Margao: a thumbnail sketch


          Margao was always the principal village of Salcete.
          Salcete was always the principal taluka of Goa.
          Salcete was Goa's largest, most populous, highest
          revenue yielding, path breaking and trendsetting
          taluka...  always.  ('Always' here means from the
          start of Goa's recorded history, which is more or
          less from the dawn of the era of Anno Domini, AD,
          or the Current Era, CE.) Only after the Portuguese
          reorganized Goa's talukas in the 19th century,
          Salcete lost its preeminence but only on one count,
          that of being the largest taluka by area.

The Portuguese merged the former provinces of Hembarbarshem
and Ashtragar into a single taluka called Sanguem, and
snatched Mormugao from Salcete to form a separate taluka
(:for better administration of the Mormugao port" in the late
19th century).  It was then that Salcete lost on the
yardstick of being the largest taluka by geographical size,
though it continued -- and still does, especially
politically!  -- as Goa's foremost taluka on most parameters.
(The merger of Chandravati and Bali into Quepem taluka had no
bearing on the status of Salcete.)

Of that foremost taluka of Goa, Margao was the capital.

The very brief story of Margao, Salcete and Goa that follows
may leave more questions than it provides answers. The
interested reader desiring greater detail would need to wait
for a book in the making, From Mathgrām to Margão.

          From Mathgrām to Margão will include a fairly
          detailed account of Goa from tribal times to the
          20th century and pan to a bird's eye view of
          Salcete (today's Salcete-Mormugao), its present 61
          villages, before zooming into Margao, its history,
          lore, legends, and more..  The reader may note that
          some parts of the manuscript of that book to-be
          have been excerpted here, hence any quote from here
          (there is no copyright!) may kindly be done with

IMAGE: Margao, based on GoogleEarth as marked by Arch. Ankit

          Margao, known as Mathgrām, village of the Mathas
          (religious schools or Hindu monasteries) from the
          time Indo-Aryans conquered it from its original
          tribal settlers, was the chief village of Salcete,
          which led the rest of Goa from its ancient Bhoja
          capital of Chandrapura (now Chandor) at least from
          325 AD.  Chandrapura was Goa's capital for a major
          part of Goa's history.  The Salcete-based Kadamba
          ruler, Jayakesi I (1052-1080) shifted the capital
          to Govapuri (roughly the area from Agasaim to the
          foothill of Siridao) in 1054 before the Bijapur
          rulers adopted Ela (now Old Goa) as the capital in
          the late 15th century.  The Portuguese shifted the
          capital to Panjim in 1843, where it officially
          continues to this day even if -- among Goa's
          post-1961 ironies -- the seat of government lies
          across the river in Bardez taluka (and most of Goa
          at sea).

The first settlers in Goa came over land. They are generally
believed to be the mixed bred Mhars of the Austro-Asiatic
linguistic group.  Purebred Austro-Asiatics are found only in
the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, while their ancestors, who had
moved to Australia ages ago, constitute the aborigines of
that continent.

The generally accepted conjecture is that this first human
settlement in Goa occurred in the post-1500 BC period.  Mhars
(from Maraung, "elder family" in the Mundari language) are
believed to have come from the coastal plains of southwest
India, probably Karnataka if not the Malabar.  Mhars
worshipped the demon-god Maru and sacrificed buffaloes.  They
consumed their flesh and hence were relegated to the class of
untouchable outcastes by the Indo-Aryan dominated society.
Illicit offspring with Mhars was Shvapka (dog eaters).  If
visiting caste areas, Mhars had to alert others of their
presence by howling like animals or by ringing a bell worn
around their neck, so that even the shadow of a Mhar would
not 'pollute' the caste gentry.

          Gonvllis (called Dhangars outside Goa) were the
          next to arrive.  They were a pastoral tribe that
          had mastered the skill of domesticating productive
          wild animals like cattle, goats and sheep.  Between
          them were shepherds-cowherds, buffalo keepers and
          wool weavers, with a half-division of butchers.
          They worshipped nature, including the human
          reproductive organs.  In Mathgrām, they were
          associated with rituals at the Damodar temple of
          the presiding deity.  Even today, the famous gulal
          festival must start with Gonvllis dancing in the
          front yard of the temple.  They do not use Brahmin
          bhatts (priests) in their temples but have their
          own, called sikadi.

