15 Historical Places in Goa | Best Historical Monuments!

Historical Monuments in Goa

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral Church, Aguada Fort, Corjuem Fort, St. Estevam Island, Sinquerim Fort, Tiracol Fort, Mormugao fort, St. Francis of Assisi, Chapel of St. Catherine, Reis Magos Fort and many other places.

Goa is insanely famous among tourists for its endless beaches and happening night life. However, there is another side to Goa that holds the interest of tourists as well. Wrapped around years of preservation and ancient events are the
Historical Places to Visit in Goa that offer a rich insight into the geographical importance of Goa. While this small town is more popular among travellers for its beach fronts and water sports, it does possess a rich history to its credit, which can be explored through these historical places in Goa. 

Places like Corjuem Fort, famous for its original Bhonsle rulers, St. Estevam island, which happens to be the fourth largest island in Goa, Tiracol Fort, which is still known today for its strategic design and its significance as a defence structure add to Goa’s charm in many ways.

Here is the list of best historical places in Goa:

Basilica of Bom Jesus

A world heritage monument and a UNESCO recognized the site, the facade of the church is quite dull and rusty in its first look giving a very different impression at first. Despite its rustic look, the church is famous as the relics of Saint Xavier was enshrined here long back. Moreover, its art, architecture and historical touch make it unique in another manner.

The contrasting interiors is a worth to look at, having the marbled floor, precious stones, gorgeous silver statue, carved and gilded columns and old paintings which will all make one go awestruck. This place is undoubtedly topmost places to visit in North Goa and a place that ought not to be missed at any cost.

Location: 10 km east of Panaji at Bainguinim

Timings: 10.30 AM to 6.30 AM, every day

Entry Fees: free of cost.

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Se Cathedral Church

One of the most striking churches in India is the “Se Cathedral” located in the Southern part of Goa. This magnificent church exhibits excellent artistry of the Portuguese-Manueline style with beautifully arched interior and an impressive courtyard. Previously, the cathedral had two towers but one of them collapsed in late 17th Century and was never rebuilt.

This cathedral is dedicated to St.Catherine, who belonged to Alexandria and there are six panels where her life scenes are beautifully carved. The most prominent feature of this cathedral is the huge “golden bell” which is one of the best bells in the world. This 250 feet high cathedral is a frequented spot and is visited by the tourists as well as locals. The tranquility and serene aura of the cathedral makes it a must visit spot in the list of places to visit in South Goa.

Location: 
Velha, Goa 403402

Timings: 
7:00 AM - 6:30 PM

Entry Fee: 
Free 

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Aguada Fort
Aguada is a Portuguese word which means “Water" so basically this Fort was renowned as the biggest water reservoir in Asia. As you will visit the campus of  Aguada Fort you can easily remember the scenes by several Bollywood movies which were shot here. You will be amused by the beauty of this place.You can witness the endless sea, a beautiful lighthouse and an amazing fort which altogether will give you feel of a perfect landscape.

This fort was built by the Portuguese rulers and has beautiful Italian design carved on the walls. You can see a  massive reservoir and a huge bell there. The Fort has a glorious history and is seen as an important part of Nation as it stands holding the pride and conveying its significance to the generations. You can also see the gunpowder room in the upper fort and it is said that earlier there were 200 cannons installed for the defence of locals.

Its brilliant architecture as well as the breath-taking views it offers of the Arabian Sea collectively make it a top tourist fascination in the region. It is also a great spot to watch sunsets while in the Party Capital of India.
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The Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception

‘Wow' is the one word that describes the church at first sight. Built-in 16th century, Portuguese style architecture speaks with a blow right here. Leading the main entry is the flight of stairs that rise like a floor above the floor. As the name is, the facade of the church is tarnished in immaculate, sparkling white colour and it is also one of the best places to visit in North Goa

To your surprise, the interiors are decorated in a very calm manner, without any intricate or coloured details as seen in many other pilgrimage centres. Yet, the skills of the craftsmen could be seen at the graceful altar and sub-altar. Again, this location gives you a trivia of Bollywood that used this church as the background of various shots. A must visit a location, this is indeed not to miss tourist places in North Goa.

