What Are Goan Villages Famous For? – II

by Fr. Nascimento Mascarenhas

After I wrote about what some of the Goan villages of Bardez in the north of Goa are famous for, one or two people chided me for confining my scope to just one part of Goa. As this essay was also posted on GoaNet, I presume others too must have had similar feelings. Dr Nandkumar Kamat of Goa University sent me an e-mail in which he stated: “By Indian standards our Goa villages may be small, but there is so much to tell.” He was kind enough to share with me a few gems: The village of Morajim (Morgim) was known for the best toddy (sur), Siolim for oysters (kalvam); Calangute and Colva for mackerels (bangede), Sancoale for mussels (shinanye); the best asago rice came from Carambolim; and, the  best korgut rice from Calapur and Combarjua.

Well, let me attempt to make the list a little longer, and satisfy all my hungry and thirsty friends!

The Goan village of Arpora is famous for the tasty Oddfoddcheô gollxeô (Jew fish), Arambol for solar shrimps and coconut feni; Agassaim for chourissam (sausages) and sweet-potatoes; Assagao for flowers, especially abolim.

The Goan village of Banatarim is known for its bazaar, famous in Goa for fruits that are used to decorate the Matoli during Ganesh Chaturthi; Benaulim for narl (coconuts); Britona is famous in Goa for oysters (kalvam);

Colva is famous for its beach and for the Fama de Menino Jesus. The village of Colvale in north Goa is famous for its flat-stone fish “Ballu” and jaggery; Chapora for ximpiô (shells) used for white-washing, and vinegar; The island of Chorao is famous for its mango called Chon’necho Malcurada and Carmona for boram; Curtorim for “Keleanchem Fest”; Calvim is famous for big prawns, mullets.; Corgao for cashew feni, in fact the whole Pernem taluka is known for cashew fruit; Guirim is famous for buffaloes (redde) – “Girvoddche redde Porra vhorun vikhle” (Munn’nni).

Macazana is known for its big khazan fields and for the variety of vegetables grown in former times; Majorda and Parra for watermelons; Morjim for its mudd’doxeô (lady fish); Mapuça for its Friday weekly market; Margao in earlier times was famous for bamboo stalks and Borda for Peranchem fest; Mormugao is famous for its murmu (pearls).

Goa Velha is famous for konguô (sweet potatoes); Tiracol is famous for rock fish; Siridao for oyster shells used for windows of Goan houses; Orlim for copra; Santana for cucumbers (Touxeanchem fest); Oxel is famous for palm feni; Pirna for pirni rice; Santo Estevam (Jua) for bendde (lady fingers); Raia for Rai toleantu sai masolli; Velim is famous for xinnanneô or zob (shell-fish) and was once a trading centre. Cabo de Rama is famous for rock fish like red-snapper and for lobster.

Besides, the Goan villages of Benaulim and Sancoale are famous for their connection with Blessed Joseph Vaz, so also Anjuna and Pilar for Venerable Fr. Agnel de Sousa.

Practically every village in Goa is famous for the feast of its temple and/or church. Margao and Panjim are famous for Purumentachem Fest at the end of May, which in the old days was held so that housewives could stock up on provisions before the imminent monsoon. Pomburpa is famous for the Feast of Our Lady of Candelaria on February 2nd – Pomburpechem fest dubleancheam porank nhoi – as well as for its fountain (zôr); Goa Velha for Santanchem pursanv, the Procession of Saints; Shirgao-Bicholim for the Zatrotsav of Goddess Lairai, a festival wherein the ritual of Agnidivya (walking over burning coals) is performed by the Dhonds; Fatorda, Farorpa and Zambaulim for their Zatras; Siridao for Pejechem Fest.

Old Goa is famous for its churches, especially the Basilica of Bom Jesus and the observance of the feast of St. Francis Xavier on December 3rd; Cuelim, Arossim, Cansaulim (St. Thomas parish) as well as Verem and Chandor are all famous for the Three Kings Feast; Panjim, Margao and Moira for the Feast of Immaculate Conception; In the churches of Our Lady of Hope at Candolim and Our Lady of Assumption at Velsao, the feast of the Assumption is celebrated, also known as Boa Morte Saibinn.

Bambolim is famous in Goa for the miraculous Holy Cross, now called Fulancho Khuris. Marcel and temples in Ponda district are well known for their respective temple feasts. Orlim is famous for the festival of umbrellas and for copra for extracting oil; Sinquetim-Navelim is famous the Festa de Leques (fans);

Naroa is famous for its fair on the feast of Ostom or Tirta; Dramapur is known as the seat of religious learning – it used to be a pilgrim centre. Siroda was famous for its temple singers/dancers (devadasi), immortalised in the deknni Hanv Saiba Poltodi Vetam.

Arvalem, Dabolim and Aquem for caves; Dudhsagar and Arvalem are a very big tourist attraction in Goa for waterfalls; Salvador do Mundo, Taleigao and Raia are famous in Goa for the harvest festival.

The Goa village of Ucassaim was famous for mestri (choirmasters) and mogrenche kolle; Cuncolim for sofa & chair carvings and Benaulim for carpenters;

Then there is the Rachol Seminary at Rachol, house of formation for Catholic seminarians, which this year is celebrating the Fourth Centenary of its foundation. Rachol is famous for the monthly pilgrimage to the image of Christ, so also Varca, which has a yearly pilgrimage to the image of Christ.

