This is an excellent book and I recommend it. It has an enormous amount of 
detailed research, related very succinctly by author Valmiki Faleiro. It knits 
together evolving political movements and specific social events, and the ebb 
and flow of important families of the then important class, to create a 
fascinating narrative of 450 years of Goa's social history, centred on the 
Church of the Holy Spirit in Margao.There is ample information of the 
architecture and arts, for those who may appreciate a broader perspective of 
this beautiful church.

Braz Menezes, Author ( 

> Date: Mon, 25 May 2015 02:35:01 +0530
> From:
> To:
> Subject: [Goanet-News] Margao: a thumbnail sketch (Valmiki Faleiro,   Soaring 
> Spirit)
> 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
>           attribution.
> IMAGE: Margao, based on GoogleEarth as marked by Arch. Ankit
> Prabhudessai.
>           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
> Naidhruva.
> 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
> Brahmins.)
> 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
>   population.
> • 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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