Since we already know Goa has a diverse history and how every heritage site there is a reminder of the hardships and the flourishing phase that this small state has gone through. The famous historical places in Goa that are symbolic of it's long and diverse history will give you really feels. Not just beaches and wine, but Goa also holds a secret to its vast diversity and history which sometimes feels like repeating itself. Visit these 10 historical places in Goa to feel and sense it.
1. Basilica Of Bom Jesus
Famous throughout the Roman Catholic world, the imposing Basilica of Bom Jesus contains the tomb of St Francis Xavier. This structure is famous for The Tomb of St Francis Xavier, kept in a silver casket designed by a 17th-century Florentine jeweler. St Xavier is believed to have miraculous powers of healing, and pilgrims used to come from all over the country till some years back to offer prayers when the body of the saint was ceremoniously exposed once every decade. However, the church authorities have ceased display of the body to guard it against deterioration. Freelance guides at the entrance will show you around for ₹100.
Address: Old Goa Rd, Bainguinim, Goa 403402
Timing: 9 am to 6:30 pm
2. Aguada Fort
The Aguada Fort is located at a distance of around 18 km. from Panaji. Fort Aguada is located on a hilltop near the mouth of the river Mandovi. The fort was named Aguada which means water in Portuguese because of the presence of three freshwater springs inside. This fort was constructed in the year 1612. During its use, ships would stop at the lower fort for supplies and water. Overlooking the vast expanse of ‘seeming to be endless’ blue waters in front of it, Aguada is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Goa. It receives a lot of tourist traffic all around the year. Reasons are that it’s excellent for sightseeing and also that it stands as a testimony to the glory of the Portuguese empire.
Address: Fort Aguada Road, Candolim, Goa 403515
Timing: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
3. St. Augustine Tower - Church Of St. Augustine
This ancient piece of Old Goa and one of the most magnificent churches in ruins of the only 10 churches left in Goa. Towering at a height of 46 m, the tower was once a belfry and a gorgeous façade of a grand church. Declared as a world heritage site in 1986, the ruins now attract tourists from around the globe, who visit the site with a preconceived excitement that only amplifies after standing in the middle of history, in real time.
Address: Church of St. Augustine Ruins, Velha Goa, Goa 403402
Timing: 6:30 am to 12:45 pm and 4:30 to 8:30 pm
4. Se Cathedral
At over 76m long and 55m wide, the cavernous Sé Cathedral is the largest church in Asia. The Se Cathedral is dedicated to St Catherine in Old Goa. The UNESCO has also declared it as a heritage site. The architectural style of Se Cathedral Church reflects Portuguese architecture. It has a Tuscan peripheral and a Corinthian core. The gilded ornamented altarpieces relate the tales of St. Catherine’s martyrdom. The Se Cathedral Church is larger even than the churches of Portugal, and it is the biggest church in Goa. The majesticity and magnanimity of this historic structure draw people from all over the world to this church. The grandeur of the structure reminds us of the time when the Portuguese ruled from Atlantic to the Pacific.
Address: Velha, Goa 403402
Timing: 7 am to 6:30 pm
5. Monte Hill
Every major area in Goa has a little hillock presiding over it, and Margao is no exception. Monte Hill is Margao's highest point, which gives one a commanding view of the busy commercial town of Margao below. The area also has the chapel dedicated to Calcada de Nossa Senhora de Piedade or Our Lady of Mercy, which is quite popular and sacred among locals and tourists alike. The entire area is ideal for a short retreat, where you have only the sea-breeze and your own thoughts to keep you company.
Address: Monte Hill, Margao, South Goa, 403601, India
Timing: All days of the week - 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM, Sunday- 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
6. Chapora Fort
Another popular destination for the tourist, this Fort overlooks the Chapora river and that's where it got its name from. This fort is also known as the 'Dil Chahta Hai' Fort because a blockbuster Bollywood movie was shot here in 2001 and since then, this fort has become an insane attraction for the youth. This fort was built as a place of strategic importance and defense purposes, this served as the area of enmity between the Marathas and the Portuguese to gain control over it. It is recommended to visit this fort in the evening to be able to enjoy the lush views in a better weather.
Address: Vagator Beach, Bardez, Goa 403515, India
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
7. Secretariat Building
The oldest colonial building in Goa is the stolid Secretariat. After being captured by the Portuguese in 1510, the palace was further reinforced and used as a customs post, also serving as temporary accommodation for incoming and outgoing Portuguese viceroys. It later housed Goa’s State Assembly and is today home to government offices, not open to the general public.
Address: Althino, Panaji, Goa 403601, India
Timings: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
8. Cabo Raj Bhavan
Raj Bhavan is the Official Residence of the Governor of the State of Goa, it is located at the extreme end of a narrow cape protruding into the Arabian Sea. Situated on the rim of the water-space formed by the merging of the perennial rivers of Mandovi, on one side, and Zuari, on the other, into the Arabian Sea, it is one of the palaces of historical and architectural significance and antiquity in Goa.
Address: Raj Bhavan, Dona Paula, Goa 403004, India
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
9. Usgalimal Rock Carvings
Usglaimal Rock Cravings is an amazing sight of one of the most ancient art forms created by the human race. Here lie more than a hundred petroglyphs, over a vast piece of gigantic laterite-stone ground. The many images on the rock face, along with the black river Kushavati stand witness to as much as 20,000 to 30,000 years gone by. These art forms were discovered very recently in 1993 when a flood left them exposed to the human eye. There are more than 100 distinct figures, spread an area of 500 sqm., including images of bulls, labyrinths, and human figures are carved on laterite stones and they belonged to the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras.
Address: Usgalimal Village, Sanguem Taluka, South Goa, Goa 403705, India
Timings: Sunrise to sunset
10. Goa State Museum
The State Museum of Goa is set up, with the aim at centralizing and preserving antiquities, art objects and objects of cultural importance, throwing light on the ancient historical and cultural traditions of Goa and exhibiting them thematically, so as to depict different aspects of the Goan History and Culture. The Museum, at present, has in its possession a fairly large collection which is increasing day by day.
Address: Directorate of Museum, EDC Complex, Patto, Panaji, Goa 403601, India
Timings: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm