Panjim Church – Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church

 

Picture by : Shivang Mishra

The Panjim Church lying hidden in the top of Panjim city. It is one of the most beautiful churches in the Goa. Also known as Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church.

It is one of the oldest churches in Goa, first built in the early 1540’s. It’s one of the first churches built in Goa by the Portuguese clan and holds the second largest bell, only behind that of Se Cathedral Church of old Goa.

To get to where the church is one has to climb a flight of stairs, taking you all the way up to the main entrance. You will find the climb worth it, as once you’ve reached the top of the church, you can see the most spectacular view of the city of Panaji.

Location of Panjim Church

The Panjim church is fascinatingly located in the center of the Goan Capital Panjim, on a hill, in front of a well-maintained square.

The church is just a walk away from the city’s main municipal garden (Garcia de Orta).

It is close to Fountainhas, which is another place worth visiting to catch a glimpse of the olden Portuguese – Goan houses.

The church is not far from one of Goa’s main roads, known as 18th June Road, which is a famous road for shopping and eating places.

History of  Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church Panjim

Our Lady of Imacullate Conception Church

The Panjim church like all other churches in Goa has its own historical story behind its making. It was first born and constructed in Panaji as a chapel which was created to serve as a worship place for the religious needs of Portuguese sailors.

As their first port of call in the 1540’s as Panaji and the Portuguese rule in Goa developed.

The chapel was renovated and re-born into a church, serving as a ministry and a holy place to the residents and sailors in the area. The church was originally at the Augustinian Monastery on Holy Hill and was later retrieved after the Monastery was damaged.

The architecture of The Church

The main reason for the church is a major tourist attraction because of it’s pretty designed. That it’s pretty hard to miss a travelers eye.

The church painted white like most churches. Church has an exterior façade made of Baroque style elements and signifies, the immaculate virgin; Mary.

The unique façade of this church also has two unique towers and a central belfry holding its large bell at the top.

The exterior of this magnificent church can be seen from quite a distance away. The church is the crown of city Panjim.

Inside the church, there is the main altar, dedicated to Mother Mary. Besides the main altar on either side, lies two other decorated and gold plated alters; one of Jesus’s crucifixion and the other of Our Lady of The Rosary.

On the edge of each of these alters there are marble statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. On the right side of the church interior, there is also a chapel of Saint Francis Xavier, enclosed in a glass case.

Mass Timings of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church Panjim

The church doors open at 7:00 am on weekdays, and begin with a Konkani Mass, which is carried on after by an English Mass which starts at 8:00 am. On weekends the mass timings vary on Saturday and Sunday.

Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church, Panjim Church mass Timing

Devotees allowed to visit and pray in the Church

Between 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
and between 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Feast of ‘Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church’

The main festival of the church is celebrated every year on the 8th of December in honor of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception.

On this day the church is decorated with colorful lite. Also, shopping fair is conducted during this festival week.

How to get to the Church

One can catch a bus from the Panaji bus stand and get off near the church, and then walk for a few kilometers until you arrive.

You can also find a taxi to the church from your hotel in Panjim.

Those visiting from places beyond Panaji can catch a bus to the Panaji bus stand. Then from there one can take a walk to the church as the church is not far from the main Panaji bus stand.

You can also hire a taxi or rent a bike and travel to and around Panaji and take a stop at the Panjim Church.

Things to do in Panjim

Being the capital of Goa there are a lot of exciting places in Panjim.

  • like Kala Academy which is the home of theatre in Goa. One can catch an evening performance of Goa theatre, known as ‘theatre’ over here. Kala Academy is an unusual place of creativity and is worth a site visit.
  • Another place in Panjim worth seeing is the Museum of Excise. It shows the history behind the traders who tried to smuggle good in and out of Goa and India. This place is a unique place, as one will learn something new in the history of Smuggling goods.
  • Other places around Panaji include the gardens, such as Garcia de Orta just below the church
  • The Palace of Adil Shah, which stands facing the Mandovi River as you get into Panjim City.
  • Miramar Beach which is just a few kilometers away and can be reached by bus from Panjim city.

Conclusion

Whether or not you are a holy person or a follower of Christianity, The Immaculate Conception Church is a true wonder of Goa. It’s beautiful lighting at night makes it look like a captivating scene from a Hollywood movie shot in Rome.

Its fantastic view, on getting to the top is one of the best in Panjim. It is a spot where tourist come from all over to admire the city of Panaji and in particular the architecture of this magnificent piece of creativity.

 

Article written by Mr. Taariq Da Cunha

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