33 kms from Panaji
Town Square, Church Square, Monte Hill,
Grace Church, St. Sebastian Chapel, Damodar Temple, Hari Mandir etc.
Best Time To Visit :
October to March
riverine city, green paddy fields and low rolling hills is what defines
Margao much better. Don't close your eyes if your are coming to Margao from
other parts of Goa because you might miss some spectacular vistas. Its
shaded streets are lined with graceful colonial mansions and churches, its
colourful markets are full of the Goan products, with some items not found
anywhere else. Margao is an ideal base from which you can venture forth into
rural Salcete and also to many towns of Goa.
The capital of Salcete province, Margao is a commercial and industrial
centre of the Southern Goa. Margao was prosperous settlement even before the
arrival of the Portuguese and it was an important centre for trade, learning
and religious activities. The town was founded in the Portuguese pattern
along the sweeping curves, around the Holy Spirit Church. Today the new
buildings have mushroomed everywhere but this pleasant provincial town still
displays many reminders of its Portuguese past.
How to Reach
By Air :
Dabolim airport is the nearest airport, which is
30 kms away from Margao. Flights of Indian airlines as well as private
airlines are available to Dabolim from major cities of India. Margao is
well-served by KTC shuttle buses.
By Train :
Margao is one of the major railway stations in
the state of Goa. The trains of Konkan railway connect Margao with the
cities like Mumbai, Mangalore etc. Taxis are available outside the station
to various places of Margao.
By Bus :
Margao is situated on National Highway 17 at a
distance of 33 kms from Panaji and 626 kms from Mumbai. From Margao, luxury
buses run to Panaji, Colva and other places of Goa on hourly buses.
Local Transport :
Motorbikes are quickest and the most
preferred mode of local transport. You can pick up motorbikes on rent
outside the bus stand to visit the beaches around Margao.
Places Where You Can Stay
Margao is the commercial hub of Goa so the hotels in the city are more
functional than posh. Most of the hotels in Margao are conveniently located
close to the railway station.
4 Star Hotel :
Dona Sylvia Resort
3 Star Hotel :
Economy Hotel :
Goa Woodlands Hotel
Other Hotels :
Hotel La Flor, Hotel Paulino, Hotel Red
Roof, Hotel Saaj, Margao Residency, Sincro Hotel.
Tourist Attractions in Margao
Town Square :
Situated at the heart of Margao, the Town
Square is a perfect place to enjoy natural beauty. To find a heaven of peace
visit the two gardens - Municipal Garden and Aga Khan Park, which are
separated by a walkway. The Municipal Garden is in front of the Municipality
building and the Agha Khan Park is located towards the Post Office. A Statue
of Luis de Menezes Bragance stands at the Municipal end of the Municipality
Garden. Apart from housing the council, the Municipal Building has a
well-stocked Public Library, with books in various languages like Hindi,
English, Marathi, Konkani and Portuguese. The Library timings are 9 am to 1
pm and 3 pm to 6.30 pm and the reading hall of the library is open from 8 am
to 8 pm.
Church Square :
The Church Square or Largo da Igreja is
the most attractive part of Margao and one of its two tourist hotspots.
Church Square is a Latin Quarter with many magnificent colonial buildings.
The Church of the Holy Spirit is the major attraction of Church Square.
Initially built by the Jesuits in 1564, the church was very soon destroyed
by Adil Shah's army in 1571. Makeshift repairs were carried out much later
in 1645 and completed by 1675. A fine example of Indian Baroque, the Church
of the Holy Spirit has a beautiful dome and towers on either side. Its
interior is worth seeing, especially the altars and the exterior is also a
feast for the eyes. In the vicinity of this church there are several
gracious old houses, famous among them is Sat Burnzam Ghor, the ancestral
home of Eurico da Silva. Earlier a seven gabled house, da Silva's Sat
Burnzam Ghor has only three houses now.
If you like a spectacular view then follow the road from Largo da
Igreja to reach the top of Monte Hill. From the courtyard of the Monte
Chapel, you can take the magnificent view of the Salcete countryside. Monte
Hill can be reached by motorcycle taxi.
Grace Church :
The Grace Church is a modern structure
situated on Varde Valaulikar Road. The most interesting feature of this
church is the rare crucifix of the resurrected Jesus Christ. The statue is
drapped in a shroud, with arms outstretched towards the congregation, and
the crown of thorn is absent. The timings of the church are 7 am to 10 am
and 4 pm to 7 pm.
