Margao, the capital of Salcette taluka, is the busiest and the second largest city of Goa. It has been considered the centre for both commerce and culture and some have referred to it as the "Athens of Goa".
What lure tourists to Margao are its market centre and its many places to visit. It is the junction of the South Central Railway (which connects Vasco to Hubli and Bangalore) and the Konkan Railway (from Mumbai or Mangalore).
Margao is also the major transport hub for South Goa and you can take direct buses to Colva. Benaulim, Palolem, Agonda, Chandor and Panaji from the Kadamba bus stand which is located on the outskirts of the city.
Margao is located in the centre of Salcette taluka in South Goa.
How to Reach :
From Dabolim Airport (30km) and Panaji (33km), you can take a taxi or bus to reach Margao. There are direct overnight buses from Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune to reach Margao. Enquire about the timings. Margao is well connected to Panaji via a "shuttle" minibus service run by the Kadamba Transport Corporation that runs at frequent intervals during the busy hours.
WHERE TO EAT
Those who prefer non-vegetarian food should not be disappointed as the place offers traditional sorpotel and sannas. Apart from the exotic Goan food, North and South Indian food is also available here.
Tourist Places in Margao
Church Square or Largo de Igreja is one of the focal points of Margao. It lies in the area around the Church of the Holy Spirit. Around it are traditional Old Goan houses; the most popular being the beautiful and well preserved Sat Burnzam Ghor. However this magnificent house is not open to tourists.
2Church of the Holy Spirit
The Jesuits built this church in 1564 in the heart of Margao but a horde of invaders destroyed it in the same year. After many failed attempts, the church was built in 1675 and remains a centre of attraction. The interior, altar and central dome are some of its striking features.
3The View from Montel Hill
From Monte Hill, tourists get an amazing view of surrounding areas. The hill can be reached by following the road from near the Largo de Igreja.
4Grace and Pandava Churches
One of the arresting features of this church, located on Varde Valaulikar Road, is the crucifix of the resurrected Christ. The figure of Christ has a shroud around it and is without the crown of thorns. His arms are outstretched towards the congregation. Additionally, the church has an impressive structure.
Also worth visiting is Aquem Alto's St. Sebastian Chapel. Local people call it the "Pandava Chapel". It has recently received the status of a church.
The temple, also called the Damodar Sal, is located in the Naik residence on Abbe Faria Road. Swami Vivekananda reportedly halted here before he left for the Parliament of Religions in Chicago to deliver his world-famous speech in 1893.
Some other places to visit are the Hari Mandir, Ram Mandir and Vithal Temple.
1Rachol Seminary and Church
It was established under the sponsorship of King Sebastian of Portugal and built by the Jesuits between 1606 and 1610 to train Goan priests. Later, its reputation grew as a centre of learning. The Seminary Church is dedicated to St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits sect. The church's most striking feature is the carved and painted wooden panel covering the sides of the chancel. One of the side altars also exhibits the "Menino Jesus" that was initially kept in Colva Church and later shifted to the seminary. It is located 7km from Margao, near the Raia village.
2The Usgalimal Rock Carvings
Discovered in 1993, these carvings of hunting scenes and geometric shapes are believed to be 20,000 years old. Covering an area of 500sq m, it has many animal and human figures. Usgalimal is located around 16km south of Rivona in the Sanguem taluka. to reach here from Chandor, take the main Margao-Sanguem highway towards Tilamola crossroads. Go straight to Zambaulim and Rivon and then to the hamlet of Colomba and you will see the ASI signboard on the roadside.
More great destinations can be found in the Explore India page.
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