Basilica Of Bom Jesus

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Stroll Around The Oldest Church Of Goa – Basilica Of Bom Jesus

Basilica Of Bom Jesus

Located in Old Goa, Basilica Of Bom Jesus is a vivid example that holds both historical and architectural value. This iconic landmark is an up-and-running spot to worship Jesus since the day it was built in 1605 A.D.

The Basilica houses the tomb of St.Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa. The name “Bom Jesus” or “Good Jesus” was given by Alexio De Menezes because of a vow originally made by the Portuguese sailors.

Entering the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Basilica Of Bom Jesus Goa is also one of the top-visited places in Goa today.

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History Of The Oldest Church In Goa

The history of Basilica Of Bom Jesus in Goa goes back to the 16th century when Portugal was ruled by King D. Joao III. The present church, with its unique pyramidal roof and a belfry of five storeys, dates back to the 17th century, during the terms with Archbishop Alexio Noronha.

Archaeologists found a number of relics including great artistic value such as crosiers, patens, chalices and crosses during the excavation of this church in 1540. The findings testify Portuguese conquest over Goa. However, they were later put on display in a special section of the museum which was inaugurated by the Archbishop on 8th December 1987.

The first Church of Bom Jesus was built by the Franciscans in 1595 and, as a mark of gratitude for their safe arrival at Goa, they inscribed a sentence on a stone tablet over the entrance gate. “A Devoçao De Nossa Senhora Da Saude E A Arvore Da Vida Novo Mundo,” meaning built in the year 1535, to the devotion of our lady of health and for life in a new world. The inscription incidentally is still present on the façade of the west door.

In 1604, the Archbishop of Goa initiated plans for a larger church. When the foundations of the new church were being dug, some beautiful pieces of 9th-century sculpture was unearthed and kept deposited in the Archeological Museum at Old Goa.

The Architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus

The Basilica of Bom Jesus church in Old Goa holds a prominent place in Portuguese colonial history in India with its architecture. This alluring church dates back to the 17th century. The present building was designed by Portuguese architect Julião Simão and Domingos Fernandes.

The interior of the church is filled with a vast collection of artistic works and comprises a central nave and side aisles. It is considered a real treasure in terms of colonial Indian art. The central roof is bordered by small Latin crosses, each facing one of the principal points or directions. The altarpiece is the epitome of architectural design and is unique in its kind. The Basilica also boasts of many profusely painted walls, ceilings and pillars done by artists from Italy.

The outer area of the basilica of Bom Jesus is decorated with carved elements such as pilasters, medallions and swags. Stucco work is done on the surface to produce ornamental designs on parapets, cornices, doorways etc. The church also possesses some fine silver and gold artefacts which were seized by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca in 1511 after defeating the king.

Essential Information

Weather30° C
Timings Monday – Saturday: 09:00 AM – 06:30 PM
Sunday: 10:30 AM – 06:30 PM
Time Required1-1.5 hours
Entry FeeNo entry fee
Constructed inStarted in 1594 and completed in 1605
Mass TimingsSunday: 8:00 AM, 9:15 AM and 6:00 PM in Konkani, 10:15 AM in English
Monday to Saturday: 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM
A mass is held at the chapel of St Francis Xavier on the 6th of every month: 10:00 AM 
Holy HourFirst Friday of every month at 5:00 PM
Must ViewStatue of St Francis Xavier & Chapel of St Francis Xavier
LocationOld Goa

How To Reach Basilica Of Bom Jesus

From Bus Stand

There are around 15 bus stands in Goa from which Mapusa Bus Stand and Margao City Bus Stand are the nearest to the church. Travelling to Basilica of Bom Jesus via bus is the cheapest mode of transport, costing between INR 45 to INR 70 for a one-way ride.

From Railway Station

Goa has around 19 railway stations from which Karmali railway station, Dabolim station and Thivim station are the nearest to Basilica of Bom Jesus. One can opt for taxis and buses outside the railway station to reach the church.

