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  • The best heritage trails in Goa tells the story of Panjim that’s rarely heard by visitors, the beauty of the past lining the streets hidden in plain sight. A heritage walk around the charming districts of Fontainhas and Sao Tomé will have you gawking in awe at just how beautiful it is. Add an extremely knowledgeable local guide who unveils her history with fascinating tales, and your day will turn out to be quite an interesting one.

    The Portuguese arrived here in 1510 under their commander Afonso de Albuquerque, and captured the city from Adil Shah, the ruler of the Bijapur Kingdom. They came to the East in search of trade and to spread Christianity. Under Portuguese rule Goa rapidly became a major metropolis of the 16th and 17th century rivaling London and Paris, and at its peak had a population of over 150,000 people.

    However, disease and decline in trade took its toll and the city rapidly deteriorated in the latter part of the 17th century. The capital was officially moved to Panjim in 1843. Eventually, the site of Old Goa was used as a quarry to build Panjim, and buildings were left to naturally decay and were eventually demolished.

    Old Goa is a World Heritage site housing some of the most historically significant buildings and churches in the region. Among these are the Basilica of Bom Jesus where the remains of St. Francis Xavier are to be found, the imposing Sé Cathedral, the Church of St Francis of Assisi, the Chapel of St Catherine, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary, the Church of St Cajetan, the Chapel of St Anthony and the ruins of the Tower of St Augustine’s Church.

    You can feel the contrast in the course of an hour walk. This is the first city in India built on a grid, with pavements constructed along all of its main roads. Shade trees were imported from South America, engineering blueprints for drainage and sewerage from Germany, and concepts for park gazebos and bandstands from England. Panjim is where the first non-Western “world citizens” asserted themselves, self-confidently brought Hinduism back into the public sphere, created a range of modern institutions for their own use, and sought what the passionate historian of Panjim, Vasco Pinho, describes as “freedom from fear the like of which has existed perhaps nowhere else.”

  • Heritage Homes

    The routes for these heritage homes include Loutolim –Margao –Chandor –Chinchinim. Also, be 7 of these places by receiving a guided tour that provides ample information about the places, the houses and mansions in the vicinity as well as small yet interesting anecdotes. They form some of the best trails of Goa.

    There are a number of stops along the way, these include the following best heritage trails of Goa:

  • 01Figueiredo Mansion

    Figueiredo Mansion
    When one enters the mansion in Loutolim, they are immediately filled with a sense of awe. The parlor walls are adorned with some old paintings which date centuries back. The mansion also has a massive ballroom which possesses teak furniture as well as carvings of Krishna and other Gods. The mansion has been converted to a museum as sanctioned by its heiress.
  • 02Miranda Mansion

    Miranda Mansion
    The mansion is located in Loutolim and was built in 1710. A true representation of Goa’s old classical architectural style, Miranda Mansion has kept its old world charm alive since last 300 years or more than that. The intricately built chapels and number of internal verandahs add to the stunning and timeless beauty of the mansion.
  • 03Salvador da Costa House

    Salvador da Costa House
    The next time you happen to visit Loulotim in Goa, make it a point to visit the mystical and magical Salvador da Costa house which is known for its gardens and exquisite architecture. Built in the 19th Century, the house has a grandeur to it that cannot be explained, and only experienced! The mansion is renowned for its gothic style which is manifested in its windows, cluster columns and wide verandahs. Tourists are expected to be in for a treat when they visit this architectural marvel.
  • 04Roque Caetan Miranda House

    Roque Caetan Miranda House
    Built in around 1846, this spectacular mansion stands close to the Loulotim Church Square. Portraying a delightful picture of Goa’s rich and cultural history this mansion is maintained by a family of two sisters and a brother. Comprising of rare antiques, secret chambers, glass chandeliers and many ancient portraits, it still echoes the glorious history of Goa.
  • 05Sat Burnzam

    Sat Burnzam
    This Portugese-style private chapel was built in 1790 in Margao. It refers to the presence of seven gables, of which only three can be seen for now.
  • 06Braganza mansion

    Braganza mansion
    Located in Chandor village, the Braganza mansion was constructed in the 17th century and comprises a garden with fountains and tables. Antique items can also be found as it has now been converted into a museum.
  • 07Dr Alvaro loyola Furtado Mansion

    Dr Alvaro loyola Furtado Mansion
    Built during 1790 – 1833, this heritage house is located in Chinchinim. The palatial setting and wooden flooring lends a certain charm to it, and adds to the architectural brilliance of the ancient Goa and its cultures.
  • Forts of Goa

  • 08Tiracol Fort

    Tiracol Fort
    Built by Maharaja KhemSawantBhonsle during the 17th century, this fortress is now converted into a heritage hotel. Scenic location, intricate architecture, the old world charm and the captivating vies of the Arabian Sea from the fort adds more grandeurs to it.
  • 09Chapora Fort

    Chapora Fort

    Fondly called as the ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ fort,

    The fort was built in 1617 for protection against invaders. It is currently in ruins and but offers a magnificent view of some of the best known beaches in the area. Open till 4 pm.

