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Of museums… and more

By Frederick Noronha fred at

Rudolf Ludwig aka Kammermeier of the Art Chamber (aka Galeria de Belas Artes) at Gauravaddo in Calangute has helped the Goa Tourism (of “365 days on holiday” fame) to put together a tourist guide for museums, galleries and places with cultural activities. Don’t ask me how to get a copy of this 23-page booklet, I just ran into one through one of the museums!
Even if a little slanted towards the central coast of Goa — the tourist zone — it throws up an amazing set of places to visit, maps, URLs and basic info.
Any guess how many museums Goa has? There’s the Goa State Museum and then there’s Architect Gerard da Cunha’s relatively-new architectural museum called Houses of Goa (no website listed, but email archauto at The Xavier Centre of Historical Research, at Porvorim, has its Gallery on Christian Art, named the Xavier Xandev Museum. (Again, no website. Email delio at
Then, there’s the archaeological museum and portrait gallery at Old Goa, the Christian Art Museum at the same location, and the Pilar Seminary Museum. (”Its history was brought to light by the discovery of ancient artefacts while digging the foundations for the educational institutions and while desilting an old tank within the compound of the present Society of Pillar. All these items collected and mounted in the Pilar Seminary Museum are displayed in relation to the dynasties and the periods passed through the centuries.”) Email aisem at
Big Foot at Loutolim (aka Ancestral Goa) is an attempt to illustrate and recreate Goa’s traditional past. See Big Foot’s site. You might find it hard to believe, but there’s even a vintage-cars collection of sorts — Ashvek Vintage World “dedicated to restore and preserve motoring and motorcycling gems of historical interest in Goa”. You can find cars ranging from ye old Mercedes Benz, to the Peugeot, Morris, Chevrolet and the Volkswagen. Check it out at Nuvem, on permanent display. Entry Rs 50. Email ashvek at
Then, there’s the Museum of Blessed Joseph Vaz or email sanjovaz at and the Naval Aviation Museum. You can see and touch vintage aircrafts like the Sealands, Doves, Alizes, Seahawks, Vampires and Huges Helicopters. After all, our defence outlay is unexpectedly high!
Other venues listed — Art Chamber at Calangute, the Kerkar Art Complex and more. Dr Subodh Kerkar has two galleries, one for his permanent collection, and the other housing the works of Indian and foreign artists. The open air auditorium puts up performances in Indian classical music and dance.

In Old Goa, other options (though not mentioned here) are:

  • Galleria Esperanca, situated in St. Estevam, and containing the works of the late Franjoao (Francis Joao Fernandes). Franjoao’s paintings also adorn the sacristy of the Bom Jesus Basilica.
  • The Bom Jesus Basilica art gallery. This gallery was established in 1976 and quite easily, is the first and largest one of its kind in the eyes of onlookers. With the exception of the Archaeological Museum in Old Goa, the Basilica art gallery predates most -- if not all the galleries and museums mentioned above.
  • Another forgotten icon is Inacio Vaz, whose paintings adorn the entrance to the Professed House of the Jesuits in Old Goa. The possibility of many others being similarly overlooked cannot be underestimated, writes artist Dom Martin.

Then, there’s the Kala Academy — and the Fundacao Oriente in India, the Central Library (even tourists can become temporary members). Art galleries in Goa include Gallery Gitanjali (run by Ajit Sukhija in a building that once was the People’s High School at Fontainhas), Galeria Cidade at the Cidade de Goa luxury resort, Peace Cottage Fine Art Gallery perched between two luxury hotels at Betalbatim , Gallery Boa Arte opposite the Municipal Garden in Panjim, Picturesque opposite the Goa Urban Cooperative Bank also in Panjim, Gallery Yemania in Verem (kips at and the Attic with its clay sculpture and antique furniture near Mount Carmel Chapel in Mapusa . Don’t forget the Sound and Light Gallery Museum at Old Goa, where one can get a religious tour, artistically done, for just ten rupees, even at most of the museum and centres in Goa continue to charge abysmally low entry fees even for those who could pay more! The last named is the Goa Science Centre, a great fun-place for kids specially, but not only.

Houses of Goa (Salvador do Mundo) 2410711
Xavier Centre XCHR Alto Porvorim 2417772
Goa State Museum EDC Complex, Panjim 2438006
Naval Aviation Museum, Bogmalo Road 2585525
Palacio do Deao, Quepem 2664029
Ancestral Goa/Big Foot, Loutolim 2777034
Pilar Seminary Museum, Pilar 2218521
Goa Science Centre, Marine Highway Miramar 2463426
Museum of Christian Art, Santa Monica Convent Old Goa 2285299
SOURCE: FindAllGoa []