Monday, 20 February 2012

Margao, Goa

Located in the Salcete taluka of South Goa district, Margao is the nerve-center of the Goan economy. The second largest city in Goa after Vasco da Gama, Margao functions as the headquarters of the South Goa district. Apart from being a bustling commercial and industrial center, Margao also boasts of a flourishing tourism culture by virtue of its opulent churches, scenic beaches and stately mansions.

Despite the conspicuous Portuguese influence, Margao was once a Hindu religious center with a number of temples and dharmshalas. The name Margaon is regarded a derivative of Mathgram which literally means 'the village of temples.' After the Portuguese invasion, the temples gave way to the spawning of majestic churches and palaces. 

The present Margao town exudes a quaint charm with its landscape speckled with fine specimens of Portuguese architecture. The main town square known as the Praca Jorge Baretto houses most of the offices and prominent buildings. The Church Square, called the Largo de Igreja, features the Church of the Holy Spirit and other monuments. Tourists traveling to Margao also visit the nearby Colva beach for a tranquil beach vacation. 

Places to See:

Located 6 km from Margao city, the laidback ambience of Colva beach provides the perfect place to unwind. You can either take a leisurely stroll on the golden sand or savour mouthwatering Goan delicacies in the nearby food stalls. With a length of 20 km, Colva is the longest beach in Goa. 

The Church of Holy Spirit

This church is located in the Church Square called the Largo de Igreja. Built by the Portuguese in 1675, the Church of Holy Spirit is a fine specimen of late-Baroque architecture in Goa. The elegant interior of the church contains decorated altars dedicated to St. Peter and St. Michael.

House of Seven Gables
The "House of Seven Gables" or "Sat Banzam Gor" is another prime attraction in the tour of Margao. Commissioned in 1790 by Sebastino da Silva, emissary and private secretary of the Portuguese Viceroy, this sumptuous mansion embodies the grandeur of the Portuguese era. Of the seven original gables, only three remain today.

Rachol Seminary

Built in 1521 as a church by the Portuguese, it became a seminary in 1606 by virtue of an order of King Sebastian of Portugal. The seminary was established to train Goan Jesuit priests to propagate Christianity. The seminary church is dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyola, the patron saint of the Society of Jesus, the order of Jesuits.

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