Goa Villas
 
Goa, lying on the western coastline of India is a favorite tourist destination for its laid back languidness and the influence of the Portuguese rule. Sparkling waters, white sands and swaying palms welcome the tourists that come down to Goa for a peaceful and serene holiday. The influence of the Portuguese and colonial rule is evident in the architecture of Goa villas which exhibits the amalgamation of the western and eastern style.

About Villas in Goa
Villas in Goa are special as they exhibit a unique architectural style that is not seen any where in the world; not even in Portugal. The reason for this uniqueness is that the Portuguese brought their architectural designs and lifestyles and combined them with the already existent architecture of India. The result of the amalgamation was the Goan style that now marks the architecture of the place. One can visit many Goa villas and buildings built during the colonial period and find them in a pristine condition and still being used by the younger generations of the original owners.

The Indo-Portuguese Style of Architecture
The Goa villas and houses are mostly inspired by the Indo-Portuguese style of architecture which had features like a porch and verandas. The planning of the façade of the Goa villas and houses reveal Italian classical features, which emphasize on paying great attention to all details. No houses or villas in Goa are colored all white as a mark of respect to the Church. The gateway to a house or villa in Goa is lofty and elegant. The façade of the Goa villas is symmetrical and the entrance door occupies the highest place of honor. Windows of the Goa villas and homes are ornate, decorative and expressive and railings are considered the most intricate embellishment. Almost all houses and villas in Goa have a false ceiling of wood, a dedicated area for the deity and the kitchen at the far-east end of the house.

Here it is important to note that the techniques and materials used for the construction of Goa villas and homes, was usually local. However, the decorations and furnishings of these Goa villas were brought in from different parts of the world. The walls and pillars of the villas in Goa were built of local wood and red laterite stone. The roof of the heritage villas in Goa was usually made of terracotta tiles that were brought in from Mangalore. The interiors of the heritage Goa villas have their own story to tell. There is fine porcelain that has been brought from Macau and China, mirrors and cut glass from Venice, tapestries from Portugal and chandeliers from Belgium.

Heritage Goa Villas: Legacy of The Past
Here you can find some of the famous heritage villas of Goa that are reminiscent of the Portuguese style of architecture and exhibit the lifestyle of the Goan society during the Portuguese rule. Hindu and Christian homes

Goa Villa 1 - Solar dos Colacos Mansion
Situated mid-way between Panjim and Old Goa on the left bank of the River Mandovi at Ribandar, this Goa villa exhibits the baroque style of architecture. It has an imposing façade that provides an awe-inspiring view of the old churches of Goa and a mesmerizing view of the islands. The impact of the eastern and western culture is evident in this villa in Goa with the dining room having a sideboard with scenes from the Ramayana as well as the private chapel that exists in the mansion.

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Goa Villa 2 - Salvador Costa Mansion
True to the Indo-Portuguese style of architecture, the Salvador Costa villa in Goa was built in the 19th century. The villa in Goa has been built in the Indian style that features wide verandas and low pitched tiled roof and has European accouterments such as cluster columns and Gothic-style windows. The mansion is located in Loutolim in South Goa.

Goa Villa 3 - Vivian Coutinho Mansion
Another masterpiece revealing the Indo-Portuguese style of architecture, the Vivian Coutinho mansion is located in Fatorda in Margao. The entrance of this villa in Goa is what makes it appear in the list of the heritage Goa villas. The mansion has a well kept garden, which also breaks the monotony of the red wash on the building as well as the outer wall.

Goa Villa 4 - Mascarenhas Mansion
Situated in Anjuna in North Goa, the Mascarenhas mansion is considered a classical heritage villa in Goa due to its balconies or ‘balcaoes’. The mansion exhibits so many riches that it leaves one mesmerized. Expensive wood furniture can be seen at the mansion. The façade of this villa in Goa also has brightly colored stained glass in combination with the ‘no-longer made’ light tinted flint glass, with fine floral etchings to cut off the glare.

Goa Villa 5 - Voddlem Ghor, Chandor
Located in the serene and quiet village of Chandor, the Voddlem Ghor or the house of Sara Fernandes is an imposing structure. The house has earned the stature of a heritage villa in Goa for its pristine condition even decades after the ouster of the European rulers. It is said that this villa in Goa was built even before the Portuguese arrived in Goa.

Goa Villa 6 - Colaco Mansion
One of the only existing Goa villas that face the waterfront, the Colaco mansion is a very good example of Indo-Portuguese style of architecture. The front façade has a long corridor running the entire length and facing the Mandovi River. The exteriors of this Goa villa is marked by three colors; ox-blood, white and indigo, white representing the Portuguese style, while indigo representing the Indian.

Pinto de Rosario mansion in Porvorim and Palacio do Deao in Quepem town are other examples of heritage villas in Goa. Another attraction in Goa that speaks of the Indo-Portuguese architecture is the “Houses of Goa” museum, conceptualized and developed by famed architect Gerard da Cunha. The museum encapsulates the goodness of the Goan style of architecture and portrays it in the best manner possible.

Each of the houses and villas in Goa has its own story to tell. The mingling of architecture has created a unique style that makes it difficult to differentiate between the Hindu and Christian homes. It is actually a new identity that Goans have evolved over the years and they are very proud of it.

Some of these beautiful Goa villas are at times available for holiday rental and worth considering when you next plan to visit Goa.