Aguada (Goa)

Kon: अग्वाद agvād ‘Water Fort’  Castle, Goa. From Por: aguada, ‘(acquisition of a) water supply’ Fort Aguada is a 17thC Portuguese 200-cannon fort built on a rocky promontory at the end of Sinquerim Beach. It was originally built to defend old Goa from Maratha and...

Goa

Goa Kon: गोंय gōyā  ‘Land of the Cowherds’ From Skt: gō, ‘cow’, ‘cattle’ The Goa and Konkan region appears in the Mahabharata epic under a variety of names: Goparashtra, Gomantak or Govarashtra; and it was also commonly known as Gōwa/Gōva. The syllable gō is common to...

Anjuna (Goa)

Kon: हणजुणें haṇajuṇēṁ ‘Merchant Guild’ – Town/Beach, Goa From Kan/Tel: hanjama, hanjamana, ‘merchant guild’ [Per: anjuman; Tam: anjuvannam]. This term referred to a medieval association of Persian or Arabic merchants and traders. In the 10thC this was a...

Bardez (Goa)

Kon: बार्देस  bārḍēs ‘Twelve Regions’ – Taluk/Sub-district, Goa From Hin/Mar: bārā, ‘twelve’; and Hin/Skt: desh/deśa, ‘country’, ‘region’. The name refers to the immigration of Saraswat Brahmins (cf. the thirty settlements of Tiswadi. The twelve regions,...

Benaulim (Goa)

Kon: बेनौलिम benaulim ‘Forest Village’   Village/Beach, Goa From Kan: vana(m)/bana, ‘forest’, ‘garden’; and Kan: halli/valli →auli, ‘village’, ‘hamlet’. An alternative derivation is  Kan:  bāṇa, ‘arrow’ and has a myth to match. Parashurama (Vishnu’s sixth incarnation,...

Bicholim (Goa)

Kon: बिचोलिम bicholim ‘Bright Village’ [Dicholi]  Town, Goa From Skt: dīpa(ka), ‘bright’, ‘beautiful’, ‘shining’; and Kan: halli/valli →oli, ‘village’; Skt: viṣaya, ‘kingdom’, ‘province’. This place-name has three linguistic...

Calangute (Goa)

Kon: कळंगुट kaḷaṅguṭ ‘Kali Temple’   Town, Goa From Kali and Kan: guḍi, ‘house, temple’ [Tam: kuṭi]. There used to be a Kali temple here (many temples sought refuge inland under the Portuguese), built by fishermen seeking the goddess’s protection from the elements....

Canacona (Goa)

Kon: काणकोण kāṇkŏṇ ‘Forest Corner’ [Kadkona]  City/Taluk, Goa From Kan: kāḍu, ‘forest’, ‘jungle’; and Kan: kōṇ(a), ‘angle’, ‘corner’. Assuming Kadkona is the original name, this derivation is the simplest (with various name twins in South...

Candolim (Goa)

Kon: कांदोळी kāndōḷī ‘Dyke Village’   Town, Goa From Mar: kāṇḍōḷī, ‘embankment’, ‘dyke’; and Kan: halli/valli →oli, ‘village’, ‘hamlet’.  The dykes are a system of raised ridges of earth used to reclaim marshland and capture water for irrigation. Candolim was the...

Cuncolim (Goa)

Kon: कुंकळी kuṅkaḷī ‘Saffron Village’  [Punyabhumi]  City, Goa From Skt: kuṅkuma, ‘saffron’; and  Kan: halli/valli →oli, ‘village’. Punyabhumi, an older name, suggests a ‘sacred land’ [from Skt: punya, ‘holy’, ‘sacred’; and Skt: bhūmi, ‘place’, ‘land’]. The 1583...

Curchorem (Goa)

Kon: कुडचडे  kuḍac(h)aḍē ‘Farmer’s Forest’ [Kudchade] -Town From Kan: kūti/kūtu, ‘hut’, ‘house’, ‘temple’;  Kan: kāḍu, ‘forest’, ‘jungle’. This town is now geared up for mining rather than farming or forestry. For related place...

Loutolim (Goa)

Kon: लौतोलिम lautolim ‘Sedge Grass Lake’ – Village From Kon: lovo/loyo, ‘sedge grass’; and Kon: tollem, ‘lake’, ‘pond’. Sedge is a relative of grass but has a triangular stem and and spiral display,  rather than a...

Mapusa (Goa)

Kon: म्हापशें mhāpaśēna ‘Large Land Grant’  [Mahapasaita] – Town/Capital From Skt: mahā, ‘great’, ‘large’; and Mar: pasaita, ‘land grant (in return for services)’. Mahapasaita was clearly too much of a mouthful for the Portuguese. They called it Mabussa and then...

Margao/Madgaon (Goa)

Kon: मडगाव maḍagāva ‘Monastery Village’  [Maṭhagrāma, Madgao(n)] -City/Capital From Skt: maṭh(a), ‘hermitage’, ‘monastery’, ‘temple’; and Skt: grāma→Mar/Kon: gaon/gaun, ‘village’. Margão is the Portuguese spelling (with nasalised ending), and Madgao(n) is the name...

Moira (Goa)

Kon: मोइर mo’ir ‘Peacock (Village)’ – Village From Skt/Mar: mayūra, ‘peacock’. The peacock suggests a connection with the Mauryan kingdom and an early Aryan settlement rather than simply the bird. The Western Maurya Kingdom (and its offshoot, the Konkan...