Location: Within the main city of Panaji

Timings: Every day from 9.00 AM – 12.30 PM and 3.30 PM – 7.30 PM

Entry Fees: None!

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Reis Magos Fort

Owned by the Goa government, the Reis Magos Fort is among the popular ancient monuments in Goa. The 400 year old fort, constructed in the year 1551 happens to be one of the oldest forts in Goa. It is believed that the name of the fort was laid after three men from the Bible. Today, the fort falls under the ownership of the Goa government and finds itself on the list of Goa ancient monuments. It has been fully restored and serves as a heritage centre in the town. 

What started as a defence fortress, this fort has served multiple uses as a jail and then a hospital. Back in 1993, the fort was completely abandoned and left to perish in a neglected state. After being renovated, the fort was opened to the general public in the year 2012. 
At present, the fort serves under a guided vision and mission to promote cultural heritage in Goa. This is why, it has also become a centre for displaying numerous exhibitions, fairs, festivals and educational events. 

The fort is built in a typical fusion style of architecture, combining Hindu and Portuguese styles. It is known that the altitude of the fort gives a splendid view of the surrounding sea and landscape of Goa. 
It is also home to several artefacts, including 7 guns from the Portuguese era. The place is well connected with major railways stations, including Karmali, Verna, and Vasco da Gama. One can also get here by plane through the Dabolim airport.

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Cabo de Rama Fort

This decrypted structure with towers and rustic cannons was claimed by the Portuguese monarchs. It was a well-equipped fort with 21 guns and several military barracks and a chapel but, when the Portuguese left India, the place was abandoned and, later used as the government prison. Now, the fort is housed only by the ruins but is a popular tourist place in South Goa.

The Fort also has a church of Santo Antonio which is in great condition and still visited by his followers. The mystical atmosphere, steep cliffs, and majestic views make it a frequently visited place. It is a perfect place for you whether you are an adventure buff, photo fanatic or a nature lover.

Location: 
Taluka Cabo da Rama, Canacona, Goa 403702

Timings: 
9:00 AM - 5:30 AM

Entry Fee: 
Free

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07

Corjuem Fort

Corjuem Fort

The Corjuem Fort is an inland fort that stands in glory around a scenery of lush greenery and enthralling views. Apart from its historical background, tourists are drawn to the Fort’s beauty which is perfect for memorable photography. As one of the popular Historical Places in Goa, this fort holds a rich history to its credit.

Constructed in 1550, the fort originally belonged to the Bhonsle rulers of Sawantwadi. Later, it was transferred to the Portuguese who rebuilt the fort in 1705. Due to the strategic importance of the fort, it served as a defence station and military school for different reigns. The fort can be easily reached via cab, auto, and bus. 

Location:
Off Aldona-Corjuem Road, Corjuem, Goa 403508

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday

Price:
There is no entrance fee.

08

St. Estevam Island

St. Estevam Island

This island is located near the island of Divar and is also popular by various other names like Juvem. It is known that the history of Juvem is a rich one and the natural beauty around the island only adds to its overall charm.

The fort, which is located on the fourth largest island in Goa, dates back to 1668. At that time, the fort came to be known as the fort of St. Francis Xavier. As one of the most popular
Historical Places in Goa, this island has attracted the interest of one in many tourists, over the years. 

Location:
St. Estevam, Tiswadi, North Goa, Goa, 

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day: Monday to Sunday

Price:
No entry fee

09

Tiracol Fort

Tiracol Fort

Easily accessible via ferry ride from Querim, the fort is on the list of some of the famous Historical Places to Visit in Goa. The fort was constructed on the orders of Maharaja Khem Sawant Bhonsle, who was the king of Sawantwadi during the advent of the seventeenth century.

