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"With a rich history to boast of, Goa has a lot to offer to tourists who come here on a historical trail. Not many know but Goa is also a centre of arts and has many known artists and art galleries."
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Archeological Museum, Velha Goa
Archeological Museum, Velha Goa

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Archaeological Museum and Portrait Gallery

The museum was set up by Archaeological Survey of India in 1964 in the convent of St. Francis of Assisi church. The convent had been closed since 1864 by the Portuguese government. Nine kilometres from Panaji, within the compound of St Francis of Assisi church, this museum will transport you to the Golden age of Goa when it was still under Portuguese domination.

The museum has a rich and rare collection of artifacts, maps and portraits etc. Some prominent displays of the museum are middle and upper Paleolithic stone tools, Microliths and a few Neolithic Celts, a six meter high statue of Alfonso de Albuquerque, excavated materials from Chandnor, copper coins and copper nails, rings from third century B.C etc.

There are eight galleries in the museum which can be described as eight different sections of the museum. Among the numerous displays of galleries are sixty portraits of viceroys and governors of Goa, a wooden statue of St. Peter and a unique collection of Hindu deities. There is a standing statue of Lord Vishnu accompanied by Goddess Laxmi and Garuda on either side.

The museum is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and is closed on Mondays and government holidays.

Museum of Goa Daman and Diu

Situated in Panaji, Museum of Goa focuses on archeology and archives. There are several manuscripts, inscriptions, coins and textiles that were once a part of the Goan history. There is a collection of sculptors which dates back to the pre-Portuguese era when Hindu dynasties ruled Goa. From the Portuguese era there is a collection of furniture, art objects and ivory statues in particular.

The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm.

Museum of Christian Art

The Museum of Christian Art, set up in 1994, is one of its kind in Asia, and a must see for art lovers. The museum was earlier located in Margao at Rachol but its remoteness hampered its popularity. The museum was then relocated to a more convenient location. It now stands within the convent of Santa Monica in old Goa in the company of world heritage monuments.

The museum was set up by the combined efforts of Calouste Gulbentian foundation of Portugal and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) New Delhi. Today, the museum, in terms of its collection is unparalleled. It boasts of some of the finest archetypes of the craft adorning the churches of Goa.

Among its exclusive collection is an artifact, a Pelican monstrance based on the legend that in times of famine, the mother Pelican plucks open her breast and feeds her young on her own blood. The artistic iconography explicitly suggests that the holy sacrament is the food for man's salvation. St. Francis Xavier, close to the hearts of Goans is a special theme here also on silver plaques and panels of silver casket.

The museum has a spectacular collection of gold items, precious stones and rosaries and ivory images. Jesus as shepherd with his flock of lambs in a pensive mood sitting on a caved hilltop, St. Mary Magdalene stands in the front grotto.

With all its collection and beauty, one can't surely afford to miss this museum. The museum is open seven days a week from 9:30 am to 5:00pm.

Naval Aviation Museum

Six kilometres from the port of Vasco-da-Gama is the Naval Aviation Museum. A museum that is a source of knowledge and generates a sense of respect and inspiration towards the defense forces of the country. However, probably hasn't received the kind of publicity it deserves.

The museum, set up in October 1998, stands over a plateau overlooking the vast expanses of Arabian sea and Bogmalo beach beneath.

The museum has an open air section and an in house section. The open air section displays aircrafts, twelve of them. They are the show stealers and pride of the museum. From Short Sealand to one of the longest one, the Lockhead Super Constellation are here for you to adore. There are also engines of several aircrafts used in 1960's.

Inside of the museum is painted to give you a feel as if you are entering the aircraft carrier Virat. The collection of the museum is so extensive and detailed that it ranks second in the country, just next to the naval museum in Delhi. You will see here weapons, sensors, rare photographs from the liberation movement of Goa, history of Indian Naval aviation and other naval equipments etc.

The museum has also a section called Shradhanjali (a granite slab on the wall) paying tribute to the martyrs of the motherland and adjacent to this is the heart of the museum, called the meditation hall. A serene, calm and cool place with a wall lit up by a blue painting, its called the hall of silence.

A visit to the museum can be rounded by a picnic on the near by Hollant beach two kilometers from here.

The museum is open all days except on Mondays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Kerkar art Complex

This gallery is a one man show and the man is Dr. Subodh Kerkar, a doctor by education and a painter by choice. A renowned artist, his work has travelled to all over the country as well as Europe and recognised by Ministry of HRD and Lalit Kala Academy.

Devoted to art, Mr. Subodh had set up Kerkar art complex to preserve the uniqueness of Indo-Portuguese art and craft along with Indian Classical music and dance all under one roof. The gallery organises workshops for painters and sculptors, displays works of contemporary artists and organises music and dance concerts. Close to Calangute beach, this gallery cum retreat house is an ideal escape in the abode of art.

The Art chamber

Owned by Rudolph and Yolanda Kammermeier, this art gallery is within 800 metres of Calangute beach. A new exhibition of Goan, Indian or international artists is displayed here every month during its season of October till April end. This gallery was set up in 1997 and inaugurated by then Chief Minister of Goa, Mr. P.R Rane. Within few years of its set up the gallery has made a name for itself amongst the art connoisseurs. Works of notable artists like Parech Hazra and Victor Lukin (international) have been displayed here. Art, craft and painting classes are also organised here.


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