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Goa Tourism Guide > Goa > Architecture > Caves & Sculptures

Goa offers an astoundingly rich architectural heritage to visitors. The extensive excavations and preservation efforts carried out by the Archaeological Survey of India have brought to the fore and restored remnants of ages in the form of ancient sites such as caves, epigraphs, sculptures, religious places like temples, churches, mosques, ancient forts, etc. Besides, a marvelous domestic architecture presented in centuries-old houses of the aristocrats occupies a prominent place in the itinerary of the lovers of architecture.

Numerous caves have been discovered throughout Goa, indicating the presence of human settlements. Some caves were used for residential purpose, some for religious, some for both, while the purpose of some of them is yet to be known. Some caves were natural, e.g. the caves at Verna and Rivona, while others like Lamgao caves were man-made and scooped in laterite. The Verna cave is the biggest one in Goa with a capacity of 1200 persons at a time. The religious caves, e.g. the three ca-

es at Neuara, consisted of a Garbhagriha (Sanctum Sanctorum) and a Shivalinga.
The pre-historic dwellers of Goa created some beautiful carvings on rocks. The most famous ones include the figure of Mother Goddess carved in bold relief on an outcrop of laterite at Curdi in Sanguem taluka, and rock carvings at Usgalimal and Kazur. These should have been open prayer places without any shelters.

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