Amger: Bask in the nonchalance of Goa inside this 130-year old restored villa in Parra
DEC 30, 2023 | By Pratishtha Rana
The only plan during my stay at Amger was to walk the unruffled pace of its nonchalant neighbourhood, hum along with the chirping birds, observe the paddy landscape around and drape the meditative hue of the sky above. And, that’s when it dawn on me. Words like conscious travel, conservation of heritage and history, affinity for nature and an easy disengagement from the constant clamour of urban footprints — cohesively take shape of this picturesque villa dubbed Amger, in the seclude-scapes of Parra in Goa.
A restored and reimagined Goan-Portuguese villa that cradles a 130-year old long history is indeed an architectural oasis, yet some more. Winding up to Amger through the free-spirited roads and curves of the coastal state sets the relaxed temper for what is to come, a getaway doused in the susegad state of mind.
A newfound gem from the past…
Interestingly, Amger, translates to ‘our home’ in Konkani, a sentiment that soon unravels as one makes their way through the mindfully manicured greens outside, layered with a considerably big pool by the side. Stepping inside the 5,500 sq ft villa with its architectural prowess is like journeying through an art-forward maze of rooms, objects and experiences that promise the constant wind of Goa with a heritage flair of its own. Viewed through a lens of newfound love for restoring it, Arun and Alok Lalwani together with restoration expert Nachinolkar Ketak and architect Supriya Gandhi of The Workshop Architects sculpted the villa with an evidently fresh perspective.
The recurrence of a multitude of elements such as the perfect arches, high ceilings, Juliet balcony, sprawling verandahs, statement lights and an overall mellow moodboard spark up a reignited love for Goa’s way of life. Easy, carefree yet an incessant reminder of its old-world charm.
Amger, in function and visuals both, is generous. A beautifully carved entryway with a short flight of stairs leads inside, first opening up to the heart of the villa; the living room. Capacious and nonchalant in character, this is where the assemblage of eclectic, vintage objects sourced from around the country begins, dotted liberally at each step.
An emblematic arched gateway next leads to the sprawling dining room with a fully-equipped kitchen stationed right next to it. While the tumbled stone flooring endlessly runs across and around the villa, lending it an unassumingly grounded mood. The beauty of Amger is how it engulfs an impalpable sense of comfort, of languid moments, which seem the most significant than anything else in that moment. The villa also envelopes four bedrooms, each decked with distinct interiors, sit-out alcoves and en-suite bathrooms.
Feast on the table
Goa cannot be experienced without a table brimming with traditional Goan delicacies. During the stay, one can rest assured to be assisted by the staff and an on-call chef who ensure to serve an ambrosial, authentic meal through lunch and dinner. Think — Tisryanche clams coated with lip-smacking masala, hearty prawns curry, dried prawns, kokum drink, fruit custard among other things.
Perhaps, it’s safe to say how consumingly this villa harbours an familiar unfamiliarity where the structure and indoors may itself stand as an everyday museum of architecture and design clues, but the surroundings unlayer a raw, rested but a nature-championing identity. The very air of Parra.