While Goa is famous for its white sandy beaches, incredible shopping markets, delicious cuisine and an exciting nightlife, it also has an incredibly rich historical past that’s not spoken of too often. When you’re visiting Goa on cheap flights, do make some time to explore some amazing museums here that speak of Goan culture and heritage. The amazing blend of Portuguese and Maratha cultures and architecture has made Goa visibly stand out among other Indian cities. Read on to know about some famous museums in Goa and decide which ones you’d like to visit first.
Ancestral Goa Museum
This is a good place to start with as it focuses on and brings to fore Goan culture and traditions. The open-air museum is more focused on the evolution of Goan culture than the dynastic movement. The Ancestral Goa Museum offers an incredible insight into the historical roots of Goa. It also has handicrafts, Feni distillery, an enormous laterite Mirabai statue, and plenty of traditional small Goan houses on display.
Goa State Museum
One of the most famous museums in Goa, this is a great place to visit if you have absolutely no clue about Goan history. You will be familiarized right from scratch about Goan history, culture and tradition through interesting exhibits related to them. You will also get to see interesting facets of Goa’s long struggle for freedom from the Portuguese. Located in the state capital of Panaji, the museum is easily accessible and reachable even by first-time visitors.
Museum of Christian Art
Owing to the Portuguese colonial era, about one-fourth of Goa’s population is Christian, mostly Catholic, to be precise. The Museum of Christian Art is where the Christian part of Goan history has been documented. It showcases both old and new Indo-Portuguese artworks in addition to relics and symbols associated with the colonial era. There are exquisite furniture, metalwork, sculptures, paintings, ivory items, curios and status among other interesting exhibits.
House of Goa
Designed by the talented legendary Gerald De Cunha and located in Penha de Franca, this unique museum which looks like a ship showcases Goan architectural history. The museum exhibits date back to the pre-Portuguese era and how Goan architecture has been influenced by the Portuguese. There are three levels to the museum and all of them have remarkable exhibits showcasing the architectural history and evolution of Goa.
Head to this museum if you want to know about Goa prior to the Portuguese arrival. Explore artifacts that date back to a time period in Goa that people rarely talk about. Find amazing exhibits in the form of Sati stones, bronze statues, maps, wooden structures, ancient Arabic and Persian inscriptions and other such priceless relics. The museum will show you how ancient Goan culture influenced modern Goa even before the Portuguese came in.
Goa Chitra Museum
Dedicated solely to Goan people and their way of life, this is a great museum to visit to know more about the affable people of Goa. With over 4000 items on display, this ethnographic museum showcases Goan people, their culture, habits, traditions, customs and their evolution over the years. Dubbed as the best contemporary museum in the country by the Archaeological Survey of India, museum exhibits include kitchen utensils, farming tools, pottery items, carts and musical instruments used by Goan people in the ancient days.