St. Sebastian Chapel :
Locally known as Pandava Chapel,
this Chapel has recently been given the status of a church. St. Sebastian
Chapel was named as Pandava Chapel because a group of ancient caves were
located behind this. These ancient caves are now heritage monuments
protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Timings of the Chapel
are 9.30 am to 1 pm and 4.30 pm to 6 pm.
Margao's Temples :
Hari Mandir and Damodar Temple are the
two popular temples of Margao. These temples are not separate structures,
actually they are rooms in two individual houses. The Damodar Temple also
known as Damodar Sal, is housed in the Naik Family Residence on Abade Faria
Road. Damodar Temple is renowned as the place where Swami Vivekananda stayed
before his departure to Chicago to attend the Parliament of Religions. The
Hari Mandir is located on Martires Dias Road and occupies a single rooms at
one end of the office building. Other notable temples are a small modern Ram
Nandir and the Vithal Temple at Comba Ward.
Tourist Attractions around Margao
Rachol Seminary :
Just 8 kms from Margao, the Rachol
Seminary is perched atop a picturesque hillock. The Rachol Seminary trains
young Goan men for the priesthood. The history says that the Portuguese
originally built this as a Church in 1521, and later it was converted into a
fortress and prison. In 1609, Portugal King Sebastian ordered the
establishment of monastery to train Goan Jeuist priests for spreading
Christianity. However, the history of Rachol Seminary goes before the advent
of Portuguese. Excavations reveal that there was Shaivite Temple initially
which was replaced by a Muslim Fort that later fell to the Portuguese. You
can see the remains of the fort in the form of a gate and moat.
Loutolim is located at a distance of 10 kms
from Margao. The home of cartoonist Mario Miranda's mansion is the prime
attraction of this place. Apart from Mario Miranga's mansion, the
traditional Goan country mansions and Ancestral Goa are other major
attraction. Loutolim is an open-air museum that depicts the Goan life
centuries ago. At Loutolim Maendra Alvares, the curator/ creator, has made
several life-sized figures and stone sculpture of Goan fisherfolk. The
highlights of Ancestral Goa is the stone sculpture of Sant Mirabai and a
restaurant serving exotic Goan cuisine.
Chandor is a small village situated 13 kms away
from Margao. The Menezes Braganza house is the highlight of this Salcete
village. The sheer scale, proportions of the exterior and the magnificent
interior make Menezes Braganza the grandest mansion in Goa. Built by the
Braganza family in the 16th century, it is a double storeyed structure. The
building has 28 windows fitted with mother-of-pearl shells. The east wing
occupied by the Braganza Pereiras is a fascinating blend of 18th century
furniture, in-laid with mother- of- pearl and tarnished silver. The west
wing occupied by the Menezes Braganzas, has the impressive collection of
antique furniture, stained glass windows and chandeliers.
Shopping in Margao
The markets of Margao mostly offer agricutural products. In addition to
agricultural products you can buy fruit and vegetables, wines, baked goods,
cloths, hardware or appliances or pots and pans. If you are not interested
in shopping just stroll around and enjoy a quietly festive atmosphere.
Margao Tour Packages
Features : Margao, the
commercial and industrial capital of South Goa is a must visit place in
your Goa trip. On day three of your tour, take some time to explore this
small town. With its tourist attractions and pleasant weather, Margao
will definitely mesmerize you. Must visit places of Margao are Town
Square, Church Square, Monte Hill, Grace Church, St. Sebastian Chapel,
Damodar Temple, Hari Mandir etc. You can also pay a visit to nearby
attractions like Rachol Seminary, Loutolim and Chandor.
Features : India by Day and
Night Tour provides you a good chance to visit the important towns of
South Goa. On sixth day of this tour, you will be in the town of Margao,
which is home to tourist attractions like Church Square, Town Square,
Damodar Temple, St. Sebastian Chapel and Grace Church. From Margao, you
can also move further into rural Salacete and the nearby towns of Goa.
Features : Rajasthan Heritage
and Goa takes you to South Goa's commercial and industrial capital,
Margao. You visit this town on Day 18 of Rajasthan Heritage and Goa Tour
package. While visiting Margao, you can see the famous tourist
attractions namely - Damodar Temple, Town Square, Sebastian Chapel,
Grace Church and Church Square.
Features : Best of South
India provides you a wonderful opportunity to visit the popular tourist
destinations including Mumbai, Goa, Badami, Hampi, Chikmangalur,
Halebid, Belur, Hassan, Sharavan Belegola, Mysore, Cochin, Kumarakom and
Trivandrum. In Goa, the beach Paradise, visit the serene beaches, where
you can enjoy food and drink alongwith plenty of leisure activities.