The next arrival in Goa of the Gawdas (tribally, Asuras)
marked a shift. While the earlier two tribes had migrated
from south India, Gawdas (and others who would follow them)
came from central India, from the Chota Nagpur region of
Madhya Pradesh-Orissa-south Bihar. From there, they spread to
other areas of south India, particularly Karnataka, whence
some believe they migrated to Goa. Gawdas were basically land
tillers. They subjugated both the Mhars and Gonvllis in Goa.
This tribe is often confused with the Kunbis who followed
them. Gawdas regard themselves socially superior to Kunbis
and do not intermarry.

The last major pre-Aryan tribe to settle in Goa were the
Kunbis (tribally, Kol or Kurumbar). They followed the Gawdas
into Goa from the same geographical region of Chota Nagpur.

Kunbis were described as a uniformly dark-skinned, fierce,
semi-savage hunting tribe (kol in the Mundari language meant
a wild pig). Also credited to be the most intelligent, they
were now land tillers. The Anthropological Survey of India
holds that the tribe name derives from kun (people) and bi
(seeds). Kunbis are said to have developed Goa's mud flats,
including the khazans. They developed tools and implements
made of wood and stone -- pointed, sharp-edged or blunted, as
per need.

          Kunbis subjugated all other tribes that preceded
          them in Goa (and also the few that followed, like
          Mundaris and Kharvis).  Such was their hegemony
          that almost everything in agrarian Goa began with
          their tribe name ku -- from kumeri
          (slash-burn-cultivate farming) to units of
          measuring volume like kudov, khandi, kumbh.

This, in short, was tribal Goa. Together with the Dravidians,
the tribes occupied most of India. Dravidians were a highly
evolved race that developed the ancient Indus Valley
Civilization. This was seen from a few sites excavated in the
early 20th century like Mohenjo Daro in Sind, Harappa in West
Punjab, Chanhu Daro in Sind, Nandowari in Balochistan,
Tharowaro Daro in Sind, Lakhueenjo Daro in Sind, Gunweriwala
in west Punjab, Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Dholavira in the Rann
of Kutch and Lothal in Gujarat -- to date, more than 2,500
civilizational sites have been identified in present day
India and Pakistan.

Then the Indo-Aryans, an altogether different race, arrived
in India. Indo-Aryans, or Indo-European Aryans as formerly
known, were European by racial stock. They are believed to
have originated in the Steppes, north and east of the Caspian
Sea, or present southeast Russia and west Kazakhstan. Ancient
scrolls at the Vaishnava Matha at Partagal-Canacona, which
tell the story of Saraswat migration to Goa, trace the
Indo-Aryan origin to Sintashta-Petrovka and Arkaim regions of
modern Lower Central Russia near the border of Kazakhstan.

          A semi-migratory race, Indo-Aryans lived, among
          other things, by plundering wealth especially
          cattle from settled people.  They moved into the
          southern parts of Central Asia before arriving at
          the world's cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia.
          At the northernmost of Mesopotamia's five states
          was Assyria, a kingdom that grew out of a seaside
          centre called Assur circa 2500 BC.  The Indo-Aryans
          were no match for the Semitic Assyrians whose
          supreme national god, Assur, was the god of war.

The Assyrians promptly seized and enslaved the Indo-Aryans.
In bondage, they yearned for their freedom to wander, but the
only freedom their captors allowed were visits to the city's
markets and port. The Aryans were dazzled with they saw.
Merchandise in the city's emporia was magnificent. They
learnt that the goods were brought by a people called Pani,
in large ships. They learnt that the Panis came from a nation
called Suryarastra or Surastra, land of the sun. They decided
that they would one day break free from the Assyrians and go
to this land of the sun and her dazzling merchandise.

That land in the sun was Saurashtra, in the south Kathiawar
peninsula in modern day Gujarat. It was the southern part of
the Dravidian civilization centred around the Indus Valley.
This civilization was famous for shipping. Archaeological
finds in both places indicate that Saurashtra traded with
Mesopotamia. From Saurashtra came sail ships laden with gold,
carnelian, copper, ivory and timber.

Indra, leader of the enslaved Indo-Aryans, would be their
Moses. To deliver them from Assyrian captivity, he first
prospected the land of promise stowaway-ing with two
families, the Turvashas and the Yadus, in a ship of the Panis
returning home. They landed in Surastra and, with permission
of the ruler, Indra settled the two families and returned to
Assyria with the Panis.

