Besides Kerala, there is probably no other state tourism industry in India that has flourished as much as the Goa tourism industry. While there is no contesting the fact that Goa’s timeless appeal largely rests on the popularity of its beaches and overall spectacular sun, sand, and surf charm, the destination has a plethora of other treats for the taking. In fact, just scratch the surface and you will discover a world of attractions covering genres as diverse as history, religion, and wildlife. So, here’s a little on the colourfully chequered world of sightseeing in Goa.
Rivona Buddhist Caves
The origins of these caves go way back to the 6th century AD. They have been carved out of a huge rock made of laterite and are highly mysterious. Even the Buddhist connection of these caves remains a debatable topic. It is said that Buddhists used to hide here when Buddhism was declining during the reign of Chandragupta and Kadamba. A pitha inside the cave was supposedly used for instructional and meditational purposes by Buddhist teachers. It is even said that at one time, the Pandavas took refuge during their exile.
Usgalimal Rock Carvings
If you are after the historic appeal of Goa tourism, then you just can’t miss this place. It is said that the carvings belong to the Upper Palaeolithic or Mesolithic era. Whatever be the period, but it is certain that these are at least 20,000 to 30,000 years old. There are about 100 odd distinct carvings in various shapes such human figures, bulls, labyrinths, lines, and spirals. Some of the artefacts discovered here are showcased at the Panaji Archaeological Museum.
Adil Shah Palace Gateway
This is what remains of the erstwhile spectacular palace constructed during the reign of Yusuf Adil Shah Khan, the sultan of Bijapur and the last of Goa’s Muslim rulers. It was built in a fusion Hindu Muslim architectural style and was knocked down to build the residence for the Portuguese Governor. The surviving gateway is 3 metres high and has been impressively built by the use of basalt. It is located pretty close to the St Cajetan Church in Old Goa.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, a founding member of the Society of Jesus. The saint’s body lies inside a silver casket. This is Goa’s only church, where the exteriors of the structure don’t have any plaster layers. The overall architecture has been kept pretty simple. However, the marbled floor is inlaid with precious stones and the altars are intricately gilded. Giovanni Battista, the 17th century Florentine sculptor, designed the mausoleum and it was built over a period of 10 years.
Last, but not the least, it is one of the foremost attractions in the scene of historic Goa tourism. The fort is amongst the most well preserved as well as the grandest remnants of Portuguese rule in Goa. It was built to protect Old Goa from Maratha and Dutch attacks. This also the only fort, which could never be overrun by invading forces. Its construction was completed during 1609 to 1612 AD.
This guest post is submitted by Chandralekha. Chandralekha is a Travel enthusiast, currently working with ixigo.com, an online India Travel Guide helps you to plan your trip to India. Apart from this she also writes to guide train travelers on irctc railway reservation , pnr status & all the Indian railways related stuff.