  • 10Cabo Raj Bhavan

    Cabo Raj Bhavan
    This fortress is now the residence of the Governor of Goa. Though the fort was created with the intent to serve as protection, the cannons are never used. It is of historic importance and is open to the public for a restricted amount of time. Moreover, one can find out many more exciting and amazing things to do in Goa during there visit with family and friends.
  • 11Reis Magos fort

    Reis Magos fort
    This fort was built in 1551 and is known for its famous Portugese turrets. It has been preserved well and also comprises of a church on the premises.
  • 12Fort Aguada

    Fort Aguada
    Built in 1612, the fort is located on Sinquerim Beach, Goa. It is segregated into a lower and upper fort and still has remnants of a gunpowder room and a lighthouse. Open from 10 am to 2 pm.
  • 13Mormugao fort

    Mormugao fort
    The fort was built in 1642 and consists of bulwarks, a total of five prisons and a chapel. Surrounded by greenery, this fortress offers amazing views of the area below.
  • 14Cabo da Rama fort

    Cabo da Rama fort
    Built in 1763, this citadel with its turrets serves as an observation post for young government officials. A dry moat and a small church are the only tourist attractions. The fort provides a great sea view.
  • Goan Temples

  • 15Sri Mahalsa

    Sri Mahalsa
    The temple is located in Mardol and is famous for its brass lamp tower and bell. The temple is open for around 3 hours in the morning and for 2 hours in the afternoon/evening and is visited by pilgrims throughout the year.
  • 16Laxmi Narsimha

    Laxmi Narsimha
    Built in the 18th century, the temple has various images of Lord Vishnu and also allows visitors to indulge in communal bathing. It also comprises of a musician’s gallery.  
  • 17Shantadurga

    Built in the 18th Century, the temple has undergone a number of renovations. The entire complex is surrounded by lush greenery and comprises of pyramidal roofs and a massive dome. An Indo-Portugese fusion characterizes the architectural style. The golden palanquin is the highlight of the structure.
  • 18Ramnath

    Located in Bandode, this temple is sacred and has a special gallery which is for the ladies only. There are different inscriptions made on the pillars and doors. Jatra is celebrated by pilgrims every year.
  • 19Mahadev Temple, Tambdisurla

    Mahadev Temple, Tambdisurla
    This temple is considered as the most ancient temple in Goa. Built in the Jain style, the temple has been carved from black basalt. Mahashivratri is celebrated by all the locals and other pilgrims in the area with much vigour.
  • 20Nagueshi

    This temple was built around the 15th century and represents Indo-Portugese architecture. The temple has a large reservoir and is used to view the idol in the temple as well as the inner sanctum. It is visited by pilgrims all through the year.
  • 21Shri Mangueshi

    Shri Mangueshi
    Dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is an example of the typical Goan Hindu architecture. It has a distinct look to it comprising of white towers. Built in the 16th century, it is considered as among the holiest temples in the region. Pilgrims are allowed visitation for a few hours (around 4-5 hours) a day
  • Churches and Convents

  • 22Basilica de Bom Jesus

    Basilica de Bom Jesus
    It is among the most famous churches in Goa and was built in 1594. It stands as an example of Baroque architecture. The pillars of the temple have been carved from basalt and are known for its simple yet charming design.  
  • 23Se cathedral

    Se cathedral
    Constructed in the 16th century, the cathedral is known for its gothic style and is dotted with interesting architectural elements.        
  • 24St. Francis of Assisi

    St. Francis of Assisi
    The church has been constructed with elements of Tuscan Order and Manulin style. Frescoes and other embellishments add character to the altar in the church. There are beautiful paintings on display as well. Guests are allowed for only a few hours in the day.    
  • 25Chapel of St. Catherine

    Chapel of St. Catherine
    The chapel was built in 1510 from latrite stone with towers on either side. There is a small chapel within which possesses a plain altar.  
  • 26 Viceroy's arc

     Viceroy's arc
    Built in 1599, the monument was erected to pay homage to Vasco Da Gama and was the main entrance to Old Goa. It provides a picturesque view of the area surrounding it.
  • 27Convent of St. Cajetan

    Convent of St. Cajetan
    This church is architecturally Corinthian and possesses beautiful carvings. The grand façade has two towers which serve as a belfry. The peace and reverence within the complex is surreal. 
  • 28Church of Our Lady of the rosary

    Church of Our Lady of the rosary
    The church has a two-storied portico and gives the impression of being a fortress. Built in a gothic style, the church is visited by tourists all through the year.
  • 29Royal chapel of St. Anthony

    Royal chapel of St. Anthony
    Built in the early 17th century, the chapel is a popular tourist destination. It has a semi-circular shape and is open to visitors for duration of 1-2 hours a day.
  • 30Church and monastery of St. Augustine

    Church and monastery of St. Augustine

    Built in 1602, the ruins of this church and monastery are quite a sight to behold. There are a number of galleries present as well.

    Therefore, tourists are advised to undertake these heritage walks to ensure that they truly get a taste of the historicity of Goa. These heritage trails of Goa are fun and informative as well especially for those who want to take a detour from the regular fun and entertainment which the place offers.

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