The Se Cathedral by moonlight(1652),  (1) St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), Velha Goa, (2) The grand statue of the Portuguese poet Camoes, Velha Goa, (3)
 St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), Velha Goa, (4) Statue of Jesus, Se Cathedral, Velha Goa, (5) Mandovi river, Velha Goa, (6)
 Se Cathedral(1652), Velha Goa, (7) The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (8) The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (9)
The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (10) The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (11) Main Altar,  The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585),     Velha Goa, (12)
Detail, Main Altar, The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (13) High atop of the main Altar of The Basilica of Bom Jesus(1585), Velha Goa, (14) The body of St. Francis Xavier (Died on 3rd  Dec. 1552), Basilica,  (15)
Golden rose, Basilica of Bom Jesus, (16) A monstrance containing a toe of St. Francis Xavier, Basilica, (17) A monstrance containing a toe of St. Francis Xavier, Basilica, (18)
Our Lady of Hope, a side altar of the Basilica of Bom Jesus, (19) Statue of St. Francis Xavier, Basilica of   Bom Jesus, (20) Statue of St. Francis Xavier, Basilica of     Bom Jesus, (21)
A glided statue of saint, Basilica of Bom Jesus, (22) St. Sebastian killing a demon, Professed house, Basilica, (23) Little boy lights candles, Basilica of Bom Jesus, (24)
St. Francis of Assisi Church (1527), Old Goa, (25) St. Francis of Assisi Church (1527), Old Goa, (26) St. Francis of Assisi Church (1527), Old Goa, (27)
Atop the main altar of the St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), (28) St. Francis of Assisi,  (29) Interior, St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), Velha Goa, (30)
Interior, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Velha Goa(1527),  (31) Jesus & Mary with adoring angels, Main Altar, St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), (32) Adoring angel & monks, Main Altar,  St. Francis of Assisi Church(1527), Velha Goa, (33)
Detail, Main Altar,  St. Francis of Assisi Church, Velha Goa (1527),  (34) Poignant   wooden  statue  of Jesus & Mary,  St. Francis of Assisi Church (1527),  (35) Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (36)
Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (37) The high vaulted ceiling of the grand Se Cathedral(1652), Velha Goa, (38)  Main Altar, Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (39)
Jesus Christ, Main Altar, Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (40)  Detail, Main Altar, Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (41) St. Catherine, Main Altar, Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (42)
Our Lady of Dolores, Side altar,Se Cathedral(1652), Velha Goa, (43)  St. Sebastian, Main Altar, Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (44) Chapel of the blessed Sacrament,  Se Cathedral (1652), Velha Goa, (45)
Our Lady of Hope, Side altar,Se Cathedral(1652), Velha Goa, (46)  Main Altar, Chapel of the convent of Santa Monica (1627)  Velha Goa, (47) The Weeping Cross, Chapel of the convent of Santa Monica (1627)  Velha Goa, (48)
Detail, Side Altar,  Convent of Santa Monica (1627)  Velha Goa, (49) Convent of Santa Monica (1627)  Velha Goa, (50) Mural painting, Convent of Santa Monica (1627)  Velha Goa, (51)
Our Lady of Rossary, Oldest Church of Goa (begun c. 1510), Velha Goa, (52) Interior, Our Lady of Rosary, Oldest Church of Goa, Velha Goa, (53) Main altar, Our Lady of Rosary, Oldest Church of Goa, Velha Goa, (54)
Side  Altar of Our Lady of Rosary, Oldest Church of Goa, Velha Goa, (55) Interior, Our Lady of Rossary, Oldest Church of Goa, Velha Goa, (56) St. Cajetan Church, 17th c., (57)
St. Cajetan Church, 17th c., (58) Main Altar, St. Cajetan Church, 17th c.,  (59)  Tower of the church of St. Augustine (1602), Velha Goa,  (60)
 Tower of the church of St. Augustine at sunset (1602), Velha Goa, (61)  Tower of St. Augustine and the convent of Santa Monica by moonlight, (62) Excavation of the church of St. Augustine (1602), Velha Goa, (63)
The Royal chapel of St. Anthony (early 1600s), (64) Our Lady of the Mount, a chapel (1510), Velha Goa, (65) The Gate of the College of St.Paul (1542), (66)
 St. Anne Church,Tallaulim (67) The Church of Our Lady of France, between  Panaji & Velha Goa, (68) Church of the Immaculate Conception, Panaji, (69)
Siridao church,  (70) A village church, (71) Stained glass in the village church of Candolin, (72)
Penitential March, Old Goa, (73) Grand interior, St. Anne Church, (74) Interior, a village Church, (75)
The Altar of the chapel of the Seminary of Pilar, (76) Christmas midnight mass, the village church of Our Lady of France, (77) Feast day celebrations, the village church of Our Lady of France, (78)

 

The Image of Our Lady of France is taken around the church on the Feast of saint , (79) Feast-day finery, Village church of Our Lady of France, (80)  Altar boy during the Feast celebrations, The church of Our Lady of France, (81)
 
The celebration of the "Serenade",  village of Ribander, (82) The frolicsome Serenade in the village of Ribander, (83)   

VELHA GOA

 In 1510 Afonso de Alburqueque sailed up the placid waters of the Mandovi river and wrote the beginning of an entirely unique chapter in Indian history.  For the next 451 years, the distant land of Portugal ruled Goa and created here a synthesis of Indo-Portuguese culture which pervades all facets of life: from architecture to food and liquor; from song and dance to exquisitely carved furniture.

The capital of Portuguese rule in India was the magnificent city of Velha Goa or Old Goa.  It was known then as “the Rome of the East” for it was also the capital of the Christian empire from the east coast of Africa to Indo-China and Japan.  Old Goa was one of the greatest cities in all history.  Back in the 16th century it had a population of a few lakhs and was the marketplace of two worlds : the East and the West.

Soon after the Portuguese conquerors came the representatives of the various Christian orders in Europe.  Each came filled with a zeal to convert the local people to their faith.  They built magnificent houses of God in order to win over the local populace, through awe and grandeur, majesty and beauty.  Scores of churches were built in Velha Goa.  There were, in fact, so many of them that there are on record letters written to the Vatican from the priests of churches here saying that “Their bells and our bells …. Their choir and our choir ….there is  cacophony”.

Some of these churches still stand today, keeping the past alive in the now-deserted city of Old Goa.  It is, in fact, a strange and wonderful city today:  a place of magnificent buildings, yet quite deserted.  There is silence, but the discerning ear catches in every moment the numerous and evocative sounds of an impassioned history.  The centuries are constantly alive here: whether it is the body of St. Francis Xavier which is still intact more than four centuries after his death or whether it is the marble plaque in “Our Lady of the Rosary” which reminds us of the first Portuguese lady Dona Catarina who stepped onto  Indian soil … 

Renowned art historian and photographer Benoy K Behl has photographed and documented the churches and culture of Goa over the past 23 years.  This exhibition brings alive the richness and grandeur of the culture of Old Goa through a selection of 83 photographs taken by him.