From Panaji

The distance between the Basilica of Bom Jesus and Panaji is 12 km which takes around 20 minutes to reach. The cheapest way to cover this distance is by bus costing not more than INR 40. However, you may also hire a taxi for a quick drive to the Basilica of Bom Jesus from Panaji.

From Goa International Airport

The Basilica of Bom Jesus church is 24.1 km away from the Goa International Airport. Both buses and taxis are available from the airport that will take you to the church. It is a drive of  28 minutes to 35 minutes. The easiest and most recommended way to reach the church from the airport is by hiring a taxi from the airport, costing you somewhere between INR 590 to INR 750.

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Best Time To Visit Basilica of Bom Jesus

Best Time to visitThe best time to explore the beauty of the Basilica of Bom Jesus church Goa is from October to March. The weather during this time period is just fantastic to stroll around and walk to the entrance of this stunning church. The average temperature in Goa during these months clocks between 23 degrees Celsius to 19 degrees Celsius. The magnificence and beauty of this church is best experienced during bright sunny days, displaying a detailed exterior. Just make sure to visit the church from Monday to Sunday. However, the Basilica of Bom Jesus timings might be different for both weekdays and weekends.

Places Not To Miss Near Basilica Of Bom Jesus

Places Not To Miss Near Basilica Of Bom Jesus

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is undoubtedly beautiful, but there is much more to experience when it comes to exploring Goa beyond beaches. Here we are listing some of the places that will excite you near the classical Basilica of Bom Jesus Church.

  1. Old Goa: Just 180 metres away from the beautiful Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa is a lively place to party, stroll around and savour delicious Goan cuisine. A lot of stunning and colourful buildings can be seen in Old Goa, clearly reflecting Colonial and Portuguese architecture. The striking roads and incredible people can make your trip to Old Goa even more interesting. Do not forget to relish the famous “Ambot Tik”, a curry made of fish, prawns, and shrimps whenever in Old Goa. Read more

Here are the popular churches in Goa that you can explore after your visit to Basilica Of Bom Jesus church. While some churches are known for their ancient mummies, others for their beauty. Whatever church you choose, be sure to make the most of your tourism.

Other Churches in Goa

NameDistance
Basilica of Bom Jesus0 km
Se Cathedral240.0 m
Chapel of St Catherine400.0 m
St. Augustine Church550.0 m
Church of St. Cajetan750.0 m
Church of Our Lady of the Mount1.6 km
Chapel of Saint Sebastian11.4 km
Church of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception11.7 km
Mae De Deus Church19.8 km
Three Kings Chapel22.6 km
St Alex Church36.3 km

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there any beach nearby Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa?

Answer: Candolim Beach, Bambolim Beach, and Vainguinim Beach are the closest to the Basilica of Bom Jesus church with a distance of 20 km, 14.6 km, 18.8 km respectively.

Q: Is Goa a tourist-friendly city?

Answer: Goa tops the Indian tourism chart as it is one of the best cities for tourists.

Q: Is there any entry fee for the Basilica of Bom Jesus?

Answer: There is no entry fee for the Basilica of Bom Jesus church in India. The church stays open for all the travellers from 9:00 am to 6:30 on weekdays and 10:30 am to 6:30 pm on Sundays.

Q: How far is Baga Beach from the Basilica of Bom Jesus church?

Answer: Reaching Baga Beach from the church can take you around 45 minutes via NH748 as it is 25.3 km away.

Q: Is the Basilica of Bom Jesus in South Goa or North Goa?

Answer: The church is in Old Goa which is a further sub-district of North Goa. So, technically, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is in North Goa.

Q: Does the Basilica of Bom Jesus keep the dead body of St. Francis Xavier?

Answer: Yes, the Basilica of Bom Jesus’ dead body remains to date in the church. It is kept in a silver ornamental box.

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