Pilgrimage in Goa

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About Goa Pilgrimage Tourism

Strolling into beaches and enjoying nightlife is a highlight of travelling in Goa, but Goa is not only about rave parties and beach fun. One can see every facet of life in Goa- whether it is the chill vibes of night parties, solitude of nature, a relaxing day in a scenic beach or sacred pilgrimage places to fine tune the spirit. No matter where you travel in Goa there is something for the traveler of all kinds.

Pilgrimage sites? In Goa? Yes, you are right. Goa has a spiritual vibe too. Variety of tourist places to enjoy with your loved ones makes Goa the most visited destination in India. Tourists choose Goa for the chill and grill vibes of beaches and Parties but in Goa, Spirituality can be your constant companion if you're looking for eternal peace and euphoria in this beautifully chaotic land of Beaches - Goa.

Goa’s pilgrimage sites reflect millennia of regional and foreign influence. There are many pilgrimage sites in Goa, which can quench the spiritual thirst of the devotees of all kinds. If you are willing to experience something different from the obvious beach tour, the Pilgrimage tourism in Goa will never disappoint you. Holidays in Goa would really be incomplete without visiting the top pilgrimage sites of Goa.

Here is our soulful list of top Pilgrimage places of Goa to help you in your journey to embrace the delightful divine.

Goa Hindu Pilgrimage Sites – Land your spiritual Boat amidst the divine grace

Goa Hindu Pilgrimage

In terms of spiritual domain, Goa is very diverse. Culturally and architecturally rich Hindu pilgrimage sites of Goa have been luring devotees for ages. A temple in Goa has always been an integral part of the lives of people. The Hindu temples in Goa are strictly dedicated to the worship of ‘Panchayatan’- Devi, Lord Ganesha, Lord Rudra, Lord Keshava and Lord Aditya.

With the advent of Portuguese many Hindu temples in Goa were destroyed, that is why we can see there are more modern Hindu temples then ancient Hindu temples because many temples were re-established outside of Portuguese domain. The Hindu temples in Goa are aesthetically rich. Nagara style of architecture in the temples will blow your heart away.

In most Hindu temples the common feature is the Sanctum Sanctorum, Garbagriha and Shikhara which rises from the main shrine but Hindu temple architecture of Goa is unique. The temple architecture of Goa reflects local flavour.

The most unique feature is the Deep Stambha rising from anywhere and it can be 2 to 6 stories high. There are numerous Hindu temples in Goa that will fine tune your spirit and bless you with eternal peace and euphoria. If you are planning to visit Goa this year then make sure to enrich your experience with a pilgrimage tour in Goa for a wonderful experience.

  • Shanta Durga Temple - The small laterite mud shrine of Goddess Shantadurga (Form of Goddess Parvati) is the true epitome of peace and harmony. The deity is equally worshipped by Hindus as well as Christians. It is said that Goddess Shantadurga settled the fierce fight between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, since then Goddess Shantadurga was worshipped and known as the epitome of peace. Devotees come here from across the world to seek solace and harmony.
  • Brahma Temple - It is universally acknowledged that there is only one temple of Brahma located in Pushkar but you will be surprised to know that there is one more temple of Brahma located in Nagargao in Valopi in Goa, which is a very remote place. The temple dates back to the 12th century and is an absolute piece of wonder. The sculpture of Brahma is chiseled out of Black stone.
  • Shri Sapta Koteshwar Temple - The deity of the kings of Kadamba Dynasty, the divine Saptakoteshwar temple is a sight of unparalleled solace and loveliness for devotees. It is said that Lord Shiva was very pleased with the devotion of seven sages who prayed for 7 crore years for Lord Shiva near the place where 5 holy rivers met the sea. He granted their wishes and agreed to stay in the form of Lord Saptakoteshwar (Sapt means seven and Koteshwar means crores). It is also one of the best Hindu pilgrimage places in Goa.
  • Mahalasa Narayani Temple - The divine female incarnation of Lord Vishnu is worshipped as Goddess Mahalasa Narayani in a small village of Mardol. She is worshipped in two forms; one as Mohini and the other as a consort of a Folk God Khandoba who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva. One temple yet many tales behind it, it is one of the most mysterious temples of Goa. Embrace the peace and seek divine blessings from Mahalasa Narayani Devi.
  • Mahadeva Temple - Located at Tambi Surla at Mollem, Mahadeva Temple is one of the most ancient holy places in Goa. The temple dates back to the 12th century. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The most interesting fact is that it is the only temple of Kadamba- Yadava architecture in basalt stone preserved in Goa. One cannot miss the fascinating sight of tranquil Surla River which flows near the temple. The scene of an elephant trampling a horse is carved in the base of one of the columns of the temple is an evidence that this temple belongs to Kadamba Kingdom.

Christian Pilgrimage Sites in Goa – Colonial Grandeur Sublime and sophisticated


Churches are the heart of Goa’s rich spiritual platter. These are the most visible symbols that reflect the 450 years of rich history and culture of Portuguese. There are numerous Christian Pilgrimage sites in Goa to behold for a toil weary soul. The churches of Goa are the legacies of Jesuits, Augustinians, Dominicans and Portuguese.

