South Goa District of Goa at a Glance

About South Goa District :

Goa attained statehood on May 30, 1987. Goa was included as twenty-fifth state of  India. Goa state has two districts namely North Goa, which is headquartered at Panaji and South Goa, which is headquartered at Margao.

a) Location

South Goa District covers the entire southern part of Goa state. Arabian sea is to the west of district, North Goa district to the North and Uttar Kannada district of Karnataka in the East and South. South Goa is situated between the latitudinal paralles of 15 degree 29′ 32″ N and 14 degree 53′ 57″ N and longitudimal parallels of 73degree 46′ 21″ E and 74 degree 20′ 11″ E. From north to south and from east to west the district spans a distance of 86 kms and 40 kms respectively. The total geographical area of the district is 1966 sq kms..

b) Geography :

Goa is a part of Konkan area. Goa has hills, low and highland areas. Geographically Goa has mainly three natural divisions namely the Low lands, the Plateaus and the Mountain region.

Low Lands : Low land area is mainly coastal lines. It is about 110 km long. Many beaches are along the coast in this area. Many rivers flow east to east in this area therefore this area land is fertile. This area is thickly populated.

Plateau Lands: The plateau region is found between the mountain region in the east and the lowlands in the west. Plateau land height ranges from 30 metres to 100 metres. In this region mainly plenty of laterite stone is found. It is used for building the houses. Some of the part of plateau land is called headland of Goa. Light houses are built on these healdlands. Land in the plateau region is not fertile, few crops are taken in this region.

Mountainuous region: Sahyadri mountains are to the east of South Goa. This part is covered with dense forest. In this area, some of the mountains are very steep. In South Goa, the peaks are Chandranath at Paroda, Dudhsagar in Sanguem taluka and Cormolghant in Canacona taluka. Many streams and rivers flow from this region to lowands. In South Goa, the rivers are Zuari, Talpona, Sal and Galgibag. Rivers are used for transporation. Inland waterways play an important role in transport of mineral ores from the mining sites in Sanguem taluka such as Costi, Kirpal, Netravalim, Rivona, Ducorcond and Kuddegal to the Mormugao harbour for export South Goa is rich in natural resources like iron, bauxite and manganese ore. These ores are exported mainly to China, Japan, South Korea and some European countries.

c) Access :

Goa is well connected by road, rail, water and air ways. In Goa there are three main national highways N.H.4A, N.H.17, N.H.17A. Panaji, the capital city of Goa is connected by N.H.4A from Belgaum in Karnataka. The N.H.17 starts in Mahad in Maharastra state and enters in Goa through Patradevi and passes through talukas Pernem, Bardez, Tiswadi, Salcete and Canacona talukas. Third highway, N.H.17A is from Cortalim to Mormugao harbour. Cities Panaji and Margao are well connected by road from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Miraj cities in Maharashtra and Banglore, Belgaum, Hubali cities in Karnataka.

Goa is connected by rail route through Konkan Railway and Southern Railway from Delhi. Also, it is well connected by air routes from Bombay and Delhi. Goa has an international airport at Dabolim. The distance from Margao to Dabolim airport is 29 kms.

Most of the rivers in Goa are used for waterways. Ferry boats were means of crossing rivers in Goa. Rivers Mandovi and Zuari are being used for carrying ore to Mormugao harbour. Goa is also connected by waterway from Bombay.

d) Climate :

Goa has hot climate as it lies within the tropics. There is no much change in climate throught the year. Daily temperature range is not very high. Goa gets rains in the months June, July, August and September. June-September is the mansoon season here. The rainfall is more in the mountain region than the coastal region. Goa gets heavy rain from South-West monsoon winds. Goa has cool climate during then months October-January. It starts geting warmer from February and it remains till May.

Rice is the most important crop in Goa. Due to warm humid climate rice is mainly grown here and it grown in the coastal region. After rainy season, rice, chillies, onions crops are grown in Goa. Cash crops are also grown in Goa. Mainly plantation of Cashew, Coconut, Mangoes, Areca palm, Kokum and Jackfruit is done in Goa.

e) People and Culture :

History : According to Ancient Indian Mythology is said that Goa was reclaimed from the sea. It is believed that Sixth Avatar of Vishnu Sage, Parshuram created the Sahyadri range and struck an arrow into the western seas. The arrow is said to have sent the seas rolling back to create Gomantak or Goa.

