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Basilica of Bom Jesus is located near the city of Panaji, the capital of Goa. The church is one of the finest examples of Baroque architecture since the Jesuits in India. The name of the church is translated as “child Jesus” and it is known as the place where the relics of St. Francis Xavier are saved, who is known as the patron saint of Goa. The building was constructed in 1594, it was decorated with white marble and precious stones and paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier. Construction of the tomb of St. Francis lasted 10 years and was funded by the Duke of Tuscany (in exchange for a pillow under the head of a saint), which was completed in 1698. In 1946, the first church in India received the status of basilica.
St. Francis Xavier (1506-1522) was a famous missionary that turned into Christianity hundreds of Asians. He was a member of the Jesuit order and student of the founder of order Ignatius Loyola. Arrived in India at the age of 35, he was a tireless preacher of Christianity, whom founded many churches and monasteries. Not only India, but also the South-East Asia were gripped by his activity. Returning from one of his trips, he died in China, his body was transported to Malacca (territory of modern Malaysia), where it was found that it is not subject to decay. In 1554 the relics of saint were taken to Goa, where the remains were carefully researched on incorruptibility and declared them a miracle. In 1622, Francis Xavier was recognized as a saint, and in 1635, his relics were transferred to the church.
Now Basilica of Bom Jesus has the status of Cultural Heritage and is a masterpiece of world architecture, and is a place of pilgrimage for both Christians and members of other religions. Particular interest to the church rises at a time when the incorrupt remains of St. Francis Xavier put for worship, which occurs every 10 years. The last time this event was held in 2004. It is believed that the remains of the saint have a healing power.
Cathedral of St. Catherine (Se Cathedral) is the first cathedral built by the Portuguese in Goa in the 16th century to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese Army over Muslim. It is the largest church in Old Goa and one of the largest churches of Asia, dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Old paintings on either sides of the altar depict the scene from her life and martyrdom.
The cathedral was conceived as a symbol of the imperial grandeur of Portugal and was build by design of Julio Simao and Ambrosio Argueyro over 80 years. The cathedral was built in the Tuscan and Corinthian styles. Front height – 30 meters, the length of the nave – 76 meters. Over the temple stands a vaulted ceiling, the main altar is dedicated to St. Catherine, gilded and richly decorated. There are totally 15 building altars and eight chapels in the building, two of them have a great array. Near the entrance is the font, where Francis Xavier baptized newly converted Christians.
The church is famous for the giant dome, nicknamed “gold” for deep, powerful sound it makes. Bell jingled so melodious that it was dedicated to the Portuguese poem. However, during the Inquisition bell meant public torture and execution in the square in front of the church.
Dudhsagar Falls are located on the territory of reserve Bhagwan Mahavir, which is located in the state of Goa, about 60 km away from the administrative center of North Goa – Panaji. Dudhsagar is among the hundred highest waterfalls in the world, and is one of the most important sights of Goa. It is a multi-level system with a total length of about 603 meters and a height of 310 meters.
This natural wonder is called Dudhsagar which literally means “ocean of milk”, due to the color of the water that appears milky white. According to the legend, in the jungle instead of waterfall was a palace, where lived a princess. She loved to swim in the lake nearby, and after swimming drank sweet milk from a golden pitcher. One day, while swimming, the princess saw man watching her behind the leaves, so she wished to hide her body from prying eyes, she poured the milk into the water beside her. To this day, milky white sprays of waterfall remind people of modest princess.
Reserve Bhagwan Mahavir is situated in the eastern part of the state, 53 km from Panaji and 54 km from Margao. This reserve is the largest reserve of Goa (240 square kilometers) and, in turn, comprises 107 square kilometers of national park Mole. Top view drift area stands a few kilometers into the park. Reserve contains a variety of attractions – Dudhsagar waterfall, Mahadeva temple, the Devil Canyon and other beauty. Beside the Mahadeva temple, near the gate leading to the Devil’s Canyon, stand two guard towers that create a memorable composition of architecture and nature.
It is home to many mammals, including panther, sloth bear, sambars and muntjacs. At night here tigers and elephants wander from the territory of the neighboring state of Karnataka. It’s difficult to see them, but the Indian bison, spotted deer, wild boar, langur, Indian macaques and striped mongoose you will see for sure. The reserve and the surrounding area is home to many birds, including Malabarsky hornbill, wild pigeons, bee-eater, bee-eaters, blue rock thrush and red clawed grouse.
Shri Manguesh is one of the grandest Hindu temples in Goa. The temple is located and the Old Goa at Priol in Ponda Taluka, along the national highway 4A, at 23 kilometers from the capital city of Goa. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the wisest and most revered of the Hindu gods. Famous for its ancient glory, temple every year attracts thousands of pilgrims.
