1. Basilica of Bom JesusThe Basilica of Bom Jesus is famous throughout the Roman Catholic world. It contains the tomb andmortal remains of St.Francis Xavier who, in 1541, was given the task of spreading Christianity among thesubjects of the Portuguese colonies in the East.A former pupil of St.Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, St.Francis Xavier embarked onmissionary voyages that became legendary and, considering the state of transport at the time, werenothing short of miraculous.Apart from the richly gilded altars, the interior of the church is remarkable for its simplicity. Constructionbegan in 1594 and was completed in 1605. The focus of the church is the three-tiered marble tomb ofSt.Francis - his remains are housed in a silver casket, which at one time was covered in jewels.2. Cotigao Wildlife SanctuaryAbout 9 kms South of Palolem, a good option for an early-morning excursion, is this beautiful, remote-feeling sanctuary. Snakes, monkeys and birds are in ample supply. Marked trails are hikable. Set-offearly for the best sighting prospects from one of the sanctuary’s two forest watchtowers – though heedthe park warden’s recent warning: "Don’t climb too high, madam, for ladder is under repair."3. Mapusa MarketThe state’s liveliest local market, Mapusa Market, is most worthwhile visiting on Friday, when throngs oflocals arrive to vend fresh produce, clothing, textiles, bangles and footwear, along with more tourist-oriented jewellery, mirrored bed spreads and the like. Inside the market area, small cafes churn out chaiand snacks at break-neck speed, and everyone haggles hard to score their bargain.4. Varca BeachVarca, a seemingly endless palm-backed strip of sand (punctuated here and there by the grounds of aluxury resort or a whitewashed Christian shrine), is quiet, calm and almost entirely hawker-free, makingit easy to find a quiet spot all to yourself.5. Cabo da Rama FortThis fort named after the god Rama of the Hindu Ramayana epic came into Portuguese possession in1763. Used as a prison until about half a century ago, there’s not much to see these days, though thedrive through thick coconut forests is a real treat, and it’s without doubt a windswept and melancholyspot with a couple of cold-drinks stalls at the entrance, a luxury the poor Portuguese surely never had.6. Goa State MuseumAn eclectic collection of items awaits visitors to the large Goa State Museum; in a rather forlorn areaSouth West of the Kadamba Bus Stand in Panjim. As well as Christian art, Hindu and Jain sculpture and
bronzes, and paintings from all over India, exhibits include an elaborately carved table used in the GoaInquisition.7. Savoi Spice PlantationThe 200-year-old Savoi Spice Plantation, whose motto is ‘Organic Since Origin’, is less touristy andelephant-free, but you’ll find a warm welcome from knowledgeable guides keen to walk you through the40-hectare plantation. Local crafts are for sale, and you’ll be welcomed with fresh pomegranate juice,cardamom bananas and other organic treats.8. Secretariat BuildingGoa’s oldest colonial building, this was once the moated palace of 15th-century Muslim Sultan YussufAdil Shah who controlled Goa before the Portuguese took a fancy to both the state and his home in1510. It now houses governmental buildings and is currently undergoing extensive renovations.9. Holy Spirit ChurchThis richly decorated Church in Madgaon is certainly worth a look and can be positively exciting when abig service is taking place.Courtesy - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/The author arranges <a href="http://holidaysinsouthgoa.blogspot.com/">family rooms in goa</a>.