The Archaeological Museum, Old Goa

Old Goa - 9 km from Panaji - was once the centre of Portuguese dominion on the west coast of India. Here one can see fortress walls and administrative buildings, monasteries and impressive churches, especially the Basilica de Born Jesus which contains the mortal remains of Saint Francis Xavier.

The Archaeological Museum, known for its massive size, is housed in an abandoned convent of St. Francis of Assisi, displays objects that recreate the history of Goa. On display are antiques from Hindu period, sculpture of Hindu deities, for example an Uma-Mahesha, and many sati and hero stones. The large coin collection displays coin issued by various rulers - Hindu, Muslim and Portuguese. The rarities to be found in the Archeological Museum are a couple of beautiful Jain bronzes rescued by customs and excise officials from smugglers. On the ground floor there are photos of the prehistoric rock carvings at Usgalimal.

The paintings in the Archeological Museum include portraits of Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer reached India in 1498, and Alfonse Albuquerque, the founder, and other governors, all clad in the prevailing European fashions of the day.