If you go beyond the beaches of Goa, you can get a chance to know the antique Goan life and how people lived. Goa Chitra Museum offers you exactly the same. It is a unique and fascinating museum located in the southern part of Goa. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the rich cultural heritage and history of Goa, and is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the region's past.
The museum is located in the village of Benaulim, just a short distance from the city of Margao. It was established in 2010 by Victor Hugo Gomes, a local artist and ethnographer, who had a passion for preserving and showcasing the traditional arts, crafts, and lifestyles of Goa.
The museum is housed in a beautiful 400-year-old restored Portuguese mansion and spans over 1.5 acres of land. The museum's collection includes over 4,000 artifacts, ranging from farming tools and equipment, to traditional musical instruments, to antique furniture and household items.
One of the unique features of the museum is its focus on the agricultural heritage of Goa. The museum showcases various farming techniques and tools used in the region over the centuries. Visitors can see how crops such as rice, coconuts, and sugarcane are grown and harvested, and learn about the traditional farming practices of the region. It also has a huge hall that shows the journey of transportation since mankind. The wheel-less carrier that was lifted by men to wooden wheel karts to the modern vehicle - the transition as we scan the hall is amazing!
Another highlight of the museum is its collection of traditional Goan costumes and jewelry. Visitors can see the various styles of clothing worn by different communities in Goa, as well as the intricate designs and patterns of traditional jewelry.
Apart from it, I was amazed to see a full room that depicted a Judge's cabin back in the days. It had the old typewriters (without the delete button!), first age telephones, a coat and suit hanger, law books (which are still used today for some Goan laws) and photographs of different judges of the Portuguese era.
The museum also has a section dedicated to traditional Goan cuisine, which includes a collection of cooking utensils, pots, pans, and other kitchen equipment. Visitors can learn about the various spices and ingredients used in Goan cuisine, and even participate in cooking workshops to learn how to prepare traditional Goan dishes.
One of the most striking features of the museum is its use of traditional architecture and design. The buildings and exhibits are constructed using traditional Goan architectural styles and materials, such as laterite stone, clay tiles, and wooden beams.
Overall, the Goa Chitra Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about the rich cultural heritage and history of Goa. The museum's vast collection of artifacts, its focus on traditional farming and cuisine, and its use of traditional architecture and design all contribute to making it a unique and fascinating experience. It should definitely be in your check-list, especially during the afternoon time when it is not very pleasant at the beach.