Lakshmi Vilas Palace

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Lakshmi Villas Palace, an extravagant building of the Indo-Saracenic school, was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890 at a cost of GBP180,000 was the magnificent residence of the royal family of Baroda. The term Maharaja Palace actually refers to a series of palaces in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, constructed since the Gaekwad, a prominent Maratha family, started ruling the Baroda State. Laxmi Vilas Palace is Baroda’s famous historical monument. Laxmi vilas palace is constructed in Indo-Saracenic architecture style. It is reputed to have been the largest private dwelling built till date and four times the size of Buckingham Palace. People visiting Vadodara make it a point to visit Laxmi Vilas Palace in Vadodara. 

Indian_royal_palace_laxmi_vilas The first one was a building known as the Sarkar Wada. This building, not really a palace, was given up for the Nazarbaug Palace built in old classical style. The structure was completed in 1890, 12 years later and is named after Sayajirao Gaekwad’s third wife, Rani Laxmibai from Thanjore. The interiors of this palace are reminiscent of a large European country house, and feature modern amenities like elevators. One of the most important aspects of Laxmi Vilas Palace is the magnanimity of the rooms, each room having its significance in the artwork and craftsmanship. Besides the main building, there are plenty of other areas of interest in the complex of this palace. Laxmi Vilas Palace was one of the costliest palaces of its time. It is, today, considered one of the largest private resident homes in India. Maharaja Ranjitsinh, great grandson of Sayajirao Gaekwad continues to live in the Laxmi Vilas Palace until this day along with other members of the royal family. 

Description of Palace :

Laxmi_Vilas_Palace_(Maratha_Palace),_Vadodara It was built in the Indo-Saracenic tradition, with an eclectic mix of Indian, Islamic, and European elements, as if, as Philip Ward writes, “an architectural Paul Klee had taken solid lines for a walk”. The complex of Laxmi Vilas Palace is spread over an area of 700 acres, where there are various other structures.  The palace houses a remarkable collection of old armory and sculptures in bronze, marble & terracotta by Fellici. The grounds were landscaped by William Goldring, a specialist from Kew Gardens.  It had taken twelve years to build and had cost around £180,000. It was designed by Major Mant, who also designed palaces at Kolhapur and Darbhanga, but completed by Robert Fellowes Chisholm. The palace houses 170 rooms and was built just for two people, the Maharaja and the Maharani. The palace features a grand Durbar Hall that boasts of an Italian mosaic floor. The walls of the Durbar Hall are beautified with brilliant mosaic decorations. The palace ground encloses many other buildings within its premises including a golf course. Another popular highlight of Laxmi Vilas Palace is the zoo. Today nothing remains of the zoo except a pond that is inhabited by a number of crocodiles. If you are lucky enough you might also find peacocks strutting about the palace compound or langoors hanging from the tree branches.

Laxmi_vilas_palace Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum is located at the entry point of the palace from where tourists get their tickets for entering into the palace. The museum, among other displays, showcases original paintings by the royal painter, Raja Ravi Varma. It is remarkable that the museum was constructed for educational purpose, for Maharaja’s children. Large halls, stately dining rooms, apartments for European guests, recreation rooms .. everything was added to this 20th century marvel, and the huge size of the building made sure that all this was incorporated without creating ‘stylistic havoc’. Besides, the 700 acres compound of the palace also houses other buildings such as the Moti Baug Palace and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum.

Maharaja Fatesingh Museum :

The collection of Maharaja Fatesingh Museum Trust is in the school building situated in the Lukshmi Villas Palace compound, formerly known as the Motibaug School built in 1875 for Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad. The museum exhibits a rich collection of art works that belong to the royal family, including paintings of Raja Ravi Varma and others depicting Hindu mythology. In 2000, the Maharaja Fatesingh Museum Trust displayed the Gaekwad collection of the works of Raja Ravi Varma to celebrate its centenary year. Entrance of this beautiful museum is marked by a refurbished train engine of what was once a miniature railway line. Laxmi Vilas Palace is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in India with an architectural structure that was meticulously designed to match the stature of the royal Gaekwad family.

The museum is open from 10:30am – 5:30 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and the entrance fee is Rs. 25/- for Indians and Rs. 100/- for Foreigners. Photography is NOT allowed (strictly Prohibited). The ticket charges include a free audio tour in Hindi or English.

