Old Velha Goa is located 9 km from Panaji, Goa. Goa was the number one tourism hotspot in India for several years. The income accumulated from the tourism in Goa is about 16% of India’s economy. Old Goa is famous for the cathedrals belonging to 16th and 17th centuries. UNESCO listed Old Goa as the World Heritage Site for its cathedrals.
The Bahamani and Vijayanagar have founded Old Goa in the 15th century, which was used as a port city. During Adil Shah rule Old Goa served as a capital of the Bijapur. Goa was bounded by water bodies, temples and Mosques. Today there is nothing left in the palace except the palace gateway. In the 16th century Goa was the capital of Portuguese territories. During the Portuguese rule the streets in India looked like the streets of Lisbon.
St Catherine’s Cathedral (Se cathedral):
The construction of the St Catherine’s Cathedral began in the year 1561 by the Portuguese Viceroy. The church was built in several stages and finally in the year 1619 the construction was completed. In the year 1652 the construction of the altar was finished. In Asia Se Cathedral is the biggest church. The interior of the church was built in Corinthian Style. On the left and right sides of the main altar, there are three more altars which are devoted to various saints.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is situated in Old Goa; the church was constructed in the year 1594 and completed in the year 1605. St Francis Xavier, a priest whose body is preserved naturally, remains are placed in the main altars right side. The coffin is made of silver which contains three locks which are held with the bishop of the church. Since 1859 the body of St Francis Xavier is taken out and kept as an exhibition for every ten years, millions of people gather at the church to view the exhibition. The last time the exhibition was held in the year 2005 and the next exhibition was expected at 2015.
St Francis Church and Archeological Museum
The St Francis Church was built in the year 1517 and destroyed in the year 1661, in the year 1762 the church was restored again. A huge statue of Jesus and St Francis statue are the main attractions in the church. Backside of the church the archeological museum is situated; it contains the paintings of the Portuguese belonging to 15th century.
Goa being the major tourist destination spot in India is well-connected with airways from all the cities in India.
There are frequent bus services from Panaji Kadamba bus station to Old Goa, which are about 30 minutes long. In addition there are Bikes and cars which are given on rent which costs around 200 to 1000 Rs per day.