was again revamped by Shivaji.

Access the Hindu territory, Ponda, going beyond the Zuari River from Margao. There are no beaches where you can sit and listen to the melodious tunes of waves in Ponda but approximately 12 holy temples (Kamakshi, Shantadurga etc) are scattered on the premise of Ponda. All these temples attract huge numbers of pilgrims on a regular basis. The ambience around is marvelous. Green nature here would warmly welcome you. You would fall in love with the town of Ponda. City dwellers of Ponda earn money by producing mangoes, jackfruits, areca nut, cardamoms, cloves and peppers in large quantities.

The very old and unique Shantadurga temple, about 2 ½ km away towards western side of Ponda in Kavalem, was built way back in 1738 by Shahuji, the grandson of Shivaji. The 400 years old Shantadurga temple in Velha was erected by emperors of Dolapur. The calm and quiet Jagadamba with her four arms is residing in the Garbha Griha, made up of silver and is blessing all her admirers. Shiva and Vishnu both are being worshipped in this holy temple by their followers as well. The rectangular entrance, at the eastern side of the temple, depicts the excellent Romanesque architectures. The Dipmal greets people right at the entrance of the temple. The elevated roof of tiles is artistically placed on the circular shaped pillar. The red tiled floor of the central hall, Jar lantern of Belgium glass, ornate arch and tiles roof are praiseworthy allurements of the temple. The best month to visit this place is December during the famously observed festivity.

If you are interested to witness the impressive grandeur of the Shantadurga temple, then you can avail a conducted tour to Ponda. Hire a rickshaw from the Ponda bus stand to the temple. Frequent bus services are available from Ponda to Panjim as well. Margao is also connected to Ponda by bus. It’s not a bad idea to stay for a day or two in Ponda.

Located at an altitude of 200 feet, the Farmagudi hill retreat is an appealing destination which is not more than 28 km away from Panjim. Two adjacent hills are covered entirely by green foliage. The hill resort of GTDC is positioned atop one hill where as the other one houses a park which resembles a fabulous structure of a captivating Maratha fort. Sambhaji, the son of Shivaji, had protected his territory from the hilltop from Portuguese during 1683. To recall the brave story of Sambhaji a commemorative has also been built atop the hill. Spend quality time here to witness the pretty and spectacular sunset. The natural splendor around these two hills is worth watching.

To stay at the top of the hill overnight, you can book your room in Farmagudi Residency of GTDC.

The righteous Ganapati temple, at the foot hill, is an epitome of luxurious architectural stateliness and pomp. The buses which ply from Panjim to Ponda are touching Farmagudi on their ways.

The Lord Manguesh temple houses an incarnation of Shiva. This holy and coveted Shiva temple is located at a distance of 22 km away from Panjim, on NH- 4A. The holy temple, built during 1700, showcases the chief lingam on its prime and foremost throne. It is believed that the deity visits this holy premise all the way from Cortalim. The tiny tila of this place is surrounded by enthralling green mountains. The octagonal 7 storied white color Dipmal looks almost like the Gopuram of South Indian temples. This admirable architectural edifice is placed right at the entrance.

Dharamshala, situated adjacent to the holy Lord Manguesh temple, accommodates all the spiritual people and tourists who assemble to witness the spirituality.

Even though the Indian singing sensation Lata Mangeshkar was born in Indore but her actual home was in Shri Manguesh.

The Hindu deity Vishnu has appeared as Shri Lakshmi (Shri Mahalsa) in the temple of Mardol, about 2 km away towards the southern side of Shri Manguesh. The deity had emerged here during 17th century from Salcete talukas. Ten incarnations of Vishnu are engraved on the walls of the divine temple. Another batch of people, however, opines that Shri Mahalsa is the other name of the Hindu Goddess Kali. The pillar of Garuda, made up of brass, is positioned at the entrance of the Mardol temple. The agreeable Navadurga temple and Ganapati of black marbles in Marbela are the other nearby tourists’ interests. About 5 km away from ponda, the virtuous Shri Ramnath Ji temple in Kovalam, houses one of the wealthiest and prettiest deities of Goa. If you see the Sabha Mandapam of this finicky temple, then you would be able to remember the striking structure of the attention grabbing Golden Temple of Amritsar.

