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.