Cart collection to open at Goa museum

31st Dec 2013

A collection of nearly 70 restored Indian carriages will open to the public at a new transport museum in the state of Goa.

The 750-square-metre development is set to host temple chariots, camel carts, dowry chests on wheels, hearse carts, gypsy caravans, a gig - which is a two-wheeled carriage drawn by a single horse - and a number of horse-drawn carriages.

The Goa Chakra museum, in the coastal village of Benaulim, will also feature a number of wheels on display alongside the carriages.

"Goa Chakra is centred around the wheel," Victor Hugo Gomes, founder and creator on the museum, said.

"India is built on the wheel. It is on our flag, and in our history. My collection tells the story of the wheel and its role - from creating to processing. It is the story of Indian society through the ages."

Mr Gomes has spent 20 years restoring the carts to their original state, having bought each one in a derelict or broken condition.

He has spent a small fortune in the process, using materials particular to each vehicle in order to create an air of authenticity.

Where it has been possible he has left the original materials intact.

Alongside in-house carpenter Jaswant Singh, he has reconstructed the carts in the on-site workshop at Goa Chakra over the past decade.

"Mr Singh and I have worked on the woodwork, while the polishing and weaving has been done by other people," he said.

Weavers from all over India have been brought in to help to restore the fabrics to their original state.

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