It is believed that Aryan migrated to Goa around 2400 BC. Original tribals migrated in hills due to Aryan arrival in this part. It is believed that Sumerian civilization was existed dating back 2000 BC. These people introduced their ideas of all types with the result that the ownership of the land vested in the main village diety. The co-operative farming turned into common holdership or villages who were considered to be founders of the village commune and its administration took a form of oligarchic democrocy. The Aryans of the first wave accepted this type of administration and improved upon it.

Mainly Aryans consisted of Bhojas, Chediyas, Kshatriyas and Brahmins were arrived in Goa. Bhojas ruled over Goa from aobout 4th century AD to 6th century AD. It is believed that Brahmins were migrated to Goa by Parashurama from Kasmir and the banks of the river Sarawati. Kadambas also ruled over Goa, they were originally from Karnataka. They ruled from Chandrapura modern Chnador on the banks of the river Khushavati. Rulers from Vijayanagar Empure also ruled over Goa. Muslim rulers also ruled over Goa. It has also impact on the life of the people. Muslim art and architecutre can be seen in buidlings and mosques in Goa.

Goa was under Protuguese rule for about 450 years. Afonso de Albuqureque, first portuguese attacked Goa and occupied it. Due to Portuguese rule over Goa, here Christian religion spread very fast.

In Goa Hindu, Muslim, Christian religions are found. Here temples, churches and mosques are existed in many numbers. All community festivals are celebrated in this state with an enthusiasm.

At a Glance :

Number of Literates and Literacy Rate for District and State in 2001 Census :

Sl. No Indicator South Goa Goa
Persons Males Females Persons Males Females
1. Total Population 586591 297501 289090 1343998 685617 658381
2. Population in age group 0-6 Years 64579 33385 31194 142152 73547 68605
3. Number of Literates 417501 228662 188839 989362 544006 445356
4. Literacy Rate 79.98 86.58 73.22 82.32 88.88 75.51


Literacy Rates By Sex for District and State  :

Sl. No. District/State Persons Males Females
1991 2001 1991 2001 1991 2001
1. South Goa 72.64 79.98 80.38 86.58 64.76 73.22
2. Goa State 75.51 82.32 83.64 88.88 67.09 75.51


Rural and Urban Population of the  District, Talukas, Cities of South Goa District as per 2001 Census :

District/Taluka/City Total / Rural Urban Population
Male Female Total
District: South Goa Total 297501 289090 586591
Rual 127839 130116 25795
Urban 169662 158974 328636
1. Mormugao Taluka Total 76529 68307 144836
Rural 12119 12423 24542
Urban 64410 55884 120294
Mormugao UA Urban 55927 48762 104689
a) Mornugao MCL Urban 51532 45553 97085
b) Chicalim CT Urban 4395 3209 7604
Sancole CT Urban 8483 7122 15605
2. Salcete Taluka Total 128664 131123 259787
Rural 52351 55866 108217
Urban 76313 75257 151570
Margao UA Urban 48096 46296 94392
a) Margao Urban 39829 38564 78393
b) Navelim Urban 5743 5271 11014
c) Aquem Urban 2524 2461 4985
Benaulim Urban 4947 5216 10163
Varca Urban 2298 2561 4859
Davorlim Urban 5682 5241 10923
Sao-Jose-de-Areal Urban 4282 4070 8352
Chinchinim Urban 3272 3761 7033
Cuncolim Urban 7736 8112 15848
3. Quepem Taluka Total 37472 36454 73926
Rural 20284 19760 40044
Urban 17188 16694 33882
Curchorem-Cacora CT Urban 10961 10437 21398
Quepem CT Urban 6227 6257 12484
4. Sanguem Taluka Total 32610 31520 64130
Rural 27055 26085 53140
Urban 5555 5435 10990
Sanvordem CT Urban 2431 2401 4832
Sanguem MCI Urban 3124 3034 6158
5. Canacona Taluka Total 22226 21686 43912
Rural 16030 15982 32012
Urban 6196 5704 11900
Cancona MCI Urban 6196 5704 11900

Tourist Places :

Margao: 33 kilometers down south from the state capital Panaji, is the commercial capital town of the South Goa District in Salcete Taluka. A thriving commercial metropolis linked by rail to the rest of India & Mormugao Harbour and by National Highways, with Maharashtra and Karnataka. It has imposing old mansions and modern buildings.

Vasco-Da-Gama: 30 kilometers south-west of Panaji, is a modern, well laid out city close to Mormugao Harbour known as Vasco-Da-Gama. It has beautiful and extensive avenues. The air terminus of Goa at Dabolim lies on the outskirts of the city. It is also the railway terminus for passenger service on the South Central Railway.

