Along the Mondovi River lies Old Goa – Velha Goa – location to some of the greatest old Churches of India; all monuments the regions Portuguese colonial past. About 10 km east of the state capital, Panaji – stands the first minor Basilica in India; Bom Jesus Basilica. This stunning Basilica was built in the year 1594 and is considered a baroque architectural masterpiece. The layout of this massive cathedral is reflective of its period of construction during the Great Renaissance period but the intricately gilded altars decorated with frescoes are unmistakably Baroque. Exquisitely carved basalt embellishments make this 16th-century church a veritable work of art, with columns covered in white marble and inlaid with precious stones.
St.Francis Xavier is credited with hundreds of miracles throughout the period and hence this basilica attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. This basilica is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Hardly at a distance of a stone’s throw lies another spectacular Church SE Cathedral; one of the largest Churches in Asia and with the largest bell in Asia. Nearby you will find another 16th Century Church, St. Francis of Assisi and within a short distance is the St. Cajetan Church, a magnificent white church modelled onSt. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Old Goa is renowned for numerous Catholic churches founded by the Portuguese Colonial.