The hilltop location of the fort gives some of the most exhilarating views of the Arabian sea from its ranks. Due to its location, the fort gained immense importance for maritime defences, which is why it was completely revamped by the Portuguese in 1746. Today, the fort, which remained in a state of ruins for years, has been converted into a hotel by the name of Fort Tiracol Heritage. 

Location:
Pernem Taluka, Tiracol, 403524

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day from Monday to Saturday

Price:
Starting at INR 7000 per night.

10

Sinquerim Fort

Sinquerim Fort

Regarded as one of the popular Historical Places in Goa, this fort lies 18 km ahead of Panaji. This fort was constructed in the year 1612. Overlooking the Sinquerim Beach, this magnificent fort used to act as a landmark for goods arriving from Europe.

At the same time, the strategic post of this fort was also used as a means of guard against the Dutch and Maratha invaders. It is known that the construction of the lower section of the fort consists of a Bastion. The fort served as an anchoring point for ships arriving from the sea, during the 16
th and 17th century.

Location:
Bardez, North Goa, India, 403515

Timing:
7:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Monday to Sunday

Price:
No entry fee applicable

11

Mormugao Fort

Mormugao Fort

This well preserved fort is regarded as one of the most important ports for the Portuguese during their time in India. Today, the Mormugao Fort remains one of the most important Historical Places in Goa.

The Portuguese thrived amidst fear of attack through the coastal regions, since their main trading activity resided in shipping trade. As a result, this fort was built by them to control and protect their ports and harbour regions. The construction of the fort was ordered by the Viceroy at that time Dom Francisco da Gama. 

Location:
Mormugao Harbour | Near Vasco da Gama Town, Mormugao, India

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday

Price:
No entry fee applicable

12

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

This Church is one of the prime Historical Places to Visit in Goa. Designated as a Roman Catholic church, the convent of St. Francis was established by 8 Franciscan friars who came to Goa in 1517. Their efforts led to the establishment of the chapel which was later modified into a church and dedicated to the Holy Ghost.

The present structure of the church was finally built in 1616. In 1964, this church was transformed into a museum by the Archaeological Survey of India. Today, it houses some of the remains of the church and various paintings of Hindu sculptures. 

Location:
Off National Highway 4, Goa Velha, Goa 403110

Timing:
7:30 AM to 6:30 PM; Monday to Saturday; Museum timings – 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM and 3:00 PM to 6:30 PM 

Price:
No entry fee applicable

13

Chapel of St. Catherine

Chapel of St. Catherine

This chapel can be accessed easily by any public transport and is located close to the Basilica of Bom Jesus. This Historical Places to Visit in Goa has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The chapel was originally built by Alfanso De Albuquerque in the year 1510. It was in 1534 that the chapel gained the status of a cathedral by Pope Paul III.

In 1550, the Portuguese governor, George Cabral ordered the enlargement of the cathedral. The Chapel was built in the typical Renaissance style of architecture and displays many inscriptions in Portuguese. The chapel remains largely closed to visitors from the inside, however, being a world heritage site, many tourists still flock to visit the chapel.

Location:
Old Goa, Taleigao | East of Archaeological Museum, Panjim 403002, India

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday

Price:
No entry fee applicable

14

Viceroy's arc

Viceroy's arc

The archway was erected by Francisco da Gama, who happened to be the grandson of famous explorer Vasco da Gama. He ordered the erection of this archway when he became the viceroy in 1597. One side of the arch faces the sea, which had to undergo repair in 1954 after it collapsed.

This side of the arch is decorated with a deer emblem on the coat of arms of Vasco da Gama. At the centre of the arch is a statue of the explorer himself. On the other side, which faces the city, is the statue of an European woman, standing over an Indian under her feet and yielding her sword at him. 