Bogmalo: About 8 km away towards the north- western side of Vasco, Bogmalo sea beach, is not a lingering beach where you can take a walk for hours but the beach is truly stunning. You would be able to gaze at the dance of the dolphins here and it’s going to be an amazing experience for everyone. The half moon shaped sea beach of Bogmalo is hidden in the palm trees. Main inhabitants around the beach are fishermen.

The Chapel on the village premise has a milk-white color. If you are a beach lover, then it won’t be a bad idea to travel to the nearby Zortino and Velsao beaches. Buses ply often to these beaches from Vasco. Few hotels are available at Bogmalo for staying overnight for the tourists.

The wonderful Majorda beach, located towards the northern side of Colva, is one of the most attractive beach destinations of Salcete, especially for the beach lovers. Animated dolphins lively dance performances here to entertain the hordes of holiday makers.

A relatively peaceful beach destination, situated at the southern side of Majorda is Betalbatim. You can sit on the white sands of the serene beach in the evening. The quite blue ocean waves would touch your feet.

Adjoining Mobor and Covelossim beaches are mainly accessed by the fishermen. People in the vicinity know these beaches for pomfrets, lobsters fishes and crabs. Dolphins and Sharks are can also be seen here.

Tourists would be able to watch the wonderful ambiance of these beaches staying in the nearby hotels and resorts of these beaches.

Colva Beach: Colva, the King of the beaches, is located amidst south Goa. About 6 km away towards the western side of Margao, Colva, is covered in deep green coconut foliage.

Tourists generally access Colva by availing a bus or by hiring a taxi from the main city. Frequent bus services are available to Colva from Margao. It takes half an hour to reach Colva from Margao. Buses ply to Colva beach from Panjim as well. Mini bus, auto and taxis are also available on this route. Kolva, also known as Koleam, houses a number of hotels where tourists can enjoy their stay at.

The beautiful white sands and natural locale of this beach pull countless numbers of tourists. Tourists who visit here to explore this wonderful beach enjoy the shades of palm, Tamal and coconut trees. Even before few days, foreigners used to stay inside the huts which were covered up with palm leaves and used to take pleasure in sunbaths. But, now strict laws have restricted the visits of hippies. Anthology of entertainment items are there for amusements of the throng of holiday makers. Blue waves of the untamed ocean and clear sky draw attention of the tourists as well. Nature of Colva changes its color quite often here. Natives and overseas tourists love to take a dip in the translucent water of the ocean of Colva.

Christian tourists should not miss the opportunity to gaze at the spectacle of the nearby holy Church of Our Lady of the Miracles (1581).

Benoulim: The quiet and tranquil tropical paradise, about 2 km away towards the southern side of the Colva beach, is Benoulim. It’s a fascinating paradise for all the tourists who love to enjoy sea bath. A number of mythological and historical tales are attached to the city of Benoulim.

The dwellers of the hamlet of fishermen, Benoulim, earn money by farming and selling fishes. The Benoulim village is surrounded by sea beaches and sand dunes.

The Church of St John the Baptist, atop the hill, is located at the end way of the village.

Another heavenly destination for the tourists who love to take a bath is the Varca beach, about 10 km away towards the southern side of Benoulim. The impressiveness of the holy Varca Church would overwhelm you for sure.

Besides the lavish Resort de Goa and Ramada Renaissance, a number of other hotels are there in Benoulim as well. Tourists can even stay in the rooms of the local inhabitants.

Cavelossim beach is 7 km and 11 km away from Varca and Colva respectively. The fish port and one of the most beautiful sea beaches of Goa is Betul. Inhabitants of Betul get shelter in the dark and cool grove of palm, coconut, jackfruits, papaya and banana trees. It is not very far away from Benoulim. The development of Betul has taken place with the laudable initiative of IPSEN.

