Historical Places in Goa : Beautiful Heritage Sites in Goa You Must Visit

Art & Culture

Historical Places in Goa

Known for its spritzing beaches and might-boggling nightlife, there are also numerous historical places in Goa wrapped in its time-worn monuments and tropical spices of Southern and Portuguese Cuisines. The prepossessing face which it has today is a result of what it has gone through in its bygone days. With its authentic ancient touch and great pace of modernization, Goa is capable of attracting millions of tourists every year.

Here is the list of 32 Historical Places in Goa : Beautiful Heritage Sites in Goa You Must Visit

1. Basilica of Bom Jesus - Most famous historical place in Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus - Most famous historical place in Goa
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This historical place in Goa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier. Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade. Up until half a century ago, Goa was the capital of Portuguese rule in India and this is part of their heritage.

2. Se Cathedral

Se Cathedral
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One of the largest churches in the whole of Asia, Se Cathedral took nearly 80 years to get constructed. It was established to remember the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers in the city.

3. Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada
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Fort Aguada and its lighthouse is a 17th century Portuguese Fort which stands till date on Sinquerim Beach, Goa. It was built in 1612 to provide protection from Dutch and Marathas. It is the most priced and crucial historical place in Goa. It was also used as a prison for Salazar's political opponents. Built on river Mandovi, it covers the entire peninsula at the southwestern tip of Bardez."

4. Church of St Francis of Assisi

Church of St Francis of Assisi
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This is the famous historical place in Goa and is the oldest church located in Panjim. The statue of Mother Mary stands at the front of the church with the tower of the church behind. This church has truly been beautifully preserved. Also, the church bell is the 2nd largest bell in the whole world.

5. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception

Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
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In the heart of the capital city of Panjim, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a beautiful church lying on a hilltop. You need to climb up quite a few stairs to get to this historical place in Goa.

6. Shri Ramnath Temple, Goa

Shri Ramnath Temple, Goa

Shri Ramnath Temple, also known as the temple of Ramnathi, is dedicated to five deities - Lord Rama, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Ganesh, Kamakshi, Shanteri and Betal & Kalbhairav. The 450-year-old temple is of immense religious importance for the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins. It was initially located in Salcete but was relocated in the 16th century to save the idols from the Portuguese.

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7. Mae De Deus Church, Goa

Mae De Deus Church, Goa

Housing the miraculous statue of Mae de Deus (Mother of God) which was brought from the ruins of the convent of Mae de Deus at Old Goa, this historical place in Goa stands as one of the finest examples of the neo-gothic style of architecture. The church is situated in the amazing surroundings of the typical Goan countryside giving it the look of a castle from a fairy tale. The church was built in the year 1873. The first Sunday of May is celebrated as the church feast, the feast of Our Lady, the Mother of God which is the best time to join the celebrations.

8. Shri Ramnath Temple, Goa

Shri Ramnath Temple, Goa

Shri Ramnath Temple, also known as the temple of Ramnathi, is dedicated to five deities - Lord Rama, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Ganesh, Kamakshi, Shanteri and Betal & Kalbhairav. The 450-year-old temple is of immense religious importance for the Gowda Saraswat Brahmins. It was initially located in Salcete but was relocated in the 16th century to save the idols from the Portuguese.

9. Safa Shahouri Masjid, Goa

Safa Shahouri Masjid, Goa

Safa Shahouri Masjid is a 16th-century structure which is believed to be built by Adil Shah. The simple architecture of the historical place in Goa is worth a halt here. The structure with lush green grasslands all around and a serene water tank in the foreground is quite a sight. The atmosphere is tranquil and suitable to experience a moment of peace close to the divine powers of the God.

10. Monastery Of St Augustine, Goa

Monastery Of St Augustine, Goa

Monastery Of St. Augustine is a 17th century structure, believed to be built by the Augustinian friars but today, mostly seen in ruins. The dilapidated but splendid tower of the church can be seen from a distance and one can gauge the grandiosity of the monastery when it was completely intact. It is considered as one of the biggest churches and an important historical place in Goa.

11. Church of St. Cajetan

Church of St. Cajetan
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This church has a major resemblance with the St. Peters Basilica in Rome. On the left, there are three altars dedicated to the Holy Family, Our Lady of Piety and St. Clare and the right-side altars are dedicated to St. Agnes, St. Cajetan and St. John. Though this historical place in Goa is 300 years old it has been wonderfully preserved. It is still visited in large numbers by Catholic devotees and tourists alike.

