Photo Credit : monsieur paradis
The largest and capital city of Goa lies on the banks of the Mandovi River endowed with patio hills, concrete red tiled roofed buildings with balconies, churches, lakeshore marina and streets lined with gulmohar and acacia trees gives it an ambiance of Portugal.
Panaji- The Capital City
Praca da Igreja or The Church Square aka Municipal Garden bears the Baroque Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, formerly built in the year of 1541 by the Portuguese.
The old and reconstructed Adilshahi Palace of 16th century, the Institute of the Menezes Braganza, the Mahalaxmi Temple, the Jama Masjid, the St. Sebastian Chapel, Fontainhas area, Miramar Beach, Hanuman Mandir and Don Bosco Oratory that carries the vestiges of St. John Bosco gives Panaji a supreme position in the map of world tourism.
Let’s have a bird view of places close to Panaji.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
The church is located in Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese Empire. This basilica holds the mortal relics of St. Francis Xavier and it is listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO, as this church was India’s first minor basilica and best example for baroque architecture in India.
The structuring of the church began in 1594 and it was consecrated in 1605. This monument is a landmark in the history of Christianity.
Ashwem beach, one of the remote beaches of Goa is really beautiful, rocky and a local picnic spot. The North End and the South End of this beach is bounded with other two famous beaches such as Mandrem and Morjim. Despite of several beach shacks, this beach offers beach huts made of palm leaves in the form of little resorts for accommodation.
It is also the nesting place of the Olive Ridley Turtle and it is a great place to refresh and relax.
Old Goa or Velha Goa
It is a historical city in North Goa constructed by the Bijapur Sultanate in the 15th century as a port on the banks of Mandovi River, and it served as capital of Portuguese 16th century to 18th century.
The residue of the city is enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The famous churches affiliated to various congregations such as the Se Cathedral, seat of Archbishop of Goa, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the Basilica of Bom Jesus are sited here.
It’s a huge temple complex at the foothill of Kavalem village of Goa. A small laterite mud shrine was built earlier and it was converted into a beautiful temple devoted to Shantadurga, the goddess who is the mediator of Vishnu and Shiva. The deity also called Santeri is the family deity of many Gouda Saraswathi Brahmins.
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church
It was former built as a chapel in 1541 by the Portuguese and restored as the larger church at present, silhouette of a wedding cake.
It is constructed in Baroque Architecture and the facade is painted super white. A laterite walkway and a straight streak of thin palm trees add the scenic beauty around the church.
It is the cathedral of the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Goa and Daman and the seat of the Patriarch of the East Indies. It is located in Old Goa and it is largest church in India and one of the largest churches in Asia, devoted to Catherine of Alexandria.
Se Cathedral is one of the oldest and most celebrated sacred buildings in Goa.
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary
Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, spread over an area of 1.78 sq. meters is located at the western tip of the Chorao Island along the river Mandovi and fully covered with mangrove species.
The whole region has mangrove vegetation. The sanctuary has colourful resident and migratory birds and it is a habitat for plankton, shrimps, prawns and small Fish.
Varieties of local as well as migratory birds frequently visit the area. This sanctuary can be visited anytime for the year with permission.
The sanctuary is amicable by walk after crossing over by ferry from Ribandar to Chorao.
The Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park
This sanctuary rich in wildlife covers an area of 240 Sq. Meters of thick forest clad slopes of Western Ghats and its valleys and it is the biggest of the three wildlife sanctuaries of Goa.
Besides the flora and fauna, this sanctuary holds many significant geological and historical features and it’s a haven for bird watchers.
Dhudsagar Waterfalls, The Devil Canyon and the famous lord Mahadeva Temple are cited in the vicinity of this sanctuary.
Goa State Museum
The Goa State Museum located in Panaji, the capital city of Goa was inaugurated in 1996 by the President of India. The artefacts of the Department of Archives in Goa by the Archaeology & Museum unit were relocated to this new museum complex.
The museum displays stone sculptures, wooden objects, carvings, bronzes, paintings, manuscripts, rare coins, numismatic collection, anthropological stuffs and artefacts of Hinduism and Jainism.
Ponder in the thoughts of the past while stepping out the archive.
Butterfly Beach that beckons with silver sands and lucid waters is calm and quiet beach. It is not accessible via road; it needs upon a trek of around two hours through woody areas to get here.
A ferry ride is available from Palolem Beach to reach this place. The hills and thick vegetation fringing the sands add more to the glamour of the beach. It is among the wacky places to visit in Goa.
It is situated on the Island of Corjuem and was constructed in the year 1551. Though it is smaller compared to the other forts, it gives a good view of the surrounding river and land and it more like a solitary settlement.
Pilar Seminary Museum
The Society of Pilar owns the Pilar Seminary Museum and has been recognised by the Department of Culture, Government of Goa.
The Museum is divided into three sections namely, Pre Portuguese Govapuri, Pilar under Capuchos and Carmelites and Pilar collections today respectively and consist of stone sculptures and artefacts of the pre-portuguese Govapuri; Stone tablets of the 17th Century; Treasures of silver, Gold and pottery; Wodden carved statues of 15th and 18th Century; Paintings in wood and canvas; Priceless ivory pieces; Handwritten manuscripts, Silver Coins dated 185 bc and 11th to 18th century, It has a collection of very old and rare postage stamps. It also has a collection of postage stamps released in the memory of Blessed Joseph Vaz during the Portuguese Rule in Goa.