The salubrious climate and cool breeze of the nearby Mabor sea beach are worthy of mention.

Cabo de Rama, on NH-17, located at the southern side of Mabor and Betul sea beaches, is a time-honored Gumpha which is admired regularly by innumerable people. According to the mythological belief, Shri Ramchandra and his wife, Sita had stayed here for few days during their exile. But, this place is pulling crowds these days for the longstanding fort. The actual name of the builder of this fort is yet to be known. Even though the riveting and ancient fort today is in ruins but the surrounding fortification is effortlessly giving the fort the required protection. The dotted cannons, near the historical rampart, are standing alone to recall the past glory story. The historical value of the consecrated Church, positioned right at the entrance of the fort, is immense. On the ancient fort premise, two hot springs are still drawing attention. Apart from the historical evidences, the top most position of the captivating fort, gives tourists a priceless opportunity to catch a glimpse of the panoramic surroundings.

There are no dearths of marvelous beaches. Another impressive one in the vicinity is Palolam beach, about 47 km away towards the extreme southern tip of Margao. Are you searching for peace? If yes, then there is probably no better place than Palolem. You can spend an entire day, just sitting quietly on the prolonged beach watching the crystal clear water of the beautiful ocean. If you are bored, then just run and touch the transparent waves.

Ordinary hotels and food court in Palolem beach would entertain you on your stay at Palolem.

Canacona: Placed alone at the farthest southern corner of South Goa, Canacona, is a prominent tourists’ allurement for its enthralling backwater. Going beyond the Sal River to access the pretty Canacona would unfold plenty of enjoyable natural mysteries to you. Enjoy it to the fullest. The land of the backwater, Canacona, on the NH-17 (Panjim- Karwar), is blessed with natural wonders.

Christian spiritual crowds should not miss the opportunity to witness the grandness of the nearby hallowed heaven, the Church.

Even though the flocking tourists are not enticed with the sumptuousness of Chaudi but it’s an important spot in the close proximity as it is the district head quarter of Canacona.

For another eventful day, refresh your mood and travel for excitement towards the imposing beach of Palolem to play with the golden sands. Breeze, coming all the way from the ocean, would create a cool sensation. The beach is really a treat to the eyes as Nature has offered everything she could provide to Palolem. Soaring mountains, spread-out bushes and most importantly, the ocean waves prove it. About 40 km away from Margao, this is a venerable and coveted picturesque destination in the shades of green and swaying coconut trees.

Half moon shaped Palolem is definitely not very big but is a sought after tourists’ destination of South Goa. Float along with the vivacious ocean waves on a boat to watch the playful dolphins.

Buses ply to Canacona in every half an hour from Panjim and Margao. The nearest railway station of Canacona is Canacona, about 3 km away from the city. Trains travel to Mumbai and Mangalore from Canacona. Konkan railways connect various contiguous places easily. Innumerable beaches of South Goa can be accessed comfortably since the onset of Konakan railways.

Few of the noteworthy hotels around are Palolem Beach Resort; Hi- Tide Beach Huts, Bhakti Kutir, Fernandez Cottage, Mari Guest House, Eco Tourists Complex, Dunhil Beach Resort, Kindlebaga and Molyma- Rajbag Beach. Hotel Molyma is another notable hotel which is not more than 2 km away from Canacona.

About 10 km away towards the northern Chaudi, the Agonda sea beach is beautiful but not many tourists access this beach due to non-cooperation of inhabitants.

Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary: A place to watch natural denizens at their very own den is Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, about 60 km away from Panaji, on NH-17. To watch all of them at one place and get astonished, you have to take a trip to the sanctuary during October- March.

The core area of the sanctuary, covering a straggling 105 square km of green territory, can be best viewed if you can hire your own car to go deep inside the pretty forest. You, however, have to avail a bus from Chaudi, about 10 km away from the wildlife sanctuary and get down at the entrance of the woodland.

