The Remarkable Syncretism in Goa’s Early Modern Architecture

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There is a tendency in South Asia to privilege the early in architecture, as George Michell mentions in his recent book, Late Temple Architecture of India (2015), as if beginnings are more important than later developments. And even when later works are examined it is usually in comparison with the earlier, as a linear progression, or – more often than not – a regression. This attitude of course fits in very well with the nationalist approach to Goa’s history, i.e. with the concerted effort to show that Goa has always been a part of India despite 450 years of Portuguese rule, and despite the non-existence of, both, Goa and today’s India before the Portuguese arrived. Thanks to this tendency, and the concurrent emphasis on the ‘Indian’ in Goa’s ‘ancient’ heritage, many people might be unaware that Goa is the home of a unique tradition of architecture of the early modern period. Old Goa is well known, of course, as a UNESCO world heritage site, but Goa’s remarkable heritage goes beyond Old Goa, to its own unique church tradition, its own mosque tradition, and its own temple tradition, all of which developed in connection to one another.



O Tiracol, O Goa: Thoughts Towards a ‘Quarta Corrente’

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Tiracol has the potential to be a watershed moment for Goa. But only if it is accompanied by a deeper reflection on the underlying streams of thought about Goa’s political status, and drawing of linkages.  Goa being currently a part of India, today we are no longer at that trisection thinking whether Goa be back under Portuguese rule, or be part of India, or separate from Portugal and India. So, can there be a fourth political location – a stream of thought that would do justice and be transformative for Goa?  As Goa witnesses its 70th Revolution Day, it is time for introspection.