By Afreen Fatima
Goa is one such city which is an impaste of Latin influence which dwelled in there for at least 4 centuries of Portuguese rule, which came to an end in the year 1961. It has been year since then but the Portuguese touch is still in the air of Goa. The Portuguese left their mark on the language, food and buildings and the old homes are referred as “casas” and the Portuguese word for tranquil, “sossegado,” has now changed to susegad which means relaxed and easy going life in Goan language. By the 1980s, many of these grand colonial buildings were largely crumbling. But in recent times, Goa became a vacation spot for Mumbai and Delhi people. So for the Goans, the homes became a prized investment.
Ajit Sukhija fixed his ancestral home built up by his great grandparents and he started renting out the rooms for the visitors. Now it is run by his son, Jack Sukhija who being the member of Goa Heritage Action Group, works to preserve the historic buildings in the state.
The stunning colonial inn in the north Goan village Siolim once belonged to the governor of Macao. It was a ramshackle, when Mr. Sood, its current owner set his eyes on it in 1990s. Mr. Sood did a great job in restoring the old-rotten home and made it beautiful inn for the tourists who could experience authenticity while being there.
It is located near the beach in the village of Candolim and is taken care by Marie-Christine Rebillet, a Parisian antiques dealer who came to India from France in 1973 and has been coming back ever since. Her love towards the country influenced her to hunt down this home and restore the gorgeous history of Indo-Portuguese home.
The most affluent examples of Goan architecture are basically found in South Goa where there is a concentration of bountiful colonial mansions. The grandest are the Palácio do Deão in Quepem, the Braganza House in Chandor and the Villa de Figueiredo in Loutolim, where an octogenarian matriarch of Portuguese heritage, Maria Lourdes Figueiredo de Albuquerque, serves traditional fish curry amid her family’s stately collection of East India Company antiques and a large mural of Vasco da Gama arriving in India. It is favourable to visit them during an afternoon tour as the places are in slight decay state.
Vivenda dos Palhaços
Simon and Charlotte Hayward are a British brother-and-sister team who were born and raised in India, mostly in Calcutta, are the owners of the place. They bought this century-old home near the beach in the village of Majorda and turned it upside down, making it a cosy, home-like home far from home for the visitors.