Overview to Old Goa
Situated in the Tiswadi taluka (Ilhas) of the North Goa district, in the Indian state of Goa, Old Goa is a historical location and city. It is situated on the southern banks of the River Mandovi.
In the fifteenth century A.D., the Bijapur Sultanate founded the city. It served as the capital of Portuguese Indian possessions after the Portuguese conquest of Goa, including the territory of Mumbai/Bombay (Bom Bahia) and the state of Kochi/Cochin (Cochim), until its abandonment in the 18th century AD due to a plague. It is believed that during Portuguese rule, the city had a population of close to 200,000, from which the spice trade was conducted throughout the Portuguese East Indies.
UNESCO has designated the deserted city as a World Heritage Site. Panjim (Portuguese: Nova Goa, lit. “New Goa”), the current state capital, is located about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) east of Old Goa.
The sultans of Bijapur founded the city as a port on the banks of the Mandovi River in the 15th century. After Bijapur, Old Goa served as the seat of the Adil Shahi Dynasty. It was enclosed by a moat and housed the palace, mosques, and temples of the shah. As the administrative center of Portuguese India, the city came under Portuguese control after being taken by them in 1510.
In 1759, the viceroy’s residence was moved to Panjim, the future capital (a village located about 9 kilometers to the west). At Old Goa, there aren’t many, if any, remains from the pre-Portuguese era.
The Portuguese colony of Goa, particularly Velha Goa, served as the East’s primary hub for Christianization in the middle of the 16th century. All religious orders evangelized the city because it was the location of their headquarters. By 1543, the population had reached about 200,000. The city was largely abandoned in the 17th century due to cholera and malaria epidemics, with only 1,500 people left in the city in 1775.
The viceroy then relocated to Panjim. Up until 1843, when it was moved to Panjim (Ponnjê in Konkani, Nova Goa in Portuguese, and Panaji in Hindi), it remained the de jure capital of Goa. To distinguish it from the new capital Nova Goa (Panjim) and possibly also from Goa Velha (also meaning “Old Goa”), the Portuguese name for the town on the former site of Govapuri, the abandoned city came to be known as “Velha Goa” (in Portuguese, “Old Goa”).
Top 10 Places to Visit in Old Goa
In one trip, Goa cannot be fully explored. Every time you visit, focus on a particular area and leisurely explore it. So, learn everything there is to know about Goa’s tourist attractions and make a super-exciting trip there for an unforgettable experience.
1. Divar Island
Divar Island, a cute little island on the Mandovi River that is away from all the hustle and bustle, is one of the best places to see in old Goa. During the chaos, it makes for the ideal hiding place. This is one of Old Goa’s best-kept secrets and is accessible from Viceroy’s Arch by ferry. If you schedule your trip for August, you can participate in the Bonderam Festival, which honors the harvest. Unquestionably, it ranks among the best tourist attractions in Old Goa.
2. Basilica Of Bom Jesus
One of the top tourist destinations in Goa is the 16th-century Basilica of Bom Jesus. The recognizable brick-colored building is a World Heritage Monument and is frequently visited by tourists. The basalt pillars, walls, and sloped tile roof of the Basilica are some of its most impressive architectural features. The church altar, gilded pillars, and walls all have elaborate Latin and Portuguese inscriptions.
3. Se Cathedral – Old Goa’s Famous Landmark
The oldest church in Asia and the largest one still in use is Se Cathedral, which was built in the sixteenth century. Include this in your itinerary if you’re going to Goa for three days. It has Iberian architecture and the tall ceilings display mosaic art and wooden carvings. Rich paintings adorn the walls, and the church is shaped like a typical crucifix. The church is open seven days a week from seven-thirty to six and on Sundays from seven-fifteen to ten. As a result, consider the timings when planning your visit.
4. Tomb Of St. Francis Xavier – Popular Church In Goa
Another of the top attractions in Old Goa is the Tomb of St. Francis Xavier, which is housed in a chapel inside the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This is St. Francis Xavier’s tomb, a revered Portuguese saint. The saint, who was brought back to Goa after passing away in China, was very well-liked there. The saint’s remains are displayed in public once every ten years in a tomb made of marble and jasper.