Location:
Old Goa | Near OLD Goa Church Complex, Goa Velha 403402, India

Timing:
Open 24 hours a day from Monday to Sunday

Price:
No entry fee applicable

15

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

Church of Our Lady of the Rosary

This church has gained immense fame among tourists, as one of the most popular Historical Places in Goa for its simplicity and beauty. The historical Renaissance architecture, which is depicted at this church, happens to be one of its kind.

Over the years, the building has not undergone any major change and till date, continues to remain an example of the Portuguese architectural style. The construction of the church began in 1544. The church features a three storey façade and the simple yet elegant construction of the tower continues to bring tourists to this location. 

Location:
Bainguinim, Goa 403110

Timing:
Monday to Sunday; 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM

Price:
No entry fee applicable.

Newly Added Goa Experience

Goa Top Attractions

Places To Visit In Goa
Simply WOW!! Quite a thrillophilic journey with immensely warm hospitality, perfect planned schedules and of course amazing travel. As planned we were picked up @7 in the morning and were taken to the falls which happens to be around 100 kms. Bus they provide are very comfortable and AC will also be sufficient to beat the heat of sultry Goa. We also covered a landmark church of Goa enroute. They will give you around 15 20 mins to get that holy feel. Once we reached the venue we were given time to have breakfast, meanwhile the guide arranged tickets for the whole group and settled us up in the bolero which takes you from there further. It was again a Splendid journey of 45 mins through mahavir national park where you will cross several streams also. Pure off roading and adventurous experience. From the parking u have to walk for 5 mins to finally reach the destination which, you undoubtedly will feel deserving enough to have travelled for. Such a sublime scene and cool clear water with fishes around you will quench all the tiredness you might have had after traveelinh to several beaches. You get around 1.5 hours in total after final parking out of which for bathing you will get around 45 mins. Caution : please travel with good non slippery shoes as the rocks are too slippery and carelessness might get fatal. No worries though, you wont drown as they will provide you with life jackets so a good news for non swimmers. Post bath again you will be taken back and be served with complimentary lunch in goan style which is quite palatable. Then a short spice plantation tour followed by a return drop to the reapective pick up points. The trip will end in North Goa around 6 evening. ps : If you have time on your goa trip, do visit this place and thrillophilia is definitely a good option to consider coz it will wave off your trip organisational headache.
03 February 2020
Excellent
Superb cycling experience, it was just the 3 of us including the guide and we were able to complete the trip real fast. The bird sanctuary is where we took most of the pics. We went off road through the forest area as well and we could find the railway lines located there. Couple of steep ups and downs which made cycling challenging. The total distance would be 30 kms. Best I've ever cycled
An unforgettable experience for me. For the first time got a chance to get into snorkeling and see the marine life. Thanks alot guys for an amazing experience.
12 December 2015
Excellent
A well planned and executed sightseeing trip. Good for family tourists like us. We visited some of the famous beaches and churches of Goa. It was nice experience overall.
06 December 2019
Excellent
Goa is famous for its beaches and its parties but amid all the chaos of Goa, this is one soul-soothing experience. This a must-do activity and should be part of any goa itinerary. A 01-hour long cruise journey will give you immense memories.
13 February 2020
Excellent
Overall a decent holiday in budget. But the 3 days are not enough to explore the to the fullest. Our hotel accommodation is very good for the price we paid and the sightseeing car was also very good. We liked north Goa compare to south Goa as were in a group of 4 boys. There is a lot of places to party in North Goa but the south Goa is very peaceful and less crowded. Overall a good experiences and Thanks to Rupal from Thrillophilia for planning our itinerary in our budget.
09 February 2020
Excellent
I have visited Goa with friends from Indore and it was best trip of our college reunion. Rahul helped us a lot in customising the package as per our requirement and we also got the group discount. Our guide was very good and helped us explore the best and hidden gems of Goa. We enjoyed a lot at Casino cruise and water sports. Grand Island trip was the best part of the trip. Thank your team Thrillophilia and our guide Fernandes for making our trip awesome.
07 December 2019
Excellent
I have visited Goa with family and kids and it was the most memorable vacation for us. My kids enjoyed the dolphin watching and water activities. South Goa is very peaceful and serene and ideal location family holiday. Our guide was very personal and helpful. Thanks to team Thrillophilia and Rohit for customizing our Goa family tour as per our needs. Looking forward to more travel with my family.
I booked Goa honeymoon package for 7 days. Goa is a place for beach lovers. We visited famous beaches in Goa like Baga, Calangute, Candolim etc. we enjoyed water sports on Calangute beach. we also spotted dolphins and the experince was amazing. Do not forget to go for Mandovi River Cruz at Panaji.
I recently took Mumbai To Goa cruise. It was a good experience overall. The whole experience was worth every penny spent. The cruise that we got onto was pretty well maintained.

