Goa Attractions Sightseeing:
1. Beaches of Goa
2. Churches of Goa
3. Temples of Goa
4. Cities of Goa
5. Forts of Goa
6. Ancestral Goa
1. Beaches of Goa:
Golden beaches, blue sky and pale hills, silvery sands fringed with palms. The cool breeze, the fishing villages and the beautiful sunset. This is what Goa is, the sea and its sea shores. At every twist and turn of the undulating Goan coast there are alluring little coves or bays each completely different and each with its own special charm. Some of the beaches have all the facilities, right from restaurants to massage parlours to water sports and net surfing cafes, while some do not even have restaurants. You can be with sea and still not leave the materialistic world while on the other hand be with nature in totality. Along the coast are picturesque villages with tall white washed churches and red tiled houses that nestle into the lush green of the Goan country side.
Beaches of Goa can be divided in two categories, the Northern beaches and the Southern Beaches.
The Northern beaches:
The Miramar, The Dona Paula, The Calangute, Anjuna Beach and the Sinquerim beach.
The Northern beaches of Goa start just outside Panaji, from the Aguada Fort and the sand stretches to the borders of Maharashtra.
The Miramar Beach is very beautiful and equally commercialized beach of Goa. Its proximity to the capital, just 3km from Panaji, has made many big hotels and rich people’s bungalows stand here. This beautiful beach lies adjoining the estuary of the river Mandovi as it opens into the Arabian Sea and was originally known as the Gasper Dias Beach. From the beach across the river is an excellent view of Aguada Fort.
Popularly known as the Lovers’ Paradise, the Dona Paula Beach is a rocky hammer shaped headland where Goa’s two rivers Mandovi and Zuari meet the Arabian Sea. There is a myth attached to this beach. It is named after the Viceroy’s daughter Dona Paula de Menezes, who fell in love with a local fisherman. When her family did not give consent for heir marriage she jumped off the cliff. Her ghost still haunts the place, it is said. The beach is beautiful and has some facilities of water sports as well.
The Calangute Beach is known as the queen of beaches. Just 15 km from Panaji, this is the most famous and thus most commercialized beach in Goa. This huge seven km stretch of sand is therefore always overcrowded. The village of Calangute is well equipped with all the amenities a tourist might need.
About 18kms from Panaji is the village of Anjuna, a five square mile enclosure nestling between the Arabian Sea and the Hill, overlooking the Anjuna Beach. The beach is known for its swaying palms, soft sands and has an unusual rocky formation overlying a cove of white sand and black rock that juts into the Sea. There is more to Anjuna than the beach and that is the Flea Market that takes place here every Wednesday. Earlier, a hideout of the hippies, this market was started by them when their pockets were empty. The hippies started selling everything they had and thus began the market, which is now flooded with artisans from all over India.
The Sinquerim Beach is located some 13 km from Panaji. With a magnificent 17th century fort which has now been converted into a prison. It is one of the best beaches in Goa with international class facilities for water-skiing, para-sailing, fishing, scuba-diving and wind-surfing.
The Southern beaches:
The Benaulim beach, The Majorda, The Colva beach, The Agonda and The Palolem beach.
The Southern Goa beaches start from the Majorda Beach near Margaon and extend till the southern tip of Cabo da Rama of Goa.
Nearly 35 km south of Panaji is the Majorda Beach. There are many hotels on the coastline. The Majordans are supposed to be the best bakers in Goa and also are famous for the local liquor toddy.
Colva Beach is the most important beach in the southern circuit. About 39 km away from Panaji, Colva is the most loved beach of Goans. Colva is a 20 km of virgin white sands, palm fringed, and sun drenched beaches and is also equipped with all modern amenities. The Church of Our Lady Of Mercy inside the small village is famous for its miracle statue of Menino Jesus. This is a fishing village and one can seethe motorboats venturing into the sea for a catch or Mackerel being dried in the Sun on the sand.
Less than 2 km south of Colva is the more tranquil Beach of Benaulim. Benaulim is actually the place where the legendary arrow of Parshuram landed, asking the Sea to recede and make a place for people to stay. Although a fishing beach, Benaulim is peaceful and serene and undiscovered by the commercialization going around. It is one of the few places in Goa where one can glimpse handicrafts typical to this area. The best of the traditional rosewood furniture is made here.
