Even though my trip to Goa, India was supposed to be a relaxing non-sightseeing trip, I couldn’t resist the urge to see something while I was there. I had done some research and discovered Old Goa. I figured I would just have the hotel get me a taxi there and back, but the hotel had a whole tour that we could take. More on the rest of the tour later. Many people think of Old Goa as a Portuguese city, but, in fact, there was a city there before the Portuguese arrived in 1510. This was when Goa began to look like a European city instead of an Indian city. Old Goa was the capital of Goa until 1843.
My reasons for wanting to visit Old Goa was the churches that the Portuguese had built during their time there. It was so odd to see these large European churches in the middle of the Goan jungle. The area is well maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India, and there is lots to see. There is a museum there, but you are not allowed to take photos inside, however if you enjoy archaeology, then I suggest you visit. It isn’t very large and only cost 10 Rupees to get in. The museum website says that it is open from 10 AM to 5 PM and is closed on Fridays, however it also states that it is 5 Rupees to get in, so you might want to check with your hotel. The museum is very well done and has labels in English and Hindi. The museum is located right next to the entrance to the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. All the churches were free to enter and most of them were in walking distance of each other. Although, I know we didn’t see them all. We visited the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Sé Cathedral and Bom Jesus. It took us about an hour to see the museum and these three churches. Since we were there during the off-season, it wasn’t very crowded. The churches had some labeling, but not much so you might want a tour guide or bring your guide-book to know what you are looking at. I really enjoyed seeing these churches in the middle of India. While they were definitely Portuguese, you could feel the India vibe from some. Now, I will leave you with my photos from my visit to Old Goa, as I think they speak for themselves. First is the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and then Bom Jesus. I wasn’t able to take a photo inside Sé Cathedral as they seemed to be holding a service and photos are not allowed during services.