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9 Most Interesting Museums of Goa

 
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    9 Most Interesting Museums of Goa

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    The museums in Goa are representative of the long historical and cultural tradition of this state. The museums are a great space to experience antiquities, art exhibits and objects of cultural importance. Each exhibit in these museums portrays either an aspect of history or culture or is a thematic representation of Goa’s cultural heritage.  This educational and informative sojourn is definitely enough to turn a tourist into a historian. On display are  ancient sculptures pertaining to Hindu and Jain religion to furniture from the Portuguese era, ancient coins and even lottery machines used centuries ago.

    1. Goa State Museum, Panaji

    Image Credit: wikimedia

    Located on the Mahatma Gandhi Road in Panjim, the Goa State Museum has an impressive collection of artifacts. Of all museums of Goa this one features exhibits, artifacts and items pertaining to religious expression, history of printing in the state, lottery printing, cultural anthropology, contemporary and Christian art, furniture, sculptures and information on Goa’s struggle for freedom. The museum is open on all weekdays between 9.30 am and 5.30 pm.

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    Photography is allowed only for students and scholars based on prior request. The museum also organises screenings for students on prior intimation. These screenings are short videos displaying the various cultural, heritage and anthropological facts about Goa. There is no entry fee to the Goa State Museum and the museum is divided into several galleries. Twelve out of these are open to the public. Some of the notable galleries are the Banerji Art Gallery and Sculpture Gallery.

    2. Museum of Christian Art, Old Goa

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    This is Asia’s only museum featuring a collection of items pertaining to the emergence of Christianity in the state. Located in Annexe, Convent of Santa Monica in Old Goa, the Museum of Christian Art is famed for its impressive collection of sculptures, furniture, ivory, paintings, textiles and metals. One of the well-known sculptures is the Holy Trinity showing the culmination of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a symbolic representation. There are several other exhibits that are centuries old and depict the overpowering prevalence of Christianity in Goa several centuries ago.

    Open on all days of the week from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, this museum has a nominal entrance fee averaging around Rs 3 and photography is allowed. This museum showcases the depth of religious harmony and prevalence during the Portuguese rule of Goa.

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    3. Goa Chitra Museum, Benaulim

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    Located on the St. John the Baptist church road, Mondo-Waddo, Benaulim, this is amongst a handful of museums of Goa displaying artifacts related  traditional farming equipment. These are ancient tools that were used by agriculturalists and farmers centuries ago. Some of these tools were used in the cultivation of organic farms. What began as a modest collection of 200 such items when the museum first began has grown to over 4000 and is still growing.

    The entrance fee to the museum is Rs 100 and photography is allowed inside the museum. Apart from traditional farming equipment, the museum showcases coconut farming tools, milk churning tools, traditional hand-woven baskets and several other implements that are not in use today. The Goa Chitra Museum partners with scholars and educational institutions to do more research on the farming and traditional cultivation techniques of ancient Goans. This is one of the many novel initiatives undertaken by the museum to provide solutions for the modern times.

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    4. Houses of Goa, Alto-Torda, Porvorim

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    Located in Torda, Salvador do Mundo, Bardez this museum presents a stunning exterior and interior design given that it was architected by the renowned Gerard da Cunha. The design of the Houses of Goa befits its stature as a place that houses artifacts that depict the history of architecture in Goa. The displays present interesting facts about European and Portuguese building practices during the colonial times. The renowned Mario Gallery displaying the paintings of Goa’s legendary painter Mario Mirando is here. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 7.30 pm and the entrance fee is INR 100 for adults and INR 25 for children.

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    The specialty of this museum is that it changes your perceptions of the traditional homes you see in Goa. After visiting this museum you understand why these homes were built in this fashion and the purpose behind it.

     

    5. Goa Science Centre, Panaji

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    Located on the New Marine Highway, Miramar, this is amongst the museums of Goa housing numerous wonders pertaining to science and astronomy. The museum features a planetarium and science park. The 3D theatre on-location showcases science shows. The entrance fee is Rs 10 and Rs 15 for the Planetarium show and Rs 15 for the science show at the 3D theatre.

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    The museum is open on all days from 10.00 AM to 6.00PM except on public holidays. Cameras and videos are allowed inside. The Goa Science Centre organises several package tours for students and visiting researchers. There is something always happening at this place for science lovers. There is also a range of activities here such as science seminars, demonstrations, drama contest, film festivals and quiz contests.

     

    6. Naval Aviation Museum (India), Vasco da Gama

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    Located in Bogmalo which is a short distance from Vasco da Gama, this museum is a unique one amongst museums in Goa. Displayed here are artifacts, items and various staged machinery and equipment of the evolution of India’s naval force over the years. There are two sections to the museum - the outdoor exhibit and indoor gallery. The outdoor exhibit displays a range of decommissioned aircraft that served with the Navy. A small shed hosts a decade old aircraft machines and interested visitors can see the engines as well

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    The indoor gallery displays information on battles undertaken. A special section of the museum displays naval aircraft armament. Also displayed are the different types of attire of naval servicemen and servicewomen. The museum is open on all days except Monday from ten in the morning to five in the evening and charges Rs 20 for admission and photography is allowed.

     

    7. Ancestral Goa, Loutolim

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    Located in the picturesque village of Loutolim, Ancestral Goa is also called the Big Foot museum. It is an open air museum that displays life-size statues and sculptures depicting the culture of rural Goa. There is an art gallery on-premise displaying paintings of children and local artists. The handicraft section of the museum displays Goan handicrafts. You can visit the model village that displays miniature Goan traditional homes, village market, liquor stores and distilleries.

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     One of the prime attractions of the Ancestral Goa museum is the sculpture of Sant Mirabai sculpted by the creator of the museum MJA Alavres. This sculpture entered the Limca Book of Records for being a laterite creation completed within 30 days. The museum is open on all days of the week between 10 in the morning and 5 in the evening and photography is allowed.

     

    8. Palacio do Deao

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    This centuries old mansion is located opposite the Holy Cross Church in Quepem. A sprawling bungalow, the home is a treasure trove of cultural artifacts; the Indo-Portuguese architecture to the stone ornaments and the library with rare books on History, this place is for people seeking an odyssey through Goa’s rich legacy. Whilst exploring this house, you learn about the history of Goa through various exhibits such as paintings, artifacts, and general household items. You can top this experience with a culinary indulgence at the in-house restaurant serving delectable Goan cuisine.

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    Open on all days of the week, this is also a heritage villa where you can stay. Photography is allowed and you can capture vivid images of this home and its surrounding through your camera lens.

     

    9. Archaeological Museum

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    Established in the mid nineteenth century, this museum displays antiquities that date back to the medieval period – making it one of the most interesting museums of Goa. On the walls you can see portraits of governors and viceroys who ruled Goa during the colonial times. Apart from this there are pillars, postage stamps and several other objects pertaining to the Portuguese rule in India. Located in Old Goa, the museum is open on all days except Friday and is open from 10 am to 5 pm.

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    The highlight of this Archaeological Museum is that it contains several ancient Persian and Arabic inscriptions, weapons used by the Portuguese army and such related artifacts. All of these items showcase an all pervasive Portuguese involvement in Goa’s history.

     

    These are some of the most interesting museums of Goa. These museums showcase different aspects of Goa’s tryst with history. In these places you witness artefacts, inscriptions, sculptures and such items that open your perceptions to Goa’s rich and illustrious history. Visiting such museums in Goa increases your understanding of this glorious state. You’ll come back with new regards and appreciation for the fun capital of India with a magnificent history!