Situated in the EDC Complex in Panjim, capital state of Goa, the Goa State Museum is one of the popular museums in the state, known for its huge collection of artifacts related to religion, history and art. Opened in June 18, 1996, the Museum was inaugurated by the President of India. Prior to its opening, the artifacts were first placed at the Department of Archives in Goa at the Archaeology and Museum Unit.
The Goa State Museum’s beginnings can be traced back to 1973, when the Archaeology ad Museum Unit established the Department of Archives in Goa. The unit was recognized as a full-fledged stock house in 1977. Subsequently, it was moved to the new complex present today in Patto.
The gallery is split into 12 areas with a massive assemblage of more than 8000 articles. It contains Hindu and Jain manuscripts, handicrafts, textiles, timber figures of Christian saints, paintings, bronze and stone sculptures, mud models of the Indus valley civilization, copper inscriptions of Kadamba Kings, contemporary art, antique furniture from the ancient Portuguese governor and anthropological things originating across India. Included in the museum are the miniature paintings of Mughal and a large 18th century wooden chariot coming from the Chandreshwar Temple next to Margao.
The Sculpture Gallery possesses some of the most precious inscriptions dating back to the 4th century. You can also see complex carved sculptures of deities and Gods derived from bronze and stone. Among the collections, one of the highlights is the copper plate inscription of Kadamba King Viravarma that dates back to 1049 AD.
The Numismatic Gallery is another interesting gallery for people interested in numismatology with its large collection of ancient Coins from Satavahanas, Shilaharas and Kadambas exhibited here, including Portuguese colonial currencies. In addition, blocks and moulds used for money printing are displayed here.
On the other hand, the Christian Art Gallery boasts intricately made woodcarvings, statues and paintings of influential Christian saints. A replica of the renowned Pieta is displayed here. The canvases of Portuguese Governors are hung on the white walls, along with the small ivory idols and a victory flag in remembrance of Portuguese’s victory over the Dutch.
Named after the ex-governor of Goa, SK Banerji, the Banerji Art Gallery comprises an abundant collection of items donated by the eponymous governor, including terracotta items from Mohenjodaro and Harrapa, Gandhara School of Art sculptures, bronze objects from South India and wooden figures from Southeast Asia.
The Religious Expression Gallery houses major items such as models of Tulsi, palanquins, utensils and paraphernalia for worshipping, traditional musical instruments, religious texts and scriptures. Inside the Cultural Anthropology Gallery are clay models representing different jobs practiced in Goa.
The Contemporary Art Gallery consists of paintings and sculptures from Goan artists and painters. You can also spot the painting of FN Souza and MF Hussain. Other art galleries you can check out in Goa State Museum including Menzes Breganza Gallery, Environment and Development Gallery, Furniture Gallery, and the Freedom Struggle Gallery.
The Goa State Museum is open from Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 5:30pm and admission is free. When visiting Goa, it is suggested that you take a tour to this museum and enrich your historical and cultural knowledge of Goa.