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Unearthing the remnants of THIS historic cemetery in Goa!

The Britishers had actually entered Goa during the Napoleonic War.

Famous for its picturesque beaches, nightlife and Portugal-inspired architectural gems, Goa, is also home to some underrated places of historic importance as well. One of such least known places in the coastal state is the British Cemetery, probably the only reminder of their brief occupation in Goa. Ruins of this protected site can be spotted on the road heading to Raj Bhavan, in Dona Paula.


Goa's British connection!

Goa's British connection is not generally known to people. The Britishers had actually entered Goa during the Napoleonic War, as an ally of Portugal. The Portuguese were concerned about being incapable of safeguarding their empire from the acquisitive French and their allied navies, thus, the British were happy to defend the colony.

They then dispatched a Royal Naval squadron, to aid the Portuguese in defence. Owing to the short span that the British had spent in Goa, there are hardly any related monuments here, apart from this dilapidated burial ground.

Behind the closed gates of the cemetery

Lacking architectural finery, this historic landmark just serves as a mnemonic of the presence of Britishers, for just over one decade in this former colony of the Portuguese. The cemetery has a total of 56 gravestones and 47 tombstones, dating as early as the year 1808 to the last burial in 1912, being the latest. British soldiers, dignitaries, commanders and their families who died in the territory are said to have been buried here.

Lest we forget! Restoring the protected site

The Department of Archives and Archaeology had carried out a major restoration process of this monument in 2009 to save it from decay. In 2017, another repair work was undertaken by the department, including reconstruction of the rear-side compound wall and restoring the main arch of the entrance. However, if you visit the site, the gates of the cemetery will greet you with a lock as it is permanently closed for the public.

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