Goa’s claim to fame is definitely its beaches, food, drink, and nightlife. But not everyone that comes to Goa is only interested in these. There are a lot of people that come to soak up Goa’s history and culture. While a lot of landmark buildings from history still exist, the artifacts that were once housed in them have either been lost or now reside in museums. Goa has the Goa State Museum and the Museum of Christian Art which showcase an immense number of artifacts from it’s long and illustrious history and culture. Additionally, there is yet another museum, the Pilar Seminary Museum, high up on a hill, some 12 kilometers from Panjim that also holds a lot of interesting artifacts.
Pilar Seminary Museum is said to be one of Goa’s best-maintained museums
The village of Pilar is approximately 12 km south of Panjim. At one point in history, Pilar, along with villages like Goa-Velha, Agassaim, Santan, Batim, Gauxi, Curca, and Gavallimolla (the Kadamba plateau) were part of the mighty Kadamba dynasty.
Through the ages, Goa was ruled over by different dynasties following a multitude of religions. And so, the artifacts housed in the Pilar Seminary Museum have managed to capture the rich communal harmony of the time. There are unique artifacts that have been discovered on the Pilar hillock and surrounding areas. These pertain to not just the Hindu religion but even Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam.
There is much to see in this small but well-maintained museum. The museum is divided into three sections: Pre-Portuguese Govapuri; Pilar under Capuchos; and recent Carmelites and Pilar collections. It showcases stone sculptures and artifacts as well as paintings on wood and canvas. There are carved wooden statues and handwritten manuscripts. It is also well known for its treasures of gold, silver, pottery, ivory pieces and rare postage stamps.
For more information on some of the artifacts and other pieces in the museum, check out this link.
Getting to the Pilar Seminary Museum
It’s easy to drive to Pilar. This pretty village is located on the old highway to Margao. Once you cross Siridao, take the inside road to Goa Velha. As soon as you cross Goa Velha, you come to a slight fork in the road. Do not go to the right but instead look for a small turning on the left. This is a winding road that heads up the hill upon which the Pilar Seminary Museum sits.