This ancient historical former capital of Goa is located about 9 km east of Panaji. It is a UNESCO world heritage site now and is famed for its opulent buildings and churches reminiscent of the glory days of "Golden Goa". It was abandoned by the Portuguese officially in 1843 when the capital was moved to Panjim or Panaji.
Today, most of the remaining buildings are maintained by the archeological survey of India and the Archdiocese of Goa. It is a holy site for all Goans particularly Goan Christians because it is the site where the Sacred relics of St Francis Xavier or "Goencho Saib" are preserved for posterity.
As Ela ,it used to be the capital of Goa under Adil Shah. He wanted to shift
his capital from Bijapur to Ela, but the arrival of the Portuguese changed all
that. Under the Portuguese the city not only became the Capital of Goa but also
became famous as the "Lisbon of the East" . At one time its population was
estimated to be around 200,000. The decline of Portuguese influence in trade saw
the decline of the city. Soon after, repeated attacks of cholera and malaria
frustrated the Portuguese authorities. The Viceroy moved out of the city in 1695
to Panelim and finally to Panjim in 1759. The capital was also moved to Panaji
officially in 1843. With the departure of the Viceroy and the coincidental
expulsion of the Jesuits, the population fell drastically to under a few
thousand. Over the next 100 years, the buildings were allowed to fall in ruins
and today only a few are in excellent shape. A description of its churches and
buildings is provided in the links below along with a short biography of St
Francis Xavier, Goencho Saib.
Important Nearby tourist attractions
Miramar, Dona Paula, Bogmalo
Important nearby Wildlife Sanctuary
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