The Agonda Beach is a three-kilometer long beautiful cove of white sand, safely secluded in the palms but a bit far from the capital of Panaji. But it is an ideal spot for those who would just want to be nature. There are no tourists, no souvenir stalls, and no restaurants, nothing on this beach. Just the calm and serene beauty of nature. One can get adventurous by camping on the beach in the night listening to the crashing waves and watching the moonlit ocean. Nearby is the almost virgin Cabo de Rama, a must visit.
On the southern tip of Goa, nearly 70 km from Panaji, is the beautiful silver san beach facing the blue bay, the Palolem Beach. There are beautiful beach huts for a stay and shack for snacks. The fishermen in the area take the tourists to spot the dolphins in the sea.
Other than these beaches there are many more beaches in Goa, if one likes to venture. Varca, Cavelossim, Mobor, Bogmalo, Candolim, Baga, Vagator and so on. The list is endless.
2. Churches of Goa:
One of Goa's important institutions, the famous and magnificent churches is largely a legacy of Portuguese colonization. Church building was one of the main occupations of the early Portuguese and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main missions. The most visible legacy of the Portuguese is their churches, not only the imposing monuments, but also more typically white- washed facades nestling among palm trees. Goan Churches have a typical 16th century European architecture with Gothic style influence. The Baroque style architecture also has been heavily used in these churches, with exaggerated interior decorations and intricate details of ornamentation emphasized by gilding and accompanied by sculptured figures.
The important Churches of Goa:
St Francis of Assisi Church, Bom Jesus Basilica, Reis Magos Church, Church of Our Lady of Rosary, Sé Cathedral, St Augustine Tower, Church of St Cajetan, Church of Mary Immaculate Conception
The St. Francis of Assisi Church:
The church in Old Goa is dedicated to the original builder of this church, the origin of which can be traced back to 1517. A church consecrated to the Holy Ghost was built in 1521 and was later pulled down and the present church was built on the same spot in 1661 retaining only the entrance of the earlier church. The church faces west and has a nave with three chapels on sides, a choir, two altars in the transept and a main altar.
The exterior of the Church is of the Tuscan order while the main entrance is in Manuline style. The main altar is Baroque with Corinthian features. The internal buttress walls, separating the chapels and supporting the gallery on top, have frescoes showing intricate floral designs. There is a statue of our lady of miracles brought from Jaffna in Sri Lanka. In the main altar is a large statue of St. Francis of Assisi and an equally large statue of Jesus on the cross. Beneath the two figures are inscribed the three vows of the Saint - poverty, humility and obedience. There are many frescoes showing floral decoration in the main altar.
The Bom Jesus Basilica:
Located in Old Goa, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument. It is the most a, perhaps Goa's most famous church and among the most revered by Christians worldwide. The church built in 1605 A.D. is the only church in Old Goa, which is not plastered on the outside. The magnificent edifice stands as a superb example of Baroque architecture in Goa. The church is called Bom Jesus meaning good or infant Jesus to whom it is dedicated. The imposing facade, though very simple, is built out of black granite in an exquisite combination of the Doric, Corinthian and composite styles. The interior of the church is built in Mosaico-Corinthian style and is remarkable for its charming simplicity. The body of St Francis Xavier lies in a silver casket in the Church of Bom Jesus. There are many legends regarding the body of the great saint. The body has not decomposed for centuries now and earlier it would be kept out for the people to worship it every ten years. Also that the body has healing powers and can cure any illness is believed by the people of Goa.
The Reis Magos Church:
Constructed in 1555 on banks of the Mandovi River, in Panaji, the church is dedicated to three Magi Kings. It was once the residence of top dignitaries and also a mission centre of the Franciscan order. This fine historical monument was also dedicated to St Jerome. The small hamlet of Reis Magos has rich colourful and impressive interiors with the highlight being the multi-coloured wood relief showing the three wise men (Reis Magos) bearing gifts to the baby Jesus, which is the centerpiece of the elaborately carved and painted reredos behind the high altar. Every year on the 6th of January, Reis Magos comes alive with the colourful Festival of Reis Magos, when the story of the three Kings is re-enacted by local youth playing the parts.
The Church of our Lady of the Rosary:
One of the oldest Churches of Goa, this church was built on the holy hill of Old Goa in 1550. The Church represents a fusion of European and Indian elements; while the wall frescos reveal Hindu designs, those on the alabaster tomb of Dona Catherine, the first Portuguese woman demonstrate the impact of the Muslim-Bijapur style. Built of laterite and plastered with lime mortar, it has a two-storied portico. The roof of the church is tiled, supported by wooden rafters and a wooden cross over it. The exteriors of the church are Manuline in style though Gothic influence can be seen in the rib-vault at the portico.
