Margao Knowledge Guide
The initial settlement of Margão grew from the site of the ancient Damodar Temple. The original temple was demolished and the temple tank was filled up to be replaced by the Holy Spirit church and church grounds. The deity Damodar (a form of Lord Vishnu) was carried across the Zuari Agranashini river to the Novas Conquistas in which the Sonde rulers resided. While the western side of the Holy Spirit Church developed as a market place, the settlement grew on the eastern side, that is, the Borda region, with the Holy Spirit Church, Margao at its core and extended outwards.
Camara Municipal de Salcete
The Municipality during the erstwhile Portuguese regime was known as "Câmara Municipal de Salcete", catering to all the villages in Salcete Taluka for over 300 years until the Goa Municipalities Act of 1968 came into force. The Câmara Municipal de Salcete is now reconstituted into Margao Municipal Council. The Members of the Câmara Municipal de Salcete were then nominated by the Government, but after the reconstitution of the Municipal Council, the Members to all the 20 wards (10 in Margao & 10 in Fatorda) are elected by the Members of the council.
The Holy Spirit Church
The main square is defined on one side by the church with its baroque architecture and the parochial house, and on the other side by the palatial mansions of affluent elite Catholics, positioned in a row. The Associação das Communidades (Communities Association) building and the school being the odd exceptions which add to its character and sense of scale. They have a maximum height of two stories, and balcões balconies and varandas (verandas) facing the square. Parallel to the church square is the commercial street (old market). There is also a landscaped area next to the church called Praça da Alegria (Joy Square). The church feast is celebrated before the monsoons, it is a time when many residents make pre-monsoon purchases to stock up for a prolonged rainy season. Margão's importance as an administrative and commercial area grew with the increasing dependence of the surrounding towns and villages; leading to the administrative center with the town hall at its center being built in the south. In 1961, Goa was invaded by India and incorporated into the Indian Union, and Margão was declared as the administrative center of the district of South Goa.
The Margão Town Hall is situated in the heart of the town. Opposite to the town hall is the Margão Municipal Garden. The northern segment of the Margão municipal garden was developed by the Mavany family and is named after His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, Aga Khan IV/Imam of Nizari Ismaili Muslims who visited Goa just before its liberation. The entire garden is now municipal property and is maintained by the Margão Municipal Council. The Narcinva D. Naik residence, also known locally as Damodar Sal, played host to Swami Vivekananda during his visit to Goa in October 1892. The mansion also houses Margão's well-known temple-hall "Dambaba Saal".
The town is also claimed as the cultural capital of Goa. A cultural center named 'Ravindra Bhavan' was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister of Goa, Digambar Kamat in July 2008 at Fatorda which is also an Official Venue For International Film Festival of India . It also has Goa's biggest sports stadium, the Nehru Stadium at Fatorda. The Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan was held in 1964.Some of the theatres in Margão include the Gomant Vidya Niketan, OSIA Multiplex, Vishant and Lata; in addition to Goa's biggest theater, the Metropole. Inox has recently launched a multiplex with a capacity of 904 seats. The Gomat Vidya Niketan is a premier centre for arts in the town. People from all over Goa congregate at the special market to buy spices and dried fish to be used during the oncoming rainy season. The usual specialities that are found in the cuisine of Goa are also to be found in Margão. The curry of Margão is a praised local speciality. Cans of curry of Margão are currently exported to Portugal and elsewhere. Margão is also the name of a brand of spices sold in Portugal.