The hill gives a clear view of the Mandovi basin, Chorao and Diwar islands and much of Old Goa below. The lush green sight is a beauty to behold. Back in the days, this church could only be accessed by the tiny stepped trail from the base of the hill but thankfully, there is now a road to take one right on top. This is one of the most beautiful and yet ignored places of Goa and has a really curious history.
In the early 1500s, the artillery of Adil Shah, who ruled Goa at the time, shooted point blank Portuguese invading squad of Albuquerque from this very hill and he had to take refuge. Even though the Portuguese eventually succeeded in capturing Old Goa, Albuquerque had understood the importance and strategic value of this point. Soon after gaining the power, he ordered to put a chapel of Mary here. The old temple that once stood on this hill was removed to build the church.
Built in 1519, this is perhaps the oldest surviving chapel in Goa. Although neglected for the longest time, it was renovated in 2001 and has been a host to the Monte music and Cultural Festival every February since then.
The whitewashed simple exterior of the church stands out on the green hill and creates a breathtaking image at sunset.
It’s definitely one of the true hidden gems of Goa.
The chapel remains closed most of the year and special permission needs to be taken for conducting wedding mass here. But the exterior of the chapel and the view more than makes up for the trip uphill. Ideal for the sunrise and the sunset.