Goa is a land of churches. I can bet that you can never finish visiting all of them in just one or two trips. So after we had seen all the touristy kind of churches we decided to explore some lesser visited ones. And the first one had to be The Three Kings Chapel. And why is that? Because it is said to be haunted!! While there is a lot that can be said for and against that what I found interesting was the legend behind it and how people celebrate the “hauntedness” every year in an annual feast.
The original name of the church is Our Lady of Remedios Chapel. Feeding the location of GPS was easy. Reaching it took some time and had it not been for the GPS guiding us we might have turned back believing ourselves to be lost. The church is located atop a hilltop in the village Cansaulim. When we had gone there it was totally desolate with nary a soul in sight. And add to that the haunted story and we got the creeps. Psychology I guess!
The legend has it that there were three Kings who were fighting amongst themselves over who would rule the land. A king named Holgar invited the other two kings to strike a peace accord and then poisoned them. The public raised a huge hue and cry when they got to know about this treachery and Holgar ended up committing suicide. The three kings were then buried there and that is how the Church ended up being known as The Three Kings Church.
It is believed that the spirits of the three kings haunt the grounds. People have felt a sort of presence there that can not be explained. The Indian Paranormal Society too has attested to some spiritual powers being there.
The locals hold a grand festival there on 6th of January every year. Three young boys are dressed up as kings and they bring gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the baby Jesus. These three boys are chosen only from the nearby villages of Quelim, Cansaulim and Arrosim.
If you are unable to attend the festival and fair you can just have a look around. Perched on the hilltop you can get a lovely bird’s eye view of the surroundings.
Our Lady of the Mount is a simple church built in 1519 under the orders of Afonso de Albuquerque. A plaque there reminds people that this location was used to defend Goa in 1510. It was also known as the bulwark of the Mohammedans. The church was constructed after the Portuguese defeated the forces of Adil Shah and occupied Goa.
It is called the Lady of the Mount simply because it is built on a mount. earlier you had to climb up the mount via stairs but now a tarred road leads you right up to the church and you have to climb only the last 100 meters or so. The church is generally locked up and we could not go inside.