A Taste of Goa
Duration: 7 hours
Tour Code: GOI-002
On this full-day excursion, delight in the culinary wonders of the region, and discover Goa's unique blend of Indian and Portuguese cultures, where Christianity and Hinduism exist side by side.
Begin with a drive from the port, through the lush green countryside to Old Goa. Here you will visit the magnificent Se Cathedral, consecrated in 1640 and built in the Portuguese-Gothic style and breathtaking Corinthian interior. Tour the elegant basilica of Bom Jesus, built of black laterite stone with marble and inlaid precious stones. The most honored and famous of all the churches in Old Goa, the Bom Jesus contains the tomb and mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier who spread Christianity in the Portuguese colonies.
Leaving Old Goa, proceed to the Mahalsa Temple one of the most famous temples in Goa. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Mahalsa, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It displays the distinctive Hindu style prevalent in the early 18th century, with massive wooden pillars and a silver framed door. The six-storied `deepstambha' or ornamental lamp pillar in the courtyard is 40 feet in height and has 21 rings of a hundred fifty small lamps. A fascinating spectacle when it is lit up with oil wicks on the annual festival day or Jatra.
Continue to the Sahakari Spice Farm, set on more than 130 acres of verdant forestland and home to more than 84 different species of bird, 100 varieties of orchids, and almost every spice imaginable. Take a guided tour of the grounds and inhale the aromas of beetle nuts, peppers, turmeric root, cinnamon and cashew trees, as well as the vanilla plant. Learn about the natural healing properties of spices, and sample refreshing lemon grass tea made from boiled water, fresh lemon grass, ginger, and cardamom. Enjoy a sumptuous traditional Goanese lunch, using the local spices grown on the farm.
Return to the ship following your pleasant afternoon at the spice farm.
Please note: Order of sites visited may vary.