One of the greenest and daintiest villages blended in a scenic backdrop of Goa lies the tiny village of Saligao. It is barely 6 kms from Mapusa and is well known for its 125 year old parish church of Mae de Deus, a very good example of Gothic architecture and a real wonder to behold! Saligao houses a population of nearly 5000 people and has Parra, Guirim, Sangolda, Pilerne, Calangute & Candolim as its neighbouring villages.
Just as other hamlets of North Goa, this village is very beautiful with its open stretch of paddy fields and coconut palms lining the narrow roads. The houses in Saligao are almost connected with each other almost like a maze with tiny pathways interspersed with greenery all round. The word Saligao was ascertained by the Portuguese who modified its original name from Salgaon to Saligao. Sal meaning wooded forest and ‘gao’ meaning village and Saligao being a wooded village with an abundance of fruit bearing trees and various other plants hence the name. People of various religions live together in harmony and unity.
The main crop of subsistence being sugarcane although a lot of cereals are also grown here. But in recent times, Sugarcane has given way to paddy fields whereas the Saligao Tinto is still a famous area for exchanging pleasantries between the village elders. There are 3 educational institutes namely the Mater Dei Institute, Lourdes Convent High School and St. Mary’s Boys School.
Although Saligao may be tiny in terms of land size, it gains heavily in its compactness, neatness and easy accessibility. There are interesting tales told in the village regarding All Souls Day wherein dead souls of people are believed to visit their respective homes on 1st November.
Saligao in recent times has been modernized to a greater extent with electricity and water connections accessible to almost every home. The most eminent personality of Saligao is Goa’s very own Tourism Minister, Dr. Wilfred D’Souza. Even the most famed restaurant, The Florentine well known for its Chicken Cafreal is located near the Tinto in Saligao which is mostly frequented for this specialty.
Address: Anthony Cardoz, Dubia