The wave of Catholicism which swept over Goa with
the arrival of the Portuguese did little to erase deep Hindu beliefs.
In fact a certain synthesis seems to have taken place and today Goa
still has a rich heritage of temples, churches and mosques.
While most of the ruins
in this territory are those of churches, temples or mosques, and much
restoration has gone into these kind of buildings the archaeological
and architectural remains cannot be confined to them alone. Ancient
rock-cut caves have been found at Arvalem, Lamgao in
north Goa, Priol in central Goa, and Rivona and Aguem
in south Goa. It is not, however, known whether these caves are
of Buddhist or Brahminical origin.
south Goa, is believed to be the ancient capital of Chandraditya, son
of the Chalukya King, Pulakesin II. It is dated back to the 7th
century A.D. At Chandor village one can also find the famous Menezes
Branganca-Braganca Pereira mansion. Not only is it one of the
largest in Goa, the period furniture some pieces being 300 to
400 years old here is certainly worth a visit. It is open to
tourists and visitors with prior appointment only.
Alternatively, you may
wish to visit Gopakapattam, now Velha Goa, the site of
the monastic order of Fr. Angel, a Goan saint.
One cannot but make a
passing reference to the forts which dot the Goan coastline. Agoada
(Aguada), built during the 17th century and Reis Magos,
built during the 16th century, can be conveniently visited
on the left bank of the Mandovi river. At the tip of the island of
Divar, one comes across the ruins of Fort Naroa. On the
right bank of the Chapora river is another fort called Alorna.
Other mentionable ones here are the ruins of fort Thivim,
Sanquelim and Tiracol (Terekhol) the latter, now a tourist
resort along Goas border with neighbouring Maharashtra.
Now on to the south of
Goa. Cabo de Rama, associated with the local legends and folk
lore of Lord Rama is what comes to the mind immediately. Anjediv,
an island here, is the site where General Shipman the
first Governor of Bombay lived and died in exile. It is now a
And if one needs to
savour the old Portuguese flavour that is so special to this land,
why not try the Old Pillory, known in the local Konkani
language as Hat Katro, where the hands of criminals were severed. On
the Old Goa bank one can visit the ruins of the Arsenal. Or,
how about the Palace of the Viceroys, though now in ruins, it
was here that the Viceroy lived in regal splendour that rivaled that
of the great easter potentates of his times. It is estimated that the
viceroys personal revenue was to the tune of 100,000 pounds
sterling. The Arch of the Viceroys reconstructed during the 1950s and
Rachol Fortress, around the Archdiocesan Seminary in South Goa
are also worth the effort. The Museum of Christian Art, very
recently inaugurated in the beginning of 1994, is a joint effort of
several organizations to conserve the rich heritage of Goa. And in
Panaji itself, is the Adil Shah Palace, which houses the Goa