Once upon a time in Goa
It is a well-known fact that India was governed for over four centuries by the colonial powers. Whilst the British exerted maximum sway in most parts of the country, one can also find small pockets where the French have left their legacy. Goa, the state where our Single Malt Whiskies are created, is one place where the Portuguese have had a telling influence.
It all started when the Portuguese set foot in Goa. They set up their capital in Velha Goa, the area we popularly know as Old Goa. But when a plague broke out, they were forced to abandon their capital and move to Panjim. Though only a few miles from the bustling capital city of Panjim, Old Goa looks like a quaint idyllic European town even today. The architectural glories of the bygone era are breathtaking and visible as one drives through this town. It is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful churches in Goa. The Se Cathedral and the Basilica of Bom Jesus, both built in the baroque style, and the Church of St. Francis of Assisi are the most prominent Old Churches that come to mind. Here, one can also visit the oldest surviving church in Goa today, the Church of Our Lady of Rosary on Monte Santo.
The architectural elegance of the Portuguese wasn’t restricted to churches alone. Goa is perhaps the only place in India where one can find colonial homes dating back to the 1700s, well preserved and still resplendent. Areas like Chandor, Loutolim and parts of Margao, still have some fabulous structures standing in pristine condition. Wealthy local merchants, noblemen and others who were gifted land by the rulers built these bungalows in the golden age of the Portuguese rule. The exteriors and the interiors spoke volumes about the splendor of this period.
The Portuguese stayed around till 1961 when Goa was eventually annexed to India. But they’ve left a lasting impression on the land and its people. The uninhibited free spirit of the place is unshakeable. Even today, it doesn’t take much to travel back in time to that era. And the best way to do it, according to us, would be to open up a bottle of Paul John Indian Single Malt, and let the spirit of Goa sing its story to you. With each sip, you can sink a little deeper into the culture of Goa, its rich heritage and history, and admire the remnants of yesteryear’s glory. There’s no better way to grasp the beauty of Goan past than with The Great Indian Single Malt.