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One can visit the Lakshmi Vilas Palace any time of the year. However, the best time to visit the palace and Vadodara is during the winter months from October to February, as the weather is cool and pleasant, unlike the scorching summer heat.

How To Reach :

By Air : Vadodara airport is located at a distance of 6kms from the city centre. which is well connected to other city of India

By Rail : Vadodara, a major railway junction is located on the Western Railway, which connects Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad. 

By Road : The well-maintained roadways make the Baroda (Vadodara) visit by bus easy. Both government and private bus services operate in this region. 

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Sabarmati Ashram

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Sabarmati Ashram also known as Gandhi Ashram, Harijan Ashram, or Satyagraha Ashram is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, four miles from the town hall. Gandhi stayed at the Ashram from 1915 to 1933 later on the Ashram was disbanded. The Ashram is a witness to many important historical events. Originally it was called the Satyagraha Ashram, reflecting the movement toward passive resistance launched by the Mahatma. It was also from here on 12 March 1930 that Gandhi launched the famous Dandi March 241 miles from the Ashram (with 78 companions) in protest of the British Salt Law, which taxed Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India. Generally called Mahatma Gandhi, who lived there for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi. In recognition of the significant influence that this march had on the Indian independence movement the Indian government has established the ashram as a national monument. 

Today, this ashram is basically a museum, known as Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. Along with the museum, this ashram houses a library, auditorium and photo galleries depicting the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Consequently the exhibits on view depict the vivid and historic events of Gandhiji’s life. There are books, manuscripts and photocopies of his correspondence, photographs of Gandhiji with his wife Kasturba and other ashram associates, life size oil paintings and actual relics like his writing desk and spinning wheel.

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History : 

Upon returning from South Africa on January 9, 1915, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was in search for a place to settle himself and a small group of relatives and associates who were with him in the African struggle. Gandhi’s first Ashram in India was established in the Kochrab area of Ahmedabad on 25 May 1915. The Ashram was then shifted on 17 June 1917 to a piece of open land on the banks of the river Sabarmati because Gandhi wanted to carry out various activities such as farming and animal husbandry, in addition to other pursuits which called for the need of a much larger area of useable land, the ashram was relocated to an area of thirty-six acres on the banks of the river Sabarmati, and it came to be known as the Sabarmati Ashram. It was believed that this is one of the ancient ashram site of Dadhichi Rishi who had donated his bones for a righteous war, but his main ashram lies in Naimisharanya, near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh; it is between a jail and a crematorium, and he believed that a satyagrahi has invariably to go to either place. Mahatma Gandhi said, “This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for truth and develop fearlessness, for on one side are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other the thunderbolts of Mother Nature”.

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The Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Harijan Ashram) was home to Mohandas Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main centres of the Indian freedom struggle. The first struggle Gandhi headed from the Sabarmati Ashram was for the textile workers strike. There was a complete deadlock between the mill owners and the inadequately paid workers. It was difficult for the workers not to become angry, as they were starving. However, Gandhi joined with them in fast, and later used the strikers to found a Weavers School at Sabarmati. It was also from here that on 12 March 1930, Gandhi marched to Dandi, 241 miles from the ashram, with 78 companions in protest at the British Salt Law, which increased the taxes on Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India. On 12 March 1930 Gandhi had vowed that he would not return to the ashram until India had gained independence. Although India was declared a free nation on 15 August 1947, Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948.

Present Day : 

The ashram now has a museum, the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. This had originally been located in Hridaya Kunj, Gandhi’s own cottage in the ashram. It is a place of great historic value, where even today visitors find some of the things which Gandhiji used- a writing desk, a khadi kurta, a yarn spun by him and some of his letters.  It is developing into a Resource Centre for the Gandhian and allied Studies and Research. It also processes the information, data, audio-visual materials, etc., for the use of different categories. One of the important activities undertaken is the establishment of a Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya. The exhibition in the museum consists of 8 life-size painting and around 250 photo-enlargements historic events of Gandhi’s life. Visitors can also see the archive of letters written by Gandhi, displayed in the galleries of the museum. Visitors can explore the ashram in the 90 minutes guided tour that is organised by the trust, which runs this ashram. Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration and guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle. 