5. Reis Magos Fort – One Of Goa’s Oldest Citadels
Reis Magos Fort, one of the top tourist attractions in historic Goa, is a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life. One of the earliest citadels of Old Goa, the Fort was constructed in 1707 at the mouth of the Mandovi River. One of the strangest things to do in Goa is to visit this attraction. The tall minarets and vivid red lateritic walls can be seen from all over the Bardez Taluk. Additionally nearby is the Reis Magos Church, one of the top attractions in Old Goa.
6. Fontainhas – A Small Latin Establishment
One of the most well-known tourist destinations in Old Goa is a tiny Latin restaurant called Fontainhas, located in Panjim. With many brightly colored homes and a small spring to admire, this is unquestionably the best heritage walk destination nearby. Enjoying freshly baked treats from the local, historic bakeries is one of the must-do activities. A wishing well, the Chapel of St. Sebastian, and Altinho Hill are some of the area’s other attractions. It truly is one of Goa’s most seductive locations for couples. Check out: Top 10 Festivals of Punjab
7. St. Augustine Ruins – Iberian Architecture
A popular tourist destination in Old Goa and one of Goa’s most recognizable historical locations is the St. Augustine Ruins site. The tower, which was constructed in the 17th century, was originally 46 meters high. The church’s Iberian architecture is among the top three Iberian structures in the world. Due to a lack of maintenance, the structure is currently in ruins.
8. Chapel Of Our Lady Of The Mount – Stunning Panoramas
Visiting the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount with your family or friends will make for an exciting day out. The church is perched atop a hill, making it an exhilarating challenge to ascend it. Beautiful views of Divar Island, Chorao, and the Mandovi River can be enjoyed from the chapel. The nearby Church of St. Cajetan is accessible on the same day and can be explored. locations to see in Old Goa.
9. Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum of Goa houses artifacts from the early historic, prehistoric, and late medieval periods while surrounded by lush greenery and the gorgeous Goan sky. In addition to its collection, the Museum provides breathtaking photo opportunities and a stunning facade. Numerous statues and sculptures are also present.
10. Wax World Museum – Beautiful Wax Statues
One of only a few large wax museums in India is the Wax World Museum in Old Goa. A large collection of 30 life-size paraffin statues are kept there. Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi both have statues here that are among the most well-known. But the statue of Jesus Christ’s Last Supper is one piece of art that draws a lot of visitors. A guided tour is offered and is available in both Hindi and English. No photography is allowed in the museum. To help you remember your visit, you can purchase mementos from the gift shop. It is among the top attractions in Old Goa.
Goa is often referred to as one of the top travel destinations for the young and restless because it is the party capital of India. Goa has many faces, including celebrations, beach shacks, hotels with on-site spas, beach bars, flea markets, and a sizable population of foreign visitors living in improvised settlements having fun with guitars, seafood, and alcohol. Goa is much more than just these things, though.
Amazing architecture, colonial landmarks, beach activities, cobblestone pathways, and breathtaking coastal scenery are all beautifully displayed in Old Goa. We’ve compiled a list of some of Old Goa’s top attractions in the post that comes after. Check them out for an exciting getaway. I hope this blog has improved your understanding of this subject. Please leave suggestions in the comments section of this blog if you’d like to learn more about other tourist attractions. In addition, you can find several other interesting blogs on our website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Amazing architecture, colonial landmarks, beach activities, cobblestone pathways, and breathtaking coastal scenery are all beautifully displayed in Old Goa. We’ve compiled a list of some of Old Goa’s top attractions in the post that comes after. Check them out for an exciting getaway.
Western India’s Goa state capital is Panaji, also spelt Panjim. It is located in the Mandavi River Estuary, which is where the river empties into the Arabian Sea. Up until the middle of the 18th century, Panaji was a small village. The Portuguese had to abandon Velha Goa (also known as Old Goa or Ela) because of recurrent plagues.
Alibaug, known as the “Mini Goa of Maharashtra,” has earned recognition as a tourist destination thanks to its pristine beaches, historic forts, and uncanny similarity to Goa.
Both are admirable and beautiful in their own right. Goa’s bustling north is well-known for its nightlife and shopping, while the state’s serene south is preferred for its undeveloped beaches and scenic drives. Take a look at this list of features if you’re having trouble deciding where to stay in Goa.
The beaches and temples of Goa, India, are well-known. Its primary industry is tourism, which is concentrated mostly in Goa’s coastal regions with minimal activity inland.
Goa is renowned for offering the best water sports and other adventure activities, including scuba diving, paragliding, parasailing, riding banana boats, and snorkeling.