Old Goa offers a great retreat to those travelers who are interested in culture, art, history and ambiance. There can be no other better place to enjoy a historical tour than Goa. Old Goa is also popular as Velha Goa and has been listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old Goa is situated in the North Goa district and about 9 kms away for the Panaji, the present capital of the state. The establishment of Old Goa dates back to the 15th century by the Bijapur Sultanate. During the 16th century, Old Goa was considered as the capital of Portuguese rule. The Old Goa remained capital till the 18th century.
Once a colonial capital, the Old Goa today hosts some of the major monuments that the state boasts of. All of which makes Old Goa a popular tourist destination in India. You can view the breath taking renaissance architecture. There are several well known churches which remind of its glorious past and that once rivaled Rome.
Old Goa was also known as Pearl of the Orient or Golden Goa. The earliest settlement in the Old Goa dates to the 12 century. This was during the reign of the Hindu Kadamba Kings. Later in 1470, it came under the reign of the Bahmani Sultanate. It was at this time that Old Goa became the capital. Later on Adil Shah, who was the Bijapur Sultan occupied Old Goa and made it the second capital of his empire. By that time, Old Goa was bounded by the fortified walls and it almost turned into a main trading station.
In the year 1510, Albuquerque conquered Adilshah and the Portuguese and missionaries of different religious orders followed. Most breath taking churches were established by them in the Old Goa. But as the city stood on the reclaimed marshland and the cholera epidemics started to take a heavy toll on its citizens, in 1843 the Old Goa was abandoned officially in support of Panaji.
You can visit various places of historic interest in Old Goa. Some of the most prominent Old Goan churches are Our Lady of the Mount, St Cajetan, St Francis of Assisi Church and the Convent, Se Cathedral, Basilica of Born Jesus, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary. The Viceroy’s Arch, the Christian Art Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Monastery and Church of St. Augustine, the Gateway of the Place of the Yusuf Adil Shah, the Convent of the Santa Monica are some of the other places of interest.
You can start your tour with the world heritage monuments like the Born Jesus that houses Body of St. Francis Xavier in one tomb and is known for its exquisite Italian and Goan workmanship. The Christian Art Museum, the St. Cajetan, Se Cathedral, the St Francis of Assisi, the Tower of St Augustine are few ideal spots located minutes away from the place.
One week won’t be sufficient to discover the Old Goan treasures and the different places of interest. This spiritual place can be best experienced in the early mornings and in evening.
How to reach?
The state of Goa comes well connected by railways, roadways and airways which make it easier to reach out to any part of the state. Both taxis and buses are available to the city of Old Goa right from Vasco da Gama that is the railway station and well connected with the major cities in India.
Where to stay?
Owing to its prominence as a tourist hub, Old Goa offers a number of convenient and affordable accommodation options. Starting from luxury to budget hotels, Old Goa houses some of the best hotels. Hotel Goa offers the best accommodations options to make the travelers reside with ease. You can count on hotel Goa to offer you the best services. One of the most popular hotels in Old Goa is Goa Residency. This hotel is thronged by huge number of tourists, both foreigners and locals all throughout the year.