Velha Goa: The Erstwhile Capital of the Portuguese-Ruled Goa
Explore Velha Goa to capture a glimpse of the town's Portuguese history and what led to its downfall.
Velha Goa was once as vibrant as London or Lisbon with a population of more than 200,000. Then a disaster struck, and over the course of the next two centuries, the magnificent city was reduced to a shadow of its past.
In the 15th century, the Bijapur Sultanate built Velha Goa on the banks of Mandovi river. But once the Portuguese defeated Adil Shah in 1510 CE and took over the city, it served as the administrative seat of the Portuguese in India.
However, when plague and cholera epidemics started to ravage the city, people began to move out, and by 1775 only 1,500 people remained. This abandoned city came to be known as Velha Goa (Old Goa) to distinguish it from the new capital Nova Goa (New Goa - Panjim).
Today, the Churches and Convents of Velha Goa are monuments inscribed by UNESCO under the World Heritage List and are home to the tombs of kings, saints and missionaries. From the palace of Adil Shah to the ruins of St. Augustine, from the world-famous Bom Jesus Basilica to The Museum of Christian Art, and the other sites and monuments of Old Goa, are worth visiting for their architectural and historical value.
Good to know :
Location: 16 km from Sterling Bardez, 29 km from Sterling Varca.
Dudhsagar Falls : Experience the Sea of Milk3hrs
See why Goa's Dudhsagar falls is called 'a sea of milk' and why this spot makes nature enthusiasts go crazy.
Harvalam Caves: Beyond the Beaches and Churches of Goa3hrs
Also known as the Pandava caves, the Harvalem or Arvalem caves of Goa are surrounded in mystery and mythology.
A Tryst with Goa's Mangrove Forests3hrs
Goa has much more than beaches, parties and feni to offer. Take time out to explore the mangrove forests on the mighty Mandovi river.
Ozran Beach: Hippies and Spirituality3hrs
Goa reverberates with modern ideas that transcend geographical and cultural borders. The face of Lord Shiva sculpted on a rock at Ozran Beach illustrates this well.
Usgalimal: Rock Carvings from the Stone Age3hrs
The beautiful Kushavati river runs through the village of Usgalimal, in South Goa. On its rocks, you can uncover carvings which are tens of thousands of years old.
Houses of Goa: A Blend of Konkan and Portuguese Styles3hrs
Houses of Goa is a quirky museum. An architectural marvel bringing alive the amalgamation of Portuguese and Konkani styles, it also throws light on Goan history.
Tiatr Academy: Keeping Goa's Cultural Legacy Alive3hrs
Known for keeping the Tiatr folk art alive in Goa, The Tiatr Academy hosts a unique Goan show that represents its history, people and their culture.
Fontainhas: The Latin Quarters of Goa3hrs
Take a walk down Goa's Latin quarters at Fontainhas and revisit a part of its colonial history.
Big Foot Cross Museum: Glimpses Of Ancient Rural Life3hrs
The Big Foot Cross Museum at Loutolim is an open-air museum. It captures glimpses of Goan rural life as it was, a hundred years ago.