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People Also Ask About Goa

  1. Which are the historical places in north Goa?

    Add historical places in Goa to your travel itinerary. Here are some of the best places for you to consider.

    1. Aguada Fort: This historic fort built by the Portuguese has one of the biggest water reservoirs in Asia. The Fort stands close to the Arabian Sea, offering impeccable views of the vast waterbody. Moreover, the campus of the fort has Italian influences and a huge bell, many rooms and a spot where once 200 canons were installed.

    2. Reis Magos Fort: This fort was built in 1551 in Portuguese architecture style. Over the years it has been used for many purposes including a hospital. The Fort was revived and opened to the public in 2012 and since then has been a popular cultural heritage site in Goa, it also has many artefacts on display such as the guns from the Portuguese era.

    3. Viceroy's Arc: This archway was built in the year 1597 by Vasco de Gama's grandson Fransisco de Gama after he became a viceroy. One side of the Arc had undergone minute repairs in 1954 and the now standing structure has an emblem of a deer and two statues, one of Vasco de Gama and the other is of a European woman.

    4. Cabo De Rama Fort: One of the oldest Forts in Goa, this is located in between the two South Goa beaches Cavelossim and Agonda. Once ruled by Hindu and Portuguese rulers, the ruins of the giant edifice remain and offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea and the sunset. There is also a beautiful church on top of the premises that can be visited.

    5. St. Estevam Island: This ancient island is one of the largest in Goa and is located near the Island of Divar. The island also houses a fort from 1668 known as the Fort of Saint Francis Xavier. Apart from that, the natural beauty here is quite enjoyable.

    6. Sinquerim Fort: Among the top historic places in Goa, this fort was once used as an anchoring point for arriving ships, a guard post from Dutch and Maratha invaders and a landmark for delivered coming from Europe. Built in 1612, this fort has played a significant part during the 16th and 17th centuries.

    7. Monastery of St. Augustine: This is the Monastery of St. Augustin which was built by the Augustanian friars in the 17th century. Now dilapidated ruins of the structure remain that are remnants of the grand structure. Moreover, It is considered to be one of the largest churches in Goa.
  2. Which are the famous historical churches in Goa?

    Goa has various ancient monuments including historical churches. Here are some of the best cathedrals to visit during the Goan holiday:

    1. Basilica of Bom Jesus: This church has stood in Bainguinim of Old Goa since 1604. A UNESCO world heritage site, the exteriors of this archaic building are rusty and represent Portuguese and Baroque architecture. Also, the relics of St. Francis Xavier have been preserved here for over 400 years.

    2. Se Cathedral Church: This 16th century church ornates South Goa and is one of the largest churches in Asia. The immaculate exteriors and wood carved interiors are still in great condition and beautiful to look at. Built in 1640 in honour of the victory of the Portuguese over the Mughal, the church is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

    3. St. Francis of Assisi: This Roman catholic church was established by 8 Francisian friars around 1616. Later, in 1964, this church was transformed into a museum and currently it houses sculptures, remains of the church and paintings among other artifacts.

