According to toppharmacyschools.org, the city of Old Goa, built by the Portuguese colonialists at the beginning of the 16th century, is one of the most visited places in the state. First of all, it is famous for its architecture – for centuries, Europeans built majestic cathedrals here, which today are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Particular attention of tourists and pilgrims is attracted by the Cathedral of St. Catherine – the largest Catholic church in India and one of the largest in Asia. Here is the chapel of the Miraculous “growing” Cross, which was carved by a local shepherd in the 17th century. According to legend, the Savior appeared to the shepherd on this crucifix, after which the monks decided to erect a chapel around the cross. And it miraculously increased during the construction to the size of the Calvary cross. They say that the relic grows to this day, heals the sick and grants wishes.
The Goa Archaeological Museum belongs to the complex of the Cathedral of St. Catherine, it is located in the church of St. Francis of Assisi. Each of the galleries of the museum is dedicated to a separate historical period of the state. The museum exhibits both artifacts from prehistoric times, as well as objects from the Middle Ages and modern times.
The Basilica of Merciful Jesus (Bon Jesus) in Old Goa is also a center of Catholic pilgrimage, because the relics of the Spanish missionary Francis Xavier are kept here. During the three years spent in southern India, the preacher built about 40 temples, and after his death he was canonized and received the status of the patron of Goa.
One of the most beautiful and memorable temples of Old Goa is the current church of St. Cayetana. The building has been restored, so the appearance of the temple is really impressive. In it you will see a wooden platform covering the old well. According to some historians, this well is the only thing left of the ancient Hindu temple that once existed on this site.
As you know, Goa was under the influence of European expansion for a long time, Portugal recognized the sovereignty of India over the state only at the end of the last century. In an effort to strengthen their positions, the colonialists built many forts in Goa. Today it is dilapidated fortress walls, but the views are exciting for tourists. It is strange to see silent military cities and cannons entangled in lianas next to serene beaches.
The impregnable fortress of Aguada, located on the outskirts of Candolim Beach, is considered one of the best preserved fortifications in Goa. The fort was built in the early 17th century and served as a bulwark against the Germans and the British. The most significant building in the fortress is a lighthouse of impressive size, which is no longer active today.
Fort Chapora was built by the Portuguese in 1612, since the end of the 19th century it has been in ruins. You can climb to the fortress, standing on a hill, from Vagator beach. In fact, these are just the remains of walls – sand and stones, but the fortifications offer stunning views of the ocean. There is a tradition among tourists to spend the last evening of their stay in Goa here.
Fort Korjum, built by the Portuguese in 1705, is located a few kilometers from the settlement of Aldona. It is in good condition – the loopholes are best preserved, a plate with a coat of arms is visible above the main entrance, and very close to it is a Catholic altar, to which flowers and candles are still brought. Guides tell tourists about a girl named Ursula Lancastre, who wanted to serve at the fort so much that she disguised herself as a man. After being exposed, she managed to go unpunished and even remained in the fortress, marrying the captain.
One of the most beautiful fortresses Yashvantgad (Redi Fort) is located on the border of the states of Goa and Maharashtra, not far from Paradise Beach. The fort resembles an enchanted castle – powerful banyan trees and bizarre flowers stretch out of the loopholes, and the fortifications are pierced with vines. The pristine beauty of the neighboring beach and absolute silence only enhance the overall impression of an old fairy tale.
The largest protected area in Goa is Bhagwan Mahavir. The reserve covers an area of 240 km² on the border with the state of Karnataka on the slopes of the Western Ghats. “Bhagwan Mahavir” is inhabited by elephants, tigers, bears, leopards, porcupines, as well as a huge number of birds, reptiles and insects. On its territory are the famous Dudhsagar waterfall and the Mahadeva Temple, built in the 13th century. This is the oldest surviving temple in the state; in February-March, Mahashivaratri, the “great night of Shiva,” is celebrated annually on a grand scale. Those who do not sleep during the holiday are promised material prosperity and a place in paradise in the holy books.
The small but very popular Bandla nature reserve can be reached by taking a bus to Panaji and Margao. Its area is only 8 square meters. km, but there is something to see. During the walk you will meet elephants, peacocks, wild boars and huge squirrels, but dangerous predators – leopards and panthers – live in fenced areas. To see them, you need to be patient.
In the Kotigao Reserve, which is 12 km from Palolem, there are no dangerous cats, but bright tropical birds and insects live. There are good trails on the territory of 86 km², there are two observation towers. Due to the proximity of the rivers, the vegetation here is so lush that sunlight can hardly penetrate the thickets, in which hyenas, porcupines and bears roam.
Not far from the city of Valpoy, there is a large nature reserve “Mhadey Wildlife” – the residence of the Bengal tigers, it is also known as the “tiger corridor”. This predator is considered the national animal of India. It’s just that it’s not so easy to find it in its natural habitat, more often their appearance in Mkhadeya is recorded by cameras, and not by people. From time to time, local authorities question the permanent residence of tigers in the reserve.
The Salima Ali bird sanctuary, which is located near Panaji on the island of Chorao, is home to about four hundred species of birds. Kingfisher is often found here. This little bird is a kind of symbol of Goa, it even became the logo of the popular Indian beer. This fact misleads tourists, some are even sure that this bird is called beer, and not vice versa.
Storks, ducks and herons also rest in the swamps of the reserve. Visitors meet otters, jackals, crocodiles and even flying foxes.
On the Mhadei River is one of the most beautiful sights of Goa – Dudhsagar waterfall, whose waters fall from a height of 310 m.
The waterfall is most active during the rainy season, but getting there during this period is almost impossible.
India remains the world leader in spice production. Here they grow chili, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, mustard, turmeric, asafoetida, etc. On numerous plantations, you can not only see how all these spices grow, but also treat yourself to a well-seasoned lunch, as well as get individual advice. an Ayurvedic doctor about the benefits of specific herbs.