This walk allows you to experience the lifestyle
of Hindu households that share a predominantly
catholic precinct. Life here spills out from the
houses on to the street and back.
Begin this walk at Margao’s Main Square.
This Municipal Council building completed 100
years in the year 2001. Today, traffic spins around
the building in undignified whirl but that should
not stop you from admiring its architecture. It
has been built in the Neo Classical Style but
parking lots to accommodate Margao’s growing
number of cars have somewhat robbed the building
of its charming porch. Nevertheless, the Municipal
Garden and the colour of the building add their
own touch of distinction to one of Goa’s
busiest market areas.
Now step into the New Market and rub shoulders
with other shoppers in Margao for traditional
food supplies. This market has some of the best
bakeries in the neighbourhood. Sample Goa’s
famed bebinca, dodol, bolnias and biscuits as
they arrive hot from wood-fired ovens. If you
are planning on trying a hand at some Goan cooking
at home, this is the right place to pick up coconut
vinegar, tamarind, red chillies, dark brown palm
jaggery and a vivid range of cereals and pulses.
Back on your walk, pick up fruit from the vendors
that hawk local mangoes and bananas off the pavement
at the Municipal Garden. Continue your walking
tour in a northerly direction. Sample the fruit
as you stop to admire the Margao Post Office building.
It is a fine example of indigenous architecture
and of the filled with period furniture and fittings.
Take particular note of the Burma teakwood counter
that serves you with postage stamps and plays
its own part in Goa’s “Gulf remittance
economy”. Here is a post office with an
Take the road to the left of you. You are about
to begin an expedition through Margao’s
Hindu Quarter and to the evocatively named temple-cum-home,
the Damodar Sal. On your right, opposite Blaze
Photo Studio, stands a fine example the Indian
Art Deco architectural style. Take look at it
as you walk. Then take a few steps further up
the road and look to your left. The building has
a sign saying GOA TRANSPORT LTD and is located
right opposite the natty new Lawrence & Mayo
showroom. The GOA TRANSPORT LTD building has five
pointed arched entranceways that are worthy of
your admiration. What really catches your eye
are the timber posts and their ornamental capitals
and brackets. This is clearly the work of some
fine Goan master craftsman!
Settled in a little niche by the side of the
Lawrence & Mayo showroom is a small building
sporting a rather modest sign. Take a closer look
at this Tipografia Nacional printing press and
you will see the modestly ornamented keystones
over the wooden doorways of the printers. Take
a look at the “eye-holes” over the
building and the perforated floral wooden exhausts
inside them. The building is in a sad state of
disrepair but that should not stop you from admiring
Confidant House in the bye lane offers books,
stationery, cards and phone, fax and e-mail facilities.
It also gives you an opportunity to get connected
with India’s latest fiction and non-fiction
The bookshop has always been the first place
in Goa to look for new arrivals.
Margao is one of Goa’s four major towns.
Buses ply from here to the towns and village across
the country and always seem to be a in a tearing
hurry to get to their destinations. Watch your
step as you get nearer to the main bus station.
Some Bolshevik Goan bus driver is going to help
you remember that! Mercifully, there are plenty
of shady spots on this walk to take a few steps.
Two country liquor tavernas (open during lunch
hour) and a general store on the left, as you
walk up the road, add an element of charm. This
low-rise row of shops with their stone columned
arcade are reminiscent of the Margao that once
was. Now look up at the house that belongs to
Mr. L Veigas, Advocate, High Court and Notary,
Government of India. Note the mother-of-pearl
shell fanlights and windows. Glass came to Goa
as late is 1890 and even then, was accessible
only to the wealthy few.
The nacre of the mother-of-pearl shell was probably
first used by carpenters to cover window in Diu
(Gujarat), a former Portuguese colony from where
the technique traveled to Bassein (now Vasai near
Mumbai) and later to Goa. Later, as glass become
accessible to most people, small squares or rectangles
cut into the mother-of-pearl shell windows allowed
people to look out of windows from within. To
be more socially correct, one would say it was
more of a novelty than a facility to look out
of a closed window.