In India, one of the most popular places among locals and travellers alike is Goa. Positioned in the southwestern part of the country, the state is near the coastlines near the Arabian Sea. The capital of the country is Panaji.
Located 250 miles from the South of Mumbai, it is considered as one of the smallest states of India which is bounded within Maharashtra and Karnataka. Before it was the city we know today, Goa was colonized by Portugal. However, it was reclaimed in 1962 and achieved statehood in 1987.
Aside from its rich history, Goa is also teeming with landmarks and tourist attractions that you shouldn’t miss. Because it’s near the sea, there are a lot of beaches that are visited by travellers during the summer or holiday seasons. Are you interested in exploring Goa? Here are some of the places and landmarks that you should see.
Mãe De Deus Church, Saligao
Located in the city of Saligao, the Mae De Deus church is one of the most popular and oldest landmarks in Goa. Built in 1873, this church features Gothic spires and remarkable accents designed by the Portuguese colonizers. According to historical accounts, this establishment was built to serve a place of respite and worship for people.
Once you see the church, you will marvel at its bone-white walls that have an ethereal glow during night time. Behind the church, you will see lush vegetation and trees that adds a relaxing and serene mood in the atmosphere. It is one of the first Neo-Gothic landmarks built in Goa.
Fort Aguada, Sinquerim
Located in Sinquerim, Fort Aguada is one of the most popular tourist spots in Goa. In this area, you will see the popular lighthouse built by the Portuguese during their colonial period. The lighthouse serves as one of the oldest attractions in the city.
Built in 1864, it once served as the place where the great bell of the Church of St Augustine in Old Goa was housed. Later on, it was moved to the Immaculate Conception in Panaji. While it’s one of the oldest places in Asia, it’s not usually open to the public because the place is old and worn down.
Ajoba Temple, Keri
Located in Keri beach, the Ajoba temple is a charming place that will catch your eye because of its striking turquoise and orange colours. Moreover, it’s the popular venue for the Jatra of Ajoba devasthan held every first week of February. This place is often flocked by worshippers from Goa and other states.
Safa Masjid, Ponda
The Safa Masjid is one of the most popular mosques in Go built by Ibrahim Adilshah in 1560. With its ornate architecture, the masjid has a beautiful garden and fountains surrounded by lush trees and plants.
Moreover, it features a terracotta roof which is one of its highlights. In some historical records, the Safa Masjid is said to have been built during the Adil Shah period, but it’s still not clear yet because the date of its contraction is unclear.
Shri Ramnath Temple
Also known as the temple of Ramnathi, the Shri Ramnath Temple is a place of worship dedicated to Lord Rama, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Ganesh, Kamakshi, Shanteri, and Betal and Kalbhairav. Situated in the area of Ramnathim, Bandicade in Goa, this temple is considered one of the oldest places in the city which is 450 years old.
This place serves as the place of worship by the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins. Before the 16th century, it was located in the area of Salcete but was later moved to prevent the Portuguese colonizers from taking the idols housed in the temple.
Shri Shantadurga Temple
The Shri Shantadurga Temple in Goa is a place of worship in Goa made of Kashmir stone. The Shri Durga is known for its complex architecture which consists of a big temple and three smaller temples shaped like a pyramidal roof and a dome. Built around 1751 AD, it’s known as one of the oldest temples in the city.
During the Portuguese colonization, it was moved from Koloshi. If you visit this place, you will see that it’s located atop a sloping hill that has a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys and trees.
Located in the beautiful village of Mangeshi, the Mangeshi temple is a place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva. It’s one of the most visited temples in the state of Goa. According to historical records, this place was built to commemorate Bhagwan Manguesh, the Kuldevi of Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. According to believers, he was the reincarnation of Lord Shiva.
Despite being a temple for Lord Shiva, the Mangeshi Temple also shrines different deities such as Parvati, Ganesha, and more. Lord Shiva is worshipped in the appearance of the Shiva Lingam.
Also known as the Mahadev Temple, the Tambdi Surla is a place dedicated to Lord Shiva and regarded as one of the oldest landmarks in the country. This place is made of black basalt and an inner sanctum where a Shiva Linga is housed along with a headless bull.
Moreover, the area has a picturesque view of the river Surla which creates a more serene atmosphere when you’re praying. The place was constructed around the 12th century which makes it one of the oldest places in the State Mprever, it has also survived a lot of attacks in the state.
Fort Tiracol, Goa
Located across the Terekhol river, Fort Tiracol is one of the most beautiful forts in the country. Popularly referred to as the Terekhol Fort, this place is a beautiful landmark that was used by the maritime defence of the colonizers from Portugal.
Once you set foot in the fort, you will see a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea. Moreover, the beauty of the place is accentuated by the beautiful view of hills and valleys in the Northern river.
Basilica Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most popular churches in Goa. Situated in Old Goa, this religious establishment is listed as one of the UNESCO heritage sites. In the year 1604, the church was built during the Portuguese colonial period.
Located 10 mins away from Panjim, the Basilica Bom Jesus is known for its baroque architecture. In Latin, ‘Bom Jesus’ means the ‘holy or good Jesus’. When you enter the area, you will see the main altar that is pillared by two more altars. On the main pedestal, you will see the image of St. Ignatius Loyola, looking over and protecting the image of the baby Jesus.
Reis Magos Fort
The Reis Magos Fort is a monument owned by the government of Goa. Built in 1551, this fort is almost 400 years old and is considered one of the most important landmarks in the state. Back in the day, the fort served as a jail and a hospital. However, in 1993, it was abandoned and suffered long years of not being used.
What makes the Reis Magos remarkable is that you can see the melding of Hindu and Portuguese architecture that gives the fort its unique characteristics. Aside from its spectacular view and architecture, the place also houses some of the oldest artefacts during the Portuguese occupation.
Located in the Mormugao Harbour, this fort is one of the most significant landmarks in Goa. During the colonial period of the Portuguese, they used this fort as a way to exchange trade with other countries.
This fort was heavily guarded at the time because the Portuguese feared that it could be easily subdued and used as an entry point for other voyagers who eyed the land. When you visit this place, you will see a beautiful view of the ocean and the lush coconut trees and vegetation surrounding the land.
Tanshikar’s Working Spice farm
The region of South India is known for its abundant fields of spices ranging from black pepper, cardamom, and cloves. For years, this place has served as one of the main sources of spices in the country. One place you can visit to get to know more about spices is Tanshikar’s Working Spice Farm and Ecological Rest House.
If you’re interested in spices, you will get to know more of it here because they grow a wide array of spices from pepper, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom, and chilli through sustainable and organic farming procedures.
Aside from the tours, you can also enrol yourself in vegetarian cooking classes, trekking, or take a dip in the bubbly lake. For those who are looking for a way to relax, they also have a yoga class led by a guru who will guide you through meditation.
If you want to visit Tanshikar, it is located in Netravali near the Smriti Yoga in Sanguem, Goa.