Marmagao – A tete a tete with the city
Also known as : Mormugoa
Location : Western India, Near Panjim, Goa
Best time to visit : October to February. December especially
Local Transport : Auto rickshaws, mini buses, and ferries to Vasco
Places to see : Mormugao Fort, Varca Beach
Mormugao – The Tale of the city
Marmagao has been existent since the time of the Portuguese and even before that. This place was supposed to be the Portuguese capital. Therefore, in 1685, the fort of Marmagao started being constructed. A town was also decided to be founded. The Viceroy moved to Marmagao in 1703. The Maratha warriors attacked this site continuously. So it was decided to cancel the plan of making Marmagao the capital. Old Goa was made capital instead.
Therefore, when the Portuguese started colonizing Goa in the 16th century, they set up their operations in Tiswadi, which is in Old Goa. The Portuguese had to build forts as they started facing threats from the sea. The maritime danger increased and their defense there was threatened. So most of the hillocks started having forts. In 1624, the Portuguese built their own town on the Marmagao harbor.
In the meantime, the Sultans of Bijapur started invading Goa. The Dutch came from the sea and defeated the Portuguese. The Dutch took over the coastal settlements. Until 1643, the Dutch tried to capture Mormugao but were shooed away.
In 1683, The Portuguese faced a lot of danger from the Marathas. Suddenly Sambhaji lifted the siege and had to rush to defend his own kingdom. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was attacking his kingdom. Now the Portuguese Viceroy Dom Francisco de Tavora decided to transfer the Portuguese capital to Mormugao fort.
In 1685, the new city’s office went under construction, and in the meantime, the Viceroys after Tavora decided to shift the capital to Panjim.
Mormugao – Down the Ages
Mormugao is a natural harbor and is the main centre of activity in the sea. The city is located at the mouth of the Zuari River. This port is a main part of the export industry in India. The port took birth after the treaty of Lisbon between the British and the Portuguese Governments.
In 1963, it became a major port. Most of the maritime activities in India are through this port. Down the ages has seen Mormugao being the leading iron ore exporting port.
Marmagao – A Rendezvous
With a history to boast of and a past to feel proud about, Mormugao is the quiet dilapidated fort, which lies near Vasco da Gama. With its past giving us yarns and lores of yesteryears, Mormugao, the natural harbour is a pleasant experience with its lovely sand stretched wonder, and the sunsets and blue seas.
With industrial activity also in tow, the irony of the past and the grandeur with which it has lived all is set aside. Today Marmagao, the Fatehpur Sikri of Goa, is a place to see at least once.
This beautiful gift of Nature has bountiful beauty in the form of the sea, sky, atmosphere and greenery. Thus, the port city is a welcome spot for tourists.
Marmagao – Travel kitty
Marmagao entices you to like it. It offers you more than what you could give back. Thus, when a person visits this place, he is overloaded with more than he can handle. The lovely evening sun sets, the cool breeze, the casual walk along the beaches, the absolutely mouth-watering cuisine and the entire electric ambience gives the person the best travel kitty ever.
Marmagao – Joie de vivre in the city
One is covered in natural beauty and swathed in the cool atmospheric ambience when one is in Marmagao. Being a natural port, this place has its own share of natural beauty to offer. With the magnificent stretches of sand, this port city ensures a tourist’s satisfaction. One could see the following here:
Mormugao Harbor : This is a great attraction for the tourists coming here because it is a favorite of all the directors of movies. The harbor suddenly became famous when it was featured in the 1980 war film “The Sea Wolves.”
Marmagao Fort : Marmagao Harbour is near this fort. It was built mainly because the harbour near Vasco Da Gama should not be attacked. Work on this fort started in the 16th century. This fort is historically very significant. It is located in North Vasco. This fort is the closest fort to Dambolim airport. The fortress is 10 km in circumference and has a many articles of ancient value. There are 20 bulwarks, three magazines, five prisons, a chapel and quarters for the guard. There are two magnificent fountains.
The Fonte de Malabar housed the royal arms and was said to originate from a gold mine.
The Fonte de Santo Ignacio originated from sulphur mine.
Varca Beach : This is a beautiful stretch of sand ladened wonder. There is a row of beached fishing boats, which enhance the beauty of this place.
Informative Inscription :
There is an inscription above the fort that says : The Catholic King Dom Filippe, the third of this name, reigning in Portugal, Dom Francisco da Gama, fourth Count of Vidiguera., Admiral of India, a member of His Majesty’s Council and a Gentleman of the Royal Household being Viceroy for the second time, this Fortress was begun, the first stone being laid down. – April 1624.
Mormugao – A Retrospective
This place was mainly made for performing administration. Vasco Mormugao areas started getting urbanised so it had the need for a town. Mormugao, the port city was actually a headland first. It had a fort also along with it. This fort was similar to the Fort Aguada at Sinquerim. Gradually the Mormuago Fort became the official place of Caetano de Melo, the Portuguese Viceroy. He selected this place as the capital of Old Goa. This was sometime in the 17th century.
However, the fortress performed the job of a military base and gradually its importance grew. With a railway station also in the offing, the trade and commerce activities have double fold increased.
Mormugao, the city that never was, was built from a part of Salcete and a new town Naveed Vasco Da Gama was built. The port area had its initial name as Mormugao. On the outskirts of the city of Vasco lies, the Dabolim airport and this led to a lot of industrial development. Dabolim is an area that is there from the Stone Age.
In this manner the city, the lanes and the people all lead the tourist to believe that the wide stretch of sand with their fruit bearing trees and the long roads which lead into an eternity, the islet and the green surroundings all ensure that paradise can exist in earth. As we leave, we think, “How can a rolling stone gather moss if the place is like Mormgao?”