A Pious Tour of Goa

Religious Places to visit in Goa

So, you succumbed to the seduction of Goa tourism? Feel that it was sinful the way you ate, drank, and made merry to the point of sin? Well, take heart. Goa also offers you ample opportunities for holy solace. Yes, there is a holy side to the destination too. In fact, exploring Goa’s divine aspects make for a lovely add on to the usual seaside fun and frolic, sightseeing, and nightlife. Having seen hundreds of years of Portuguese colonial rule as well as Hindu influence, Goa has its fair share of revered churches and temples. So, come discover pious places for getting blessed in Goa.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

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Phot by : Amit Rawat

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mortal remains of St Francis Xavier have been preserved here. Bom Jesus means Good or Holy Jesus and is used to refer to the infant Jesus. This church is the first minor basilica in the country and represents one of the finest works of baroque architecture in India. The church is amongst Goa’s as well as India’s oldest. It has marble flooring embellished with precious stones and intricate gilded altars. Paintings adorn the walls and depict scenes from St Francis’s life. The mausoleum was built in 10 years.

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Mary Immaculate Conception Church

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Photo by : Shreyans Bhansali

This is another must visit place if you are exploring the scene of religious Goa tourism? The indefinable surreal beauty of the church is all the more evident at nights. Little electric bulbs have been placed very artfully so that the entire place glows spectrally under the starlit night sky. This church is perhaps best visited when Feasts are held as you get to experience a heady intermingling of divine and festive elements. A couple of such Feasts are the Feast of Our Lady Of Fatima and Feast of The Immaculate Conception. This church also featured in many scenes of a Shahrukh Khan starrer Bollywood production named ‘Josh’.

Sri Kamakshi Temple

Built in the late 16th century, this temple is located at Shiroda and is part of a shrine. The other temples here are Shree Rayeshwar, Shree Shantadurga, and Shree Laxmi Narayana. The Sri Kamakshi Temple also has lots of historic significance. It was originally built at Raia in Salcette and was moved after the Portuguese knocked down most of the Hindu shrines as part of their Goa Inquisition. Foreigners are not allowed inside the temple. Pilgrims are even provided boarding and lodging facilities, courtesy the temple authorities.

Mahadev Temple, Tambdi Surla

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Photo by : Aaron C

Absolutely not to be missed from the scene of religious Goa tourism. This is a 12th century Shaivite Temple of Lord Mahadeva and has the distinction of being Goa’s oldest temple. The Jain architectural style has been used in the construction of the temple. Basalt was used, which was said to have been carried all the way from the Deccan Plateau hills. The temple is believed to be the only example of Kadamba-Yadava architecture using Basalt stone in Goa. Its remote location helped it from being razed during the Goa Inquisition raged by the Portuguese. There is still some debate over the origins of the temple as Goa was ruled by the Kadamba Dynasty from the 10th to the 14th century.



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