Museum  features  & Activities

  • “My life is my message” gallery, consists of 8 life-size painting and around 250 photo-enlargements historic events of Gandhi’s life.
  • Library holds a collection of 35,000 books, all of which are based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and Indian freedom movement. 
  • Life-size oil painting gallery.
  • An important landmark of the ashram is Gandhi’s cottage ‘Hridaya Kunj’, where some of the personal relics of Gandhi are displayed.
  • Microfilming, lamination and preservation of negatives.
  • Collecting, processing, preserving and displaying archival materials such as writings, photographs, paintings, voice-records, films and personal effects. 
  • Arranging exhibitions on aspects of Gandhi’s life, literature and activities.
  • The Ashram Trust funds activities that include education for the visitor and the community and routine maintenance of the museum and its surrounding grounds and buildings.

How To Reach :

Ahmadabad is well connected to all major cities like Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Madras, Trivandrum, Varanasi, Madras, Jaipur, Indore, and Calcutta by Air, Train and buses. 

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Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum

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Maharaja Chhatrasal Museum is a museum located in an old palace at Dhubela, on the Chhatarpur-Nowgaon highway, in Chhatarpur District, Madhya Pradesh, India. The museum is housed in palace built by Maharaja Chhatrasal and has eight galleries. The first two galleries exhibit belongings from the Gupta and Kalchuri dynasties, displaying inscriptions, plates, sculptures, paintings, arms and armours etc. The museum houses a rich collection of artefacts from the ancient as well as from the modern era.  The museum houses a wide range of sculptures of the Shakti cult. It has also a significant collection of Jaina images. It also displays the garments, weapons and paintings of the Bundela kings. This museum was established in September, 1955 in a palace built by Chhatrasal. 

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Maharaja Chhatrasal Maqbara is one of those historical monuments of Chattarpur that is actually the cenotaph of the Maharaja of Chhatrasal, it is also an important monument from architectural point of view. It is an octagonal structure situated on a high platform. Built in 17th century the monument is a fine example of Bundeli style. Sheetal Garhi was Built in 17th century during the period of Maharaja Chhatrasal, this famous monument exemplifies the rich Bundeli art. This fortress was built for residential purpose to escape the excessive heat in the peak of summer. Its interior is decorated with foliage patterns. This huge entrance has two gates. Shri Krishna pranami mandir is near Maharaja Chhatrasal Cenotaph. 

The museum also has an Amusement Gallery, which has eight huge concave-convex mirrors that form funny and distorted images of visitors. The museum houses a unique and unparalleled collection of yogini statues of stone age. Run by the archeology department, the museum in itself is a record of archives. In the Painting Gallery of the museum, various painting depicting rulers of Charkhari, Rewa and Panna, scenes from Ramakatha and Shrikrishna Leela have been displayed. The Arms Gallery houses weapons of former states of Rewa, Chhatarpur, Charkhari and Panna which belong to 16th to 18th century AD. 

The vast collection of various sculptures and artefacts helps tourists to understand the lifestyle of the Bundela kings. The sculptures exhibited in the museum belong to the Shakti cult. The wide collection includes weapons, garments and paintings of the Bundela kings.

How To Reach :

Khajuraho is well connected by Air, Rail and Road to all Major city of India. 

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National Rail Museum, New Delhi

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The National Rail Museum lies adjacent to the Bhutan Embassy within the diplomatic area of Chanakyapuri in Shanti Path in New Delhi and is easily accessible by local transport, which focuses on the rail heritage of India it opened on the 1 February 1977. The National Railway Museum is one of most popular tourist attractions in Delhi. It describes the Railway history of India. The museum boasts of a huge collection of romance, nostalgia, fun, history, heritage, leisure and entertainment, all in the 11 acres of land that the museum occupies. The indoor gallery of the National Rail Museum displays photographs, coat of arms, exhibits, models, records and documents. The exhibit section in the museum includes over 100 real size exhibits that depict the glory of the bygone era.

SONY DSC It is located in over 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. A toy train offers rides around that site on regular days.Museum remains open from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm (Last entry 4.30 pm) Tuesday to Sunday. Museum remains closed on every Monday and National Holidays. The most amazing feature of the rail museum that attracts the children as well as train buffs is the toy train that provides a joyful ride.  On some days, the old steam monorail is also run across the grounds of the museum. Besides the exciting ride of a train, one can also enjoy boating here.