The Se Cathedral:
One of the most ancient and celebrated religious buildings of Goa, this magnificent 16th century monument to the Roman Catholic rule in Goa under the Portuguese is the largest church in Asia. The most imposing of all churches, the Se Cathedral overwhelms the visitor with its grandeur and awesome presence. Dedicated to St Catherine, the cathedral, close to the Bom Jesus Basilica, has five bells. One of the bells is called the Golden Bell, due to the sweet sound it produces. The final edifice of this magnificent building is bigger than any of the churches in Portugal itself. The building is Portuguese-Gothic in style with a Tuscan exterior and Corinthian interior. The main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and old paintings on either side of it depict scenes from her life and martyrdom. The adjoining convent has been turned in to an Archeological Museum and is open to the public.
St. Augustine Tower:
Built in 1602, the only ruin of the Church of St. Augustine on the Holy Hill at Old Goa near the Nunnery, is a lofty 46-metre high tower defying the torrential rains. The tower is one of the four of St. Augustine Churches that once stood there. This highly visible landmark, the high tower served as a belfry and formed part of the facade of a magnificent Church. The Tower was meant to serve as a belfry and the Church had eight richly adorned chapels and four altars and a convent with numerous cells attached to it.
The Church of St. Cajetan:
The church dedicated to Our Lady of Divine Providence, the church is named after the founder of the Theatine order, St. Cajetan, a contemporary of St Francis Xavier. This church, which is said to have been modelled on the original design of the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, is architecturally Corinthian both externally and internally while the gilded altars with rich carvings are in rich Baroque style. The Church building itself is built of laterite blocks which are lime plastered. Inside a clever use of internal buttresses and four huge pillars has turned the interior into a cruciform. Profusely carved and gilded in Baroque style, the six altars have twisted shafts dominated by figures of angels. The altars also have Italian school paintings on canvas, some depicting scenes from the life of St. Cajetan.
Church of Mary Immaculate Conception:
A relatively simple church by the standards of the time is one of the first churches built on the Goan soil. The earlier church, built in 1541 was completely re-built from its foundations in 1619. The main altar dedicated to dedicated to Mary Immaculate is very impressive and also the two flanking altars which catch the eye. Each is a riot of heavily gilded, deeply carved ornamentation, yet compact and controlled, a fine example of the period. At the side of each is a marble statue, one of St Peter and one of St Paul.
3. Temples of Goa:
The Hindu culture of Goa is ancient and the temples dedicated to various deities of Goa date back to the Panadava caves, Shiva temple of 1st century A.D. During the early stages of the Portuguese rule, the Hindu temples of Goa were raised to ground and destructed. There are many temples in the interiors of Goa, as the coastline was the main place of the Portuguese. Many deities had to leave their temples, as the devotees shifted them for the fear of destruction. The architecture of Goan temples is a little different mostly because of historical reasons. The Goan modification lies in the assimilation of local building traditions into this rigid architectural style giving it a special local flavor. One of the special features of Goan temples is the Lamp Tower or Deepmal rising anywhere from two to six storied high. This is said to be a Maratha influence. During festivals these lamp towers burn with innumerous lamps and are a delightful sight. Another distinctive feature is the dome that covers the main shrine instead of the shikhar like in other temples.
The important temples of Goa are:
Anant Narsinha Temple of Veling, Devaki- Krishna Temple of Marcel,
Mahalsa Temple in Mardol, Mahalakshmi Temple of Bandivade and Panaji, Mangesh Temple and the Nagesh Temples, Saptakoteshwar Temple of Narwe and the Mahadev Temple in Tambdi Surla
The Anant Narsinha Temple:
Though a précised date of the temple is unknown, it seems to be an ancient temple. This temple unlike other temples in Goa, has only a tiled pyramid as roof and surprisingly no domes but all the seven colors of the rainbow are present in the intricate wooden carvings in the interior of the temple. Around 45 km from Panaji, the temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, appearing here in his incarnation as Anant, the serpent. The idol, only one of its kinds in Goa, is in sleeping posture of Vishnu in the laps of the multi headed serpent.
Nearly 17 km from Panaji is the small village Marcel where this unique temple stands. This is the only temple in India, where Lord Krishna is worshipped along with his mother Devaki. The beautiful idols are carved in black stone.
