Goa Heritage Road Trip

by Arjun Dikshit

Goa’s history extends much further back than the arrival of the Portuguese invaders. Ancient civilizations dating centuries back have encompassed in the beach state. These endless invaders and conquerors left their mark through their cultural-rich monuments and structures across Goa which are now part of Goa heritage. So skilled were these ancient people that their establishments survive till date.

Many parts of Goa are filled with Indo-Portuguese style architecture that is truly a wonder to look at. The Velhas Conquistas region in Goa is especially filled with such structures. However, following given is a comprehensive list of all the places to visit in Goa.

Here is the list of all the places to visit in Goa.

Chapora Fort

Chapora Fort

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The ever-green Chapora fort is situated right above the Chapora River in Bardez, Goa. This location served as the site of another fort before the Portuguese arrived in Goa back in 1510. During the time of wars, many people were provided shelter within this strong structure. Even though the fort lost its military significance towards the end of the century, its artistic relevance is spoken about even today.

One can experience a pleasant time wandering through and around the fort, as it offers amazing views across Pernem, Vagator and even the Arabian Sea. A must visit place that comes in the top of Goa heritage sites and also one of the top places to visit in Goa.

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Corjuem

Goa heritage shines through and through with this one. Located about 4 kilometers away from the village of Aldona, Corjeum is more often described as a fortress. The Portuguese made use of Corjeum as their primary defense structure. This structure is small in comparison to other forts located across Goa, however, it delivers a splendid view of the surrounding river banks and luscious-green land fields. The monument is protected under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act.

Fort Aguada

Fort Aguada

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Fort Aguada is especially known for its accompanying lighthouse. It is kept well-preserved since the seventeenth century on Sinquerim beach. The fort was constructed back in 1612 with the main objective to guard the Portuguese military against the Dutch and the Marathas. Great rulers made use of it as a reference point for vessels or any other such packages arriving from Europe. One can even discover a freshwater spring within the fort that used to supply water to the ships that would stop by. This is actually how the fort received its name as Aguada actually stands for Water in Portuguese.

Reis Magos

Reis Magos

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One of the main reasons why Reis Magos is included in the top heritage places to visit in Goa is due to its spiritual and religious importance. Situated on the northern bank of Mandovi river in Bardez, Goa, the place is famous for two structures, i.e., the Reis Magos fort and the Reis Magos church. Not many are aware but the Reis Magos church is actually the first church in Bardez. The name “Reis Magos,” is derived from the Bible. It is actually a Portuguese name for the popular tale, ‘Three Wise Men.’

Cabo De Rama

Another must-visit tourist place in Goa is undoubtedly Cabo De Rama. The place is also known for the church of Santo Antonio. While the fort dons a dark color, the church is completely white. Therefore, it provides a photographic picture of stark contrast. Individuals from all around the world come to the church to pray and enjoy the mystic vibe around the fort.

Mangheshi Temple

Mangheshi temple

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The Mangheshi temple is pretty accessible. Located roughly 21 kilometers away from the Panjim Kadamba bus stand and 37 kilometers away from the Vasco Da Gama railway station, it is among the top heritage tourist place in Goa, which one must visit before exiting the beach state. The main reason why this religious spot has gained heritage importance is because of its large and wealthy Hindu shrine. Leading mythology texts suggest that Lord Shiva had himself descended down to Earth in order to search for a beautiful and peaceful spot after losing everything in a game of playful dice with his wife Parvati. The religious texts further state that when Goddess Parvati came looking for him, he actually disguised himself as a tiger and frightened her.

Mormugoa Fort

Another highly important Goa heritage is the Mormugoa fort. Not many are aware of this but the Mormugoa Fort is situated in the capital of the Portuguese empire. The fort was erected back in 1703 and since it is close to the Varca beach, it consists of many visitors. There are numerous ancient articles speaking great lengths about the history of the Mormugoa fort online. You can check them out and understand the relevance of this place in depth.

Church of St. Augustine

Church of St. Augustine

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This Goa heritage site is situated approximately 8-kilometers away from the Panjim Kadamban bus stand and around 27-kilometers away from Vasco Da Gama railway station. Therefore, getting to the church of St. Augustin is relatively easy. Let’s not forget to mention the fact that this spot is identified as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legend suggests that the church, as well as the monastery of St. Augustine, was built back in 1572 by 12 Augustines who arrived in Goa for the first time. The church was actually completed later in 1602 AD. However, as the Portuguese reign continued, they put a ban on the Augustines. Therefore, the church was abandoned as there weren’t many visitors. However, the art and architecture are perhaps one of the significant memoirs left for the legendary Augustines.

Bandora

There is nothing about Bandora that cannot be considered as being among the top heritage sites in Goa. However, its main attraction is the Shri Mahalaxmi Temple which is situated approximately 27-kilometers away from the Panjim Kadamba bus stand and about 37-kilometers away from Vasco Da Gama railway station. It goes without saying that the Shri Mahalaxmi temple is one of the most important places to visit in Goa and is also considered to be an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. The locals associate the temple as the abode of the original Goddess of the Shakti cult and its unique feature is that the Devi wears a linga on her head. The idol of Mahalaxmi features four arms that each holds a sickle, a club, a dagger and a vessel that is usually filled with the holy Prasad.

Fontainhas

For those who are unaware, Fontainhas is an old Latin quarter situated in the Panaji region of the current capital of Goa. The name is apparently inspired by the Fountain of phoenix spring. This area maintains the Portuguese’s past influence. The architecture found in the region greatly reminds one of the times of Portuguese. This place comes on top Goa heritage sites that provide enough space for leisurely walks and spending quality time with loved ones as well. However, if you just want to appreciate the European urban areas then simply step out and stroll away.

These were some of the top Goa heritage sites

Goa as an Indian state might be small in size but it has a lot to offer to its visitors in terms of its heritage. Be sure to check these places to visit in Goa off from your list. Also since you are in Goa you should be visiting the beaches. We have listed the beaches in South Goa and North Goa. You can choose to go on a road trip to explore the Goa heritage sites or beaches of Goa from the packages we have listed here.

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