Old Goa, or Velha Goa, is adjacent to the Mandovi River in Goa. The previous capital of Portuguese India, Goa Velha is distinguished by its landmark architectural sites like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, which is the resting place for the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. It also holds the domed Church of St. Cajetan, inspired by St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican .
The town of Goa Velha lies on the site of the antiquated port of "Govapuri" or "Gopakapattana", which was established by the Kadamba Dynasty in the eleventh century on the banks of the Zuari River. Govapuri was among the principal ports of both the Kadamba Dynasty and the Vijayanagara Empire. In the fifteenth century, various wars were fought between the Deccan sultanates and Vijayanagara for the control of Goa, because of which Govapuri went under the control of the Adilshahs of Bijapur. Later, the Portuguese gained control of the city.