Goa, place of fun & floric, known for its beaches & churches also has some hidden trail spots – off the beaten tourist track. One of the places I stumbled upon is called the – 3 Kings Church!
Located in South Goa is a small village called Cansaulim, near the Zauri area & 15 kms from Valsaar, off the coastal road on a small hillock called Cuelim lies this church built in Renaissance & Baroque style using local materials – laterite & plaster by the Franciscan fathers. It was established by Fr.Gonsalo S.J in 1599. This church bears affiliation to St.Thomas church. This church is known as the church of ‘Our Lady Remedious’. There’s no signage or direction boards notifying this place anywhere. No directions marked; but a well laid out road leads you to the gates of this church after a brief hillclimb. This place is known to a few trekkers taking the beaten steep path & cycling enthusiasts. The hillock road which exist today was built by the local well-known ‘Dias’ family and was called ‘Arduino Dias Road’ but the signage is vandalized & removed by local communal groups.
Taking a little peek into history. Goa was ruled by 3 Portuguese kings. Each aspiring to rule goa, all by himself. One of the king’s, Holgar Alvunger invited the other two kings for a royal lunch feast and poisoned them to death. The local population didn’t take this well and were in rebellion, being helpless Holgar poisoned himself to death. All the three kings lie burried on this hillock. The church stands today where Holgar had his home. Local ghost stories say that the three kings spirit roams around this area.
Even to this day the patron feast is held each year on 6th January – the day the 3 kings died. A ritual of 3 boys from surrounding villages of Quelim, Cansaulim & Arrosim are dressed in royal robes, crowned and taken on horseback up the Cuelim hill through the fields & traditional path from their respective villages for the 10 am mass and after noon they head back to their villages after a luncheon feast. These boys are carefully selected, groomed & treated like royalty. It’s believed that this selected family is blessed by this act. A lot of money is spent by the families on this ritual. No body stays overnight on the hill. It’s believed that the one who does disappears.
The 360 degree view from this hillock is spectacular. The sunset from this place is out of the world, worth spending that hour here. It’s a photographers paradise point. One can see the sea, beaches, the palm trees, the rice fields, distant mountains. A word of caution. Nobody inhabits this hillock or below the hill. There are no street lamps or lights out here in this area. You can’t find a soul on this land. The locals believe that the spirits of the 3 kings wanders this area. They feel that the area has mysterious spiritual paranormal power. So it’s your own risk you stay up past dusk! It’s worth the view.
Bollywood movies Bhootnath, Dhoom 1 and Murder 1 have been shot at this beautiful locale.
GRIP TEAM – Indian Paranormal Society (gripteam.org) believes that 3 Kings Church to be the most haunted place in India. A lonely deserted place with a spectacular view. Believe it or not.
Jagdeesh Laxman Singh
aka Jugie Singh
Text & Photography