The watch tower inside the forest is the best place to gaze at the wondrous nature closely. You can book a place in the rest house nearby and on the tower for staying overnight. For booking information you can contact the Deputy Conservator of Forests @ (0832) - 2229701. For any other enquiry, feel free to contact the Cotigao Sanctuary Office @ (0832) - 2965601.

For a hassle free journey you can avail a bus from Margao to different places, such as, Colva, Benoulim, Cavelossim and Varca.

The holy Math of 500 years and the butterfly beach are the other contiguous attractions.

Vasco-da-Gama: The modern city with contemporary amenities and facilities is Vasco- da- Gama, located on the longest River of Goa, Zuari.

This is the end way railway station of India. The one and only airport of Goa is located in Dabolim, about 4 km away towards the north- western side of Vasco.

Bengali communities in Vasco organize Durga Puja here in the second largest city of Goa. Approximately 1500 Bengali families are spending their lives away from their natives. Ferry services are available to Vasco from Dona Paula. Hundreds of people are regularly traveling to Panjim from Vasco.

Tourists, however, are fascinated mainly watching the splendor of the city of Vasco. There are not many attractive tourists’ destinations in Vasco though.

Velsad and Arossim beaches are located in between Bogmalo and Majorda sea beaches.

Pilar Seminary: Built by Capuchin missionaries, Pilar, is the coveted pilgrimage and education center, located at a distance of 11 km away towards the southern side of Panjim. The modern Church Pilar is positioned at the highest hill top of Goa.

The portrait of Jishu (made up of colored glasses), multihued frescoes and the artistic curtain at the back end of the throne are the striking enticements of the Church Pilar. Holiday makers are entertained comprehensively with the reflection of sun rays during the sunrise. Climb up the Pilar to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the Zuari River and the city of Mormugao. The very old but unique Shiva temple has now been destroyed but the headless idol of Nandi is still recollecting the old memories.

The holy Brahma temple at Carambolim can be accessed easily from Karmali railway station.

Old Goa: Built by Yusuf Adil Shah during 15th century, the old Goa is positioned at a distance of 10 km away towards the eastern side of Panjim. Earlier it was a well protected city on the southern banks of the Mandovi River. It was safeguarded with a moat outside as well. Tourists, nevertheless, would not be able to witness the old and distinguished cultures of Old Goa as most of the palaces, temples and mosques had either been completely shattered or in ruins.

Later on, the city of Ela (Old Goa) got its new look, thanks to the initiatives of Portuguese. The name of the city had been changed to Velha. Structures of the edifices and splendors of the city had also been changed immensely. Innumerable evidences of Hindu customs and traditions have been brutally destroyed by Portuguese. In place of the impressive historical structures, countless numbers of Churches started to show their heads in and around Goa. It was a period of turmoil and obliterations.

The city, nonetheless, had started to rebuild itself later on. Barrack at the western side of the city, Mint, Foundry, Arsenal, Hospital and Jails were erected during the reconstruction process. Besides these edifices, the factory of ships, offices of Governments and Business would show tourists the cultures and architectures of old Goa. Take a walk to the eastern corridor of Old Goa to access the historical fort of Adil Shah. It was once famously known as the Rome of the East.

Historical battles that had taken place a number of times on the premise of Old Goa had made a lot of problems to the dwellers of the Museum City.

The significant Chapel of St. Catherine was innovatively structured using Laterite stones. The most interesting part of this splendid edifice is that, it has been entirely wrapped in limestone. The ancient Christian epitome, the Chapel of St. Catherine, atop the holy hill is placed right in the middle of the city and is pulling crowds on a regular basis. The Se Cathedral and Basilica of Bom Jesus are the other adjoining sought after tourists’ allurement.

Tourists should also not miss the grandeur of the archeological museum, portrait gallery, convent of St. John God, Royal Chapel of St. Antony (1543), Tower of St. Augustine and Chapel of our Lady of the Rosary. The entire city and its impressive tourists’ enticements can be seen by hiring an auto or a car. The Old Goa has included its name in the list of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO.

