The Arvalem waterfall, with a height of just 50m and a width of 7m, is a popular tourist spot and picnic location in Goa, especially during the monsoon season, when the falls are a gushing torrent hurtling madly into the lake below. The Arvalem falls, also known as the Harvalem falls, are located near Mapusa in North Goa. The closest villages are Bicholim, which is 8km away and Sanquelim which is 2km away. Transport is available from Panaji and Mapusa to reach the falls. The Harvalem falls are at their zenith during the monsoon season when the influx of water from the rains makes their outpouring full and majestic. Right after the monsoon season is also a good time to visit.
Set amidst the picturesque surroundings of a sleepy Goan village, the Mayem Lake is a popular tourist picnic in North Goa. Even the journey to reach the lake is a beautiful one on a winding Goan road through the thickets of cashew trees, areca nut trees and pineapple plantations. The region around the lake is hilly, and the slopes are covered with forests and wild cashews. Around the lake are vendors selling trinkets and snacks most notably coconuts and coconut water. Located in the Bicholim Taluka of North Goa, the Mayem Lake is just a few kilometres east of Mapusa, and can easily be reached using public transport.
Basilica of Bom Jesus
Don’t let its unassuming air fool you, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument, and has been christened so by UNESCO. Its un-plastered exterior appears at first glance to be inferior as compared to the sparkling facades of churches like the Se Cathedral, but this little Basilica is rich in art, architecture and history, and the relics of Saint Francis Xavier are enshrined here.
The Basilica of Bom Jesus is a monument typical of the classic forms of plane architecture, introduced by the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits. The façade, which is of granite, represents features of five styles of architecture: Roman, Ionic, Doric, Corinthian and Composite. It is a large single Nave structure built (1595-1605) and paid for with legacies left by Dom Jeronimo Mascarenhas, a wealthy Portuguese Captain of Cochin.
Tomb of St. Francis Xavier
Fr. Francis Xavier died of a fever in 1552 on the island of Shangchaun, whilst waiting for a boat to travel to China. His last rites were performed and he was laid to rest in a simple coffin in the Portuguese colony of Malacca. When his remains were disinterred some years later, they were found to be “fresh and intact”. Upon hearing of this, the Vatican canonized him a saint. His remains were buried in three different places before they came to their final resting place in Goa.
The arrangements of keeping the body of St Francis Xavier in the Chapel were completed on 24th April 1659. The mausoleum, in Florentine style, was the offer of the last of the Medici’s, Cosimo III, Duke of Tuscany. It is a masterpiece setting and was made by Giovanni Batista Foggini and assembled in Goa by Placido Francesco Ramponi.