Mormugao Harbour: is 34 kilometers south-west of Panaji (4 kms. from Vasco-Da-Gama), one of the finest natural anchorages on the West Coast of India and the hub of intense maritime activity.

Chandor (Chandar): 9 kms. East of Margao, the Menezes Braganza House, mostly late 18th Century and previously owned by Lemon nationalist and Journalist Luis De Menezes Braganza has a series of magnificent rooms especially the great salon with its fine furniture and the largest private library in Goa.


Colva Beach: About 6 kms. from Margao, Colva beach is the pride of Salcete and the only rival to Calangute by its scenic splendour. Here, sand, sea and sky blend in enchanting natural harmony unspoilt by men. Has good accommodation facilities particulary at the tourist cottages.


Agonda beach is about 37 kms. south of Margao. It is a small picturesque and secluded beach much sought after for its serenity.

Palolem beach is about 37 kms. south of Margao. It’s just west of Chaudi in the Southern Taluka of Canacona and is one of the most enchanting beaches in Goa relatively deserted, with the backdrop of Western Ghats.


Rachol Seminary: Situated just off the banks of Zuari river, 12 kilometers north-east of Margao in South Goa. In 1521 the Portuguese, in their customary fashion first built a church, then a prison, later in 1574-1610 a seminary to impart philosophy and theology. It is in this seminary that the museum of Christian Art is housed.


Shree Mallikarjun : 40 kms south of Margao at Canacona, the southernmost Taluka of Goa, is believed to have been constructed during the middle of 16th Century by ancestors of the Kshatriya Samaj. It was renovated in the year 1778. The temple has massive wooden pillars with intricate carvings. There are 60 deities around the temple, Rathasaptami in February and Shigmotsav in March/April are the festivals of note, which draw large crowds.

Shree Saunsthan Gokarn Partagali Jeevottam Math: Located at Partagali Village on the banks of the sacred rivulet Kushavati, this math established by Shreemad Narayanateertha Swamiji in the year 1475 A.D. has an uninterrupted tradition of 23 Swamijis. This is an accident Math of the Gaud Saraswat Brahmin Vaishnav Community which maintained contact with the scattered members of the community. The symbol representing the spiritual movement carried by the Math for over 500 years is one of the few huge ancient ‘vatavriksha’ (Banyan tree) which is about 200 ft. x 225 ft. and is considered a Tapasya Kshetra for over a thousand years. Vatavriksha and the Ishwar linga in front of it are worshipped by the people of Partagali and adjoining area. This place is popularly known as Bramhasthan. Partagali is being developed into a centre of culture and learning, without in any way tampering with its glorious traditions.


Jama Masjid: 26 kms from Margao at Sanguem. Built in the last century, the Jama Masjid was completely renovated in 1959. The new structure is remarkable for its harmonious proportions and elegant simplicity. It has four minarets whilst the entrance façade is flanked by two elegant towers surmounted by pillared kiosks. A domeshaped kiosk rises in the centre of the minarets. Festivals are celebrated here with due solemnity by the rejoicing devotees.


Dudhsagar Waterfalls: 60 kms. (10 kms from Colem Railway Station) is accessible by train only. Water plummets hundreds of feet in large volume, in cascades, forming one of the most spectacular of all natural phenomena in Goa and a life line of our ecosystem in one of our Sanctuaries. A popular destination to hikers and trekkers. It is also acessible by jeepable(4 wheel drive) route (14 kms) through the Bhagvan Mahavir Sanctuary. However, one needs to obtain permission in advance from the Department of Forests at Junta House, Panaji.

Kesarval Spring: (22 kms) The spring emerges from hard and compact rocks and people bathe in its water with strong belief that it has medicinal properties.

Ancestral Goa: (Big Foot) A centre for Art, Culture & Environment. Located at Loutolim, 9 kms from Margao, it is an aesthetically developed open air site designed to illustrate Goa’s traditional past. Set in eco-friendly surroundings, this mock-up village traces 100 years of Goa’s lifestyles and heritage alongwith a depiction of daily village activity and folk culture. Local artefacts and handicrafts are available at the handicraft centre and art gallery. The legend of the Big Foot is narrated there- With a pure heart, place your foot on the rock enbedded footprint and you will be blessed with luck. The Big Foot Eat-out offers exotic goan cuisine with spices, vegetables and fruits handpicked from the spice garden and fruit orchard, watered by an ancient system of irrigation. Flanking this is a bird habitat and a rubber plantation from which rubber is extracted and processed. A giant size footprint, ‘Big Foot’-the only designer dance floor in Goa is used as a venue for the promotion of art, dance, music and traditional culture.

