|A sign on the road|
pointing out Goa Chitra
I am just back from a relaxing trip to Goa. We stayed in a lovely beachside property alongside undoubtedly the cleanest beach in South Goa. It was also a short drive from our apartment to several beautiful museums, Ateliers and other culture-rich destinations in South Goa. Among them was Goa Chitra, which houses the private collection of Mr. Vicot Hugo Gomes.
I connected with Victor Gomes way back in Jan 2014, as I was curious about his collection of Christian religious articles from Goa, curated under The Museum of Christian Arts, Goa. Mr. Gomes had invited me to drop in Goa Chitra back then, but I couldn't make it. So this time around, I was determined to visit.
Goa Chitra is located in Benaulim. Go to Benaulim town, and anyone will direct you there. Or, use the GPS like I did. The museum is a delight! Housed in a large property that also has an organic farm attached to it, as well as Mr. Gomes' private residence, it is spread over three or four little "buildings".
The displays and artifacts are meticulously arranged, and a qualified guide makes sure that you have a lovely experience. Our guide was Velena, and she was very knowledgeable.
|A quaint little bridge in the middle of the museum premises|
The museum opens into a beautiful art gallery. The next building is a short walk, and has a lovely collection of old buggies, carriages, pallanquins, hearses and toys, sourced from different eras, and different parts of India. It was an experience walking through and seeing these beautifully-restored ancient modes of transport. The curator has arranged them in order of the evolution of the wheel. So the first exhibit features a cart with a crude wheel, to the more advanced carriages that were developed after the Industrial Revolution, and found their way into India during the British Raj.
|Against the wall is a toddy-processing unit|
Next, in another building were astounding collections of Goan Ethnographic artifacts. I was particularly fascinated by the displays of tools of trade belonging to barbers, coconut climbers, masons, goldsmiths, toddy makers, etc. Their implements are arranged just as they would have been back in time, and this is a great way to teach kids about our past.
|Old fashioned pelmets are mounted above arched windows|
Later in the tour, we were pointed out working models of feni distilleries, sugarcane juicers, etc. Mammoth collections of old vessels, weights and measurements, brass kitchen accessories, spoons, etc. make you stop and wonder at the ingenuity and creativity of the people back in time!
|A collection of boyaons|
There are also collections of imports -water filters and ceramics brought in by the British or the Portuguese, old steam irons, and crockery, etc.
|An old rat-trap|
|Victor Hugo Gomes|
It is difficult to believe that all this is one man's collection. Victor Gomes has been collecting since his University days. Velena explained that the magnificent carriages and buggies on display were dismantled or broken when he found them, but he has carefully taken the time to restore them piece by piece, struggling to find original parts. In some cases he has taken up to a year to restore a single item.
When in Goa, do visit this place. Set aside a couple of hours to enjoy the whole experience.
Goa - Chitra
St. John the Baptist church road,
Mondo-Waddo, Benaulim, Salcete Goa - 403716 India.
Ph.: 91 0832 6570877, Mobile: +91 9850466165