He dreamt of a mass exodus of his people to India by the land
route. But, he had the mighty Vrthra, the Assyrian ruler, to
contend with. Indra carefully planned an escape operation. He
had keenly studied the city's system of river dykes, which so
helped bring prosperity to the land. When his people were
ready, Indra challenged and killed Vrthra. As his people
began to flee, Indra broke the dykes, creating a river that
prevented enemy soldiers from pursuing those in flight.

The long eastward march toward the Iranian Plateau was
replete with upheavals. In a battle with a settlement in
Turkistan (Turkmenistan), Indra perished. A larger part of
his grateful tribe decided to deify Indra. But one section
refused to accept him, a mortal like them, as god. It broke
away and stayed back in the region, and later moved southward
into Persia, today's Iran, to become the Indo-Iranian Aryans.

(Deification of humans and ancestor worship was to become an
Indo-Aryan tradition in Hindu India, where the institution of
Purush -- the cult of an ancestral head of a family, clan or
tribe -- got firmly embedded. Instances are the legendary Ram
or Parashuram, creator of Goa, and Damodar, the presiding
deity of Margao. Indra, one of the chief gods in the Rig Veda
was later adapted as a manifestation of Lord Shiva. Shiva is
today revered, among his many incarnations, as Lord Somnath
because he loved the sacrificial drink soma, which gave him
strength to go to battle. On learning of Indra's fate, the
Turvashas and Yadus built the Somnath temple in Gujarat that
was destroyed by Muslims and rebuilt by Hindus several times
over from the late Middle Age.)

          The Indo-Aryans arrived in India probably via the
          Bolan Pass around 2000-1700 BC.  They settled in
          the region of Saptasindhu, extending from Kabul
          River in the northwest to the plains of the
          Sarasvati and Upper Ganga-Yamuna in the southeast.
          They named the country Aryavarta (later
          Bharatvarsha, after their legendary founder), which
          included today's northwestern India, Pakistan and
          parts of Afghanistan upto the Kabul valley.  Their
          increasing numbers brought them in constant strife
          with the Dravidians over territory.  The horse and
          chariot, and the skill of smelting iron into
          superior weapons, helped them subdue the Dravidians
          for some time.  Dharma and diplomacy eventually won
          the day.

While their spoken language, Amhara, got refined into old
Sanskrit during captivity, the Vedic (or Brahminical)
religion sprouted in India. By 1000 BC, a conscious
expression of Aryan ethnicity emerged in the form of the Rig
Veda, the main and oldest of the four Vedas. These were
followed by associated literature called the Vedanta or
Upanishads (circa 800 BC) and, still later, by the Brahmanas,
Vedangas, Aranyakas, Padapathas, Anukramanis, Upavedas,
Upaangas and the great epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Modern Hinduism began to get crystallized from the end of the
Rigvedic period. With it came polytheism and gradually,
rigidity in the caste system and the emergence of taboos like
eating of beef and animal sacrifice. Indo-Aryan Brahmins and
Kshatriyas until then drank wine, ate beef and veal, and
offered it at meals to honoured guests. Even as they abhorred
Dravidians as mlechchas (impure barbarians unfamiliar with
the speech and customs of the Aryas, a people beyond the
Aryavarta), Indo-Aryans made the dark Dravidian god, Shiva,
part of the Hindu triad of Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva. Hinduism
achieved trans-racial acceptance, and Indo-Aryans now freely
expanded into all areas north of the Vindhyas. The Vindhyas
became the new dividing line between Indo-Aryans and
Dravidians, until a group of Indo-Aryan Saraswats ventured
into Goa and, from here, in pockets all over the west coast
of India and even in Madras.

                                * * *

Indo-Aryan Brahmins in the Chatur Varna (four castes) system
came in five gauds or groups, collectively called the
Panchagauda -- just like South Indian Brahmins, the
Panchadravida. One of the five gauds were the Saraswats. They
were said to have contributed to the Vedas and preserved them
by oral tradition much before calligraphy developed. They
lived by the banks of the Sarasvati River, owed allegiance to
Sarasvati the goddess of learning, learnt to eat fish during
the 12-year famine described in the Mahabharata, and were
followers of the child sage Sarasvata (who taught the Vedas
to 60,000 rishis who had lost the knowledge after wandering
in the wake of the famine).

