If you are a Bollywood movie buff, you will recognise the church in the picture below immediately.
It is the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Panaji, Goa, which has been depicted in the Shahrukh Khan-Aishwarya Rai starrer Josh, which released in the year 2000. Actually, a number of Hindi movies have been shot at this church, including Mujhse Shaadi Karogi and Aashiqui 2, as well as several South Indian films. That said, the church became quite famous after it appeared in Josh, and is popularly known as ‘the church in Josh‘.
I didn’t know all of this when we spotted the church on our drive around Panaji, but did find it quite pretty and quaint and decided to stop by. Sadly, the church was closed at the time, so we had to be content with admiring its exterior.
The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception is a Catholic church that was constructed in the year 1541, and was rebuilt in 1619, after Panaji was declared the capital of Portuguese-ruled Goa. The church has been built in the Indo-Portuguese style.
Apparently, the bell that hangs outside the church is one of its major attractions. The bell was manufactured in Lisbon, Portugal, and weighs over 2,000 kg. It used to hang at St. Agostinho in Old Goa, the biggest church in the state after the Se Cathedral. It was shifted to Panjim and used in The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in the year 1841.
The Feast of Immaculate Conception is held at the church every December, to which devotees throng.
We later heard that if you climb up to the top of the church, you get a beautiful view of Panaji. We missed that, but I will definitely ensure that we don’t on our next visit!
Have you been to this church in Goa?