Casa Araujo Alvares (Loutolim) – 250 Year Old Mansion

Casa Araujo Alvares, after visiting Big Foot. I saw visitors talking about a mansion and a few crossing the road lined up to enter. I inquired and the guard said: I have to buy a ticket from the Big Foot ticket counter to enter.

Visiting Hours: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm / 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm

(Tour every 15 minutes)

Rs. 100/person was paid.

Silence please – The guard requested.

We proceeded inside the mansion. A pre-recorded sound with lighting effects. Dr. Salvador Eufemiano Araujo Alvares, 250 years old home. Let us view the traditional inheritance through the eyes of the modern age.

The narration continues…

– The cold and silent environment around displays the mindset of those days people

– Hat and walking stick are the Portuguese fashion those days

– Women used to carry a colorful umbrella

– The stand for Hats on the left-hand side of the entrance

The reason: When a guest enters the house, the left hand is used to place the Hat on top of the stand and the right hand for a welcome gesture

– palki (palanquin) of those days – conveyance mode

– The main door once opened during sunrise is shut only at night hours

– The chapel inside the house is close to the inner-entrance gate

– 6:30 pm – The church bell and family members gather around the chapel to pray

– The Home-Office of Dr. Salvador Eufemiano Araujo Alvares, advocate by profession

The humble, down-to-earth person is always helpful to the poor to settle disputes outside the court with mutual talks between the parties

– Portuguese law books displayed within a wooden almirah

– Portuguese law takes care of women’s rights, especially during those days

– wooden almirah/furniture with hidden/secret spaces

– The long arms of a wooden chair so that a person can put his or her legs to relax

– hand-written scripts

– The bedroom area with four pillars bed

– Master bedroom windows/doors decorated with beautiful carvings

– The wooden ceiling for coolness

– 150-year-old bed-sheet gifted by Lara Gomes

– Commode was used within the bedroom during the night hours because in those days bathroom/latrine was at the back of the home

But nowadays bathroom/latrine part of living-area

– Chini Mitti (china clay) Basin and soap case from England used during face-wash

– room for kids and maid to take care of them

And Toys from those days

– Windows are not covered with glass but with a sea-shell

Plenty of seashells were available within Goa those days

– Walls with gun holes

Professional shooters were hired for defense against the dacoity of the Rane clan

– Secret places to hide

– Barrel to store wine specially brought by Portuguese people from their native places

Feni – The Goan drink was used for cold/cough and stomach pain

– The face-mask – people used to wear it during festivals and during local plays

– hanging charpai (cot) on the wall used if a guest visits during night hours

– The huge big kitchen and the underground location to store monthly ration. Closed currently due to snakes/insects

– Keema (traditional meat) preparing machine/wooden boxes to store spices/big matkas (earthen pot) used as an oven

– 150 feet deep Well was dug before the house was built so that during construction plenty of water is available

Note: The well was used both by the owner of the house as well as nearby villagers

– Close to the well is a horse-cart/bull-cart and bicycle

– Aangan (an open courtyard) within the home to be used to dry fish or any other purpose or to grow chili/lemon

– A place for meditation and more than 1000 Lord Ganesha idols collected by one of the current inheritors of the house – Shri Maendra. The idol is of different sizes but the smallest is as small as rice and is made of mud as well as gold

– Adjustable dining table for 24 people

– Chandelier/Glasses from Belgium

– The German lampshade. To burn the lamp half oil and half water was used during those days but nowadays it is replaced with electricity

And many more…

Wonderful history – Thanks to the current owners of the ancestral mansion. One should not miss the traditional inheritance if visiting Goa. Casa Araujo Alvares is situated at Loutolim in Salcette taluka of the South Goa district.

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