the beautiful courtyard at sunaparanta

sunaparanta – an art gallery in a beautiful portuguese home in goa

i wouldn’t have heard about sunaparanta if i didn’t have a local friend in goa.

this is an art centre situated in a lovely portuguese house, in the middle of a beautiful garden with champa trees. this old house was renovated in order to given the art centre a home. expect beauty at most corners… it has old world tiled floors, big wooden doors for each room, a large verandah on four sides of a courtyard in the centre of the house, with a mangalore tiled roofs sloping inwards… this courtyard is said to be an inspiration from hindu home at that time as portuguese homes didn’t have courtyards.

the rooms around the courtyard are all art galleries. when i visited there were paintings up in one gallery and a lovely cartoon exhibition throughout the verandah and through one of the galleries.

they run workshops in all kinds of art from painting, sketching, sculptures – you name it, and i’m sure they’ve got it.

their mission statement is:

“Sunaparanta is a project that has long been a dream, now becoming a reality. It is a non-profit, process-based initiative to encourage creation, learning, understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts through education and dialogue in Goa.” – Dattaraj V. Salgaocar

my favourite part of this centre is the as fresco bodega cafe which is in the courtyard area, during the monsoons the tables and chairs are moved into the corridors surrounding this courtyard. this is where i whiled away a rain-filled afternoon. it was a very heavy downpour that afternoon and my camera had to be put away as the water droplets were flying everywhere. the water cascading down the roof collected in the four corners and poured right into the courtyard. the house keeping staff ran from door to door to shut all of them as given the cross ventilation water was flying everywhere and the wind was threatening to break something… anything… the open set-up made the wind even wilder, as if it entered the central courtyard from the open doors and then howled till it got out from any other door.

as the water pattered over the roof, i sat below slurping on a burnt red pepper and barley soup. barley and me don’t get along normally, my mother’s tried enough. but on that cold, wet rainy day, the burnt pepper & barley soup was disappearing fast into my stomach. no soup has ever tasted better! i followed that by a grilled vegetable sandwich and then a chocolate dessert (yes, i shared this with one more person, so do not frown at my huge appetite, i am NOT a bellygod! oh.. well maybe i am.)

if you are in panjim and wondering how to spend a quiet afternoon then head straight to sunaparanta.

p.s. they also have free wi-fi. it definitely doesn’t get better than that!

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