(Last Updated on : 13/06/2011)
Margao, also known as Madgaon in Konkani, the local language, is one of the oldest cities of Goa. It is derived from Mathagram, denoting a place with a `matha` or a religious establishment. Situated on the banks of the River Sal, Margao is well known for its rich historical past and diverse cultural traditions. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Goa and includes several suburbs like Aquem, Fatorda, Gogol, Borda, Comba and Davorlim
Margao is situated at the junction of the Konkan Railway
and the South Central Railway
. It is also well connected from Dabolim Airport
History of Margoa
In the pre-Portuguese era, Margao was amongst the major communities in Salcette. The residents comprised mostly of Brahmins. It was popular as Matha Grama or the temple town, as innumerable Hindu mathas were located here. In 1543, during the Portuguese conquest, Hindu temples were demolished and Catholic churches were constructed. Even the first church was ruined by the invaders.
Geography of Margao
Margao located at 15degree18`N 73degree57`E? and 15.30degreeN 73.95degreeE? / 15.30; 73.95, on the southern region of Goa, has a tropical climate as it is close to the seas. The average elevation is 31 meters (102 feet). The total land surface area is 3,702 square kilometres. The landscape comprises glorious churches and mansions built in Portuguese style. The city is very clean, with abundant lush green vegetation.
Demography of Margao
According to the [update] India census 2011, population of Margao is 78,393. 51% of the population comprises of Males and females 49%. Margao has an average literacy rate of 87.4%; male literacy is 91%, and female literacy is 83%. The local inhabitants are religious and very cultured in nature. Most of the people are pre-dominantly Christians and the Portuguese culture is well reflected in their lifestyle.
Culture of Margao
The town is also known as the cultural capital of Goa
. During Diwali
, the Dindi festival takes place at the Vithal Rakhumai temple in the Comba. At night, a procession of the deity is carried around. Most people, including Hindus, Muslims and Christians, from nearby areas, partake in the festivities in traditional attires. Before the monsoon, the `Purumetache Fest`, the feast of the Holy Spirit Church, occurs. People from all over Goa
assemble to buy dried fish and spices at the special market.
In 2008, Ravindra Bhavan, a cultural centre, was inaugurated by Digambar Kamat
, the Chief Minister of Goa, at Fatorda. Kalanjali Cultural institution, Lorenz Imaging, Dalgado Konkani Academy are few of the other cultural centres in Margao.
Major theaters in Margao contain the OSIA Multiplex, Gomant Vidya Niketan, Vishant Talkie town, Cine Prashant and Lata. Margao also has Goa`s only sports stadium, The Nehru Stadium at Fatorda and also showcases the Skybus test track an elevated rail system, patented by the Konkan Railway
Corporation. The cuisine of Margao consists of usual specialties of Goa. The Margao curry is a very popular local cuisine. Cans of the curry are exported to Portugal.
Education of Margao
In Margao, there are a number of esteemed schools and colleges. Schools like The Model English High School, Loyola High School, Presentation Convent (for girls), St. Joseph High School, Fatima Convent (for girls), AIM Salcette High School, Damodar Higher Secondary School, D`costa Maria OnesiaVilla D`costa are known for excellence. Margao also hosts two of the best colleges in Goa - Shri Damodar College of Commerce and Economics and Smt. Parvatibai Chowgule Cultural Foundations College of Arts and Science. There is also Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) for technical education.
Administration of Margao
Margao is considered the administrative capital of Goa. The district revenue administration is led by the Collector, assisted by the two Additional Collectors and Deputy Collectors, with the headquarters at Margao. There are three sub divisions and five Talukas in the South Goa District.
Economy of Margao
Margao, the central town of Goa, lies amidst fertile farmlands and has always been an important agricultural market. The markets, in and around Margao, are also very popular. The tourism industry is also adequately developed in this region.
Tourism of Margao
As Goa is mainly known as a tourist destination, Margao also has many popular destinations and sights. These include the Closed Market or Mercado de Afonso de Albuquerque (Portuguese) or Pimpalakatta (Konkani), Margao City Hall, The Municipal Building, the Municipal Garden, Anna Fonte (natural springs), Old Market or Mercado Velho, Holy Spirit Church, Sat Burzam Ghor, Grand Colonial Mansions (particularly the Seven Gables House around the church), the Chapel at Monte Hill.
A number of churches and temples are present in Margao. The famous churches in Margao are the Holy Spirit Church, the Monte Hill Chapel and the Grace Church. The famous temples are the `Damodar Temple, the Maruti Mandir, the Hari Mandir and the Shiva Temple.
Margao, one of the busiest cities of Goa, is known mostly for its rich history and varied cultural heritage. Margao has an old world charm that lingers through out the city. Also it is one of the most developing cities of Goa