The Mahalsa temple is dedicated to the Goddess, Mahalsa, also an incarnation of Vishnu. This is an ancient temple and the idol is ancient too. Originally, the deity was housed in a temple at an ancient shrine in village of Verna. During the Portuguese rigidity of spreading Christianity, the temple was supposed to be demolished. But before the actual demolition could take place the idol of the deity was smuggled away across the river by faithful devotees, to the safer locale of Mardol, where it is located today. The temple has huge wooden pillars and a silver framed doorway. In the courtyard, there is a magnificent brass lamp which is 40 feet in height and has 21 rings of a hundred fifty small lamps.
Nearly 22km from Panaji is the small village of Bandivade housing a huge and beautiful Mahalakshmi temple. The temple has been in existence since 1413 as it is found on the stone plaques carved during the reign of Nanjan Gosavi Pratihast over Goa. As is the case with most Hindu deities in Goa, this idol too was also smuggled to avoid persecution during the Portuguese Inquisition era of the sixteenth century and installed at the present position. But there was another idol of Mahalakshmi placed here already. So now the temple ahs two idols of the deity along with the idols of the two devotees who smuggled the idol to this place.
This Mahalakshmi temple is in the heart of Panaji The city, blessed by three historic ecclesiastical monuments - the Jamma Masjid, the Church of Immaculate Conception and the Mahalakshmi temple - surprisingly standing on the same road pose a perfect symmetry of communal harmony. Though the idol is very ancient , it is kept inside and people worship another new idol. The temple is around 180 years old.
Probably the most famous of all the temples in Goa is the Mangesh temple. Located 21 km from Panaji in Priol, the temple is nearly 500 years old and is dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Shiva Lingam. The shifting of the deity took place in the year 1560, fearing the Portuguese inquisition and was placed here. The surrounding area is known as Mangeshi due to the temple. The temple architecture is a mix of Hindu, Christian and Muslim influences and is lit up in magnificent lights during the annual Jatra which is held in January.
Nagesh temple is also dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple, 25 km from Panaji, has been present at the same location for over centuries. The idols of Shiva, Paravati and Ganesh date back to eighth century. The temple has been renovated in the year 1880, still more than 100 years old.
The Saptakoteshwar temple at Narve is considered to be one of the six great sites of temples of Lord Shiva in the Konkan area. The village of Narve is located about 35 km from Panaji. This is also an ancient temple, Saptakoteshwar having been the deity of the Kings of the Kadamba dynasty around the twelfth century. Coins found from this era mention the name of the deity along with that of the King. Like most of the deities of Goa, the deity of this temple too had been shifted here during the time of Portuguese inquisition. In 1543 it was installed in a temple near the island of Divar. Later when Shivaji conquered this area he asked to rebuild the temple and that stone plaque of his orders is found at the entrance of the temple.
This ancient temple built in the 12th century by the Kadamba dynasty is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Approximately 65 km from Panaji in a small village of Tambi Surla the temple has survived the Muslim and Portuguese invasions because of its remote placement. Built in Jain style, the temple is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa. The size of the temple is quite small as compared to the size of the average Goan temple and the top part of the temple has never been completed. The temple is located at the foot of the Anmod Ghat, which connects Goa to the state of Karnataka. It is a small, beautifully carved and perfectly proportioned black basalt temple with Lord Shiva in the Lingam form. The intricate carvings created by the craftsmen adorn the interior and the sides of the building. The temple faces east so that the rays of the rising sun fall on the deity at the crack of dawn. Bas-relief figures of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, with their respective consorts appear on panels at the sides of the temple.
The Shanta Durga Temple:
Set amidst tranquil forests and hills, the Shantadurga Temple lies 3-km from Ponda in Queula. Shantadurga, one of the consorts of Shiva, is a form of Durga (the Goddess of War) and the Goddess of Peace. The Shantadurga Temple was built in 1738, and is the biggest temple in Goa. A distinctive six-storied Deepstambha and chariot with some gilt work adorn the temple grounds. It is interesting to note that amongst some other features of the temple, the dome shows a definite influence of Church architecture. As the Goddess of peace she is placed between the temples of the Destroyer, Lord Shiva and the preserver, Lord Vishnu’s temples.
4. Cities of Goa:
Goa basically was a fishermen’s cove. A small relaxed town with smaller villages, that was Goa before the Portuguese came in. The people were happy growing paddy, coconut, mangoes, cashews and fishing. With a fertile land and vast sea the people too were relaxed. With Portuguese rule came the laws and the Churches and various trades. Ports were developed and churches were built. Today’s bigger towns of the city are centered on the port, or churches and more recently tourism.
The important towns of Goa are:
Panaji, Margao, Vasco, Ponda, Mapusa and Old Goa.
