5 Marvelous Museums of Goa

The richness of Goa’s historic past can be witnessed in its churches, forts, and Portuguese architecture but there are a lot more pieces to the historic puzzle that Goa corners within its antiquity. These pieces can best be discovered at Goa’s eccentric array of museums.

Goa, in its present form, is undoubtedly serene but the serenity it is endowed with is much reliant on the marvels of its past. Here’s a quick peek into 5 of Goa’s most astonishing museums which will take you through some undiscovered aspects of the Konkani days of yore.

The Goa State Museum is located in the capital city of Panaji. It roofs a number of antiques along with objects of art and cultural importance that are exhibited thematically so as to depict different aspects of Goan history and culture. The artefacts are arranged in a wide spectrum of galleries including Sculpture Gallery, Christian art Gallery, History of printing in Goa Gallery, Banerji art Gallery, Religious Expression Gallery, Cultural anthropology, Contemporary art Gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Goa’s Freedom Struggle Gallery, Menenzes Braganza Gallery, Furniture Gallery, Natural Heritage of Goa Gallery, Environment and Development Gallery, and Geology Gallery. Besides stone and bronze sculptures of deities, Hero and Sati stones are also displayed. a copper plate inscription of Viravarma, Kadamba King, is an inspiring item of significance which dates back to 1049 a. D. The Numismatic Gallery displays coins of Satavahanas, Shilaharas, and Kadambas besides Portuguese coinage and currency notes. Two unique Lottery Draw machines of the Portuguese era having shaped many a fortune have now run out of luck!

The Museum of Christian Art boasts of being asia’s first museum of Christian art and is housed at the 1627 heritage Convent of Santa Monica in old Goa. The selection of objects brings to the fore the Indian (predominantly Hindu) contribution to Christian art. Thus, this museum represents the symbiosis of East-West art and culture, which makes for some interesting material for researches and visitors. Besides the sacred items used in the church, there is an eighteenth century pair of the ‘Naga’ and ‘Nagina’ – sacred symbols used in Hinduism – carved in gilt wood as altar ornaments. The face of the naga and nagina resemble that of Indo-Portuguese angles. The pair was obviously carved by local Hindu craftsmen after the authorities recruited them as the demands could not be met by Portugal.

The Naval Aviation Museum is located on Bogmalo road, adjoining INS Hansa and is claimed to be the only such dedicated museum in India. It houses a collection of memorabilia from Indian aviation history. Static aircrafts are displayed outdoors in the backdrop of the distant blue sea. Visitors can board the ‘Super Constellation aircraft’ and can even check out the cockpit. other vintage aircrafts like the Sealand, the Dove, the alize, the Seahawk, the Vampire, and the Huges Helicopter can be viewed from close proximity allowing you to discern the old aviation birds. The indoor section displays some items of armament and other equipment. Not only that, children can get their hands on the joy of flying a Sea Harrier in an advanced simulator.

The Museum ‘Houses of Goa’ is designed as a rather unusual traffic island amidst a green valley at Torda, Porvorim. Built out of exposed lateritic stone masonry, it looks like a ship from one angle and a fish from another. Well, that’s the ‘Museum Houses of Goa’. The museum showcases houses which are the prime expressions of Goan identity. It is also a resource cum research centre for traditional architecture of Goa. The museum comprises of three different levels. at the first level, there is the ‘history of Goa’ which showcases seven houses, Hindu and Catholic, with their Portuguese influence. The next level divulges into the details of the house, displaying doors, windows, railings, furniture, and altars. and lastly, on the top is the final Goan house.

‘Goa Chitra’ museum opened its doors on all Souls’ Day, the 2nd of November 2009, as a mark of respect to the departed whose implements are showcased there. Housed in the beautiful village of Benaulim, the museum invites visitors to witness Goa’s past in its full glory. The museum is a collection of artefacts that the curator has collected during his forays into the Goan hinterlands over the past twenty years. The ancient sugarcane grinder, fully made up of wood is one of the priceless pieces on display. The coconut oil extractor also made up of wood figures on the museum logo. a seed dispensing contraption which sows seeds in the field in five different furrows simultaneously throws light on the genius of Goa’s ancient creativity. all this old ‘firewood’ as he calls it now occupies a place of pride in his aesthetically designed museum built out of tones of rejected cornerstones. More recently, another annexure is added to the museum entitled ‘Goa Chakra’, which displays carts and carriages from different eras from across India.

Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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