Originally, the temple was built in the town Kortalim and was moved to Priol in the 16th century to avoid destruction at the hands of the Portuguese. The temple was rebuilt many times. The oldest part of the temple is the temple pool. You have to pass through the gate if you want to enter the temple. At the gate near road starts paved path leading to the yard to the tank with water. The white church building is raised on a platform. In the courtyard there is also a seven-story tower for oil lamps Dipmal.
Inside the temple is paved with marble and decorative tiles decorate whitewashed walls. Beautiful silver door to the sanctuary covers floral design. The door is guarded on both sides of the statues-guards and leads into the holy of holies, the room where is the Shiva Lingam.
On the altar, besides the Lingam, is the golden serpent Sesha and the image of Shiva.
Indian spices are the main reason that the Portuguese opened the coast of Goa, were thoroughly entrenched, because at that time, Indian spices were really worth its weight in gold, and for a long time in Europe were estimated equivalent of gold dust.
Spice plantations are located in the depth of the state, in a beautiful place between the Mandovi river beds and Zouari and channel Kumbarhua. Here you can see how grow almost all the Indian spices such as cloves, pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, curry, ginger, cinnamon, etc., as well as the majority of exotic fruits, such as bananas, pineapples, papayas, lemons, carambola , jet-Fruit, mango, breadfruit, and others. Also here you can see how it is made local nut vodka feni, which taste like home brew, and taste it with exotic dishes, cooked in banana leaves.
Goa lies to the north of Mumbai and is considered the best sea resort area of the country. Goa is the first state in India, the European colonizers had occupied, so, along with the endless white sand beaches, where you can find many old monasteries and castles, villas and factories in the Portuguese colonial style. Most attractive in historical terms-is Velha Goa – Old Goa, which was once called the “Lisbon of the East” – here are surrounded by majestic temples Cathedral Square, the Basilica of Bom Jesus (16th century) – the storage location of the relics of St. Francis Xavier, church of St. Monica and St. Augustine, Portuguese Catholic Cathedral Se (1562), the Church of the Holy Catejan, the royal chapel of St. Anthony, St. Francis Cathedral, and is considered the largest Christian cathedral in Asia – the Cathedral of St. Catherine (1652).
In Panaji (the state of the capital) deserve the attention the majestic church of the Immaculate Conception (1541), the old district Fonteynhas, Mahalaxmi Temple, built-up old buildings Latin Quarter and hill Altino, chapel Saint Sebastian, Abbot statue Farr (the prototype of the famous hero of Dumas), building of secretariat Panaji and National Museum. On the way from Panaji to Ponda are Shri Manguesh (dedicated to Shiva) and Shantadurga. In Mapusa – shrine of Hanuman, the Chapel of St. Anthony’s and the Church of Miraculous Virgin Mary. In Margao are the Church of the Holy Spirit and Grace, Municipal Garden and the extensive market Margao. The main “treasure” of state, are undoubtedly its wonderful beaches, framed by modern hotel complexes, restaurants and casino. The best of this continuous strip of white sand beaches are St Inez and Miramar in Panaji, the complex in Majorda Beach resort towns Aguada, Anjuna, Vagator, Palolem, Colva, Arambol and Calangute (known as the “Mecca of hippies”), and Baga Beach, Candolim and Shiridao alternating picturesque coves and cliffs. The region is famous for the numerous festivals, among which stands out Mardi Gra.
Perhaps the most significant event that still finds reflection in present, was an invasion on the territory of the state of the Portuguese. In 1510 they arrived in Goa to get control over the lucrative trade routes: by the numerous river arteries directly to the broad natural bays. The conquerors brought with them not only new laws, but also a new religion, which began to be rapidly planted in the indigenous population. Where persuasion word was not enough, in the case enters brute force. Under the slogans of Christianity, Holy Inquisition took hundreds of lives. It was only in the late 18th century, when national consciousness was able to find the strength to repel the invaders and almost completely back their own freedom. But to really get rid of more than four hundred occupation period, Goans were able only in the middle of the 20th century: the Indian army stormed the state and thereby put the final point in the Portuguese conquest stay in Goa. Today, the Portuguese heritage can be found in every corner of the state. Of course, first of all it is evident in the architecture: the dilapidated houses with tiled roofs and wide verandas, hiding in the thick undergrowth, the Catholic Church, rises with its ascended to heaven. In the chapel yard people commend the offerings to not familiar Indian deities, and to Jesus and Mary.