M2-162_Indian_Railway_Museum The concept to establish a center to display the Heritage of Railways in India began in 1932 after the Government had proposed to set up a Rail Museum in Dehradun. Museum took a concrete shape in 1970 under the advise of Mr.Michael Graham Satow a rail enthusiast. Shri V.V Giri, the then President of India, laid the foundation stone for the Rail Transport Museum (R.T.M) at its present site in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, on October 7, 1971. The Rail Transport Museum was planned as a part of a larger complex covering the history of Railways, Roadways, Airways and Water-ways in India, which later on developed into a full-fledged National Rail Museum in the year 1995. This museum became an instant success with people and children especially and is known as one of its kind in Asia. 

Indoor_Exhibit_at_National_Rail_Museum National Rail Museum of Delhi has a unique collection of more than 100 real size trains and engines from the beginning of the Indian railways.   the nearly 30 museums in Delhi – including Crafts Museums, Gandhi Memorial, Sangeet Natak Academy Gallery, etc – the ‘National Rail Museum’ is one of the most well maintained and loved by children. Spread across lush green 11 acres of prime land in Chanakyapuri, it comprises an elegantly-designed octagonal building. A major attraction of the museum is the Toy Train that runs along the perimeter of the museum and affords the riders a glance at the various live locomotives on display. Vintage carriages like the Fairy Queen (the oldest surviving steam locomotive in the world), the Saloons of various Maharajas and the historic Patiala State Monorail, among several others, are some of the most prized locomotives of India that lay preserved at the museum. Riding through the museum on the toy train is great fun. Since this place isn’t quite as popular as a tourist spot, the absence of a big rush of crowd makes it a much peaceful experience. Don’t forget to take back a souvenir of the train models from the Indian souvenir shop! 

National Rail Museum, New Delhi has found its name in the Guinness Book of World Records. It has also been awarded the National Tourism Award.

Location : Shanti Path, Chanakyapuri,

Ticket : 20 RUPEES

Toy train ride: Rs. 20

Photography : Allow

Timings : 9.30 to 5.30 am except Mondays

How to reach : 

By Air : Nearest Airport is New Delhi, New Delhi is well connected to all major city of India.

By Rail : The New Delhi Railway Station is at a distance of 7 km from the museum

By Road : DTC buses that stop at the Chanakyapuri bus stop can be availed to reach the museum.

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Naval Aviation Museum

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Inaugurated in 1998, this museum is one of only two military museums in India. In fact, it is the only Naval aviation museum in all of Asia. The museum displays a number of aircraft that were used by the indian navy throughout its history. These are displayed outside in the museum’s open air gallery.

The interior of the museum is designed to look like the interior of a naval aircraft carrier the INS Viraat and has a number of interesting galleries displaying naval equipment, prominent battles, a simulation room and an extensive granite plaque paying tribute to those brave souls who gave their lives in service of their country.

Where to Go

The museum of Naval Aviation in Goa is located near Bogmala, on the Vasco-Bogmalo road about 6km from the port town of Vasco da Gama, more commonly known as Vasco. The museum is built on a plateau which overlooks the popular Bogmalo beach and gives one an unimpeded look at the splendid ocean vistas.

When to Go

The museum is open to public from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 5.30pm. The museum does, however, remain closed on National Holidays. A day at the museum is a pleasant outing at any time of the year.

What to See

Upon entering the museums premises, the first sentinel is the bulking form of the Super Constellation, a craft originally used as a passenger plane by the Indian Airlines. It was later handed over to the Air Force as a transport vehicle, who then gave it over to the Indian Navy. It was eventually decommissioned but has remained within the Naval purview.

The outdoor gallery has an impressive display of 13 aircrafts, both planes and helicopters as well as a display of aircraft engines and parts. The thirteen crafts on display are

