The official house of the governor of Goa, recognised as “Raj Bhavan” or Cabo Raj Niwas, is located at the extreme end of a slender cape jutting into the Arabian Sea.
It’s one of the Palaces of historic and architectural magnitude and antiquity in Goa.
Earlier, at some stage in the Portuguese regime, it was once the Official Residence of the Governors-General, which used to be then regarded as “Palacio do Cabo”. Later, it was once the Official Residence of the Lt. Governors of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu, below the title of “Cabo Raj Niwas”, which title it retained until Goa was once given the repute of a State in 1987.
Cabo Raj Niwas Architecture
It is a two storeyed construction where the ground floor comprises office compartment, the house of the governor and several guests’ rooms. The first floor of the fort comprises Darbar hall, seminar hall, banquet hall, the prima ary kitchen and some visitor rooms. The Darbar hall and banquet hall of Raj Bhavan is designed with traditional and vintage materials viz. Chinese ceramic arts and unconventional glass among others.
The Darbar hall of the fort is the authorised reception centre which is used for imprecation formalities and other official events. On the other hand, the banquet hall of Raj Bhavan possesses space for about 30 persons. The office of the governor along with the administrators and employees are positioned in a distinct section of the ground floor.
Before the construction of Raj Bhavan, a small sanctuary was established at the end of the building. The sanctuary was dedicated to a woman named Nossa Senhora.
Afterwards, this sanctuary caught the attention of a Portuguese viceroy, named D. Matias. He decided to reconstruct the sanctuary and to create a monastery alongside it. The foundation of the monastery was placed in the year 1594 AD and it took around six months to complete it. In the later phase, the monastery was known as Raj Bhavan.
Cabo Raj Niwas Chapel
At one corner of the Raj Bhavan, there is a beautiful Chapel which is about 500 years old. The Chapel, which has always formed part of the Raj Bhavan, is open for the Morning Mass on all Sundays, as also on Christmas and Easter.
The Feast of the Chapel is celebrated on 15 August, (morning), which coincides with the Independence Day of India.
At a small distance away from the Chapel, down on the slope, passing through steps, is the Grotto, a place of worship. The Altar in this Grotto, which is installed in a cage cut out of a rock, is dedicated to St. Paula, The history, as written on a board hung at the place, states as follows: “St. Paula (347 – 404 A.D.), a Roman Senator’s widow and her daughter Eustochium were living an austere life in Rome when St. Jerome (341 – 420 A.D.) came there from Palestine in 383 A.D. Four years later, mother and daughter followed the great doctor to Palestine and went with him to Egypt to visit the hermits in the Nitrain desert. Upon returning to the Holy Land, they settled at Bethlehem. Here, they erected a monastery under St. Jerome’s direction and three convents ruled by St. Paula”.
The Feast of the Grotto is celebrated on 2 August (evening).
Just outside the gates of Raj Bhavan, there is a 180-year-old cemetery, which is the only remaining evidence of the presence of British forces in the Fortress. The British occupied Goa for about 14 years from 1799 to 1813. The Cemetery was built sometime in 1802 to serve the purpose of British Garrisons stationed at Fort Mormugao, Cabo and Fort Aguada.
The cemetery, which was repaired by the British Consul in 1941, is in good condition.
Raj Bhavan Tourism Importance
The current Raj Bhavan is the authentic identify furnished to the residence of governors. It is considered as one of the top-class residences for Indian governors and surely the oldest ones which makes it an essential area for visit. Furthermore, the palace has extensive records involving its beginning which is about 400 years old. As a result, it is counted as a pretty fascinating region for guests to research the lifestyle of the palace.
Besides, its mind-blowing vicinity alongside the ornament of rooms can additionally entice the guests in the direction of touring it.