Goa – Past and Present

What this tour is about: This is a tour of Panjim (the current capital of Goa), combined with a visit to 'Velha Goa' or Old Goa (the previous capital). The tour covers some of the popular tourist must-see's in Goa, including a heritage walk in the interesting Latin quarter of Panjim. It also includes a visit to a vibrant and colorful traditional bazaar to experience the bustle of daily life in Goa.

Background: Goa was among the most important centres of the ancient and medieval world, trading in calico, spices, precious metals and many other goods. It has been under various Hindu dynasties for most of its history, with a brief period under Muslim rulers. When the Portuguese arrived in Goa, it was under the Muslim Bahmani empire. The Portuguese defeated the Bahmanis and conquered Goa in 1510; thus beginning 450 years of Christian rule. This rule ended when in 1961, the Indian army marched into Goa, and overthrew the Portuguese. These historical events have left their mark on Goa, influencing not only religion and architecture, but also the language, dress, cuisine and lifestyle of Goans. On this tour, you will see not only Goa's interesting monuments, but also its diverse cultures.

What the tour covers: The tour includes the following:

  • A drive to the top of a hill for a panoramic view of Goa. Here, our guides will show you the layout of the land, highlighting the rivers, islands, transport systems, and providing an overview of life in Goa.
  • A visit to the churches of Old Goa, the "Rome of the East", which was the administrative seat of the Portuguese. We will visit Se Cathedral (the seat of the Archbishop of Goa), and the Basilica of Bom Jesus which contains the body of Saint Francis Xavier, the Jesuit missionary who was canonised in 1622.
  • A brief walk through the heritage district of Fontainhas – this is a residential area, the Latin quarter of Panjim where the traditional colourful houses of the Catholic and Hindu community are still preserved. Here you will see the original fountain after which the area was named.
  • Bazaar walk through the bustling Panjim fish and vegetable market – this is a large colourful market where you can see all sorts of interesting things on offer, including household wares, spices, fish, meat, vegetables and many other goods. It's a great way to see daily life in Goa!
  • A visit to a Hindu temple to see the local architectural styles and prayer rituals

If you are interested, you can also visit the Museum of Christian Art in Goa or the State Museum, go shopping for handicrafts, or visit one of Panjim's popular restaurants to taste the famous Goan seafood.

How it works: Full day car tour, starting and ending from your hotel.