  • Short Sealand Mk 2 (IN 106) – It is the only surviving aircraft of its kind in India and one of three known to be in existence in the world. The Sealand was the first aircraft type to be inducted after the establishment of the Directorate of Naval Aviation in 1953. They were phased out in the year 1965.
  • Fairey Firefly TT Mk1 (IN 112) – It is the sole craft of its type in India, it is also one of 12 still in existence in the World. It was one of the British WW2-era carrier-borne fighter and anti-submarine aircraft. These crafts were acquired in May 1955 for target towing purposes.
  • HAL HT-2 (BX 748) – The Navy used the HT-2 as primary trainers from 1956 to 1964. The aircraft which is currently on display has IAF markings.
  • de Havilland Vampire T-55 (IN 149) – The T55, two-seater variant of the Vampire was procured in September 1957 by the Indian Navy to train Naval airmen on Jet fighter aircrafts before the Navy inducted its Sea Hawks.
  • Hawker Sea Hawk FGA Mk 100 (IN 234) – The Sea Hawks entered into the naval service along with INS Vikrant, India’s first Aircraft carrier and served the country for two decades before eventually being replaced by the Sea Harriers.
  • Breguet Alizé (IN 202) – The Alize was the Navy’s first aircraft carrier based Anti- Submarine and Maritime Surveillance (ASM) aircraft and was inducted into the service in 1961.
  • de Havilland Dove (IN 124) – The Dove was procured by the Indian Navy from the Indian Air Force in 1965 to replace the Short Sealands that were being phased out at the time.
  • HAL Chetak (IN 475) – The Chetak entered the naval service along with the INS Vikrant (aircraft carrier) in 1961 primarily for use in training, transport, CASEVAC (Casualty Evacuation), communications and liaison roles. It was phased out of use by the Navy in 1986.
  • Hughes Hu-300 (IN 083) – The Hughes were two-seater helicopters that were inducted into Naval service 1971 for ab-initio training of helicopter pilots and were phased out in the mid 1980’s.
  • Westland Sea King Mk 42 (IN 505) – The Sea King was procured in 1970 to engage in Anti-Submarine Warfare in the Navy, should such a condition arise. A variant of this helicopter known as the Commando was also adapted by Westland for the transportation of troops in wartime.
  • Lockheed L1049G Super Constellation (IN 315) – The guardian at the gates as it were, this Lockheed L-1049G was originally delivered to Air India (commercial airline) in 1955 and named “Rani of Ellora”. It was transferred to the Indian Air Force in 1961; from there it went on to be lent to the Naval Aviation arm in 1976 and was finally retired in 1983.
  • Kamov Ka-25 (IN 573) – The Kamov helicopters were commissioned in 1980 and were essentially for use in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). Their secondary role was that of surveillance and Search and Rescue (SAR) duties.
  • Sea Harrier FRS.51 (IN 621) – The single-seater Sea Harriers and were based both on the INS Vikrant as well as the INS Viraat. These fighter jets were part of the Indian Naval Air Arm and provide reconnaissance, carrier-based strike capability, fleet air defence and anti-submarine warfare.

The interior galleries of the museum are accessed through a ship’s hatch and are designed to look like the interior of the INS Viraat, a naval aircraft carrier. The two main galleries are the Viraat gallery and the Vikrant gallery. Both galleries boast wooden models of the ships that they are named for.

One of the first rooms displays a collection of arms and armaments including bombs, torpedoes, rockets, warheads, depth charges, etc. The Sonobouy Room has a collection of sonobouys which are sensors that are used by Aircraft for detection of underwater enemy targets.

The Suraksha room has various gear and gadgets used for protection while at sea and in the air, including the floating dinghy, parachute, ejector seat, pilot’s overalls etc. Perhaps the most interesting room is the Multimedia room which also houses the Jet cockpit simulator; a programme that allows visitors to simulate the experience of being in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

One of the museum walls is adorned with a granite slab known as ‘Shradhanjali’ which has inscribed on it the names of all those who have given their lives in the service of their country. These are the Naval Pilots from the year 1958 to 1997. Adjacent to this plaque is the Meditation room which is the heart of the museum. Decorated with cool granite and graceful art, the room exudes peace and serenity.

The museum also houses a photo gallery that commemorates all the major naval battles that have taken place since the formation of the Indian Navy. The freedom struggle of Goa, notably the ‘Operation Vijay’ is depicted by a stunning series of black and white photographs.

The museum also boasts a gift shop that sells a number of souvenirs fashioned along the lines of the exhibits in the museum.

The museum is a great place to visit, not only for its uniqueness in subject matter, but also for an in-depth look at the glorious military history of the country. The museum is also meant to inspire people to look to the seas and the skies and their protectors.

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Museum of Christian Art

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Richly embroidered vestments, chalices and other sacred receptacles made out of precious metals and inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones, carved ivory, gorgeous paintings and statuary, all this and more is on display at the museum of Christian Art. The most unique aspect of this wonderful collection is that much of it was in fact created by local artists and artisans, many of whom were traditional Hindu artists.

