Goa Chitra Museum – Presenting Goa’s Ethnographic History

Earthen clays pots at Goa Chitra museum
Earthen Pots that inspired many poets at Goa Chitra Museum

Located somewhere between Benaulim beach and Madgaon, in a quaint street is Goa Chitra – an ethnographic museum. That intends to show you the life in Goa as it used to be. This is the second ethnographic museum that I have seen after Big Foot Museum. While Big Foot focuses on the macro level showing you the houses and the professions of the Goans. This one has collected and documented the stuff used in day to day life of the agrarian society of Goa. Before tourism, mining, and a few other industries took over.

Traditional coconut oil extraction equipment at Goa Chitra museum
Extracting Oil from Dried Coconuts at Goa Chitra Museum

Goa Chitra Museum – Goan Culture & Customs

I have already written about the Goa Chakra part of the museum. Let me give you a glimpse of the ethnographic part of the museum that has a huge collection of many unusual things. At the entrance, there is a collection of Christian prayer items followed by the Hindu prayer items. That shows the peaceful co-existence of two communities in the state.

Traditional sugarcane Juice extraction equipment at Goa Chitra museum
Traditional sugarcane Juice extraction equipment at Goa Chitra museum
Traditional cashew nut Feni making equipment at Goa Chitra museum
Cashew Nut Feni Making Equipment at Goa Chitra
Traditional Weights & Measures at Goa Chitra Museum
Weights & Measures at Goa Chitra, Goa
Traditional Farming Equipment at Goa Chitra Museum, Goa
Traditional Farming Equipment at Goa Chitra
Carved Wooden Chair, Goa Chitra Museum, Goa
Carvings of women doing daily chores on a wooden chair
Heritage Telephone Set at Goa Chitra Museum
Old Telephone Set at Goa Chitra Museum

The beautifully designed museum has a central courtyard that is occupied by displays and a water pond that has fishes living in it. Various rooms are filled with aesthetically arranged items. Some of them you might have seen in your grandmother’s house. In fact, I felt a tinge of sadness when I saw the Banta Bottle or the bottle with a marble stuck in its neck as a museum piece. Which was just a couple of decades ago was pretty much a part of our growing up.

Stone Crushers, Goa Chitra Museum, Goa
Stone Crushers that added their own taste to the food
Soda Bottles, Goa Chitra Museum, Goa
Avatars of Soda Bottles at Goa Chitra Museum

The common thread of living

Visiting these kinds of museums across the country tells me that all the communities in different corners of the country were bound by a common thread in the way they lived. What would today be called ‘100% Organic living’. And the commonalities in their tools, types of equipment and daily wares.

Wooden Cradle, Goa Chitra Museum, Goa
A Well Adorned Cradle for the Kids

The museum collection is huge, this is a small sample of what I saw.

Read more Travel Blog posts on Places to visit in Goa.

  1. Chorla Ghat – Drive through Goa hinterlands.
  2. Duckbill Spillway at Salaulim Dam & Botanical Gardens.
  3. Secret Monsoon Wonder of Goa – Kuskem Waterfalls.
  4. A walk of discovery at Arvalem.
  5. An Ode to Houses of Goa.


  1. Anirdha!
    India looks even more beautiful and enticing from your camera lens and you computer keys. Well maneuvered equipments to extract sugarcane juice from jaggery and prepare cashew nut freni ?? Wow!!! seems like our ancestors were infamous inventors who were guarded from the lime- light. So proud to be a part of this ancient society where knowledge was the cradle for civilization.

  2. The legend of the ilustration “Sugar cane juice from jaggery picture at Goa Chitra Museum” should be corrected to ” Sugarcane juice extractor” or “Sugarcane crusher for juice extraction”. Figure has nothing depicting jaggery.


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