Kon: कुंकळी kuṅkaḷī

‘Saffron Village’  [Punyabhumi]  City, Goa

From Skt: kuṅkuma, ‘saffron’; and  Kan: halli/vallioli, ‘village’.

Punyabhumi, an older name, suggests a ‘sacred land’ [from Skt: punya, ‘holy’, ‘sacred’; and Skt: bhūmi, ‘place’, ‘land’].

The 1583 Cuncolim Revolt (or Massacre) was a conflict over the Portuguese occupation and attempts to establish Christianity in the region. The rebels refused to pay taxes, built temples on lands owned by Christians and re-built temples that had been destroyed previously. When five Jesuit priests, accompanied by locals, arrived with the intention of building a church and converting the village, they were attacked with swords and lances and their bodies were thrown down a well. The Portuguese retaliated by executing sixteen village leaders and chieftains. 

Saffron, one of the world’s most expensive spices, has religious, monkish connotations too; but is more famous for its culinary uses (it is sought after for its vibrant colour, delicate flavour and exquisite aroma) and medicinal properties (a perfect remedy for asthma, whooping cough and erectile dysfunction, apparently).

For related place names see Indian Place names and Goa place names


Cuncolim Chieftains’ Memorial   armstrongvaz