In the 16th century the islands of Goa were converted into Catholicism by Portuguese by defeating Adilshahi Rulers. The result of which is the construction of marvelous European Churches for the purpose to approach their Gods and inner selves. Now the essence of Christianity is so deeply rooted in Goa that it is synonymous with Goan Spirit.

The Christian pilgrimage sites in Goa are the most fascinating sites to behold. The early churches of Goa (1510-50) are a fine blend of Gothic, renaissance and Romanesque styles of architecture which are one of a kind.

Some churches are a great example of Manueline style of architecture, the most prominent example is the Church of our Lady of Rosary.

Also, the Neo- Roman style churches like ‘Se Cathedral’ and baroque style churches like Holy Spirit Church of Margao and Santana at Talaulim are not less than a heavenly sight to behold. All these churches hold a great spiritual significance for Christians. Tourists and devotees from all over the world come to Goa to seek divine blessings from the almighty.

If you want to feel the true Goan spirit, revel in the colonial charms, soothe your eyes to the marvelous architecture and embrace the divine aura of the divine being, you must get ready for a pilgrimage tour in Goa.

There are some of the most popular Churches in Goa that you must visit to complete and quench your spiritual thirst.

  • Se Cathedral Church - It is one of the most popular churches of Old Goa. It is dedicated to St Catherine who was a saint and a patroness of Christian philosophy. It took 100 years to build this divine church. The Interiors of the Church is a great example of Corinthian architecture. The peaceful vibes, fabulous mosaic work, gilded carvings and fascinating Iberian facade are an absolute piece of wonder. Also, the convent adjoined the cathedral is now an archaeological museum which gives a useful insight on Goa’s bygone era. It is one of the most visited places of Worship in Goa.
  • Church of our Lady of Rosary - Located atop the Monte Santo Holy Hill the Church of our Lady of Rosary is decked with spirituality and serenity. It is a marvelous piece of renaissance architecture. It is said that Afonso de Albuquerque surveyed the attack of Adilo shah’s army and as a token of gratitude he built this church to celebrate his victory. Portuguese - Manueline style of architecture and simple interiors will delight the soul of devotees. It is one of the best places from the point of view of religious tourism in Goa.
  • Church of St Augustine - Sublime church of St Augustine is located near the nunnery of Santa Monica. Out of the four towers of the church only one survived, rest are destroyed by the ravages of time. It is nothing but only ruins echoing the stories of its glory in the past. UNESCO declared it a world heritage site in 1986. Here archaeological remains of queen Ketevan of Georgia were found. Visit here once to revel in the charms of these sublime ruins.
  • Church of Basilica of Bom Jesus - Rich in art architecture and history, Church of Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most visited churches in Goa. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. In first glance the plastered exterior of this church will look very inferior to you but it's a masterpiece of baroque architecture. The facade of the church is very beautiful. The floor is laid with marbles and inlaid with precious stones of great value. The modern art gallery of Basilica depicts the scenes from the bible. One must visit to embrace the peace dipped in each corner.
  • Our Lady of Immaculate Conception - Located in Panaji, Our Lady of Immaculate Conception is an epitome of peace and bliss. The facade of this church is of sparkling white color which is very soothing to the eyes and soul. The church houses an ancient bell which is the second largest bell of its kind in Goa. The church is a beautiful amalgamation of Portuguese, baroque and goan architecture. You have to climb 78 steps to reach the church. On your pilgrimage tour in Goa, visiting this church would be the most enriching spiritual experience.

Muslim Pilgrimage Sites in Goa – Legacy of Great Rulers


In the western coastal state of Goa, there are very less Muslim pilgrimage sites to behold as they belong to the minority community. With the advent of Portuguese, we see less Hindu and Muslim pilgrimage sites in Goa as at that time the town was totally decked in colonial vibes. However, there are some precious gems left in the spiritual platter of Goa for Muslim devotees, the grandeur of which is still intact.

We can see some of the most fascinating pilgrimage shrines from the period of Bijapur Ruler - Ibrahim Adil shah. It is said that Ibrahim Adil Shah built 27 mosques in Ponda Taluka in the 1560's. The most prominent among them is the Safa Shahouri Masjid.

There are numerous small mosques scattered all around Goa for community worship like Hazrat Hamza Shah Dargah in Betim, Masjid -e Inaam in Panjim, Jama Masjid in Mapusa, Masjid- e Nizami in Curtorim etc.

