Vignettes of Goa Architecture

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Goa is a land of glorious architecture. Many road trippers stumble upon the quaintest of chapels and the most forgotten fort ruins simply by driving around the countryside. Informed travellers choose to hire a car so they can explore and make impromptu detours in search for the quirky and famous sites of the state. Here are some of the most vivid examples of building design and aesthetics in India’s Sunshine State.

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Basilica of Bom Jesus
It has now been around for close to half a millennium and the Basilica of Bom Jesus remains one of the most enigmatic Christian structures in the sub-continent. The artistic interiors and the golden altar are some of the design highlights of the Basilica. It also serves as a shrine, home to the remains of the Spanish missionary St. Francis Xavier, enclosed in a glass and silver casket.

Se Cathedral
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Se Cathedral houses fifteen carved altars and its exterior is distinctive because of the one missing tower that was never rebuilt after it collapsed. The Corinthian interiors and the large bell in the church are some of the highlights at Se Cathedral.

The Heritage Fort – Tiracol
The riverside Tiracol Fort is now a luxurious heritage hotel. Many consider the complex one of the most detailed examples of Portuguese architecture that one can come across in Goa. Visitors here will also be rewarded with splendid views of the coastline and the countryside.

Chapora Fort
Built by the great Bijapur monarch, Adil Shah, Chapora Fort remains one of Goa’s most endearing landmarks. The original native architecture was complimented in later years by the Portuguese occupiers who added the European elements. There are many hidden tunnels in the fort complex adding to the mystery and allure of Chapora. From the ramparts of the fort, one can soak in views of Anjuna and Vagator Beach along with the seemingly endless expanse of the Arabian Sea.

Margao’s Town Hall
With its arched corridors spreading on all sides on two levels, the Margao Town Hall or Municipal Council building is a great architectural landmark that continues to be part of everyday scenes.

Welcome to Old Goa
The Viceroy Arch is a quaint reminder that striking architecture is not just about grand landmarks. This arch welcomes visitors who are driving around Old Goa and its centre sculptures feature statues facing opposite sides.

There are many more architectural wonders in the state of Goa and it would require a fair bit of driving around and exploring to experience them. One can hire cars in Goa in a matter of minutes. App-based rental platforms like Zoomcar offer a wide range of vehicles – from hatchback and sedans to large SUVs. With 24/7 on-road support, travellers enjoy a much-appreciated security layer.

The giant archways and the ruined walls of medieval forts beckon the history lover. Goa is a place that echoes legacy in every corner. It promises an unforgettable experience to anyone who ventures there with an open mind and an adventurous heart.

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