          The Saraswat homeland, Brahmavarta, between the
          once flowing Sarasvati and Drishadvati (today's
          Chautang and Ghaggar-Hakra) rivers, was destroyed
          by an earthquake tentatively dated 1200-800 BC.
          The Derawar oasis dried up.  Saraswats dispersed.
          Many went northwards to Kashmir (Kashmiri Saraswats
          or Pandits), others went westwards to West Punjab
          and Sind (Punjabi Saraswats).  Some went east along
          the banks of the Ganga and Yamuna, settling in UP
          while others proceeded into the Gangetic plains of
          Bihar and Bengal (Gauda Desha), and even into
          Nepal.Interestingly, the kuldev (family god) of the
          erstwhile Nepali monarchy is goddess Mahalsa,
          female form of Vishnu, whose temple is at Mardol-Goa.

Some Saraswats moved southward via Sind and Kutch and settled
in Gujarat.  In Kathiawar, the local ruler, Mulraja, gave
Saraswats "of seven and half (saadi-saat) gotras" land in an
area that came to be known as the Saraswat Mandal.  (Gotras
are endogamous kinship clans based on patrilineal or male
descent, or persons who descend in an unbroken male line from
a common male ancestor.) A group from the Saraswat Mandal, of
the warrior-pastoral Bhargava clan, later settled in Surat
and Navsari.  The Bhargavas are said to have descended from
the Vedic rishi Bhrigu.  His most important descendant was
Jamadagni, father of Parashuram.  It may be noted how the
similarities between fact (Bhargavas being the first
Indo-Aryans in Goa) and legend (the Lord Parashuram addendum
later added to the mainstream legend) would blur the line
between myth and reality.

Under their leader Ram whose favourite weapon was an axe
(parashu in Sanskrit), a group of Bhargavas from Surat and
Navsari ventured southwards of Gujarat by sea, possibly from
the port of Dwarka. They arrived at the coast of Salcete.
With weapons of iron, they easily conquered and subjugated
the tribals with an armament in wood and stone, like a knife
through butter. They settled in eight Salcete villages:
Baannaavali (Benaulim) -- possibly the entry point, hence
factored in the legend of Parashuram's axe or arrow --
Mathgrām (Margao), Kudtari (Curtorim), Raaichuri (Raia),
Lotli (Loutulim), Vareny (Verna), Naagve (Nagoa) and
Shankhaavali (Sancoale). They became the first Euro-origin
invaders to arrive in Goa by sea. The only other would be the
Portuguese who also came by sea. All other invasions in Goa
occurred mainly from land.

When this happened cannot be precisely dated but going by
circumstantial evidence, the generally accepted timeline is
three or four centuries on either side of the Christian era
(4th-3rd century BC to 3rd-4th century AD). This is generally
referred to as {`}The First Wave' of Indo-Aryan migration to Goa.

Descendants of the pioneers at some stage grew into 96 clans.
Ninety-six in Konkani is shennai, from which comes the
surname Shenoy or Shenvi (Sinai in the Portuguese era) -- a
fact later linked to the Parashuram legend, to impart
legitimacy to the conquest of earlier-settled tribals, their
gods and lands. (In the legend, the shennai descended from 10
munis or learned men brought by Parashuram to Goa either from
the banks of the River Sarasvati or from Tirhut to help him
perform some religious rituals. He settled them in a land
specially created, which came to be called Goa.)

Of the 96 clans, as per the legend, 66 (saasasht) spread into
the villages of Salcete.  The balance 30 (tis) settled in
Tiswadi -- 10 of them in the maha-kshetra of Chudamani
(Chorao), eight in Dipvati (Divar, of which six settled in
Narva) and 12 in Dvadasapura or 'twelve countries' from
Sanskrit dvadasa twelve and pura countries, or Bara-des, the
name of Bardez taluka.  (Note the predominance of Salcete
even in legend!)

That 66 clans settled in Salcete is evident from the line
"Shat-Shadteshu Graaameshu Kulaani Sthaapitani" found in an
old inscription quoted in the Sahyadri Khanda (chapter) of
the Skanda Purana that was painstakingly put together by Dr.
Jose Gerson da Cunha (1844-1900), a Goan medico-historian in
Bombay.  Dr.  Cunha descended from Balkrishna Shenoy (Balsa
Shenai) from Cortalim, a Saraswat who converted to
Christianity and eventually settled in Arpora-Bardez.