Located as it is in the old convent of Santa Monica, the museum is in the heart of Old Goa, a place steeped in religious history and crowned with many important religious monuments. The museum’s collection is extensive and well maintained. It is one of the few institutions of its kind in Asia.

Where to Go

The Convent of Santa Monica in Velha Goa is the current location of the Museum of Christian art in Goa. The Convent building itself is of architectural importance due to its age and history. Located in North Goa, this museum is easily accessible from both Panaji and Margao.

When to Go

The museum is open all the days of the week from 9.30am to 5.00pm. The crowds are at their max during the tourist season (October to March) but it is also a great way to spend an afternoon, or even a full day during the rainy season (June to September)

What to See

The intricately and lavishly embroidered vestments which priests would use to say mass, are some of the most popular artefacts in the museum. Along with these is a portable “mass kit” that priests could carry with them when going to say mass in the outlying villages.

There is a beautiful painting of St. Ursula which once adorned the walls of the Se Cathedral, and is now a permanent part of the museum’s collection.

The 17th century image of Jesus, the Good Shepherd is carved from ivory and is a well-known piece in the museum’s collection.

There is curious bust of St. Margaret of Antioch which has a well-defined cavity in the chest, meant for the repose of a relic of the saint. In front of the statue is a reclining mythical creature, most probably a dragon.

In addition to these well-known artefacts there are a number of other pieces on display at the museum. These include chalices and salvers made of precious metals, sculptures, paintings, carvings on wood and ivory, crucifixes and other adornments and implements used in the ritual of holy mass.

History

The museum was founded in 1994, and was the first of its kind in all of Asia. INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) with assistance from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal and under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Goa originally set up the museum at the Rachol seminary.

However, when this location was found to be not central enough, the museum was shifted to the Convent of Santa Monica, one of the architectural and religious monuments of Old Goa. The purpose of the museum has been to highlight the treasures of Indo-Portuguese Christian art from churches around Goa. The age of the pieces ranges from the 17th century to the middle of the 20th century.

The museum also highlights the fact that many of its treasures were created by Hindu artists and artisans during the time of the Portuguese colonialism. The story goes that the demand for religious artwork was extremely high at the time and pieces could not be shipped from Portugal to satisfy the demand and so many Hindu artists were contracted to complete the religious artworks.

Over the course of the years, the artisans came to incorporate many of their own techniques and vision into the Christian art, thus creating a unique style of art. The saints subtly became less emaciated, the facial expressions became less pained and more serene and the flourishes and enhancements became subtly more Indian.

The Church of the Weeping Cross

As part of the shift in venues from the old Rachol seminary to the new location at the Nunnery of Santa Monica, the building itself was given a facelift. In particular the Church of the Weeping Cross or Cross of Miracles underwent extensive repairs and renovations to restore it to its former glory.

Besides superficial work like repainting, wooden altars that had decayed with age due to termites and rot were refurbished, statues and other decorative touches were painstakingly restored, and plasterwork was undertaken in keeping with the building’s heritage status.

The chapel is well known because of the cross within. It is said that the statue on this cross wept tears of blood in the 17th century. After this, pilgrims from around the world visited the site to pray and be blessed and hopefully to witness a recurrence of the miracle.

The museum is a slice of time, preserved for the generations to come. The history that it holds shows what can be accomplished when two cultures and religions come together harmoniously to create something of beauty and value.

Please note : Photography is not allowed within the museum premises.

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Archaeological Museum of Goa

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Located at the back of the Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, this museum contains many important and beautiful artefacts of the Portuguese rule in India. Its treasures are divided amongst eight galleries. The most important of these are considered to be the portraits of the long-dead Viceroys and Governors of Goa.

The museum also has a phenomenal collection of stamps, religious artefacts and other such treasures.

Where to Go

Housed in the convent formerly attached to the heritage Church of St. Francis of Assisi, this museum is in the heart of the most historic part of Goa, i.e. Velha Goa. It is close to a number of other monuments in this place, like the Se Cathedral, the Church of St. Cajetan, the Bom Jesus Basilica, St. Augustine’s tower and the Nunnery of Santa Monica as well as the Museum of Christian Art that is housed there.

When to Go

The Archaeological Museum of Goa is open from 10am to 5pm from Saturday to Thursday. It remains closed to the public on Fridays. Although this museum in Old Goa sees the maximum number of visitors during the height of the tourist season, from October to May, it is also a great way to spend a rainy afternoon during the monsoon months.

