Best known for its beaches and exciting nightlife, Goa also boasts a colourful blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, appealing to travellers from different parts of the globe. If you are holidaying in Goa and have a keen interest in history, you must explore these incredible attractions:
Cross of Basilica Bom Jesus
An impressive place to discover the rich culture and heritage of Goa, Cross of Basilica Bom Jesus holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Lying in Old Goa, which used to be the capital of Goa in the initial days of Portuguese rule, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the only un-plastered church in Old Goa, and here, you can enjoy the simplicity and elegance of a fine Jesuit architecture and learn about the rich Portuguese culture.
Also known as Arvalem Caves, the Pandava Caves are situated in the Bicholim town of North Goa. These 6th century ancient rock cut caves are known to be the refuge of the five Pandavas from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The architecture of the caves reflects the pattern of Buddhist cave style. Most of the tourists visit here to explore the five compartments and Shivlingas in the complex. There is a huge Buddhist statue in the proximity that grabs the attention of the visitors as well.
St. Augustine Tower
A 46-metre high landmark in Old Goa, St. Augustine Tower is a church complex that was completed in 1602. One of the four towers of St. Augustine Church and served as a belfry, it is a wonderful historical attraction in Goa no enthusiast should miss. You would love to spend a day here exploring the ruins of eight chapels, four altars and wide convent with numerous cells.
Goa State Museum
With an eclectic collection of exhibits tracing aspects of Goan history, Goa State Museum presents a rich historical and cultural heritage drawing attention of visitors from all around the world. Also known as the State Archaeology Museum, it has different departments including Art and Craft, Ancient History and Archaeology, and Geology, and appeals to all. The museum was established in 1977 and is an ideal place to learn about the Goan culture, traditions and society.
Overlooking Sinquerim Beach and the Arabian Sea, Fort Aguada is situated atop a hill around the mouth of the river Mandovi. It is one of the largest well-preserved forts in the region. Reflecting the glory of the Portuguese empire, the fort stands near an equally imposing 4 storey Portuguese lighthouse. A part of the fort was once a Central Jail.