Basilica of Bom Jesus is among the most well-known Churches of Goa. This church is situated in Old Goa and is being thrived by numbers of visitors all year-round. This church holds a religious and cultural significance among the Christian community of the World as it holds the sacred relics of revered saint Francis Xavier. This church is a 16th-century architectural marvel, which has recently been declared the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Inside the church, there are the holy remains of St. Francis Xavier who was the pioneer saint of Christianity in Goa. He died on 2nd December 1552, during the sea journey to China. The meaning of Bom Jesus is Infant Jesus. The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a tribute to the infant Jesus. This is baroque architecture and it is one of the finest designs of India. The church is made up of white marble and the altar is gilded and furnished with beautiful frescoes. Even after 400 years, the church has retained its old-world charm and glory.
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About Basilica of Bom Jesus
Consecrated in May 1605, the Basilica of Bom Jesus is considered one of the best examples of baroque architecture combining elements of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian design. This church depicts the old world charm of the colonial Portuguese era owing to its architectural beauty. Basilica of Bom Jesus is the first minor basilica of India. Holding the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier, Basilica of Bom Jesus is among the most iconic religious structures of Old Goa. This monument is typical of the classic forms of architecture introduced by the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits. This chapel has carved and gilded columns and wood-carved floral decorations. The floor of the church is laid with the finest marble and was inlaid with precious stones. This is where the relics of the saint are kept. The Basilica also contains a modern art gallery with paintings depicting various Biblical scenes.
Architecture of Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an architectural marvel and a fine example of Baroque architecture. This monumental masterpiece is made up of black granite. It stands at 61 feet tall and has pillars intricately carved out of basalt. The interior architecture of the church has been encouraged by the Mosaico-Corinthian style.
In the church, there is an altar flanked by two chapels and a tower located at the back of the church. The right side has the platform of St. Anthony while on the left side there is a grand wooden statue of St. Francis Xavier.
Timings of Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 AM - 06:30 PM
Sunday: 10:30 AM - 06:30 PM
Mass Timings of Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Sunday: 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 6thof every month: 10:00 AM
Holy Hour: First Friday of every month at 5:00 PM
Entry Charges: Nil
Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
How to Reach Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is situated at Old Goa in Bainguinim. The church is located only 10 kilometers from Panaji, which is the capital of Goa. The church is easily accessible from all modes of transport. Local transport is easily available from the airport, railway station, and bus stand to reach here or tourists can hire a vehicle in Goa to visit the church. Here is the detailed information about how to reach the Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Air: Dabolim Airport is the international airport of Goa, which welcomes many national and international flights. The church is situated approximately 24 kilometers from the airport. A taxi can be hired from the airport to reach the church.
Rail: The cheapest and easiest way to reach Goa is by train. Madgaon Railway Station is the nearest railhead from the church, from where the distance to the church is 35 kilometers. Taxis and buses are easily available outside the station.
Road: If tourists are traveling from Mumbai or Pune, they can reach the church without any hassle. There are regular buses ply from Mumbai, Pune, and other nearby cities for Goa. Also, facilities for bike and scooter rentals are available in the town.
Best time to visit Basilica of Bom Jesus
The best time to visit the Basilica of Bom Jesus is in the winter season from September to March. The weather of the region remains pleasant and soothing, which makes the sightseeing tour comfortable. The splendor and magnificence of this church can be best experienced during the post-monsoon season when the rain showers enhance the charm of the lush surroundings of the church. The bright and sunny weather makes the tour memorable.
Major Highlights of Basilica of Bom Jesus
The foundation of the church was laid in 1594 and it was completed in 1605. After the death of Saint Francis Xavier, his dead body was preserved in Portugal and then transferred to the Basilica. His remains were preserved in the ornamented coffin in the mausoleum at Basilica. Some of the major highlights of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which one must see are:
- Statue of Saint Francis Xavier
- Chapel of Saint Francis Xavier
- Modern Art Gallery
Places to visit near Basilica of Bom Jesus
There are a plethora of places near the Basilica of Bom Jesus which you can explore after enjoying the sightseeing tour of the church. Some of the popular destinations near the church are:
- Church of St. Francis of Assisi
- Se Cathedral
- Old Goa
- Viceroy’s Arch
Places to Stay Near Basilica of Bom Jesus
Goa is a renowned tourist destination and is thriving with numerous hotels, resorts, guest houses, homestays, and shacks. Some of the accommodation options near Basilica of Bom Jesus are:
- Old Goa Residency
- The Postcard Velha
- Grand Hyatt
- Mahi Guest House
- Mercura Goa Devaaya Retreat
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson