The penultimate last day of a memorable Serene Journey in Goa during the monsoon season.
The first few days were terrific and today was a real topper!
After a relaxing deep tissue therapy at the Pink Room Spa, I was all set to explore with Planet Hollywood Sales Director Ms. Charmaine, the Braganza House in Chandor, a small village in South Goa. Built in the 17th century, the Braganza mansion was the home of Luis De Menezes Braganza, the champion of Goa’s freedom. The ancestors were Hindu ‘Desai’ before converted to Christianity after the Portuguese entry.
As we walk up the rickety stairs, we were greeted by Ashley Braganza from the 15th generation, who showed us around his family’s residential wing. The other wing was occupied by another sibling’s family. A short tour took us to the living room, ballroom, dining, master bedroom ensuite and a private chapel.
The house is a living museum including a collection of antiques by various members of the family. Here you will find intricate wooden furniture, porcelain, in rooms bedecked with Venetian glass chandeliers and Italian marble flooring. We then went to the private chapel. When St. Francis Xavier’s remains were brought to Goa, a nail from his body was given to the family to keep as a relic in the chapel. Visitors are encouraged to make a donation, whether large or small, to help maintain the house and its historical character. This concluded the sightseeing for the day after which I enjoyed a fabulous meal with Trupti Wesley founder of the Chickoo Tree Project restaurant at Margao followed by Feni (local alcohol) shopping.
And in conclusion…
GO TO GOA FOR THE MONSOON!!!!!
The beaches of Goa have been ranked by CNN Travel as #3 in the world and National Geographic Travel ranks the nightlife in the top 10. So many thinks of Goa as primarily an exotic beach party experience. Certainly, the beaches, the nightlife and the cuisine are world class. But Goa offers so much more to the traveller who explores the depths of its diverse culture. It’s a place where east truly meets west. An Indian palette painted upon a European canvas. It is truly a colorful, historical, spiritual and serene place…that just happens to be a lot of fun to boot!
I also can’t stress enough how truly wonderful Goa is in monsoon. Here the rain falls softly and shares the day with the sun and lush tropical foliage. The monsoon is the epitome of renewal and nowhere is this more apparent than Goa.
A big thank you to GM Anand, SD Charmaine, PR Rajveer, DM Wallance, Chauffeur Rahesh and team PHG.
Robin is the founder of Serene Journeys, a gay travel company based in Delhi and a freelance travel photographer, exploring the beauty of India, Nepal, Bhutan and Southeast Asia.
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