Some of the most popular Muslim Pilgrimage shrine in Goa which you must visit for solace are

  • Jama Masjid, Sanguem, Goa - Jama Masjid is the most popular Goan mosque located in Sanguem. It was completely renovated in 1959. The structure of the mosque is a typical Muslim architectural style consisting four minarets and dome shaped structures. Tourists from all over the world flock here during the festive time of Id which is the most popular festival celebrated soulfully in the mosque.
  • Safa Masjid - Safa Masjid is the delightful legacy of the sultan of Bijapur - Ibrahim Adil Shah and is one of the most visited mosques of Goa. The beautiful fountains and gardens of this mosque were destroyed by Portuguese but the grandeur of the past is still intact. Eid Ul Fitr and Eid Ul Juha are the most popular festivals celebrated in this mosque with great pomp and show.
  • Surla Taar Mosque, Surla Goa - Built by Adil Shah it is a part of 27 other mosques built by him out of which only few survived the ravages of time. It is the heart of soulful Surla village. Beautiful water tanks and arched architecture will be a wonderful sight to behold and embrace spirituality.
  • Namazgah Bicholim, Goa - The great Mughal ruler Akbar constructed this divine mosque of Namazgah. This mosque contains the tomb of Hazrat Abdullah Khan. It is a great amalgamation of Persian and Mughal architecture. Domes with petals, arched openings on walls and long balconies with courtyard which is used for Eid celebration makes it one of the most beautiful mosques in Goa.
  • Masjid-ul Akbar - It is one of the oldest mosques in Goa. What makes this mosque unique is that it is the first mosque in Goa to allow the entry of women. At present the management committee of this mosque provides equal educational opportunities to boys and girls. In the 1980's. This mosque also organized programs for the people of other religions which is a great example of religious tolerance.

Jain Pilgrimage Sites in Goa – Ancient Ruins of the Past


Delightful essence of Jainism also touched the shores of Goa centuries ago. At present only a small population of Jains exist in Goa. Before the arrival of Portuguese there were many Jain settlements in the area of Kathambi, Narve, Bandoda and Gujjiwada in Kudne. Their traces now are lost in the folds of time but the memories of bygone days and their rich legacy is reflected in their monuments and temples. Jainism flourished during the period of Kadamba Rulers.

We can also see some of the ancient Jain temples belonging to Vijayanagar Period. These temples are now in very vulnerable condition. These temples are subjected to erosion, scorching sunlight, weathering and pollution. Little of its grandeur is still intact.

There are very few Jain pilgrimage sites in Goa but the essence of Jainism is still deeply rooted in the language and culture of Goa. For example, the word Shivarak which means vegetarian food is used in Goa is taken from the Jain word ‘Shravak’ which means Jaina House holder.

If you want to revel in the charms of Ruins of Jaina Heritage then visit these temples during your pilgrimage tour in Goa -

  • 1008 Shri Adinath Digambar Jain Mandir - This divine place is a temple cum Dharamshala which provides great vegetarian food and pleasant accommodation to the tourists. The white marble deity of this temple is the great epitome of peace and harmony. The ambiance of the temple is dipped in serenity and simplicity. It is the only Jain temple in Goa, rest of the Jain temples are in ruins.
  • Jain Temple of Cudnem Village - Constructed by Gurjara community in 10th century this ancient Jain temple of Cudnem village is dedicated to lord Rishabhanatha. This temple has been lost in the folds of time since the 15th century. During the excavation of 1986 by the directorate of archaeology and archives, the broken idols of Tirthankaras were discovered. Most of the Jain heritage in Goa is in a vulnerable state. If you want to explore the ruins, this place is a must visit destination in Goa.
  • Chandreshwar Temple in Kathambi Village - It is located near the bank of Mandovi River. Broken idols of Tirthankar, yakshi and kuber sculptures were discovered in the ruins of Chandreshwar temple. If you want to see the sculptures of Yakshi and Kuber you must visit the Goa State Museum.
  • Neminath in Bandivade, Goa - The ruins of this temple is the most fascinating site to behold in Bandora. This temple was built by King Sripala according to an inscription found in Bandivade. Visit here for the exquisite glimpse of the bygone era and peaceful vibes.

There are some of the best pilgrimage sites in Goa, the beauty, grandeur, divine aura of which is difficult to justify in this short blog. In order to feel the divine euphoria in totality, one definitely needs to travel to the religious places of Goa. We hope that our list of these best pilgrimage places in Goa helps you in your journey to become on with God.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Shri Saptakoteshwar Temple of Goa celebrates the festival of Gokulashtami with great pomp. Every year thousands of devotees from Goa and other parts of India come here to enjoy this festive occasion.

Timings for Sunday – 7.00am, 8.15am, 9.30am, 10.30am and 5.30pm

On weekdays - 9.00am – 12.30pm and 3.30pm – 7.30pm

Some of the top things to do in the Church of the Basilica of Bom Jesus are :

  • Glimpse of the statue of St Francis Xavier
  • Exquisite paintings of the saint in Modern Art Gallery are one of the best things to behold in the church.
  • Don’t forget to see Sacristy, it is a chest which contains the golden rose.
  • One must visit the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

Every temple in Goa is uniquely divine and offers great spiritual experience but if you want to visit North Goa, here is a list of some of the best temples to visit -

  • Shantadurga Temple
  • Shri Nagesh Maharudra Mandir
  • Mangeshi Temple
  • Mahalaxmi Temple
  • Gopal Ganesh Temple

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