The Three Kings Chapel in Goa has, for ages, been popular for being one of the most haunted spots in Goa, and India, too.
A tiny chapel on the top of a hill at Cansaulim, it offers post-card perfect views of South Goa, right from green carpeted fields to tiny coconut trees dotting the lanes below. You may also recognize the chapel from the wedding scene in the movie ‘Finding Fanny,’ that was shot largely in Goa.
I can’t say whether or not the Three Kings Chapel is a haunted place in Goa, but I can confirm that my phone GPS was possessed by spirits for sure. Round and round we went, past 3-4 churches until we finally resorted to the good ol’ method of finding one’s way – asking locals for directions.
The Three Kings Chapel is located in Cansaulim, South Goa, around 12 kms away from Vasco da Gama, and a stone’s throw away from Velsao and Arrosim. From North Goa, it will take you around 50 minutes to get there, with no traffic.
To get to this must-see place in Goa, you will need to cut-off somewhere along the main road in Cansaulim – and there’s no signboard indicating where. Ask locals to guide you; locals who appear to be living in Cansaulim – such as shopkeepers or street-side vendors, not people on bikes or those waiting at the bus stop, as they are often as clueless as you are, but enthusiastically offer (wrong) directions nonetheless.
THE STORY BEHIND THE HAUNTED THREE KINGS CHAPEL, CANSAULIM:
What would a haunted place in India be, without a ghastly story behind it? The picturesque Three Kings Church, located on a hill top, shrouded in silence and offering an undisturbed view for miles, is no different. The ‘peace’ it exudes easily transitions to ‘eeriness’ at sundown.
The name, ‘Three Kings’ refers to three wise men who visited Baby Jesus in the manger after his birth and presented him with gifts. In fact, the Feast of the Three Kings on Jan 6th every year marks the end of the Chirstmas Season.
However, an urban legend has a different tale to tell. At this haunted church in South Goa, the ‘three kings’ apparently refers to three Portuguese Kings who were always at loggerheads with each other as they all wanted to rule the kingdom. One of them, King Holger, devised a plan and invited the other two over for dinner on the pretext of arriving at a peaceful solution. However, the wicked king did away with his rivals by poisoning their food and announced himself to be the king, thereby incurring the wrath of the two now-dead kings’ supporters. Fearful of his own life, he consumed the poison too, and the spirits of the three kings are said to wander around and haunt the chapel.
It is almost certain that the legend was only devised to keep lovers from visiting this picturesque spot in Goa. A couple of followers on my Instagram page added that there is a tree outside the church and when you leave, you must not look back at it, come what may.
When you visit the Three Kings Church in Goa, make sure you take your camera along. Try and get there by late noon to enjoy its serenity and stay on for a fabulous sunset. With only a handful of tourists there, it makes for a fun, off-beat thing to do in Goa.