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Ancestral Goa – Where a bygone era comes to life

‘Mirabai’ – the inspiration behind Maendra Alvares’s Ancestral Goa

Almost 22 years ago, in 1983, Maendra Jocelino Araujo Alvares, decided to tread a path untrod.  He single-handedly sculpted a monolith of gigantic proportions – that of ‘Sant Mirabai’. Maendra finished sculpting the masterpiece within a record 34 days. Chiselled out of a single laterite rock that existed on their family property in Khattem, Goa.  This piece of art lies within the walls of his Museum  Ancestral Goa or ‘Bigfoot’ as it is famously called. From then on, there was no turning back for Maendra Alvares.

Ancestral Goa
Mirabai – the laterite monolith sculpture single-handedly sculpted by Maendra Alvares

How did ‘Big Foot’ get its name?

Ancestral Goa houses many wonders. One of them is especially noteworthy – that of a big footprint in existence atop a rock. The footprint is quite large, preserved in a temple-like cave inside Ancestral Goa.

The ‘Big Foot’ found atop a laterite rock.

 

Besides, they have a designer dance floor The ‘Big Foot’, Goa’s biggest dance floor shaped like a giant foot and has been created for the express purpose of being a versatile venue for all types of functions and entertainment events like weddings, anniversaries, seminars, dances etc. The Big Foot dance floor measures 40 mts. by 18 mts. and a comfortable number of 2,500 people can be accommodated in the 9,000 sq. meter area. (Information: Ancestral Goa)

What is Ancestral Goa?

Ancestral  Goa showcases colourful, life-size figures depicting  Goa’s traditions, lifestyle, occupations, modes of transport, celebrations etc. of an era gone by. The harmonious Village life lived by different communities that co-existed at that time is beautifully portrayed. Real implements and tools of the different trades and crafts are displayed alongside.

Celebrations:
A folk festival depicting different dances of Goa
Sao Joao – The feast of St. John the Baptist being celebrated in the Village and a lady washing her clothes at the Village well
Occupations:
A coconut plucker at the wayside bar for a quick peg of the local brew before returning home
Coconut peeling being done in bulk to use for making oil or cooking
Realistic life-size images of fishermen with their nets wearing the typical ‘kashti’.
Khaje or sweet-meats are a favourite for any feast or festival in Goa. Laadoos, Kadio-bodio, tapioca chips, etc.
The Village Tavern usually attracted men but there’s no stopping a shot of ‘feni’ or ‘urak’ before a sumptuous fish-curry-rice

Casa Araujo Alvares is the heritage home of the Alvares family. Situated across the road from ‘Big Foot’ Museum, the house has been preserved unlike most ancestral homes in Goa. Maendra and his brothers have painstakingly preserved and collected antique curios, implements, artifacts etc. that belonged to the Colonial era of Goa. Right from farm tools, to furniture, utensils etc. All showcased in Casa Araujo Alvares. Maendra also has his own museum of holy-crosses on display.

Casa Araujo Alvares – The restored Ancestral home of the Alvares family Pic.credit: Google

Ancestral Goa has won many awards including entering the Limca Book of Records for ‘Mirabai’. It is recommended for students as a ‘Very Educative Center’ by the State Education Department.

Open all days – From 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm

Entry fee: Rupees 150 per person for the Museum plus Rupees 20 for use of camera. Separate fee of Rs.300 for the Ancestral house – Casa Araujo Alvares

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