Virtual Tour of Goa - Churches and Temples
Part - 1
This is the first in the 3 part series of Goa. We had been to Goa and here are the pictures and information about the places we visited.
In Part 1 we will concentrate on the churches and temples of Old Goa.
Bom Jesus Basilica Goa
The Bom Jesus Basilica in Goa holds the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier. It is just about 2km from the capital city of Panjim. The church is dedicated to "BOM JESUS" meaning "GOOD JESUS" - the original name was simply "JESUS". The facade has on its top the letters "I.H.S." which are the first three letters of the name of Jesus in Greek - IHSUS. In ancient times the letter I was used instead of the letter J, which did not then exist. Hence on the top of every cross you read this inscription I.N.R.I. which means Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judeorum (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews) The letter H in greek is E and not as in English. I.H.S. is a Jesuit monogram.
The Main Altar
This altar is set on the back wall of the Sanctuary and it dominates the whole church. In the middle of the altar, there stands a giant statue of St. Ignatius in priestly vestments, nearly three meters high. He is the founder of the Society of Jesus whose members are commonly known as Jesuits; but the Church is not dedicated to him but to Jesus.
Above the monogram of Jesus, there sits the Holy Trinity in glory whom Ignatius contemplates through that medallion which is shown as a round Host.
To the right of the trascept i.e. to the North, there is the Mausoleum made by the Florentine sculptor (Italy), Giovanni Batista Foginni (1653-1737) - a magnificent gift of a Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosmas II (1670-1723). It was brought to Goa by two artists, one of them is Placido Francisco Ramponi who worked on it for nearly 25 days (14.10.1698 - 8.11.1698)
The Silver Casket
On this marble Mausoleum, is set the SIlver Casket, made through the initiative of Father Marcello Mastrill, an Italian Jesuit. The crystal Urn, containing the Relics of the Body of St. Francis Xavier, was placed in the SIlver Casket on 13th Feb 1955. This crystal Glass urn was made in the "Casa Brandizzi" (Rome) and was brought to Goa on 30th Jan 1955.
Here is a picture of the view when exiting one of the corridors of the church.
The Cathedral is the largest of its kind in the East. The Church is vaulted and is divided into three naves. It measures 250 feet in length, 180 feet in breadth and 120 feet in height. To the right as you enter the Cathedral, in the Third Chapel, the "Cross of Miracles" was transferred in 1845 from the Hill of Boa Vista (literally Good View); on 23rd Feb. 1619, the lord appeared on that cross hanging.
Shantadurga is one of the Richest temples dedicated to Shantadurga, the Goddess of peace. Also famous for the golden palanquin.
Situated 33 kms from Panjim, Shree Shantadurga temple has an impressive idol of Goddess Shree Durga who mediated between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva and stopped the fiercefull war going on between the two. She is flanked by Vishnu and Shiva on both the sides.
This current temple structure of Shree Shantadurga devi was built during the period from 1713 a.d to 1738 a.d. Many renovations have been done over the years to the main temple and to the temples of other deities besides the guest house [agarshala] which is built on three sides of the temple.
This avatar of Shree Jagdamba devi which had come to make Shanti [peace] between Shree Vishnu and Shree Shiva, came to be known as Shree Shantadurga devi. The original place of Shree Shantadurga devi was at Keloshi. From there devi was shifted to Kavlem during the rule of portuguese government.
Mangueshi is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built in the 17th century. This temple is situated at Priol, on a hillock surrounded by green hills. It is dedicated to Lord Mangueshi an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The deity is originally from Cortalim and was moved to Priol to avoid the Portuguese destruction in the early days of its rule. The oldest part of the temple complex is the water tank in front of the temple. It has undergone many renovations and today its style is uniquely Goan. At the entrance to the temple is a majestic lamp tower, one of the special architectural features of many Goan temples. There are about 12 'Agrashalas' or residences for pilgrims around the temple.