Historical churches, catholic crosses, azuelos. It might be Europe? Maybe Latin America? Well, those regions are on the Asian continent. It is Goa, a part of Portugal transposed in the Southern part of India!
Goa Travel Guide
The traveler that decides for India as the next destination expects massive temples, reincarnations and spices. Any India Travel Guide will tell you that this is what you can see here, with the exception of Goa. Goa is a region in Southern India where Europe is heavily represented, and this is why a separate Goa Travel Guide is required.
The Goa State
Goa is the smallest state in the Indian Union, a different state because it was the subject of a different evolution. It was not under domination of the Mugala or Hindu populations, it was not a princely state under the British Raj, but a Portuguese colony! The small state from the shores of the Arabian Sea knew the Indian civilization until 1510, when the Portuguese conquerors seized the region for the profitable commerce with spices.
By conquering the Mondovi delta, the Portuguese built a great metropolis where the Old Goa City is today. Its fame reached Europe. At the end of the 18th century, Old Goa had a bigger population than Paris or London. Well, the Portuguese brought not only good things here, but also Inquisition and forced Christianization. This is why an important part of the population here is catholic, and names like de Sousa or Miguel are common.
Goa Travel Guide: what you can visit
For many people, Goa means beaches, palms, rave parties, hippies and a lot of marijuana. The Flower Power period of the 70’s brought the fame of Goa. Today, hippies are gone, rave parties in opened air only take place for New Year’s Eve, and consuming marijuana could bring you a long “trip” to the Fort Aguado jail. Now, the beaches are full of Portuguese, English and American tourists. The most important destination remains the Old Goa. The Portuguese Asian colony contained Goa, Macao, the Indonesian Island, Malaysia and the Oman port, and Goa benefited of this cultural diversity. Old Goa was not ravaged by humans, but by the power of nature. Malaria and cholera ravaged the population of the city, and this is why the capital was moved on the seaside. The long walks on the labyrinth of streets will give you an idea about the size of this city a few hundred years ago.
In the center, you will find some important churches such as the Goa Bishop Cathedral and St. Francis de Assisi, but also St. Cajetan, but the most important objective, which is a part of every India Travel Guide is the Dom Jesus Basilica, where the bones of St. Francis Xavier are kept. Francis Xavier is considered the Apostol of India, because he was the most important messenger of Christianity in India.
Whether you are looking for leisure in the sun or for impressive buildings of the Medieval Era, Goa is the city to visit. It is one of the most important attractions here, especially for American and European tourists.