Basilica of Bom Jesus

Goa is famous for its historic churches, forts, traditional homes, colorful festivals, lush green countryside, rich flora and fauna, fabulous cuisine, and exotic beaches. The magical land of Goa is decked with popular tourist destinations like Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Tambdi Surla and Tiracol Fort, the Calangute Beach, the Baga Beach, etc. The Churches in Goa, as well, are a big crowd puller among the tourists from world over.

Churches in Goa

If you want a bit of history and culture then there is no better place to visit than the churches of Goa. The magnificent churches in Goa are mainly a legacy of Portuguese colonization, and in fact one of Vasco da Gama's main motives for finding the sea route to India was to seek Christians and spices. With a considerable population of Goans being Christians, the Church is an important factor in Goa's social, cultural and religious life. Some of the major churches in Goa are the Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of St. Paul and the Basilica of Bom Jesu.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Old Goa, situated 10 km east of Panaji, along the Mandovi River, is where you will find some of the famed churches in India, including the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This World Heritage monument was India’s first Minor Basilica, and is considered one of the finest instances of baroque architecture in India. 

Renowned throughout the Catholic world, this 16th century cathedral of Bom Jesus (Good Jesus or Infant Jesus) has attractively gilded altars and is adorned with frescoes and inlay work. This grand structure made of white marble and delicately carved basalt decorations is best known 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.

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