Dr. Cunha collated 14 surviving fragments of the original
Sahyadri Khanda into a 576-page book, The Sahyadri Khanda of
the Skanda Purana: a mythological, historical, and
geographical account of western India (Thacker, Vining & Co.,
Bombay, 1877).  The manuscripts, largely in the Devanagri
script and a few in Kannada, were traced from temples in the
Konkan and Kashi (Benares).  Cunha's work to date remains the
standard reference on the subject of how Indo-Aryans first
landed in Goa, even if Cunha himself admitted that there were
evident signs of some manuscripts being doctored.  Later day
authors on the subject, like VN Kudva, CIE, Indian Civil
Service (History of the Dakshinatya Saraswats), Chandrakant
Keni, et al, rely on Dr.  Jose Gerson da Cunha's Sahyadri
Khanda as the basic source.  The inhabitants of the 66
villages were known as Mhalgade (after mahal, taluka) and
later as Sasashtikars.  To Salcete's first 66 families from
10 gotras would later be added 30 families from 8 other
gotras like Shānka pingala, Kāumsha, Gāgya, Āngirasa and

Salcete, evidently, enjoyed a position of preeminence right
from the first Indo-Aryan migration to Goa.

Bulk of the Indo-Aryan migration to Goa occurred during what
is commonly called 'The Second Wave'. The term is a
misnomer as it was not a single wave that it suggests, but an
entire series of migrations from diverse places in India, and
even from Sumeria, of a Semitic priestly class called Paddye
Bhatts who enriched life especially in the areas of
construction and codification of ganvkari laws -- and,
reputedly, the idea of linking Indo-Aryan migration to Goa to
the mainstream Parashuram legend of India!

This 'Second Wave' of Indo-Aryan migration to Goa included
all castes -- Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Sudra -- and
spanned some nine centuries from the 5th to the 14th AD.

          Every time Muslims attacked north India, a large
          number of Indo-Aryans migrated and settled in Goa.
          This happened when the Huns overran Punjab in the
          5th century AD, when Arabs began invading the
          Gujarat coast from the 8th century, when Muhammad
          of Ghazni attacked Kanauj in the 10th century, when
          Qutub-ud-din Aibuk invaded the Tirhut region in
          1193, and exponentially thereafter when Muslim rule
          ascended in north India.  Felippe Nery Xavier, the
          1801 Loutulim-born Goan who was a Grade One officer
          in Goa's finance administration, in his famed
          historical sketches, Bosquejo Historico das
          Communidades das Aldeias dos Concelhos das Ilhas,
          Salsete e Bardez (see Bibliography) says that the
          majority of Indo-Aryan Brahmins arrived in Goa from
          Bengal in the 12th and 13th centuries.

(Goan Saraswat settlers were grouped into five on the basis
of their origin, the Trihotras, Agnavaishyas, Kanyakubjas,
Kanojas and Maitrayanas. From Goa, two groups branched out to
form the balance two of the five sects of Indian Saraswats...
Konknni-speaking Chitrapur Saraswats who settled in Karnataka
and diverse groups in Maharashtra that go under sub-groupings
like Pednekar, Kudaldeshkar, Bhalavalikar, Rajapur Saraswats,
et al. Thus, the five sects of Indian Saraswats are Kashmiri
Pandits, Punjabi Saraswats, Goa's Gaud Saraswats, Chitrapur
Saraswats and the collective of south Maharashtra Saraswats.
However, of all of India's Saraswat Brahmin groupings, only
the original Saraswats of Goa are known as Gaud Saraswat

The foremost position of Salcete as the largest and most
populous taluka of Goa continued after the 'Second Wave'
ended, which more or less coincided with the first Muslim
invasion of Goa (in fact, the process of out-migration also
began from the time of that Muslim invasion, as a large
number of Salcetans resettled in the Malabar Coast).

          Salcete's dominance in terms of numbers, however,
          was not Brahmin-fuelled as one may imagine.  After
          the Second Wave, Salcete became a Kshatriya
          dominated taluka.  At the last count of 61
          villages, the bulk -- 39 villages, Ambelim, Aquem
          (Kshatriya dominated, though it had two Brahmin
          vangors), Arossim, Assolna, Betalbatim, Calata,
          Camorlim, Cana, Cansaulim, Carmona, Cavelossim,
          Cavorim, Chandor, Chicolna, Chinchinim, Colva,
          Cuelim, Cuncolim, Deussua, Duncolim, Gandaulim,
          Gonsua, Issorcim, Majorda, Mormugao, Mulem, Orlim,
          Pale, Paroda (though one of its seven Vangors is
          Brahmin), Sarzora, Seraulim, Sernabatim, Talvorda,
          Utorda, Vanelim, Varca, Velcao, Velim and Veroda.
          -- were Kshatriya, 17 Brahmin (Adsulim, Benaulim,
          Chicalim, Cortalim, Curtorim, Dabolim, Guirdolim,
          Loutulim, Macasana, Margao, Nagoa, Quelossim,
          Racaim, Raia, Sancoale, Vaddem and Verna), 3 Sudra
          villages (Dramapur, Sirlim and Telaulim), and 2
          Kunbi (Davorlim and Dicarpale).

