Margao, or Madgao in Konkani, is Goa’s commercial capital and its second-largest city by population. Its name is believed to be drawn from the Sanskrit word Maṭhagrāma or a village of monasteries. Before the coming of the Portuguese to India, it was an important settlement in Salcete with the reputation of being a temple town. The ancient settlement was destroyed in 1579 by raiders.
Among the most famous relics of the Portuguese era still to be found in Margao are the Municipal Garden and the Church of the Holy Spirit. Built in 1675 AD, the church is an example of the baroque style of architecture. Among its many Portuguese-style mansions, the city’s suburb of Ravanphond is home to the holy Hindu shrines of Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath.