Scholarly Articles

The Politics of Renovation: The Disappearing Architecture of Goa’s Old Brahmanical Temples



2018. “Politics of Renovation: The Disappearing Architecture of Goa’s Bragmanical Temples.” In Preserving Transcultural Heritage: Your Way or My Way? Questions of Authenticity, Identity and Patrimonial Proceedings in the Safeguarding of Architectural Heritage Created in the Meeting of Cultures, edited by Joaquim Rodrigues dos Santos, 253-263. Casal de Cambra: Caleidoscópio – Edição e Artes Gráficas.



The unique architecture of Goa’s old Brahmanical shrines is under threat today, and one reason seems to be a perception that it is not Hindu enough. Goa’s centuries-long Islamicate and Iberian connections have left behind a heterogeneous culture in many aspects, including architecture. The many Brahmanical temples built from the seventeenth century onwards are examples of this, their hybrid forms belonging as much to the Islamicate world and the European Renaissance as to local building traditions. But, while these temples still stand today and attract increasing numbers of worshippers, their original architecture is disappearing, to be replaced by forms and elements from outside Goa. This paper examines the attempts to erase these unique forms, and the relation of this to the social, political, and legal context.

Keywords: heritage, preservation, Goa, Hindu temples, Brahmanical temples.

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