Lady of Chandor. NIKON D70, 50 mm, f 2, 1/60 sec, ISO 400.
Lady of Chandor

Goa 2008.

"Braganza House takes up one whole side of Chandor village square and dates back to 17th century. It's now divided into east and west wings, which stretch outwards from a common front entrance. Ongoing restoration is slowly taking place but, wandering through the ballrooms with their Italian marble floor, Belgian glass chandeliers and carved rosewood furniture, it's hard not to feel a little sad for the lost world they represent.

The west wing belonging to the Menezes-Braganza family has clearly had more money invested (than the Pereira-Braganza family of the east wing) in its restoration and is crammed with beautiful furniture and a whole museum's worth of Chinese porcelain. The two large rooms behind the entrance halls contain the largest private library in Goa. The elderly and formidable Mrs Menezes-Braganza lives here alone and, once she's waved her maids aside, will act as your guide. She doesn't take nonsense gladly, but is an entertaining host who represents the last of the old Goan-Portugese families. In general there appears to be a lack of concern about these old houses and, without urgently neded funds for their restoration, you can only wonder what will become of them once the current custodians are gone.

Both homes are open daily, but you may want to call ahead to ensure the owners will be around. There is no official entry fee, but the owners rely on contributions for maintenance and restoration - Rs 100 to 200 per house is reasonable."

- Lonely Planet India