Panaji, the capital city of Goa is located on the left bank of the river Mandovi. A small fishing village with trees, creeks and fishermen was called as Ponjy, which means the land that never floods. The present name is the corrupted version as the Portuguese called it Panajim which now has become Panaji. Today this town boasts of having the oldest Municipality in Asia and is an enchanting city of beaches, gardens and statues with an air of Portuguese touch. Panaji is very different than any of state capitals in India.
In 1632 the then Viceroy, Count de Linhares, Dom Miguel de Noronha built the 3.2km causeway linking Panajim with Ribandar village and Panaji came into existence. Earlier this small village was almost negligible. On December 1, 1759, the then Viceroy, Dom Manuel de Saldanha de Albuquerque, Count of Ega, shifted his residence from Panelim (near Old Goa) to Panajim. Panaji is a typical Goan town, built around a church facing a prominent square, with beautiful Portuguese Baroque style buildings and enchanting old villas. The riverside, speckled with brightly whitewashed houses with wrought iron balconies and red Mangalore tiled roof gives a different look altogether.
There are some fine government buildings along the riverside boulevard, and the Passport Office is especially noteworthy. This actually was the palace of Adil Shah the Sultan of Bijapur, built in the 16th century. It was later converted to Vice regal Lodge in 1615 by the Portuguese and in 1843 the structure became the Secretariat. Today it is the Passport Office. The Church Square is a fine illustration of the awesome Portuguese Baroque style. . There are two old sections of the city existing today, one called Fontainhas and the other Sao Tome. The hillock overlooking the city is called Altinho.
Today, Panaji is not only the state capital, but also an educational, commercial and cultural center of Goa. It has many educational institutes and theatres catering to the growing demand.
The most important town in South Goa connected by rail and the national highway with Karnataka and Maharashtra and located in Salcete is Margao. The commercial capital of Goa, Margao is also the second largest city of Goa. It seems that this town had many Hindu temples and Dormitories. In fact it is believed that the name Margao is the corrupt version of Mathgram, which means the a village of dormitories. Margao has an old-worldly charm about it because of its Portuguese churches, and some magnificent specimens of old Portuguese houses. The Church of the Holy Spirit as dominates the entrance to the city. The church was built by the Portuguese in 1675 and is one of the finest examples of late-Baroque architecture in Goa. The church area is surrounded by beautiful old residential houses still in pristine condition. It is the gateway to the southern beaches of Goa.
The industrial town of Vasco-da-Gama, named after the Portuguese voyager, is around 30 km away from the capital city of Panaji and is spread around the base of the peninsula which leads to the Mormugao harbour. It is the port city across the river Zuari. Its roads have a geometric layout with imposing multi-storied buildings. Close by is the Dabolim airport and the internationally famous natural port of Mormugao. The 400-year old St. Andrews Church which lies at the entrance to the city is worth a visit. In recent times, the city has been attracting local visitors, to the best cinema theatre in the whole of Goa. The Bogmalo beach is very near which has the Naval Air Museum, the only one of its kind in the whole of Asia. It has on display, some of the fighter aircraft and many other artifacts used in wars by India.
Ponda is the Hindu heartland of Goa. Near the town are the five most famous Hindu Temples and the largest mosque of Goa. The deities of most of these temples are ancient. Hindus fleeing from the coastal areas shifted these here during the Portuguese Inquisition. The Bijapur ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah built the Safa Masjid, a relatively small mosque, in 1560. This is one of the few Muslim shrines not destroyed by the Portuguese.
Ponda is also an important transport link. The city of Ponda lies about 28kms south-east of Panaji. It is also the gateway to Goa's wildlife sanctuaries as both the Bondla and the Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dudhsagar Waterfalls are nearby.
The Dudhsagar waterfalls is the most popular destination for trekkers and hikers a sight to behold. Water rushes down hundreds of feet in large volume from a great height, creating a most enchanting natural phenomena.
Mainly a market town for the surrounding beach areas of Calangute, Candolim, Anjuna and Baga among others Mapusa is 13 km from the capital city of Panaji. The whole town wears a lively look when the famous weekly Friday Market begins. The market attracts people from all over Goa who come here to buy and sell their wares. Everything from fresh and dried fish, incense, spices, fruits and vegetables to souvenirs from other states of India is available here. Local Goan specialties such as spicy sausages and the Goan spirits such as toddi and cashew feni are much in demand amongst locals and outsides. Another item to look out for is the magnificent banana crop from the nearby village of Moira. Most of the items are sold after a few rounds of bargaining and the prices are usually much lower than anywhere else and the goods are authentic. Church of Our Lady of Miracles about 2 km east of the market area. The Church of Our Lady of Miracles has a beautiful gabled facade but is more famous for its annual feast than for its architectural splendour. The other famous shrine is that of Lord Bodgeshwar, located on the outskirts of the town in the middle of some rice fields, which is beautifully lit up at night and draws thousands of devotees for its annual Jatra.
convents. Some of these are still in active use, and others have become museums maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.