There are many English high schools in Goa these days, but St. Joseph High School, Arpora and Mater Dei Institution, Saligao were the first schools in Goa that sent students for the Matriculation examination

Finally, Borim is famous in Goa for Borechi Tar. Ami kollvontam Borieche tari… Boreche tari dada Borieche tari…

[I am extremely thankful to my friend Joel D’Souza from Assagao for some of his inputs for this piece. You may also like to read the earlier essay What Are Goa’s Villages Famous For, which covers some of the villages of Bardez. Please send in your comments with additional inputs for other villages of Goa].

11 comments on What Are Goan Villages Famous For? – II

  • Blaise

    You have missed out chinchinim !!

    (Bro of Vera & Vilda), sucaldem.

  • fr.nascimento mascarenhas

    Dear Blaise,
    Greetings to you from Holy Spirit Church. Margão.
    Blaise I did not miss Chinchinim. Infact I asked a number of people including my collegues from Chinchinim, what was their village famous for. No one could give me a satisfying answer. Some others I consulted said : It is famous for” Chincô”. I did not find that answer to my satisfaction and in fact if have said so all the Chinchinim people would have laughed. However did read the Souvenirs published by Chinchinim Church including the one of the celebrations of 400 hundred years of its foundation, a very historical one. I travelled a lot to get the answer, kncluding monthly meetings of the priests I could not get the right answer that I was seeking. So I went to some other sources. One of them is called ” Etimos das aldeias de Goa ‘, by Canon F.X. Vaz in Oriente Português, (1916) and ( 1920). There too I did not find anything on Chinchinim. But I knew that your village of Chinchinim at one time was famous for the devotion of St. Judas. But i did not dwell on that subject which almost became contraversial, So i said, I better remain silent till I get the right amswer Now there may be some one in the village who knows about it. Please let me know the answer and i will be grateful.
    Surely I remember you, your sisters Vera and Vilda and your revered mother and all the good people at Sucaldem and other” vaddé” in Chinchinim. I still have fond memories of the people I served in Sucaldem. I did meet Vilda and many old and new faces during the centenary time of the Chapel of Sucaldem. Regards to you and all the parishioners. fr. nascimento mascarenhas.

  • Wouldn’t Loyola Furtado Heritage Mansion be worth a mention?

  • Henry Assumption

    Thank you Fr.Mascarenhas for your piece.Goan vilages and what they are famous for. I was born there MACAZANA GOA my father was a rice farmer and I was taught all there was to know about rice farming I even went fishing among the fields in the KAZANAS. This village was also famous for Mats (Mandrio) and for Vangana Rice Seed which was grown on the banks of the Zuari when the water turned sweet during the monsoons.From our home we could see the Sailboats (Vodim) sailing up the river with onions,salt etc all that is no more …just barges of iron ore poluting the river.
    DEU BOREM CORUM!! Henry..

    • Onofre Fernandes

      My name is Onofre Fernandes.I am 80 years old and was also born in Macasana.I am still living there and would like to contact my Ganv Bhau Henry Assumption in Australia
      We met you about 3 years ago when you visited Goa

      • Jules Fausto M de Sa

        Dear Sr Onofre,
        Hi! Nice to see your mail. Hope that you are well! I also was trying to get in touch with Mr Henry Assumption, who used to be in Karachi. In my genealogical pursuits, I do believe that I have discovered that he and you actually share similar ancestry with the Misquita family from Benaulim. I had wanted to discuss this with him.
        I will be in Goa at the end of the month and will try and come to see you in Macasana. I had wanted to visit you the last time I was there in 2009 but it wasn’t possible as I spent almost the entire morning that trip talking to the late Lt Col Custodio Souza, my great grandmother’s first cousin.
        I also wanted to find out from you how you were related to me.
        Regards to your wife, who is also related to me through the Coelhos.

  • fr.nascimento mascarenhas

    Dear Henry,
    Thank you very much for bringing to my notice that Macazana was also famous for mandreô( mats) as well as Vangana Rice Seeds I have taken note of your contribution. God bless you With prayers, fr. nascimento mascarenhas

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  • Henry Assumption

    I am in touch with Onofre thanks to his son Simon.I am related to the Misquitas of Beaulim.My Grand Mother was MOTEBATCAR’S sister.The present family in that house is of my cousin Tomasinho.If I get Fausto’s Email I can further enlarge the root system!
    Father Mascarenhas certainly knows how to open a can of worms sorry..Goans..worms Onofre takes for fish bait! Thanks father.Henry.

  • Jules Fausto M de Sa

    Dear Mr Assumption,
    It is indeed a pleasure that have got your attention. I do remember you from my childhood in Karachi when you were the President of KGA. My late father Orlando de Sa may have been on your Commitee.
    As it so happens, I have been working on Goan genealogy for awhile and have the work of Monsignor Serafico Misquita and would be happy to discuss this with you. My email address is As it so happens, my wife also descends from the Misquitas from Benaulim and would be related to you as well.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Fr Nascimento during my visit to Goa.

  • Lourenco Fernandes

    Father I want to read about my village Sancoale especially the old history, about the fidalgos, harrassment to the priests, church catching fire, plague etc.

    Thanks in advance

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