Another major attraction here is ‘Natural Harmony’- the longest laterite monolythic sculpture in India measuring 14 x 5 metres which makes this a must see place for every visitor Sculpted in grecoroman style, in a record time, this horizontally ethced, Sant Mirabai playing the ektara found its way into the Limca Book of Records.


Museum of Christian ArtOld Goa:
Tel: 0832-2285299, Website:, e-Mail: [email protected]
Daily: 9.30 am – 5.00 pm.
Entrance fee: Rs 50 per adult and Rs. 25 per child.

Indian Naval Aviation Museum: Located at Dabolim. Contact No.: 0832-2585525
Static display of aircrafts, engines, armanents, sensors, aviation simulator, safety, archive, models, apparel and museum shop.
Timings: Daily from 9.30 am – 5.00 pm. Monday Closed.
Entrance fee: Rs. 20/- per adult and Rs. 5/- per child below 12 years of age.

Galleries at Se CathedralSt. Francis of Assisi Convent & Basilica of Bom Jesus:
Timings: 9.00 am – 12.30 pm & 3.00 pm – 6.30 pm on weekdays & 10.00 am – 12.30 pm & 3.00 pm – 6.30 pm on Sundays.

Galleria de Icons, Seva Samiti Bldg. Agakhan Street, Margao. Tel. 0832-730835
Timings 9.00 am – 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm – 6.00 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Entrance is free of cost.

The Big Foot Art Gallery & Local Handicarfts Centre, Loutolim. Tel: 0832-2750421/2750430 Fax: 0832-2750401.
Works of local artist such as paintings, artefacts, bamboo, cane, clay & terracotta, handmade garments & souvenirs. Timings: Daily 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Entry Fee: Rs. 150/- per person & Rs. 75/- per student.


Goa abounds in festivals and fairs around temples and churches which also commemorate early legends. They are the occasions when a Goan peasant manifesto joy and hapiness.

Bhandap: A traditional folk dance performed by the women folk of the scheduled tribe community who were the earliest settlers of Goa, in the second half of the Hindu month Bhadrapada.

Corredinho- Portuguese folk dance: A peasant dance which is popular among Goan elite youth.

Dekhni-Beauty dance: Performed only by women, displays a rare blend of Indian & Western rhythms.

Dhangar Dance: In Navratra days, a vigourous session of worship dance.

Fugdi & Dhalo: Folk dance performed by women. The most common folk dance forms of Goa.

Ghode Modni: It is in commemoration of the return of the Ranes after victories over the Portuguese in Bicholim and Satari Taluka.

Goff- folk dance with chords: Manifesto joy and hapiness of Goan peasants after the harvest, during Shigmo Festival in Phalgum month.

Hanpet- Sword Dance: A traditional warrior dance performed during the Shigmo Festival.

Kala & Dashavtar: Folk dance forms representing the sunsequent development of jagar as tiatr. Some of the other popular folk dance forms are Ranmale, Ratkala and Tiatr.

Kunbi Dance: Tribal Folk dance: A group dance-cum-song thoroughly rustic.

Lamp Dance: Performed during Shigmo Festival by women holding lamps on their heads.

Mando: A love song. It represents the mingling of Indian and Western tradition.

Morulem: A traditional folk dance presented by the backward community during Shigmo Festival.

Mussal-Khel-Pestel Dance: A dance-cum-song in praise of valiant Kings. It also projects incidents in the village life of the times, Romat, Tonya Mel and Dhendlo are some other folk dance forms.

Perani Jagar: The earliest form of drama.

Raatib: Part of religion ritual of Muslim community performed during 11th month of the Muslim calender.

Suvari: It is a traditional tone setter to all Hindu religious and festival performances.

Talgadi: Folk dance performed by men-a social, sophisticated, outdoor dance for men.

Taranga Mel: Banners mela of farmers.

Tonyamel: Folk dance with sticks. A very vigorous and muscular group dance which is connected with the farm-folk celebrating the joys of good harvest. Tipri Nritya resembles tonyamel folk dance.

Veerbhadra: It is a typical Indian style dance performed in Ponda, Sanguem and Bicholim Talukas.

Zagor: Folk Play. A cultural activity presented in different villages of Goa in different styles by the Gauda community