G20 Goa in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Goa Circle, have planned an extraordinary excursion tour for the G20 delegates attending the 4th Tourism Working Group meeting. On 22nd of June 2023, the delegates visiting Goa will have the opportunity to visit three magnificent monuments and the Archaeological Museum in the historic city of Old Goa, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the region, stated a press release.
The selection process includes places of visits was simple and fuss-free. The ‘Churches & Convents of Goa,’ a UNESCO World Heritage Site, earned its esteemed status in 1986, meeting the rigorous criteria. With such outstanding credentials, the Government of India rightfully prioritized these monuments for the G20 delegates’ visit.
As parts of the Monuments and Museum excursion tour, the G20 delegates will visit the following sites of historical significance in Old Goa namely Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, Church of St. Francis of Assisi and The Archaeological Museum of Goa.
The excursion will be organised in three groups, with approximately 45 delegates assigned to each group. The first group will begin their visit at 10:00 am, followed by the second group at 10:30 am, and the third group at 11:00 am.
Sanjit Rodrigues, Nodal Officer-G20 said, “As important as the G20 meetings, it is a priority to ensure that the visiting G20 delegates get an understanding of how Goa stands out for its history, heritage and culture. These excursions have been planned meticulously and will allow delegates to take back great memories of moving around these places of interest that are significant till date. We have received tremendous support from Archaeological Survey of India Goa Circle in curating these trips”.
The ASI Goa Circle will install welcome boards at appropriate locations and extend a red-carpet welcome to the delegates. “The excursion is expected to last for two hours where each group of delegates will visit one monument at a time, allowing them to fully appreciate and understand the historical and architectural significance of each site,” said Hemsagar A. Naik, the Superintending Archaeologist at ASI Goa Circle.
Preparations for a flawless excursion are well underway. And ASI Goa Circle and local authorities have undertaken works to ensure the excursion experience is top notch, while also ensuring the sites are in pristine condition. For the same, roof and wall renovations in all monuments have been undertaken along with upgraded gardens at Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral complexes. The entrance doors of all churches have been repaired and painted. Besides, restroom facilities have been improved with additional bio-toilets blocks planned.
Other works include upgraded signage, cultural notice boards, and welcome boards.Electrified, painted compound walls, installed green nets, and landscaping have been undertaken in the area. UNESCO World Heritage Certificates have been installed at prominent locations.
Efforts are being made to have ongoing conservation efforts to preserve the monuments impeccably and maintain these structured well at all times.
The G20 delegates who will be provided umbrellas to beat the heat or to protect them from rain will also have access to enhance drinking water facilities. They will be accompanied by Regional Level Guides who are licensed by India Tourism, under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The guides have undergone a dedicated training program conducted by ASI Goa Circle officials at Paryatan Bhavan, Patto, Panaji, ensuring they possess the necessary knowledge to provide insightful and engaging commentary throughout the excursion.
G20 Goa and ASI Goa Circle are committed to maintaining the utmost care and preservation of these significant historical sites. This excursion will provide the G20 delegates with an exceptional opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich heritage, cultural and architectural splendour of Goa’s iconic monuments.
Other areas covered for the planned excursions across North and South Goa, are to allow for a diverse experience in exploring Goa through art, culture, history. These include: Indian Customs & GST Musuem – Panaji, Museum of Christian Art- Old Goa, Sri Vijayadurga Temple, Tropical Spice Plantation- Ponda, Piedade Church- Divar, Site of Sri Saptakoteshwar Temple, Fontainhas, Mala, Sao Tome, Panjim, Church Square, Raj Bhavan and Dona Paula Jetty, Reis Magos Fort,Fort Aguada Jail Musuem – Sinquerim, Casa Figuereido- Loutolim,Goa Chitra Musuem- Benaulim, Colva Beach, Sri Mahalsa Narayani Temple-Verna, Fazena Cazulo Liquor Distillers, Utorda Beach, Tiracol Fort, Sri Morjaie Temple- Morjim and Goa Chitra Musuem Benaulim.