The village of Chandor forms an important chapter in Goa’s history. Earlier, called Chandrapura, it served as the capital during the Bhoja period as well as later during the reign of the Kadambas. Today, except for the ruins of an old fort and a Nandi bull sculpture, nothing remains of that glorious past.
The village is steeped in ancient myth, among them one that suggests that the citizens of Chandor have long harboured a fear of marrying women in the village itself due to a “Queen’s curse” dating to the Kadamba dynasty. Many men thus prefer to leave the village before marrying.
Situated about 10 km inland , the ancient capital, apart from its historical significance, boasts of some of the finest Indo-Portuguese homes.
Chandor is home to some of the largest, architecturally elaborate and intricately designed mansions. Two noteworthy mentions are the Braganza House built in the 17th century and the Sara Fernandes mansion that dates back to the pre-Portuguese period.
The massive length of the Braganza House is divided into two: East and West wings belonging to two different family clans. The Pereira Braganza family occupies the East side. They have a little chapel with a relic of St Francis Xavier and artefacts that are decades old. At the centre, the great salon or ballroom has impressive Italian flooring. European chandeliers adorn the ceiling and ornate rosewood furniture decorate the interiors.
On the West, the Menezes Braganza family owns some prized old furniture and Chinese porcelain from Macau. You can get acquainted with the ancestors through the portraits that hang on the old walls. The vast library consists of leather-bound books belonging to Luis de Menezes Braganza, a reputed journalist who also played a pivotal role in the liberation movement.
A few metres away, the grand structure of the Sara Fernandes house comes into view. More than five centuries old, the house is also called ‘Voddlem Ghor’. It showcases a wealth of Goa’s past a ballroom, spacious verandas, French glass windows, mirrors and crystal chandeliers –all adding to the atmosphere of the house.
Chandor still retains a few remnants of its past. The ruins of an external wall belonging to an old fort has stood over the centuries, along with an old Nandi bull that has sat silently, a mute spectator to the changing times.
Once you drive through the vast blankets of green, you will be amazed by the lush landscapes with the river Khushavati running through. But the view is better admired from the skies. GTDC offers exclusive hot air balloon rides that convey a majestic aerial spectacle of the beauty below.
Click this link to book yourself your view from the skies.