ancestral-goa

Ancestral Goa / Big Foot are an integral part of the South Goa Tour operated by Goa Tourism Development Corporation. The names are catchy and give an impression of some important places which are distinct from the ‘beach tourism’ that Goa is famous for. My personal experience so far tells me that approximately 99% of the visitors to this tourist ‘attraction’ are coming through conducted tours only and if that were not the case, this place would not even figure so much in the Goa travel literature. The Wikipedia article on Ancestral Goa calls it a theme park and that is what it very much is. The only good part of this whole set up is an old residence called ‘Casa Araujo Alvares’ but unfortunately even that ‘attraction’ is being managed in a very immature way. Anyone who has been to Casa Do Mandarim in Macau will understand the problems with Casa Araujo Alvares. Loutolim itself is wonderful as long as one stays away from its touristy corner. There is a village square where one can see an old post office from the Portuguese days (still working) called ‘Communidade of Loutolim’, a beautiful church, a very old cemetery, a school, and a park. Its like stepping back in time and spending a few quiet moments in the Goa of olden days. But the tour buses do not bring tourists to this square, what a fraud. Keep reading…

At Ancestral Goa there are a number of places to visit such as an art gallery where one can see work done by local children and artists of State and National fame. There is a handicraft centre where one can get some locally made Goan artificats, Big Foot dance floor, Big Foot restaurant, a cross, a spring known as Boca da Vaca, a bird habitat, a spice yard, rubber plantations and lots more.

In this model village one can also see different miniature houses that showcase traditional occupation and social classes such as fishermen, Goan artisans, a music school known as Escola da Musica, farmers, liquors shops, the village market, and a feni distillery.

The main highlight however at Ancestral Goa is the giant 14 meter sculpture of Sant Mirabai carved in 30 days by MJA Alavres the enterprising artist cum museum owner. This has been cited in the Limca book of records for being the longest laterite sculpture in India.

At Ancestral Goa one is accompanied by a guide who explains the exhibits. Also one can purchase souvenirs on the way out from the handicraft centre. The museum is open on all days from 9 am to 6 pm and has a small entry fee.