Houses of Goa – What makes them so special
Goa, as a whole, is a blend of the Indo-Portuguese culture and the houses depict the same story. In the pre-Portuguese times, villas in Goa for stay were made of mud and thatched roofs. They were inward looking with smaller windows. The construction and decoration of homes were governed by old age customs and traditions. Women having a smaller role in society were not allowed to roam outside freely, so the inside of the house was her domain. Moreover, protecting oneself from the harsh monsoon conditions was the basis of the architectural form. During the Portuguese rule, one could travel abroad and when the Goan people returned, they gained knowledge of several cultures and incorporated it into their homes.
In the 18th and 20th centuries, the houses were more ornamental, which has translated into today’s times, as well as in our Goa villas for rent. They had balconies and verandas facing the street, and it was a custom to sit outside and chat with their neighbours or just enjoy the breeze. The houses were brightly coloured rather than the white we see nowadays. Colour was used purely to create a sensation, seemingly displaying the economic well being of the family they lived in. The walls were made of mud and then of laterite stone, which was easily available in Goa. The entrance door occupied the place of honour, which lead to the main hall for seating.
The Hindu homes in Goa consisted of a courtyard and a Tulasi Vrindavan (Tulsi Plant), which was brightly coloured. Decorating the porches and pillars was another culture that is unique to Goa homes. Our homes have more glass and wood, painted in lighter tones, smaller than the Goan homes, and that boasts a personality of its own. It was an unsaid rule that all houses needed to be painted a certain colour, and only the churches could be painted white.
The Portuguese influence combined with the local materials created a unique blend of culture distinct to Goa. Standing bright and beautiful, these houses and our luxury holiday homes speak for those who once inhabited them and the timeless beauty they left behind.