Pre – Portuguese, this Benaulim village was called ‘Bannali’ means the place marked by arrow, this has the reference to Parashuram, who shot the arrow from the top of the Sahyadri Mountains into the sea to mark the shoreline of the new land that would become Goa.
The church of St. John the Baptist which is situated at Monte Benaulim was originally built nearer the shore and has been shifted to this present location in the year 1956. This church here is attractive; and the view of this site is also excellent, low domes are four storeyed towers, inside is flourished Rococo with shining surface in this church.
Every area on the main reredos and side altars are surrounded with decorations, main Altar has plain paneling in the vault of the chancel impressing, gallery in cornice design, pulpit the art of Rococo, moving from up to low pendent triumphant blowing the canopy, with the Lamb of the Apocalypse on the Book of the seven seals at its summit and the wooden altar triptych is also attraction.
Father Joseph Vas, who was born, here in this village of Benaulim
in the year 1651 was baptized in the Chapel under the choir. He made a hard effort to win the place for Goan Clergy to establish the Goan branch of St. Philip Neri’s Oratorians, a congregation of secular priests. “Apostle of Ceylon” he got this fame after his death in the year 1711. Canonization proceedings were carried but so far no success is met.
The wonderful church of St. Christopher situated on the walls of the nave opposite the baptismal chapel and crossing river with lots of crabs and fishes giving the grantee of cheerfulness cannot ignored at all. The village continues down the coast surrounded by the cottages and the houses close to each other. Houses here are made up of an assortment of terracotta figures. One can even visit the beautiful Benaulim beach which is a very quiet beach.