Museums in Goa
Goa State Museum, Panaji
State Archaeology Museum is where the state of Goa preserves its archaeological and historical heritage and shows it off too. Antiquities, art objects, and objects of cultural importance make it to the hall of fame here at the Goa State Museum, as it is popularly known. At present the museum sports over two dozen galleries. These are the galleries for lottery machines, sculpture, Christian art, printing history, religious expression, cultural anthropology, contemporary art, numismatics (coins), Goa’s freedom struggle, furniture, natural heritage, and for environment and development.
As you can see, there’s a collection from pretty much every walk of life. Whether you are interested in furniture, printing, coins, or lottery, learn about its history and heritage here. The museum makes for a cool learning center. This is a must-do site to understand Goa, its culture and its rich history. Given that Goa’s independence from Portugal is staggered by a few years from that of India, a walk here could be evocative. So, if you are traveling with curious kids, put this on your itinerary. Established in 1977, the museum is now located southeast of Fontainhas in Panaji’s Pato area (EDC complex).
Museum of Christian Art, Old Goa
Located within the boundaries of the Convent of Santa Monica, the Museum of Christian Art houses some of the most exquisite specimens of Indo-Portuguese Christian art. A walk-through amidst precious Portuguese artefacts— including rosaries and other items made of gold, silver and rare stones, sculptures, paintings, textiles, and metals is a veritable class in Goa’s Portuguese heritage. A popular haunt amongst history-lovers, the museum is in Old Goa and is a short walk away from the Old Goa ferry pier.
Goa Chitra Museum, Benaulim
Its long history as a former Portuguese colony is extant in its 17th-century churches and the area’s tropical spice plantations. The land is filled with ancestral wisdom and a rich cultural heritage evident in every nook and corner. Victor Hugo Gomes, a native of Goa, decided to preserve this history by establishing Goa Chitra, an ethnographic museum, in the village of Benaulim. Set up in 2009, Goa Chitra is a 30-year labor of love for Victor—a tribute to his ancestors and their way of life.
The museum houses a unique collection of traditional farming implements and other ancient tools of trade set up against the backdrop of a traditional organic farm. What began with 200 privately collected items, has now grown to more than 4,000 objects! Each of the artifacts is supported by information collected by interviewing the elder members of the respective community and studying its application in daily life. Let’s take a tour of this tiny gem in Goa!
Houses of Goa, Alto-Torda, Porvorim
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.
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.
Goa Science Centre, Panaji
Large dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals greet you just as you enter the premises of this latest point of tourist interest in Panaji. An interactive science center allows you to observe exhibits such as ‘laughing mirrors’ or a ‘floating ball’ and learn concepts of science in a playful manner. Situated next to the sea, how can you not learn about marine science? A separate section exhibits exactly that and makes people aware of the significance of ocean to life. Science about celestial objects intrigues and fascinates us. A 50-seat digital planetarium runs 4 shows off a short film on a dome-shaped projection screen depicting the wonders and magical appeal of the sky, its galaxies, and concepts like the formation of stars. What’s more? The center also runs multiple 3D shows for an immersive experience showcasing fascinating aspects of science and scientific history. Besides, there are training and workshops to keep you glued. The center is also home to engineering fairs and other events.
This fun-filled site, just a short-walk from Miramar beach, is managed by the National Council of Science Museums under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.