Immaculate Conception Church, Betul

Amongst the world famous Catholic churches of Goa, Immaculate Conception church of Goa is a big tourist drive. Located in the heart of Panjim, this church is one of the earliest churches built in early 16th century. Also the Mediterranean essence of Panjim squares and Latin villas, make a spell binding beauty around the church. Life in Panjim circles around the serenity of this church. This church is dedicated to Mother Mary and derives its name from its unblemished patron.

Important Note:
Church timings: 9am-12:30pm, 3:30-7pm.
• The Annual Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated on 8th December, every year which attracts numerous devotees from across the world. This feast celebration is dedicated to the conception of Lord Jesus by Mother Mary.

Interesting Facts About Immaculate Conception Church
• Enormous size and opulent architecture reflects the belief and richness of the churche.
• The great golden bell, revered as the Bell of Inquisition was originally the part of the Church of Our Lady of Grace, Old Goa. It was brought to this church in 1841, when Panjim was established as the new capital of Goa.
• The church when dazzles with electric bulbs at dusk, looks absolutely stunning.
• The primary purpose of this church was to serve the spiritual needs of Portuguese sailors and merchants stopping by Goa on their way to home or before proceeding to their journey further southwards.

How to Reach the Church
Being one of the chief tourist attractions and situated at the centre of the city, the church is fairly accessible from any part of Panjim or close by destination. Panjim city being the Goa capital is well connected to all other major cities of India. There are plenty of options to reach the church. You can easily get the local transport such as taxi, auto or buses going towards the Immaculate Conception church.
Nearest Airport to Panjim is Dabolim.

Accommodation Facility
As one of the major tourist locations of Goa, Betul has fair accommodation facilities. Following is a list of the best rated hotels of Betul:

• Vivanta by Taj
• Radiasson Blu Resort Goa Cavelossim Beach
• The Crown Goa
• Kenilworth Beach Resort Spa
• Heritage Village Club Goa
• Ramada Caravela Beach Resort
• Dona Sylvia Beach Resort
• Tarika's Sea Breeze
• Costa Del Sol
• Joecons Beach Resort
• Stain Glass Cottage
• Sunbeach Residency
• Vacra Palms Beach Resort
• Hotel Riversal by the Sea

Major Attractions of the Church
Speculating enormity and opulence of the church presents a charismatic beauty when lit with sparkling lights in the dark backdrop of nights.

Architectural Appeal
The church of Mary Immaculate Conception is one of the original churches of Goa and was built in 1541. Present structure of the church was later re-built, from basics in 1619. A fabulous flight of stairs with four landings, featured at the main entrance of the Church looks very attractive. The great bell hanging atop the belfry of the Church of Mary is huge and weighty, recording the second largest bell in the world. The Immaculate church architecture is inspired by the church of Reis Magos, a typical Portuguese baroque construction. The church looks splendid with its proportionate baroque façade and tall towers and a splendidly built entrance. The church stands elegantly on the square presenting a dominating presence.

Chapel of St. Francis Xavier lies to the south of the main altar, where a glass-encased statue of St. Francis has been placed. Previously large beacons were lit at the hilltop area to guide ships into the estuary, due to which the area is also called Bairro Altos de Pilotos. Further on the right side of the church down the lane is the Secretariat Building and a few steps ahead down lane is Jama Masjid and a Muslim College. There also is situated the great Mahalaxmi Temple which is main temple in Panjim.

Artistic Appeal
Located at the main square of the town, this church is the centre of worship and prays of the locals. Backdrop of the altars and the interior of the church are elaborately designed. Plainly arranged well-designed the church presents a splendid blend of opulence and minimalism. The main altar of church is dedicated to 'Nossa Senhora da Imaculada Conceicao' (Mary Immaculate) and has been richly carved in Renaissance style. The main altar is winged by two altars at both its sides. The left altar is dedicated to Crucified Jesus, while the right one is revered to Our Lady of the Rosary. At the side of each altar, statues of St. Paul and St. Peter made in marble have been placed. Though a simple interior line has been implied in the church, but both these altars are magnificently gilded and adorned with a line of uncompleted yet defined carvings of that era. People from all over the world come to this church to feel the divinity and admire the appealing magnificence of this church.

Other Nearby Locations
St. Francis Xavier Church, Panjim Locations, Dona Paula Beach, Anjuna Beach, Miramar Beach, Candolim Beach, Old Goa Churches and temples.

Scintillating view of the Betul hillock and the adjoining beaches around, calls you to be a part of divine Immaculate Conception Church of Mary.