What to See

The extensive collection covers the Portuguese rule in Goa, and also the pre-historic and early historic and late medieval periods of Goan history. The museums treasures include lovely fragments of sculpture from Hindu temple sites in Goa, and some Sati stones, i.e. stone which once marked the spot where a woman immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.

Besides these there two larger than life bronze statues, portraits of the Viceroys of Goa, spanning the 400 year Portuguese rule, postage stamps, coins issued by various Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese rulers, wooden sculptures, pillars, hero stones, Persian and Arabic inscriptions and Portuguese weapons comprised of rifles, swords and daggers.

Visitors are greeted by a bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque in the visitors lobby along with maps of seafaring routes and maps of Goa. There are also pictures of various historical monuments in Goa, Daman and Diu.

The first gallery is the Key Gallery which shows a timeline of the history of Goa through the artefacts on display, starting with middle and upper Paleolithic stone tools, Microliths and a few Neolithic Celts. Visitors will also find the excavated materials from Chandor; one of the ancient capital cities of Goa. The ground plan of an ancient Brahmanical temple and early historical antiquities; cast copper coins of 3rd century BC, copper nails, rings, etc. are also on display.

Must See
The most notable treasures are:

  • The bronze statue of Luís Vaz de Camões, a prominent Portuguese poet, which once stood in the main square in Velha Goa.
  • Vishnu with ten incarnations carved from grey basalt rock and dated to the 11th century
  • An upright statue of Surya dated to the 12th century
  • Gajalakshmi
  • Hero stone and sati stone one depicting a fight in country boats while the other depicts a Kadamba naval battle.
  • The wooden sculpture of John the Baptist
  • The ivory sculptures of Jesus’ Crucifixion
  • The large bronze statue of Afonso de Albuquerque (first governor of Goa), which once stood in the centre of the Azad Maidan in Panaji city.
  • Portrait of Vasco da Gama the Portuguese explorer who reached India in 1498

History and Construction

The Museum was initially set up in 1964 by the Archaeological survey of India (ASI). Originally confined to one long hallway, it was later expanded in 1982. A wide staircase was added to allow for access to the first floor.

An annexe building was also constructed to give the museum more floor space. The entire floor was laid with teakwood flooring, in order to facilitate continuity in the architecture of the old and new spaces. The entire museum is now maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Image & Information copyright by goa-tourism.com

India’s First Heritage Transport Museum

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Curiosity, the passion to collect homogeneous objects, the search for the rare, unique and often elusive is what impassions all collectors. This is where it all started for the Heritage Transportation Trust. Registered under the Indian Trust Act (1882) as a non-profit organisation it was conceived to document, exhibit, educate and disseminate information about transportation. In collaboration with five other trustees, we have brought together a passion for collecting all forms of objects related to transportation in India. After over two decades of research about the evolution of the modes of transportation that formed the plinth of the collection in possession of the Trust, the Heritage Transport Museum was initiated as India’s first comprehensive transport museum. The museum showcases the evolution of transportation in India and sets a benchmark in interpretation, exhibition and in communication. As the first private museum of its scale in India, it is conceived as a didactive space that engages visitor participation in learning while remaining a family experience. 

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Vehicles that have become a part of the history and heritage of India are beautifully displayed here at Heritage Transport Museum, the one of its kind museum in country. The exhibition gallery displays about 100 historically significant and artistically inspired modes of transport used in India, mostly one-of-a-kind models dating from the turn of the 20th century. With its dramatic displays, in-depth interpretation, extensive collection and exciting opportunities for visitor participation, the museum is sure to take you back in time. The museum aims to be an evolving space that would seasonally change and adapt its spaces to ensure that repeat visitors would always have something new to view.

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The Heritage Transport Museum is situated on a three acre plot, off National Highway 8 at Tauru-Gurgaon. A built up area of over 90,000 square feet of air conditioned space spread over four floors houses the exhibition galleries, library and reference centre, conference rooms, mini auditorium, the museum shop, and a restaurant facility. 

The Ministry of Culture, Government of India has accorded a grant of Six Crores to offset the cost of construction of the museum building. The remaining investment is the fruit of corporate and individual donations and sponsorships.India may now boast of the anti-museum, a space for fun and learning, experiential and yet experimental.

Image copyright by dailymail.co.uk, gqindia.com