DESTINATION INDIA, GOA : OUR LADY OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, PANJIM
The Church initially was a small The colonial Portuguese Baroque style chapel which was built in the year of 1541, but it was then in the mid - 17th century the chapel was reconstructed. The church structure that we see today was built way later, considering the second largest bell which was brought something around 1800s. Following which in the nineteenth century we see the front of the church was constructed with the symmetrical zigzag staircases, thus, completing the church structure that we see today. Due to it being strategically located, the church provides an overview of the beautiful city of Panjim.
The Church is special not just because of the design and location but also because the church has Goa's second largest bell. This is the same bell because of which the entire top structure of the church had to be reconstructed to accommodate the bell on the top of the church. The second largest bell was brought from the Augustinian Monastery, this is the second bell following the Golden bell which is the largest bell in Goa which is located at Se Catheral, Old Goa. The presence of the bell, further enhanced the beauty of the church but the bell had a very long journey before it became the resident of Panjim City. The same is 2,250 kilograms in weight.
The Church has three altars, the main altar has an elegant decor is dedicated to the Mother Mary while the other two to the right is Our Lady of Rosary and to the left is dedicated to the Jesus' Crucifixation. The same is considered as the first church of Goa and thus has a wide popularity among masses. These two altars are flanked by the marble statues of St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Church conducts mass every day in English, Konkani and Portuguese.
The Church celebrates it's feast every year on the 8th December. The same is celebrated with great pomp and spendor. Every year the church celebrates the 9 days of novena following which the feast is celebrated. During these days, the church is illuminated with lights and after every mass the sky of Panjim city is lit up with fireworks. If you are planning your holiday to Goa, try to plan your holiday in the first week of December to witness such beautiful scenes in the state.
During the Church service, avoid clicking pictures with flash or photographing yourself before the altar.
TIP OF THE DAY:
If you plan to visit the place during afternoons or May summers, then please carry hats and wear cotton clothes to avoid spoiling the fun of your trip.