    4. Chapel of St. Catherine: This UNESCO world heritage site was originally built by Alfonso De Albuquerque in 1510 which was later enlarged in 1550 to the building that stands today. Situated near the Basilica of Bom Jesus, this cathedral has classic Renaissance style architecture with Portuguese inscriptions which is admired by a large number of tourists in Goa.

    5. Church of our Lady of the Rosary: This major historical church in Goa is known for its three-storey facade built in the classic Renaissance style along with the rest of the building. The church was built in 1544 and is one of the buildings that depicts the Portuguese influence in Goa from the bygone times.

    6. The church of our Lady of Immaculate Conception: Situated on the Church Street in Panaji, this virginal white building is a sight to behold. Designed in Baroque and Portuguese architecture with a hint of Goan accents, the church is known for its entrance staircases. Moreover, the second-largest bell also hangs at the top.

    7. Church of St. Cajetan: This is a 300-year old church in Goa that is one of the most popular and visited attractions. Inspired by the St. Peters Basilica of Rome, the church has beautiful architecture and grand altars, dedicated to the Holy Family.
  3. Which are the historical temples in Goa?

    Goa is mainly associated as a party destination. However, there are many historical temples here as well that you can check-out during your vacation. Here is a list of a few of the best places:

    1. Mahadeva temple: A dedication to Lord Shiva, this structure is made of basalt stone which has an archaic Shiva-linga on the premises. It has also been declared a protected monument in Goa which is encompassed by opulent naturalness.

    2. Mahalasa temple: Among the most famous temples in Goa, the Mahalasa temple has many mythological stories and beliefs about how the idol of the main deity was found. Large groups of people visit here to attend the arti processions to experience the divine and tranquil energy.

    3. Laxmi Narasimhan temple: This olden temple in Goa is dedicated to the Hindu God Narasimhan and Goddess Laxmi which is visited by many devotees and pilgrims. Moreover, the temple is also known for a freshwater spring that fills-up the temple tank.

    4. Shri Ramnath temple: A 450-year old Hindu temple, it is dedicated to five deities - Lord Rama, Lakshmi Narayan, Lord Ganesh, Kamakshi, Shanteri and Betal & Kalbhairav. Originally located in Salcete, it was later relocated in the 16th century to the current spot.

    5. Shri Rudreshwar temple: This temple is situated along the Harvelam falls and offers a stunning view of the cascading water. Moreover, the temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva which is visited by large flocks of tourists and devotees during ceremonies and on other days alike.

    6. Shantadurga Temple: One of the largest temple complexes in Goa, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Durga. This indo-portgueuse style temple was built in 1715 AD in Koloshi and was later relocated to its present spot.

    7. Mangeshi temple: Situated in the Mangeshi village of North Goa, this temple is an excellent combination of traditional patterns and modern accents. The Deep Stambha is a prominent structure in the temple that is lit-up with diyas every evening.
  4. Which is the most beautiful place in Goa?

    Goa is famous for many forts, beaches and tourist hotspots, which offer an enchanting insight into life in Goa. Among the most beautiful places to visit in Goa are Vagator beach, and Fort Aguada.
  5. What is the famous in Goa?

    Goa happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. It is famous for its beaches and nightlife scene, which is different from the rest of India. A number of carnivals are held in the town of Goa and tourists love to enjoy various sports activities as well.
  6. Which part of Goa is best for tourists?

    When it comes to Goa, usually the beach areas in the far south and far North are regarded as the best for travel by tourists. The area in North Goa such as Anjuna and Vagator are most popular with tourists as they are decently crowded and similarly, Candolim and Baga in South Goa are quite famous for their crowded beaches.
  7. Which beach is better in Goa?

    There are several beaches in Goa, which are frequented by travellers and tourists. The best out of the lot is Baga Beach, which happens to be the best beach in Goa. The beach is popular among tourists for its water activities, landscape and scenery.

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