Cola/Khola, now in Canacona taluka, was once the frontier
village of Salcete where state taxes including the Agacaim
Pass were collected, though the southernmost Salcete village
was the island of Anjediva.

To get the larger picture of the position of Salcete among
Goa's talukas, let's look at only a few aspects:

• From the time Parshuram's legendary axe or arrow landed in
  Salcete (at Komlatollem, Benaulim), it has been Goa's
  biggest taluka with 66 villages (Tiswadi had 30 and Bardez
  12; present figures are 70 counting Mormugao, 32 and 43
  respectively), with the once largest landmass of 438 sq.
  kms.  (close to 12% of Goa's 3,702 sq.  kms., the balance
  ten talukas averaging less than 9% each), eight islands
  (Anjediva, São Jorge, Ratos, Morcegos and the riverine
  islands at St.  Jacinto, Rachol, Chinchinim and Cavelossim)
  and a 20 km.  long unbroken beach rated by a 1973 UNDP
  study among the top 10 beaches in the world.  This beach
  spans from Velsao to Mobor.  Salcete always had the largest

• The principal ancient Matha of Goan Saraswats (all
  Saraswats were originally Shaivites or Smartas) was
  established in Cortalim in 740 AD (shifted to Kavlem-Ponda
  in 1564).  Salcete was also the cradle of Vaishnavism in
  Goa and its first Matha was established in Benaulim in the
  13th century (shifted to Partagal-Canacona in 1475).
  Vaishnavas even from Bardez and Ponda were called
  Sashtikars.  Salcete also had the largest number of temples
  (when the Portuguese arrived, Bardez had 176 temples,
  Tiswadi 116 and Salcete 264).

• In 1366, two Salcetans, Vasant Madhav and Mayishenai Wagle
  went to Hampi on the Tungabadra River to appeal to
  Vijayanagar's Harihara II for deliverance from the
  oppressive Bahamani Sultans.  It was Salcetans again, led
  by Mhal Pai, the sardesai of Verna, who invited the
  Portuguese to deliver them from Bijapuri Muslims in 1510.
  (Three Salcete families are linked as descendants or by
  marriage to descendants of the man who escorted Albuquerque
  into Goa, Thimayya -- the since extinct Jeremias from
  Calata, Mergulhao from Navelim and Coelho from Aquem.)

• The first revolt against the Portuguese, sometime before
  1569, was staged by the people of Cola, the frontier
  village of Salcete.  The second revolt in 1583 was again by
  Salcetans of Assolna-Ambelim-Velim-Cuncolim (AVC).  Several
  other revolts staged elsewhere in Goa can be traced to
  native Salcetans.  The first revolt to actually evict the
  Portuguese from Goa in 1787 was called the Pinto Revolt.
  Those Pintos of Candolim descended from Santu Sinai
  (baptised Salvador Pinto at the age of eight on 3 November
  1585), the second son of Naru Sinai, ganvkar of Loutulim in
  Salcete.  (Likewise, the Kenkre of Cumbarjua and Cunha of
  Arpora were Shenoy of Cortalim, the Soares and Oliveira of
  Ucassaim were Gaitonde mahajans of Shantadurga of
  Quelossim, Inacio Caetano de Carvalho, Visconde de Bardez,
  was a Salcetan.  The list is long...)

Of that Salcete, ancient Mathgrām was the capital. At its
heart was the Laxmi-Narayanan temple, surrounded by its
oldest zone of habitation. That temple gave way to the Holy
Spirit Church. The oldest habitation zone was reborn as the
church square.

*Soaring Spirit: 450 years of Margao’s Espírito Santo Church (1565-2015)*
is available at Golden Heart Emporium (Margao) and other outlets. Price Rs
300 in Goa. Postage extra. Also available via mail-order from

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