Chandor is a small community village which is located at a distance of 15 kms east from Margao. This spot is a central point from all the beaches in South Goa. The lifestyle in Chandor is quite indicative of the Portuguese culture and spirit, which is very clearly visible in Chandor.
Braganza House is a very popular place which clearly demonstrates the affluent Portuguese lifestyle and this only takes up one whole side of Chandor village square and the history of this goes back to the 17th century. The House is worth visiting as you get to see the Belgian glass chandeliers, ball rooms with Italian marble floors, and the beautifully carved furniture. In modern times the Braganza house has been divided into east and west wings, and now this stretch outwards from a common front entrance. While the eastern wing is owned by the Pereira-Braganza family, and this includes a small family chapel which even has a carefully hidden fingernail of St Francis Xavier. The eastern side of the house looks quite old than the western portion. You will also see a care taker, who looks after the property and who will also show you the place. You will notice that the ballroom has been decorated with cheap souvenirs and old family pictures. The eastern wing is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm.
The west wing of the Braganza house is open for visit from 10am-5pm, and this belongs to the Menezes-Braganza family. The family had spent a lot of money in restoring the place and have done up the place with Chinese porcelain and beautiful furniture. There are two large rooms, right behind the entrance halls which showcase the largest private library in Goa. Elderly and formidable Mrs. Menezes-Braganza lives here alone and her maids will show you the place. She represents the last of the old Goan-Portuguese families. There is no fee for visiting the house and the owners most depend on the contributions for maintenance and restoration which is Rs 100 to 200 per house.
When you go 1 kilometer east, and pass the church then the Fernandez House is visible. The looks of the house is smaller as compared to the Braganza house however this is much older. The Fernandez house is almost 500 years old and was a Hindu house but was later on taken by the Portuguese in 1821. One can visit the house from 10:00am to 5:00pm from Mon- Sat. There is a secret basement hideaway which is full of gun holes and that even has an escape tunnel to the river, this was once used by the family to flee attackers.
Towards the South of Chandor, is the village of Quepem, which was immaculately renovated by Palacio do Deao. This place is open from 10am-6pm on Mon-Sat. There are beautiful gardens which are quite attractive and well maintained as much as the 200 year old mansion. You can even eat your evening meals here, by advising them well in advance by paying an amount of Rs 250.One can reach Chandor by a taxi or a motorcycle, from Margao, which will charge an amount of Rs 150 for a round trip.