Mormugao (Goa)

Kon: मोरमुगाव mōramugāva ‘Peacock Village’ – City and Sub-district. From Skt/Kon: mora, ‘peacock’; and Skt: grāma→Mar/Kon: gaon/gaun, ‘village’. Mormugaon is a seaport with a deep natural harbour. It is Goan’s main port and India’s leading iron ore...

Panaji (Goa)

Kon: पणजी paṇajī ‘Five Creeks’  [Nova Goa, Pahajani kali, Pangim, Panjim] -Capital/City From Skt/Mar/Hin: pañca, ‘five’; or Skt/Mar/Hin: prācyaka/ prācya/prāchi, ‘eastern’, ‘easterly’; and Hin/Mar: khāṛī/kālavā, ‘canal’, ‘creek’ Panaji is Goa’s...

Pernem (Goa)

Kon: परनेम paranem ‘Foundation’ – Town and Sub-district From Mar: pēraṇēm, ‘foundation’. The name refers to the settlements of Saraswat Brahmins (see Tiswadi). Pernem was one of the Novas Conquistas or ‘New Conquests’, sub-districts added to Portuguese Goa...

Querim/Keri (Goa)

Kon: कुएरिम kuerim ‘Street’ (Keri) From Kan: kēri,  ‘street’, ‘lane’. Querim beach sits at the end of a 5km-long path. The name is a Portuguese corruption (the final -m indicates that the preceding vowel is nasalized). For related place names see Indian Place...

Sancoale (Goa)

Kon: सांकौले saṅkaulē ‘Shell Village’ – Town From Mar: śaṅkha, ‘conch or other univalve shell’; and Kan: halli/valli →auli, ‘village’, ‘hamlet’.  Shells were a useful resource for limewash, made by crushing, burning, and mixing the shells with water...

Sanguem (Goa)

Kon: संगेम saṅgēma ‘Confluence’ [Sangampura/Sangam] – City From Mar/Skt: saṅgama/saṅgam, ’meeting’, ‘union’, ‘confluence (of rivers)’. Sanguem is the meeting point of the Sanguem/Selaulim, Zuari and Uguem rivers. The Selaulim river flows into the Selaulim Dam, a...

Sanquelim (Goa)

Kon: संकुएलिम sankuelim ‘Conch Village’ [Sankhali] From Mar: śaṅkha, ‘conch (or other univalve) shell’; and Kan: halli/valli →oli, ‘village’. The conch shell is used for pouring water over temple idols and as a horn (usually blown in battle or at sacrifices). In Hindu...

Siolim (Goa)

‘Shiva Village’ From S(h)iva or Skt: siṃha, ‘lion’; and Kan: halli/valli →oli, ‘village’. The modern riverside town has dozens of churches and chapels – but no Shiva temple and no lions. For related place names see Indian Place names and Goa place...

Soccoro (Goa)

‘(Our Lady of) Succour’ From Por: soccoro, ‘succour’, ‘help’. The Nossa Senhora do Soccorro church in Bardez Taluka was built in 1667 and restored in 1763. The village of Serula, of which it was once part, was split into four...

Taleigão (Goa)

Kon: तालेइगाओ tālē’igāō ‘Tank Village’ From Kon: taḷeñ, ‘small tank’, ‘lake’; and Skt: grāma→Mar/Kon: gaon/gaun, ‘village’. Under the Portuguese Taleigão was the ‘paddy granary’ of Goa with field after field under rice cultivation. For related place...

Tiracol (Goa)

Kon: तेरेखोल tērēkhōla ‘Steep Bank’ [Terekhol] From Mar: tīra, ‘bank’; and Mar: khōla, ‘deep’. Tiracol is physically separated from Goa by the Terekhol/Tiracol River and a ferry ride. It is geographically part of Maharastra but politically, culturally and...

Tiswadi (Goa)

Kon: तिसवाडी tisavāḍī ‘Thirty Settlements’ – Tehsil/Taluka/Sub-district From Mar/Kon: tīsa, ‘thirty’; and Mar/Skt: vāda/vāti ‘colony’, ‘settlement’. According to legend (and there must be some historical basis to this) the Saraswat Brahmins were the first wave...

Vagator (Goa)

Kon: वगाटर vagātar ‘Tiger Spring’ From Mar: vāgha, ‘tiger’ [Hin: bāgh]; and Mar: thārā, ‘place’, ‘abode’. This was probably a favoured watering hole for tigers roaming through the thick forests of the Western Ghats. For related place names see Indian Place...

Valpoi (Goa)

Kon: वाळपोई vāḷapōī ‘Brook Village’ From Mar: vhāḷa, ‘rivulet’, ‘brook’, ‘stream’; Skt/Mar: palli→poli/poi, ‘village’, ‘hamlet’. Some suggest the stream is on the other side [Mar: pailā, ‘other, opposite, farther side or bank’] rather than this side! For related place...

Vasco da Gama (Goa)

Vasco da Gama is the HQ, city and capital of Mormugão taluka and sits on the furthest point of its peninsula. Vasco da Gama was a 15-16thC Portuguese explorer and the first European to reach India by sea (1498). He completed two return voyages to India, and on the...