Margao is the largest and the oldest city as well as the commercial capital of the Indian state of Goa. It is also the administrative headquarters of South Goa District and the Salcete Taluka. It is situated on the banks of River Sal and lies at an elevation of 31 metres above sea level. The city has derived its name from the word Mathagram, which means a place with a Matha or Mut.
Margao is also the cultural capital of Goa and has the Ravindra Bhavan Cultural Centre, which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Goa in July 2008. It also consists of Goas biggest sports stadium, Fatorda, as well as the biggest theatre, the Metropole. Margao is also popular for its Dindi festival, which is celebrated at the Vithal Rakhumai Temple on the second day after Diwali. The feast at the Holy Spirit Church, known as the Purumetache, is also a major attraction.
Margao also comprises many famous temples and churches like the Holy Spirit Church, the Grace Church, the Old Sebastian Church, and the Monte Hill Chapel. Its range of popular temples includes the Hari Mandir, Damodar Mandir, Maruti Mandir, the Saibaba Mandir and the Shiv Temple. The city is also home to two popular mosques of Goa along with a Jain Temple at Pajifond.
Margao tourism is known for its huge Portuguese style mansions. It also offers many other interesting places to visit like its closed market, Mercado de Afonso de Albuquerque, its municipal garden Anna Fonte, the old market called the Mercado Velho, the Holy Spirit Church, its grand colonial mansions, the chapel at Monte Hill, and many more. Tourists can opt for Margao holiday packages while planning their holiday to this beach destination.
Margao is famous for its Margao curry, which is also a local specialty of Goa. This curry is also exported to many parts of Portugal. Margao is also the name of a brand of spices in Portugal.
Being the fastest growing city of Goa, Margao is also well connected with the rest of the country by road, rail and airways. Goas largest railway station is in Margao, which is connected to cities like Mangalore, Udupi, Ratnagiri and Mumbai through NH 17. To reach Margao, tourists can also take the Skybus Metro tracks patented by the Konkan Railway Corporation. The best time to visit Margao is between late October and April.
Hotels in Margao range from budget hotels to 5 star stays as well as homestays. Tourists can opt for discounts offered during the off-season and need to ensure that they book hotels in Margao in advance during the peak season between October and December.