One of the prominent pilgrimages of Catholics, The Basilica De Bom Jesus, displays an excellent and modish architecture on granite stones and sand stones. Constructed during 1594- 1605, this worth mentioning pilgrimage, depicts Doric architectural panache. The class- apart architectural sumptuousness, exhibited on the walls inside, is a classical example of an ancient art form. The exterior walls are worth watching as well. According to a popular belief, this primeval Church resembles the traditional structure of the holy Mother Church Gesu of Rome. The throne which was formed for prayer looks remarkable for its well bejeweled Gilti works. The prime throne here is pre occupied with the idol of St Ignatius, the builder of the Society of Jesus. The idol of Child Jesus (Bom Jesus) is there as well.

The crest at the top of the church is an appealing evidence of Italian architectural flair. The life stories of St. Francis are demonstrated by Mural pictures. The dead body of St. Xavier is being enclosed in a silver coffin for last 10 years in the prayer hall of the historical church. It was a well festooned coffin with valuables and pearls previously. The darkness inside the hall is a cause of worry for many. The skeleton of St. Xavier is exhibited once every 12 years to his followers for three hours on his death day. His followers gather on the premise to pay tribute all the way from various corners of the world. If you want to watch it, then you have to grab the opportunity with both hands on 3rd December, 2014. The death anniversary of St. Xavier is celebrated with utmost interest and zeal on 3rd December every year. Tourists and admirers of St. Xavier congregate here during this time of the year. One of his fingers had fallen in 1890 and is maintained in a crystal box. To recall his memories, parts of his body had been shifted to different nations of the world for his admirers.

Followers, who assemble here during the occasion, can stay in the temporary shacks here. Special launch moves between Panjim and Old Goa during the festivity. During this festival, it would be tough to get a room in the hotel of Panjim, if it is not booked well in advance. The contiguous Art Gallery was built in memories of ancient Goa and its inhabitants. The Basilica de Bom Jesus is now a World Heritage Site of India.

The commemorative called the Chapel of St. Catherine recollects the old memories of St Catherine and Albuquerque. The memorial, built with thatch and soil, was later on after 2 years given a shape with stones.

The largest of all churches of Asia, the Se Cathedral (150 feet width, 181 feet width and 116 feet tall) was erected during 1562- 1652 on a mosque. It was dedicated to St Catherine. Portuguese and Gothic architectural excellence are prominently visible on the creative structure of the cenotaph. The exterior walls of the cathedral exhibits tashkandi architecture where as the walls inside the cathedral display a class apart architectural touch of the dexterous artists of the Corinthian architectures. A series of pillars inside decorate the cathedral. 15 different deity thrones are artistically engraved on the walls as well. The main throne showcases crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Gilti architecture is quite significantly shown on this throne. The best part of the architectural splendor is that, it displays a natural commingling of both Hindu and Muslim architectures. The exciting architectural grandeur of the Cathedral has a power to enthrall everyone who visits the destination. The murals of the cathedral depict innovatively the pretty artistic touches of St Catherine (Died in 307) of Alexandria. 4 chapels are there at both the sides of the cathedral. The mysterious and holy cross, recovered from the hilltop of Sahyadri hill is one of the biggest enticements of the church. It’s still passionately maintained in the cathedral. Previously there were two crests of the cathedral but the southern one was destroyed in 1776. Devotees, who assemble on the premise of the Church, ring the 5 hanging bells, kept in the Church. One of these bells is golden (1692). This golden bell on the northern crest is not only the biggest in Goa but is one of the most appealing one in the entire world. When used to ring, inhabitants who used to stay in a diameter of 10 km of the city, used to get the message of the onset of the festival called “auto da fes”. This was the prime church which used to control the activities of the other Churches of Goa.

Nunnery of Sania Monica, the one and only Math (1606- 1627) of Goa for women, is situated at the opposite side of the Bom Jesus. It was severely hit by devastating fire in 1636 but later on, was reconstructed once again. It was once known as the Royal Monastery as well. The Mater Dei Institute was a Math where 250 women devotees used to stay at. The portraits on the surrounded fortification of the fort-shaped Math are praiseworthy. The Chapel shaped Math also exhibits tales of the Bible.