12. Reis Magos Fort, Goa

Reis Magos Fort, Goa

Located on the banks of the mesmerizing River Mandovi, Reis Magos Fort served as a turret to guard the mouth of the estuary and as accommodation for the Portuguese officials since 1551. The historic structure proved helpful during their war against the Marathas, but it was captured by the British around 1800. The fort then served as a prison and since 2012 it has been a historical place in Goa of national and historic heritage.

13. Cabo De Rama Fort, Goa

Cabo De Rama Fort, Goa

Located on the beautiful coastline of Goa overlooking the gorgeous Arabian Sea, Cabo De Rama Fort is frequently associated with the legend of Ramayana. It is believed that Lord Rama, Goddess Sita and Lord Lakshmana lived in the fort during their 14 year exile. It was built by the Hindu Rulers, however, in the 1760s; it was captured by the Portuguese and used as a military base and later as a prison. It, therefore, is also a historical place in Goa and significant monument in the country.

14. Corjuem Fort, Goa

Corjuem Fort, Goa

Standing the test of time, Corjuem Fort is an inland fort that was built in 1705 by the Portuguese and is located in Aldona village near River Mapusa. It is also known as Khojuem Fort locally and is one of the smaller forts in Goa. However, being a relatively unexplored historical place in Goa, it has gained importance in the recent times for the sweeping vistas that it offers. It is also among the only two forts to remain standing and relatively intact despite being surrounded by the Portuguese and Mughal rulers. Legend has it that the fort has been the site of many a battles and has protected the town of Corjuem from various invasions. In its current Avatar, however, it is beautiful even in its ruins and tells tales of an era gone by.

15. Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount, Goa

Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount, Goa

Church Of Our Lady Of The Mount is a 16th century church famous for its religious significance and picturesque location. This historical place in Goa is located on a hilltop amidst thick natural vegetation giving a splendid view of old Goa from atop. The structure is now partly in ruins and closed for daily exploration, but an evening mass is held on 8th of every month. The church is also open for the public during the Monte Music Festival and the Feast of St. Francis Xavier every year.

16. Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary, Goa

Church Of Our Lady Of The Rosary, Goa

Shri Shantadurga Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Goa. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is one of the patron deities of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The temple was built around 1715 AD. It was relocated from Keloshi after the Portuguese gained control over the state. The beautiful Indo-Portuguese style of temple architecture and the magnificent idol of the deity are a treat to the eyes and make it a famous tourist attraction.

17. Shri Shantadurga Temple, Goa

Shri Shantadurga Temple, Goa

Shri Shantadurga Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in Goa. It is dedicated to Goddess Durga who is one of the patron deities of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The temple was built around 1715 AD. It was relocated from Keloshi after the Portuguese gained control over the state. The beautiful Indo-Portuguese style of temple architecture and the magnificent idol of the deity are a treat to the eyes and make it a famous tourist attraction.

18. Mangeshi Temple, Goa

Mangeshi Temple, Goa

Shri Mangueshi Temple is built in the honor of Bhagwan Manguesh, the Kuldevata of Gaud Saraswat Brahmins. The deity is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, whose name was derived from ??Mam Girisha?? the words used by Goddess Parvati when Lord Shiva made a successful attempt to scare her by taking the form of a Tiger.

19. Tambdi Surla, Goa

Tambdi Surla, Goa

Tambdi Surla, also called the Mahadev Temple Tambdi Surla is a 12th century Shaivite Temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Known to be one of the oldest temples in Goa, the temple is built entirely black basalt and boasts of immense architectural beauty. The inner sanctum has a majestic Shiva linga and also an idol of a headless bull. In addition to that, the temple is flanked by River Surla that adds to the charm and natural beauty at the place.

20. Chapel of St Catherine, Goa

Chapel of St Catherine, Goa

Chapel of St Catherine is a 16th century historic chapel which was built over a Cathedral in 1552 on the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque after the Portuguese conquered the state. The splendid Renaissance architecture in laterite and limestone is adorned by paintings and artworks that draw tourists every year.

21. Three Kings Church, Goa

Three Kings Church, Goa

Officially Our lady of Remedios Chapel also called the Three Kings church is one of the most haunted places of Goa, known for its mysterious surroundings. Located on the hilltop of the Cuelim hull, the church was built in 1599 by Fr Gonzalo Carvalho S.J. The enchanting location of the church draws many tourists to the Chapel to break away from the monotony of the beach and party life of Goa.

22. Fort Tiracol, Goa

Fort Tiracol, Goa
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Across the Terekhol river from the Querim beach in North Goa lies the majestic Tiracol Fort. Also known as the Terekhol Fort, this magnificent structure was once a crucial part of the maritime defence of the Portuguese colonists. Today, it serves as the marvellous Fort Tiracol heritage hotel, offering a rare vacation experience different from the cliched agenda of tourists in Goa.

