Friends, in the previous post, i had shared my travel story on famous beaches of North Goa and Aguada Fort, which was well-received by you all. In this post, i would like to share my travel experiences on my 2nd day in Goa, which includes it's famous churches and Museum. Apart from scenic beaches and natural landscapes, Goa also offers visitors the unique opportunity to witness it's rich cultural heritage and historic monuments, which are nothing, but superlative blend of 15th century Portuguese Architectural creativity and skill of Indian workers. Churches of Goa also become distinct from churches in other parts of India due to indelible imprint of Portuguese craftsmanship.
There are many old and big churches in Goa, all having distinct history and craft. However, we chose to visit some most frequented and famous churches.
i. Our Lady of Penha de Franca Church
Located on the shores of sparkling Mandovi river, the church makes for a captivating sight. It is one of Goa's most famous churches and ideal waterfront wedding destination for catholic couples. The church derives it's name from Nossa Senhora da Penha de Franca, a sailor, who had completed his voyage to India surviving through tough challenges and thus, held in very high regard by fellow seafarers. The church was built in 1626 AD and received status of national monument in 1932.
ii. Church of our lady of immaculate conception
Located at the heart of Panjim city, this church is one of the oldest and famous churches in Goa. Built in 17th century, the bright white church with zig-zag stairs and long palm trees in the background makes a grand spectacle. This is a place of historical and religious importance for devotees. The interior of the church is elegant and colorful. During the festival held each year on 8th December and Christmas, the church is illuminated colorfully, which adds to it's attraction. It opens all days of the week.
|Festivities at the church during christmas|
iii. Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a roman catholic church located in Old Goa, the capital of erstwhile Portuguese territory. Bom Jesus means Good or Holy Jesus. The basilica included in UNESCO World Heritage site is famous among travelers and devotees alike due to it's Portuguese baroque architecture. One important feature of the church is that it holds mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, a renowned catholic priest and missionary.
iv. Se Cathedral
Se Cathedral, located in Velha, Goa is one of the oldest churches, not only in Goa but in the whole country. Known for it's Portuguese Manueline architecture, it was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque over Muslim Army, leading to capture of Goa city in 1510. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine, as the day of victory was on the day of feast on St. Catherine. There is a large bell placed inside the church, famous as Golden Bell, which is one of the biggest in Goa.
After visiting some beautiful pieces of Portuguese architecture, we planned to visit Goa state museum in Panaji to learn in the depth about the history and art of ancient Goa.
The museum established in 1977 has a wide collection of artefacts, stone sculptures, old coins, paintings, wooden objects & manuscripts. The museum has total 14 galleries on different themes. We visited Sculpture gallery, Christian art gallery, Goa's Freedom struggle gallery, Printing History Gallery, Natural heritage of Goa Gallery & Geology gallery. One can understand Goa's history, polity, culture & practices and learn about it's economy & natural resources by visiting these galleries. The museum has more than 8000 artifacts.
|Artifacts from Portuguese era|
Museum remains open from Monday to Friday during 9:30 to 5:30. The place is a must visit for students and researchers and a good place to know about rich Goan cultural traditions for tourists. It will take around 2-3 hours ro visit all the galleries in the museum. We ended 2nd day of our trip with a lot of enriching experience of the place and the people of Goa.
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