Located towards the south- western side of the Cathedral, the Palace of the Inquisition (1561- 1774) is another notable attraction. The underground jail or Dungeon is placed underneath the hall.

The Convent & Church of St Francis of Assissi was an imposing creation of 8 Bhikshus. It showcases Portuguese Gothic architectural magnificence and resembles the pretty structure of St Piter’s Basilica. The Assissi got its newer shape during 1661. It is one of the grandest attractions of Old Goa. Even though it looks clumsy for its set up but the worshiping throne with Gilti works, well ornamented walls, wooden architectures and life stories of St Francis depicted on Murals are laudable allurements of the Church.

The Church of St Francis, built in 1521, is another adjoining majestic crowd puller.

The rich Archeological Museum is located at the back end of the Assissi. Visit this spot to witness the assortment of Portuguese substances. The sculptures and architectural evidences of Chalukya and Hoysala temples are kept here and are the classical examples of primeval substances. The well maintained model of the war ship of Alfonso de Albuquerque looks impressive and recalls the historical bygone era.

The Arch of the Vice roys, the historical commemorative of Vasco Da Gama was built by his grandson, on the banks of the River Mandovi, at the same place where Vasco Da Gama had put his footstep for the first time. An idol of Vasco Da Gama nearby also was built in his memories. The Vice roys Church had been revamped in 1954 as well.

The striking Gateway of Adil Shah demonstrates significantly the Hindu architectural excellence. Stare at the grandness of the entrance and recollect the historical reminiscences quietly. It was erected during 1471 by a Hindu emperor.

The famous and divine St Cajetan’s Church, made up of Laterite stones bears a resemblance to the St Peter’s Basilica. The Corinthian architectural flair, shown on the structure of the Church, makes this Church a unique and singular attraction of South Goa. It was an imposing creation of Italian Bhikshu, Pope Urban III. It was built in 1665 on the banks where ferries start their journey from. Ships which used to carry coffins to Lisbon used to stop for sometime in the Catacomb.

Besides the popular Churches, countless numbers of other Churches are dotted in and around South Goa as well. Most of these Churches were erected during the ruling period of Portuguese but tourists don’t get attracted towards these consecrated and ancient Churches.

Roadside homes, slender tracts, inspiring balcony and red tiled roofs are the luxurious epitomes of the Portuguese architectural grandeur. The scattered markets were immensely popular previously but now the appeal of these ancient markets had diminished. Small bars and roadside tea huts are quenching thirsts of the tourists though. Some of the signboards in the vicinity are written in Portuguese language. A lot of city dwellers still recall the old and distinguished Portuguese cultures and mores by wearing patent Portuguese attires.

The prime and foremost temple on Divar Island, however, was destructed by the atrocious Portuguese merchants but later on, the holy Shri Saptakoteshwar temple was built in Narve, about 37 km away from Panjim. The temple, constructed during the ruling period of the Kadamba dynasty, houses the Hindu deity, Saptakoteshwar or Shiva. It has now become a popularly known Hindu pilgrimage point of Goa. This ancient and remarkable Hindu temple was revamped by Shivaji in 1668.

About 40 km away from Panjim, Shri Mallikarjuna temple, was built during 16th century by the emperor Habu. The appealing opulence of this renowned temple is admirable and commendable. The pretty and impressive carvings, illustrated on the wooden pillars of the divine temple, are laudable. More than 60 idols of the Hindu deities are pulling innumerable Hindu pilgrims here. The hallowed temple was restructured in 1778. The Rathasapthami festival, observed during the month of February, is a momentous occasion in the close proximity. You should not miss the opportunity to witness the divine power of the temple.

Namjoga, built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, commemorates the winning memories of the joint troop of Mughal emperors and Shambhaji. The balanced and strong force had defeated the Portuguese troop effortlessly.

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