Compared to Indian standards, Goan forts are very small in size. Nonetheless, these were of immense military, political and economic importance in a land crisscrossed by rivers and canals and bordered by sea on the west. Where smooth passage of trade vessels was vital to economy, the control of these forts in fact determined the economic and political fate and stability of the rulers.
Goan art colourfully illustrates the unity in diversity of Goan heritage. Various art forms pertaining to different religious beliefs and life styles have mingled into one unique identity that has developed into Goan art. Thus we find Hindu artists chiseling out Christian images in villages and cities. Goan art, developed around religious requirements, represents this process of assimilation, interdependence and mutual acceptability.
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.
Our Lady's Seminary, this minor seminary was built on a hillock close to the village of Saligao in Bardez taluka in 1952, although its construction started in 1937. It is a majestic structure, having spacious halls, lecture rooms, dormitories and a small chapel therein. Situated at a distance of 10 kms. From Panaji, this seminary imparts initial or preparatory courses for priesthood, after which the students are sent to Rachol seminary for further studies.
The Hindu festivals celebrated all over Goa include Makarsankranti, Maha Shivaratri (Worship of Lord Shiva), Holi or Shigmo (the Festival of Colours), Gudi Parva ( Hindu New Year), Ramnavami (Birthday of Lord Rama), Nagapanchami, Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami (Birthday of Lord Krishna), Ganesh Chaturthi (worship of Ganesha, the God of omen), Dussera (the victory celebration of Lord Rama over Ravana, the King of Lanka), Narakasur and Diwali (the Festival of Light).
This fort near the internationally famous Mormugao Harbour was built to protect the harbour situated near the Vasco da Gama town. Its work started in 1624. It covered an area of six miles in circumference, contained towering bulwarks, three magazines, five prisons, a chapel and quarters for the guard. It had 53 guns and a garrison with 4 officers, and was an important fortress on the western coast.
It is the most imposing of all churches at Old Goa. Its vaulted interior
overwhelms the visitors by sheer grandeur. Architecturally, Portuguese-Gothic in
style, the exterior of the building is Tuscan and the interior Corinthian. This
Cathedral has five bells of which one is the famous Golden bell, the sound of
which is immortalised in a Portuguese poem, the biggest in Goa and one of the
best in the world.
Medieval Goa witnessed intense conflicts for the supremacy over this prosperous and strategically important land by different rulers at different times, belonging to the Kadamba-Chalukyas, Delhi Sultanate, Vijaynagar, Bahamani and Bijapur.
Goan temples are unique and stand apart from other Indian temples in their
distinct architecture, location, spaciousness, and environment. Almost each and
every village has one temple to serve the religious and spiritual aspirations of
the Hindu devotees. Both old temples with a rich heritage of centuries and new
ones attract hundreds of devotees from all over Goa and other parts of India.
Museums and art galleries are the treasure troves of incredibly rich cultural heritage of Goa. The collections at various museums and art galleries offer a glimpse of a glorious past. Religious, historical, social and economic developments of Goa since ancient times are carefully preserved here from destruction.
Literally meaning 'The Sea of Milk', it is situated on the Goa-Karnataka border, at a distance of 60 kms. from Panaji and 10 kms. from Colem Railway Station. This beautiful waterfalls is accessible by train and rough road.
Goa is enriched with a fascinating diversity of wild life including birds and mammals. It is estimated that this region harbours some 48 genera of mammals, 276 genera of birds and 60 genera of reptiles. Preservation of wildlife is one of the priority concerns of the Government.