Visit these places on your next heritage trail in Goa

Make sure you visit these places on your heritage trail to capture the beauty and simplicity of Goa and its vibes.
The Safa Masjid was built in the 1560’s by Adil Shah of Bijapur.
The Safa Masjid was built in the 1560’s by Adil Shah of Bijapur.Image courtesy - Prutha Goa

Goa is a place rich in tradition and culture, which can only be experienced by looking deep into it. It's worth noting that the Portuguese were the first to introduce European architecture monuments through their tenure. However, Goa has a plethora of other historical sites that witnesses to the Hindu and Muslim kingdoms before the Portuguese that wraps the state's century-old culture, legends and rich heritage.

Make sure you visit these places on your heritage trail to capture the beauty and simplicity of Goa and its vibes.

1. Mahadev Temple

Located at Mollem amidst nature, this divine place is the oldest temple in Goa. It is a 12th-century Shaivite temple in the Kadamba style dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple is an ASI protected Monument of National Importance in Goa.

Mahadev temple situated at a place called Tambdi Surla at Mollem.
Mahadev temple situated at a place called Tambdi Surla at Mollem.Twitter/@Tourismgoa

It was constructed using basalt, carried across the mountains from the Deccan plateau and carved by craftsmen. It is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba architecture in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa. The temple is built in a place that is quite inaccessible and away from the main settlements. The intricate carvings created by skilled craftsmen adorn the interior and the sides of the building. The symbol of the Kadamba kingdom, an elephant trampling a horse, is carved on the base of one of the columns.

Location: Bhagwan Mahavir National Park, Darbandora

2. Safa Masjid

The Safa Masjid was built in the 1560’s by Adil Shah of Bijapur.
The Safa Masjid was built in the 1560’s by Adil Shah of Bijapur.Image courtesy - Prutha Goa

If exploring old mosques is your thing, you need to visit the oldest mosques in Ponda, built-in 1560, which is sure to leave you in complete awe. The single-chambered mosque includes a modest prayer space and a terracotta roof in the olden style. The general structural framework is reminiscent of a Portuguese house from the 16th century. The large laterite stone masonry tank with turquoise waters that are housed within the mosque complex is the main feature of Safa Masjid.

Location: Ponda

3. Shri Mangeshi Temple

Shri Mangeshi Temple
Shri Mangeshi Temple

Situated on the hilltop of Cortalim village in Ponda, this temple is one of Goa's most significant, wealthy and well-known Hindu sanctuaries. According to mythology, Lord Shiva arrives in Goa after losing everything in a dice game with his wife Parvati. When Parvati came looking for him, Shiva disguised himself as a tiger to frighten her. Parvati in shock uttered the words " Trahi Mam Grisha" (O Lord of the mountains, save me). The word " Mam Grisha" came to be associated with the tale and Shiva came to be known as "Manguesh". Devotees and visitors have been thronging to this temple for its with its simplistic beauty for last 400 years.

Location: Mangeshi Village, Ponda

4. Statue of Christ the King

Statue of Christ the King
Statue of Christ the KingInstagram/nathanielrodrx

Situated in the vicinity of St Francis Xavier Fort in the island village of St Estevam, the majestic statue of Christ the King was brought to Goa from Rome in 1926 by Fr Antonio Leandro Roberto da Rosa. The main altar is a bit distinctive, ending in a four-pillared canopy. It is built in typical Corinthian style with a nave ceiling, double niched side altars and an elegant pulpit. The ceilings are decorated with floral graffiti.

Location: St Estevam

5. St. Augustine Tower

St. Augustine Tower
St. Augustine Tower

Built on the holy hill of Monte Santo in 1602 by Augustinian Friars, this magnificently broken church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 1835, the church was abandoned after the Portuguese expelled Augustinian. Even in the present state, the tower looks grand and shine a light on the earlier times.

Location: Old Goa

6. Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church at Panaji
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church at Panaji Chaitanya Bagwaiya

No heritage trail is complete without a trip to Our lady of Immaculate Conception Church. The 'Crown of Panjim' is known for its zig-zag stairs along with the second-largest bell hanging and immaculate Baroque architecture that is blend of Portuguese flavours and a dash of Goan touch. Every year in December, a one-day feast of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated with pomp and circumstance, making it a must-see event.

Location: Panaji

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