Most common building material in Goa is a stone called laterite

Morjim, Goa

What appear to be red bricks below (at left in the photo, and on the wall surrounding the yellow building) are in fact quarried blocks of laterite, a porous red stone common in India and other countries. In Goa the laterite blocks are usually grouted and then cemented or plastered over and painted. All three stages are visible below. The famous brilliantly coloured houses of South India (below, and next post) are usually built this way. If owners run out of money during construction, the houses are lived in with just the unfinished grouted stone. Above, four differently coloured treatments for common laterite garden walls.

2 new buildings in Goa, one still unpainted

Morjim, Goa

House painting is also a constant job on the Indian coast—the summer monsoon is so extreme (it removes all the sand from the beach, only for it to return the next year) that a newly painted house can look blackened and decrepit within one year. Someone needs to start up a pressure-washing business in Goa. Perhaps someone already has.

Goa, local stone cut into large bricks

Goa, local stone cut into large bricks

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4 Responses to “Most common building material in Goa is a stone called laterite”

  1. David Kyagulanyi Says:

    Thanks for the information. Are laterite quarrying equipment common in Goa? We have lots of laterite in Uganda and we could start doing the same. Thanks.

  2. LB Says:

    @David – Oddly I never saw the laterite being quarried so I’m not sure what equipment they use in India. I just saw laterite in use as a construction material everywhere. I’m not sure if the laterite you have in Uganda is of the same type, and appropriate for building? Sounds like it would be worth looking into.
    Here are some interesting articles:
    http://www.teriin.org/teri-wr/projects/laterite.htm
    http://qjegh.geoscienceworld.org/content/33/3/181.abstract
    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/79/86373/Goan+Laterite,+Red+and+Rough?destId=356223
    and this blog post is interesting
    http://windyskies.blogspot.ca/2010/10/goan-laterite-red-and-rough.html

  3. Savio Teles Says:

    The stone is used extensively in Goa along with mud bricks.The stone is basicaly cut out from the earth like a piece of cake,a very tedious job tough.Special cutting tools are required.The best natural building material mother nature has given us.From Goa

  4. RSrinivasan Says:

    Could u please tell me where it is available in Dindigul OR Madurai In Tamil Nadu

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