Archaeological Museum & Portrait Gallery
: Old Goa
: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)
: Gallery Of Portraits of Portuguese Viceroys, Coins, Domestic Wooden
Sculpture, Pre-Portuguese Hindu Sculptures
This used to be a wing of the old Franciscan monastery and was converted to a museum in 1964. On exhibit are a selection of pre-colonial and post colonial artifacts. The main hall has at its entrance a huge statue of Alfonso de Albuquerque, that once stood in Old Goa and subsequently at the Azad Maidan in Panaji. It was removed after liberation to the museum. The other areas are the "Key Gallery", the " Portrait Gallery" and the "Sculpture Gallery".
The "key gallery" has among other things a statue of the famous Portuguese poet, Luis Camoes, holding a copy of "Os Lusíadas". This statue was also moved to the museum following liberation.
The " Portrait Gallery" occupies the first floor of the museum and has over sixty paintings of the Portuguese Governors and Viceroys that ruled Goa beginning with the first- Dom Joao de Castro( 1545-48 ) and other notables like Dom Vasco da Gama ( 1524) and the only Goan Governor, Bernardo Peres da Silva ( 1835 )and the longest serving governor, Jose Ferreira de Pestano ( 1844-51 and 1864-70). There is even a portrait of Portugal's right wing prime minister and dictator, Antonio Salazar.
The "Sculpture Gallery" contains some artifacts dating to the pre-colonial era.
There are a lot of Stone sculptures and idols dating back to the Kadamba years and also a stone pillar brought from San Thome, Madras , the site of martyrdom of St Thomas
Rejuvenating The Look
The Museum was rearranged and reorganized completely in connection with the CHOGM Retreat in Goa mean while 1982. A long hall lying to the left side of the entrance to the Museum was converted into 2 galleries by laying RCC floor with a newly constructed wide staircase at the extreme west to facilitate access to the first floor.
The new Annexe building thus provided additional area to the existing Museum and finally the entire first floor re-laid with a teakwood floor resembling the original in order to bring uniform look to the whole complex.
The 3-6m high bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque greets the visitors at the entrance. In the visitors lobby sea routes of early explorers, map showing site museums in India, map of
Goa and a few photographs of monuments of Goa and Daman , and map showing centrally protected monuments in India are on display.
Displaying Some Priceless Possessions
The important exhibits on display in this Gallery are the standing Lord Vishnu accompanied by Goddess Lakshmi and Garuda on left and right respectively, with exquisite carvings accommodating ten incarnations on the Prabhavali, standing Surya accompanied by
Danda and Pingala, Gajalakshmi, Mahishasuramardini and seated
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Galleries
Gallery 2,3,4 and 5 are located in the quadrangle in the ground floor. In Gallery 2 are displayed models of various types of Shikharas, replica of pillar, architectural pieces, a Shiva-Linga and a 'Nandi'.
In Gallery 3 are displayed seated Ganesa, Mahishasuramardini, standing Vishnu with Garuda, Vetala, seated Uma-Maheshvara with Kartikeya, Bhringi and Ganesha on the pedestal, Hanumana, Kala Bhairava, Indrani and torso of a Hindu saint. In the showcase minor objects i.e., the head of Brahma, head of Nandi Kula Devata and architectural pieces are on display. In the adjoining room are displayed model of a 16th century Portuguese ship and iron anchors.
In Gallery 4 are displayed medieval hero-stones, sati-stones, a Shiva-Linga and a panel depicting self-immolation. The sati stones displayed along side the hero-stones, commemorate 'Sati' or widow burning and have panels showing the heroes in battle, thus serving both as hero and 'Sati' stones. In Gallery 5 are inscribed slabs in Marathi, Arabic/Persian pertaining to Ibrahim 'Adil Shah and other 'Adil Shahi kings of Bijapur of 16th-17th century.
The Marathi inscriptions record grants to Hindu temples, while the Arabic/Persian inscriptions record the construction of a Masjid (Mosque) and a bastion to the fort at Old Goa. A huge stone panel on the other side of the verandah depicts a coat of arms in the centre and St. Peter and St. Paul proclaiming the gospel and a Portuguese inscription on either side.
