|Menezes Braganza Pereira House, living space.Goa www.alamy.com|
|Braganza House, Goa. bed room www.tripadvisor.co.uk|
|Braganza House, ball room. Goa.www.alamy.com|
|Braganza House. Chandor,Goa. a nice place to sip coffee and get lost in a fine book.www.sid-thewanderer.com|
The Braganza House located in the Chandor area of South Goa is an interesting one, taking us right back to the colonial days in this part of the Indian sub continent. The house is now divided into two parts, both occupied separately by members of the Braganza family who have inherited it. The Braganza family has been living here for a pretty long time and looking after the house. It is one of many colonial mansions in the village where once rich Goans of Portuguese decent lived. The unique building design, size, landscaped garden, elegant living and ball rooms, the quality furniture, beautiful Belgian mirrors and impressive chandeliers suggest the kind of opulence and rich life enjoyed by the old Goan families who established the great plantations.
|Braganza House, Chandor, Goa, living room.www.sid-thewanderer.com|
Inside the old house, the living room draws the attention of the visitors. So are the dinning and bed rooms. In the living room, Belgian mirrors, eye catching floor and wall tiles and the intricately carved furniture made of rose wood are impressive. Some of the chairs, it is believed, are about 450 years old and are being used even now. One can notice the Italian influence on the wooden furniture. In the house, ball room with pretty old chandeliers is a nice place. According to the family who represents the 14th generation the two chairs in the ball room were gifts from the king of Portugal himself. The chandeliers had to be lit up with candle in the by-gone era.Of course, now they have electricity. The ball room would have seen lots of fun parties and would- be couples, dancing to the tune of tangos and waltzes. But unfortunately, now this once vibrant place looks void with out glamour and din.
The house owner Mrs. Braganza, who belonged to a rich family, contended that during the Portuguese occupation life was different, but things have changed since 1961 when the Portuguese left this place. She had to get used to the new life style to keep going. She gets voluntary donations mostly from foreign visitors and also from Indians to maintain the house. Lately the cost of maintenance of the old house has gone up considerably and the owners of such old heritage houses have to set aside enough money just to keep the house in good shape without losing its old and heritage values.
The owners of such old houses in some parts of Goa face similar situation. They are either poorly maintained or pulled down to give way to modern buildings. These heritage houses are the relics of past era that connect us to our past history. Already many houses are lost with the passage of time and lack of interest in the local community to preserve such vintage living space for us our progeny to get to know the the richness of by-gone era. It will be nice if the Goan government takes steps to preserve and restore old
The Goan government should take steps promptly as the Kerala government does. There is a separate department in Kerala to preserve and restore old, heritage houses and sites. For example, they are successfully preserving the Agraharam houses (where the Brahmins live) near Palakkad and other places. The Kerala government passed a bill with respect to heritage places in the state and allocated enough funds to get the project going without hitches.
Incidentally, the Braganza family members are descendants of the freedom fighter and journalist, Luis de Menezes-Braganza who played an active role in the freedom moment to end the Portuguese colonial occupation of Goa. The families give guided tour for a voluntary donation to keep the house in shape.
Do visit again for more :)