Let’s Explore The Portuguese Have Left For Travelers In Goa!

Goa is undoubtedly a thrilling place not only for its unbeatable vibe but for its rich culture and history. Five hundred years ago, Portuguese arrived in Goa and everything changed for this state, a lot for best! From gorgeous churches to the popular Goa Carnival, a lot that we admire and love about Goa today hails from Portugal culture. There are many fascinating Goa vacation packages that will not only let you explore the North, beach and party side of Goa but the Old Goa as well, where the real history of Goa thrives!

Rich and unperturbed, this is the feeling that one has while walking through the pavements of Old Goa. The Portuguese came to Goa in the 16th century and stayed here till 18th. Its beautiful streets and Portugal style buildings still retain that charm of the bygone era.

The beautiful churches are another attraction of Old Goa that will never go unnoticed. The gorgeous murals on the inside, the enthralling architecture, the tranquillity in ambience, each and everything about these churches make them more than just a tourist attraction.

Once there were around 60 churches in Goa, but today only 7 imminent ones remain. Let us look at these beautiful churches that Portuguese have left for us to admire!

Se De Santa CatrinaSe De Santa Catrina

Built in the 17th century, this cathedral houses the beautiful Golden Bell, which is known to be the biggest in Goa. Also, the church is considered to be one of the largest churches in India and is a must visit.

Bom Jesus Basilica

Bom Jesus Basilica

Known to be as one of the finest specimens of Baroque architecture, this gorgeous 17th-century cathedral is listed amongst UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You must visit it once to experience pure tranquility.

Church of Lady Rosary.jpgChurch of St. Francis of Assisi

Located in North Goa, this church is easy to access from any hotel North Goa and one must for such is its magnificence- brilliant wooden craftsmanship, wonderful frescos, floral artwork, an abode of historical paintings, sculptures and artefacts, this is a church of immense beauty!

Church of Our Lady of Miracles.JPG

Church of Our Lady of Miracles

The church is built on a demolished Hindu temple and both Christians and Hindus believe this place to be sacred for praying. Indeed the church is miraculous for it truly defines ‘unity in diversity’ in India.

Chapel of St. Catherine.jpgChapel of St. Catherine

This simple yet elegantly designed church has undergone many modifications. It was initially built in 1510 by a Portuguese governor, but its present structure is a reflection of 1952’s modification and yet it retains its old world charm.

Church of St. Cajetan

Church of St. Cajetan

The beautiful structure of this church derives inspiration from original Basilica in Rome. It is nestled in close proximity to Viceregal Palace and Se Cathedral and one must explore the beauty of this one!

Church of Lady RosaryChurch of Lady Rosary

This unique church has a pint of Gothic in its design. It lies to the west of Basilica of Bom Jesus and boasts of two gorgeously designed chapels and several elaborate altars.

Old Goa, located near the capital of this splendid state, Panjim is one of the must visit places in Goa. An amble through the streets of this wonderful place and you’ll feel as if you are transported to an old European town. The calmness it possesses is a rarity in today’s world. So, abandon your lavish Goa hotel room for one day and take a peek into Goa’s rich history, just here in Portuguese town, ‘The Old Goa’.

Goa’s Mythological Tales of Yore

wyvern-portugoa-1024x599

Thousands of years ago the enchanted land of Goa was deeply submerged into the sea. How did it come into existence? How did life evolve in this beautiful state?

Goa’s origins are well rooted in its mythological history. As per the Skanda Purana and other Hindu Scriptures, Goa’s mysterious birth dates back to 12000 BC when the sage Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was banished from the lands he had once conquered. He therefore waited for an opportunity to claim land for himself. He shot seven arrows from the Sahyadris to push back the Arabian Sea and create a stretch of land which he could acquire. The sea-god was forced to withdraw making way for the submerged land to resurface. And from within the sea in the western coast of India, Goa was born.

Parashurama then brought ten sages to settle on the newly acquired land. They performed rituals and Yagnas alongwith many other Fire Sacrifices. Seven of them were chosen and blessed by Lord Shiva. They were called ‘Saptarishis’ or ‘Saptakoteshwara’ which means ‘Seven Sages’.

As time passed by, Goa was christened with many other names like Gomanchala, Govem, Sindapur, Sandabur, Gopakapuri, Gopakapattam,  Gomantak, Aparantha, Mahassapatam,  Nelkinda and so on.

The foundation of Buddhism was laid in this region by Ashoka of Magadha. Between the second century BCE and the sixth century CE, the Bhojas of the Yadava clan of Gujarat and the Konkan Mauryas of the Kalachuris ruled the land. Later the Chalukyas of Badami took over the reins. From 753 onwards, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed and Southern Silharas of Konkan were dominant. They were succeeded by the Kadambas, the Chalukyas of Kalyani who patronized Jainism in Goa.

The Delhi Sultanate took over the Goa governance in 1312 but had to later surrender to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was not long before the Vijayanagara Empire came crumbling down and in 1469 the Adil Shahis of Bijapur took a stronghold of the kingdom and established Velha Goa (or old Goa) as their auxiliary capital. Eventually they were defeated by their local ally Timayya alongwith the Portuguese. The Portuguese then ruled over the region for over 450 years until Goa was annexed into the Indian Union. In 1987, the Union Territory was split and Goa was declared a State while Daman & Diu continued to remain Union Territories.

This mysteriously evolved land has over the years attracted many influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries and is even today a treasure chest of natural beauty, spice gardens and rich culture. It is a destination of choice atop every traveler’s list from India and across the globe. Visit Goa to unearth its dynamic history and legends of the past.

Visit Goa to know it better and live it at best, stay at hotels in Calangute, the concierge service of Hard Rock Hotel in Goa is one of the best in town.