The Reis Magos is a picturesque village that is situated on the banks of River Mandovi, in Panaji in Goa. This state is well-known for its two big structures, the church of Reis Magos and the Fort. The Reis Magos Church was built on the road which traverses the famous beaches of Candolim and Calangute. This church is the most renowned landmarks in Goa. On the 6th of every January, there is an annual festival celebrated called the Fiesta de los Tres Reyes Magos, which is done to mark the journey of the Three kings who went to worship the baby Jesus. During this feast, local youth of the village play the role of the Three Kings of Magi. The believers commence the procession from the church and go around the village spreading friendliness, love and happiness. If you are interested in getting a clearer picture of the Reis Magos Church, then read the following.
This church was built in 1555 by the Franciscan missionaries and dedicated it to Saint Jerome. It is believed that this church was constructed on the remains of an ancient Hindu temple. This is evident from the fact that there are the sculptures of lions on both sides of the staircase, which is typical of a Hindu shrine (as seen in the architecture of the Vijaynagar temples).
The church was renovated in 1771 and the pillars of the church were created in 1764. Besides this, the two Viceroys of Goa were buried in the premises of the church and their gravestones are intact, till date.
The Reis Magos Church is painted white from the outside whereas the inner walls are bright and vibrant containing attractive and magnificent designs. The wooden supports of the church are multi-colored and portray the Three Kings of Magi holding gifts for blessed newborn, Jesus Christ. The intricately painted canopy behind the altar adds to the outstanding lavishness of the church interiors. The altar is at a great height, making the prayer hall exquisite. People from all the over the world come here to take the blessings of the baby Jesus Christ and also feel the beauty of this sanctified place.
The most favorable time to visit the Reis Magos Church is during the annual festival held in the month of January. Apart from this, you can also visit the shrine from October to March, when the climate is perfect.
How to Get There
The airport of Goa is at Dabolim, about 29km away from Panaji. There are domestic flights to Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin, Pune and Delhi and international flights available to the U.K. and Germany. From the airport, hire a taxi to reach the church.
Goa provides you with a very well-connected network of trains. There are trains from Mumbai, Pune, Kerala and Delhi. After reaching the station, you could take a bus; hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to visit this holy place.
The Goan road system consists of three different highways and is very organized. Private or public transport can connect you to almost all the urban cities in the country.
Reis Magos Church was highly significant during the reign of Portuguese. Even today, it is an important and sacred church in India. Besides being the holy place, this church also acts as a tourist site for people who come and enjoy the beauty of beaches.