Today we arrived in Goa. Goa is actually one of the smallest states in India and has the highest GDP per capita of any state in India. It was previously a Portuguese colony until 1961 and only officially became a state in 1987 but oh what a history it has. The Portuguese influence can be seen in many areas as you’ll see in some of my photos. There’s a large Christian population as well as Hindu. Our tour today included a visit to the Bom Jesus Basilica and associated Se Cathedral, the fish and flower markets, and an old Portuguese home which is now a historical landmark.
The Portuguese ruled Goa for 450 years and as a result built many religious buildings such as the basilica and cathedral. Here are some photos of the exterior and interior.
The coffin of St. Francis Xavier has special significance because his body is protected in the glass case and has not deteriorated which accounts for his sainthood. They expose the actual body every ten years.
The Se Cathedral is directly across the street.
Next we were off to the Flower Market. What a great experience! The market containing both produce and flowers is huge and so colorful. Goa is known for its special mangos and it happens to be the height of the season. I also loved the vendors in all their color and personality. I think you’ll really enjoy these photos. By the way, I purchased a string of yellow flowers (marigolds) that you’ll see for 100 rupees – $1.50. The scent of flowers was everywhere.
We then visited an old Portuguese home that is an historical landmark. The home contains Chinese furnishings from Macao which was also a Portuguese colony. The family that lives there is the 6th generation to live in this home and we met the mother who you’ll see in the photos. She lives there with her husband, two children, and her mother in law. I spoke to her and she speaks perfect English. She said that her family has no Portuguese roots – they’re all Goans.
I’ll end today with one more photo that displays the flowers I bought – of course, I don’t think I was supposed to wear them. I really enjoyed Goa and would say that it’s certainly my most favorite site so far in India. But then tomorrow is Mumbai and we’re looking forward to its color and intensity – well, at least I am. More to come tomorrow…. thanks again for following. Please send me your comments.