23. Mormugao Fort, Goa

Mormugao Fort, Goa

Mormugao Fort was built in the early 17th century by the Portuguese to protect the Margoa Port. The structure expands into the sea and allowed them to keep a better watch on the waterways to protect the port from attacks and invasions. The fort is now one of the best attractions to get a fabulous view of the scenic landscape and the beautiful Arabian Sea.

24. St. Andrew's Church Goa, Goa

St. Andrew's Church Goa, Goa

The Church of St. Andrew’s was first founded and built-in 1570 and inaugurated with pompous celebrations. The original building of the church was later destroyed by Adil Shah’s soldiers in 1578. The present building is a result of the architectural amalgamation over the years since 1594. The Neo-Gothic style is the most prominent part of the design features that we see in the church today. The most recent changes and inclusions were in the year 2010 with the long extended prayer halls. The church has the pure white all around and the grottos are beautifully maintained in gold tinge and there is a statue of Lady of Fathima carved in marble.

25. Chapel of St Anthony, Goa

Chapel of St Anthony, Goa

Chapel of St. Anthony, built in the 17th century by the Portuguese, is dedicated to the patron saint of the Portuguese Navy and the Army, St. Anthony. The attraction is located very close to the Monastery of St. Augustine. The chapel has a unique architecture with a semi-circular arch and a fort like influence. Devotees flock in large numbers on every 13th of June to celebrate the Saint's Feast Day.

26. Santa Cruz Church, Goa

Santa Cruz Church, Goa

A place that started as a small place of worship, the Holy Cross church in the village of Santa Cruz now happens to be the largest parish in Goa. The church was built in 1957 on a recommendation of the King of Portuguese to help convert people to Christianity. The church has been built in the Neo-Roman style of architecture with perfect blends of Indian and Europian culture. The feast of the church is held every year in the first week of May and is the best time to visit.

27. Sri Mahadeva Temple, Goa

Sri Mahadeva Temple, Goa

Sri Mahadeva Temple is one of the oldest temples in the state dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is said to be built by the minister of King Ramachandra of the Yadava Dynasty, Hemadri, but has influences of architecture belonging to the time the Kadamba Dynasty ruled Goa as well. The monument is made of basalt rocks sourced from the Deccan Plateau and adorns beautiful carvings made by skilled craftsmen of the time.

28. Shri Mahalaxmi Temple - Bandora, Goa

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple - Bandora, Goa

Shri Mahalaxmi Temple - Bandora is dedicated to Goddess Mahalakshmi with quite a unique feature - a Linga on the head of the deity. The deity was worshipped by the Silahara rulers and the Kadamba Kings. This temple was established in 1866 after the original shrine was destroyed by the Portuguese and is a magnificent example of traditional Konkani Temple architecture.

29. Chapora Fort, Goa

Chapora Fort, Goa
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A bastion of history and beauty - Chapora Fort is in North Goa and is located 10 km away from Mapusa. The Fort is undeniably one of the most famous forts in Goa. Built by the Portuguese in 1717, Chapora Fort has a long and fascinating history attached to it. History tells us that the fortifications around the current location of the fort had existed long before the Portuguese even landed in Goa. However, the fort was known by a different name then and was reconstructed by the Portuguese. The fort gets its name from Chapora River that flows right alongside it. 

30. Sinquerim Fort, Goa

Sinquerim Fort, Goa

Located at a distance of 18 kms from Panaji, Sinquerim Fort was constructed in 1612 and overlooks the beautiful Sinquerim Beach. The magnificent fort was used as the reference point for goods arriving from Europe. Also, it was used to guard the territory from the Dutch and Marathas.

31. Nanuz Fort, Goa

Nanuz Fort, Goa

Located in the Sattari district of North Goa, Nanuz Fort was built by the legendary ruler Shivaji and was later taken over by the Portuguese. Although comparatively smaller in size and currently in ruins, the fort is still flocked by many tourists to experience its magnificence and the olden times architecture.

32. Rachol Fort, Goa

Rachol Fort, Goa

Situated northeast to Margao in Salcette, South Goa, Rachol Fort is famous for the battles fought between Vijayanagar and Bijapur empires. Built complete out of laterite stones, the majestic fort has become a major tourist attraction of the city.

With the Southern flavours and ostentatious Portuguese influence has made these spots one of the most significant historical places in Goa. Driving through the lush green roads and diving into the blue waters of Goa is an experience to have at least once in a lifetime. Being a state dominated by several Hindu, Islamic, and Portuguese Dynasties, Goa is a blend of various cultural practices.

This post was published by Surbhi Parashar

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