CHURCHES OF GOA A name which arouses on every person when he thinks of holidays is GOA. The beautiful and enchanting tourist destination. Though Goa being the smallest state of INDIA lacks of people are attracted towards it every year. The reason for it is its beautiful natural beaches, forts, religious places like churches, temples, etc. Goa is widely known as catholic state as most of the people here are Christians but no doubt we all Goan people are always united. The five major churches in Goa are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral Church, Mary Immaculate Conception, Reis Magos Church and St. Anne Church. Basilica of Bom Jesus is the famous church world wide as the body of St. Francis Xavier is located here in old Goa some 9KM from panjim the city of Goa. The saint who died in 16th century his body still remains fresh today. The Goan people refer this saint in the name of “goencho saib” that is the „lord of Goa‟. Along with it the church also has modern art gallery. In this gallery the two world famous oil paintings created in 18th century are „The Last Judgement‟ and „Genesis‟. This church also organizes light and sound show based on Jesus Christ, St. Francis Xavier and Joseph Vaz. The body of St. Frances Xavier is opened every ten years for public view and its feast is celebrated yearly on 3rd December. The largest church of Asia is the Se Cathedral church which is located in old Goa Panjim-Goa. This church is dedicated to the St. Catherine of Alexandria. This church is famous for its melodious five large bells along with it; it is also famous for the miraculous cross on which Christ appeared on it in 1919. Today the same cross is found to be growing slowly. The largest bell in Goa is located here namely the „Golden Bell‟. The architecture of this church is in tuscan peripherals and Corinthian core. The Mary Immaculate Conception was the first church to be built up in Goa in approximately 1541. It is known for its beautiful architecture and illumination during night time. As soon as sun sets the monument become gleaming and produces a radial effect with the help of tiny electric bulbs. This church contains two alters one for our lady of rosary and other for Jesus Crucified. The church bell is believed to be the 2nd largest bell in the world. At the side of the church there is also one chapel of St. Francis Xavier. It is located in the heart of panjim. Reis Magos Church in ancient times which was a Hindu temple came into exist in 1555. It is the marvelous church which lies on the bank of river Mandovi near Reis Magos Fort. This church is beautifully coloured inside depicting the three king‟s caring gifts going to baby Jesus. Its feast is celebrated on 6th February and is dedicated to the three Wise Men. During feast a parade is passed all over the village to dot the journey of the three kings of the magi to spread happiness. This church also carries the history of the fact of buried viceroys of Goa during the Portuguese rule and their tombs seem to still exists. The St. Anne Church which is alternatively known as Santana by locals came into existence in 1965 under the hands of Fr. Francisco Cunha. There is also a great legend narrated by Fr. F. D‟souza behind the construction of this St. Annes Church. It resides on the right bank of Siridao River and is greatly known for its „Touseachem Fest or cucumber feast‟ which is celebrated on 26th of July every year. Most of the people specially husband wife, newly married couples, lovers visit this church during festival to take pledges by saying three different phrases. Ex: (1) For newly married couples the pledge is - Senhora, tomai pepino (cucumber) Dai me menino. (2) For bachelors and spinsters - senhora, Tomai Colher, Dai me mulher and Senhora, tomai urido dai me marido Like this only there are many other churches located in Goa at different places with different histories, cultures and traditions. Any one who would like to visit these churches can straightaway hire taxis, buses, etc. Most of the churches are open from 6am-6pm. So what are you waiting for just visit it and feel the difference.