The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Goa, India, and is part of the Churches and convents of Goa UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest and most revered churches in Goa and in India, and attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists every year. Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous church and tourist attraction in Old Goa, visit during Goa Local sightseeing. In this article, we will explore the location, timing, entry fees, significance, things to do, and some frequently asked questions about this magnificent monument.
Location of Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus church is located in Old Goa, the former capital of Portuguese India, about 10 km from the city of Panaji. It is situated on the banks of the Mandovi river, and is surrounded by other historic churches and monuments. Basilica of Bom Jesus church can be easily reached by road, rail, or air. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, about 30 km away. The nearest railway station is Karmali Railway Station, about 5 km away. There are also buses and taxis available from Panaji and other parts of Goa.
Timing / Entry Fees Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus church is open to visitors every day from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, except on Sundays when it opens at 10:30 am. There is no entry fee for visiting the basilica, but donations are welcome. Photography is allowed inside the church, but flash photography is prohibited. Visitors are advised to dress modestly and respectfully, and to maintain silence and decorum inside the church.
How to Reach Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus church can be easily reached by road, rail, or air. The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport, about 30 km away. The nearest railway station is Karmali Railway Station, about 5 km away. There are also buses and taxis available from Panaji and other parts of Goa.
Things to Do / Must See Basilica of Bom Jesus
Basilica of Bom Jesus church is a must-see for anyone interested in history, architecture, art, or religion. The main attraction of the basilica is the mortal remains of St Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary who died in 1552 on his way to China. His body was brought back to Goa in 1553 and has been preserved in a silver casket inside a glass case in the church. The body is exposed for public veneration every ten years (last held in 2016). The body is said to have miraculous powers of healing and has attracted many devotees over the centuries.
The basilica is also known for its exquisite baroque architecture and Portuguese colonial style. The façade of the church is made of black granite and has a large statue of St Ignatius Loyola above the entrance. The interior of the church is richly decorated with paintings, sculptures, carvings, altars, and relics. The main altar is gilded and bears the statue of St Ignatius Loyola standing between Solomonic pillars above which is the name of Jesus in the IHS monogram and the Holy Trinity. The ceiling of the church is painted with scenes from the life of St Francis Xavier.
The basilica also has a museum that displays various artifacts related to the history and culture of Goa and Christianity. The museum has a collection of paintings, sculptures, coins, stamps, documents, vestments, and other items. The museum also has a gallery that showcases the art and craft of Goa.
Significance of Basilica of Bom Jesus
The basilica is a significant monument for several reasons. It is one of the oldest churches in India and one of the finest examples of baroque architecture and Portuguese colonial art in Asia. It is also one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Origin in the World . It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national monument of India.
The basilica is also a sacred place for Catholics and Christians all over the world. It contains the relics of St Francis Xavier, one of the most influential missionaries and saints in history. St Francis Xavier was a co-founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) along with St Ignatius Loyola. He preached the gospel in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Japan, China, and other parts of Asia. He converted thousands of people to Christianity and established many churches and schools. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV in 1622 and declared the patron saint of Goa by Pope Pius X in 1904.
The basilica is also a symbol of interfaith harmony and cultural diversity. It reflects the fusion of European and Asian styles and traditions. It also showcases the history and heritage of Goa as a former Portuguese colony and a melting pot of different religions and cultures.
When was the basilica built?
The construction work on the church began in 1594 and was completed in 1605.
Who designed the basilica?
The architect who designed the basilica is unknown, but it is believed that he was influenced by Italian baroque style.
How often is the body of St Francis Xavier exposed?
The body of St Francis Xavier is exposed for public veneration every ten years (last held in 2016). The next exposition will be held in 2026.
How long does it take to visit the basilica?
It takes about an hour to visit the basilica and its museum.
What are some other attractions near the basilica?
Some other attractions near the basilica are:
Se Cathedral: The largest church in Asia and one of the oldest in Goa.
Church of St Francis of Assisi: A beautiful church that houses a museum of religious art.
Church of St Cajetan: A church that resembles St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Archaeological Museum: A museum that displays ancient sculptures, coins, inscriptions, paintings, etc.
Viceroy’s Arch: A stone arch that marks the entrance to Old Goa.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a remarkable monument that showcases the history, culture, art, architecture, and faith of Goa and India. It is a place that inspires awe, devotion, and admiration among visitors from all walks of life. It is a place that deserves to be visited and appreciated by everyone who loves to explore the wonders of the world.