5. Forts of Goa:
Goa is an ancient city. Goa has several imposing forts, though most of them lie in ruins today. The forts were built mainly by the Bahamani dynasty and the Portuguese. Most of the forts are not in good conditions due to negligence or the weather conditions. But most of them are near the beaches and worth a visit. Compared to Indian standards, Goan forts are very small in size. Nonetheless, these are historic specimen of immense military, political and economic importance in a land crisscrossed by rivers and canals and bordered by sea on the west.
The important forts of Goa are:
The Chapora fort, the Cabo fort, The Aguada fort, Cabo da Rama fort, Reis Magos fort
The Aguada Fort:
The largest and the only well preserved fort of Goa is the Aguada. Around 15 km from Panaji, in Old Goa, this fort is strategically located at the estuary of the river Mandovi. Built in 1612, to control the entry into the river Mandovi and to protect Old Goa from potential enemy attacks, this fort is the only fort that was not conquered by any invaders during the 450 yearlong rule of the Portuguese empire. The fort acquires its name from the fresh water springs in the area. Agua in Portuguese means water and thus the name Aguada. An interesting feature in the precinct of the fort is a 13 meter high lighthouse. This lighthouse, built in 1864, earlier used oil lamps and was recently renovated in 1976.
Cabo – da – Rama fort:
The Cabo da Rama means cape of Rama fort. Located in the southern part of Goa in Canacona region, this place is believed to be inhabited by Ram, hero of the great epic Ramayana, hence the name Cabo –da Rama. The fortress on this site was held by various rulers for many years, and it was in 1763 that it was gained by the Portuguese from the Raja of Sonda. Until 1955, the bastion housed a prison; now its only habitable building is a lonely government observation post occupied from time to time by a couple of young scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography. Now it just houses old rusty cannons and what else remains on the fort is entirely Portuguese.
The fort base on the River Chapora is located 10km from Mapusa, near the Anjuna and the Vagator beaches. This red-laterite bastion was built by the Portuguese in 1617 on the site of an earlier Muslim structure built by the Adil Shah of Bijapur. Intended as a border watch post, it fell to various Hindu raiders during the 17th century, before finally being deserted by the Portuguese in 1892. Although in complete ruins now, this fort offers a grand view of the two nearby beaches.
The Cabo Palace or The Raj Bhawan:
This grand fort on the south headland of river Mandovi and opposite the Aguada fort was built in 1540 A.D.The Palace fortress housed the Franciscan monastery, which later became the official residence of the Governor of Goa. The Cabo Palace is now known as the Raj Bahawan, the official residence of the Governors of the States in India. It is also counted among the finest residences of Indian Governors and is indeed the oldest residence of a Governor of a State in India as its origins date back to over four hundred years. Today it offers a beautiful view with the Indian Ocean towards the west, the Bay of the river Mandovi and Fort Aguada on the north and the busy port of Mormugao in the south.
Reis Magos Fort:
In a good state of preservation, this fort was erected in 1551 to protect the narrowest point at the mouth of the Mandovi estuary. Situated on the southeastern extremity of the tableland on the right bank of the Mandovi, in the province of Bardez, about two miles to the northeast of Fort Aguada , it is easily visible form Panaji. The fort formerly accommodated viceroys and other dignitaries newly arrived from, or en route to, Lisbon. Till recently it was used as a prison and is not open to the public.
6. Ancestral Goa:
A glimpse of Goa that was hundred years ago, is recreated on a nine acre land, and is called the Ancestral Goa. This project has come up in Loutulim, South Goa, after meticulous research and hard work in creating the magic of Goa of yester years. One can actually go back in time and live the life of a normal Goan. The project is the brain child of Goan artist, Maendra J. Alvares and was opened for public in 1995. It keeps alive the culture, the tradition and the mood of Goa alive. There are feast and festive days celebrated here. This small village has a farmer’s and fisherman’s house with a feni distillery and Goan handicrafts as well. A must visit place to live life in a slow pace going down the memory lane for a day.