Heritage Homes in Goa
Panaji should be declared a ‘Heritage City’ what with her haunting old world charm mesmerizing you as walk through her streets on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. One of the most charming features of Panaji is her heritage houses.
One of the claimants to the throne of being judged the oldest is the Ghanekar House opposite the Mermaid garden.
Purple being my favorite hue, the purple doors of the beautiful Ghanekar house are extremely alluring to say the least. These purple portals open in to a entirely different world of its own, to the times when the Ghanekars lived in a huge joint family with Goddess Mahalaxmi’s sasay – the unseen living presence in the ‘Somrachi kud’ to bless them. Ghanekars as the original inhabitants of Panaji.
Centered around ‘rajangans’ (courtyards) all four have interiors done up in the traditional Hindu architectural style whereas the facades of the Ghanekar house showcase an Indo-Portuguese double-store style. The Ghanekar House replete with legends such as the Mahalaxmi, the appearance of Laxmi, etc.
This house has immense historic-heritage value and need to be preserved for posterity. Government should activate the heritage house scheme at the earliest as it is long overdue and needs immediate attention and revival to provide incentives to heritage house owners to preserve their houses. This house is our links with our socio-cultural and economic history of Goa and of Panaji.
When the Having Brahmins brought the Mahalaxmi deity to Panaji in the 1800s, they kept it at the Ghanekar house and in 1819 the deity was installed in a temple, which is today the pride of Panaji. Thus we find that the Ghanekar house intricately connected with the history and heritage of Panaji. (Trupti Kamat Ghanekar)