In the niche of the wall is a stone pillar brought from Santhome, Madras in AD 1630. A piece of the iron of the lance with which the St. Thomas, the apostle, was supposed to have been killed was preserved in a small niche at the top of the pillar. The two sides of the pillar are painted with the figures of St. Thomas and St. Francis of Assisi.
In the centre of the open courtyard, life-size image of St. Catherine is displayed under a Goan type pillared shed.
The courtyard has been improved by laying lawns and laterite paved pathways with specially designed grills.
Display Of Beautiful Canvas Paintings - Gallery 6
The first floor is divided into three galleries each with a closed verandah. In Gallery 6, the visitor can have a glance at the short history of the paintings of Governors and Viceroys of Goa, before they proceed to appreciate a large number of portraits on wood and canvas. The viceroy Dom Joao de Castro, initiated and ordered paintings of portrait of his own and also of twelve predecessors. This practice continued till the end of the Portuguese rule in India in 1961.
These portraits are painted either on wooden planks or on canvas and in oil colours. A short label is also fixed to each object in slanting position at the bottom indicating the name and the regnal year. They were painted by local artists and have been subjected to restoration or repainting on many occasions.
These paintings, originally decorating the walls of different residential mansions of the Governors and Viceroys, were shifted from the Secretariat, Panaji to the Museum in 1962 to make them available for public view. Many of these paintings are of life size and provide an interesting study in the evolution of contemporary costumes and hairstyle of Europe and give an idea of the different coat of arms besides their individual personalities and appearances.
Two wooden screens kept in the gallery have been utilised for exhibiting painting of Vasco-de-Gama, list of Portuguese Governors/Viceroys, map of Goa, postal, revenue and court fee stamps of Portuguese India.
The Coin & Currency Collection
In the vertical type coin showcase are exhibited the Portuguese currency and silver /copper/lead/brass coins. Afonso de Albuquerque ordered minting of coins soon after his conquest of Goa in AD 1510. The major denominations include the Portuguese Manoel, Leal and the indigenous Pardav, Tanga, Xerafins, Rupia, etc.
The most common type of coin is the one with holy cross or king and queen on the obverse along with a circular legend and year and coat of arms on the reverse. The first paper currency was issued sometime in 1882. The currency notes usually show the image of Afonso de Albuquerque on the right side with the legend
BANCO NACIONAL ULTRAMARINO and INDIA PORTUGUESA and denominations on obverse and sea motif on the reverse. The denominations are 10, 20, 30, 50, 60, 100, 300, 500, 600 and 1000 Escudos or Rupias.
In this gallery, wooden sculptures of Jesus, St. Francis Xavier, St. Joseph and other Christian Saints are also on display. A model of the fort of Diu is on view in this gallery.
In the chapel on the southern wall is a painting depicting Mary descending from the Heaven, accompanied by children and few Saints on the earth. The wooden frame and the borders of this painting were decorated and gilded. In
Gallery 7 are displayed the portrait paintings of Governors/Viceroys. In the showcase are exhibited the plaster cast bust of Philippe Bernado Guedes, Governor, on one side and the wooden statue of St. Peter on the other side.
In the verandahs are displayed some religious paintings and wooden sculptures of Christian Saints, etc.; the vast verandah on the eastern side of the first floor, is used to display huge panel paintings depicting the martyrdom of Jesuit priests.
A wooden screen has been provided in this gallery to break monotony and the space on this screen has been used for display of paintings of Governors.
In Gallery 8 are displayed the paintings of Governors/ Viceroys, President of Portugal and Dr. Salazar, the prime minister of Portugal during whose time Goa was liberated by Indian army on 19th December 1961. In a small niche on the northern wall is the bust of Queen Maria da Glorida of Portugal.
A photograph of Vassalo-de-Silva, the last Governor General is on display. These paintings have been barricaded by providing a brass chain railing to prevent visitors from handling the paintings. There are also on view life-size wooden sculptures representing Mary Rosary and St. Peter in this gallery.
In the verandah, wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ and paintings on wooden and canvas depicting the life scenes of Jesus viz., his birth, trial, crucifixion and his descent from the cross are on view. In the showcase are displayed Portuguese arms like rifles, swords, a dagger and a few stone and iron canon balls.
In front of the Museum building are exhibited six canons of different sizes.
: Open Daily Except Fridays From 10.00 am To 5.00 pm.
(without lunch break).
: Free Closed on Fridays Phone 0832 286133