Goa was home to several tribes and rulers before Vasco da Gama discovered it and there are many more such facts that are layered under generic pieces of information available about this sunshine state. Therefore, in an attempt to go beyond the parties and shacks and to give you a sneak-peek of Goan history, here are 5 important gates across the state that recount the tales of yore. So let's embark upon an offbeat journey of chronicling the social, cultural and political aspects of Goa through these gates.
Gate to Old Goa
Built in 1599, the gate to Old Goa is commonly known as the Viceroy's Arch and is a popular tourist destination. Constructed by Viceroy Francisco da Gama, the grandson of Vasco da Gama, this gate was renovated in 1950s and now stands as a testimony of the Portuguese colonial rule in Goa.
St. Paul's College Gate
History enthusiasts can be seen thronging to the ruins of the 16th century St. Paul's College, whose only remnant is its front gate. Once a grand campus thriving with learned individuals pursuing elementary studies as well as higher education, this old facade is a gateway to a gone by era.
Cabo Raj Niwas Gate
Located on a narrow landmass jutting into the Arabian Sea, is the residence of Goa's Governor, Raj Niwas. Known as Palacio do Cabo in the erstwhile Portuguese regime, the architecture of the pristine entrance gate exudes a warm and welcoming aura for all those who have an eye for all things vintage.
Rachol Historical Fort Gate
Tasked with the responsibility of defending the perimeters of Sultanate of Bijapur, the Rachol Fort was captured by King Krishnaraya from the then Sultan of Bijapur and ceded to the Portuguese in exchange for protection. Once home to military-grade equipment, the tales of this fort are surviving through the Rachol Historical Fort Gate, still guarding its entrance.
Not as grand in size as the other gates but just as eminent as them, the water gates of Goa help in reclaiming land from shallow waters for farming activities. Found mostly in the Zuari and Mandovi river basins, the architectural ingenuity of these structures are traced to the tribal communities that made Goa their home, long before the Portuguese occupation.
These 5 gates from across Goa are portals to an era gone by and we urge you to explore them, whenever you are in the locale. Don't forget to engage with the local community if you also wish to know the interesting folklores attached to these iconic destinations. BTW, do you know of a 6th gate? Let us know in the comments below!