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Mormugao, Goa, India

Mormugao is a sub-district and a municipal council in South Goa district in the Indian state of Goa. It is Goa’s main port. It was featured in the 1980 film The Sea Wolves and the Bollywood film Bhootnath.


Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Mormugão has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 70%. In Mormugão, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


When the Portuguese colonized part of Goa in the sixteenth century, they based their operations in the central district of Tiswadi, notably in the international emporium 'City of Goa', now Old Goa. As threats to their maritime supremacy increased, they built forts on various hillocks, especially... Read more

Mormugao, Goa, India


Mormugao is a sub-district and a municipal council in South Goa district in the Indian state of Goa. It is Goa’s main port. It was featured in the 1980 film The Sea Wolves and the Bollywood film Bhootnath.


Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Mormugão has an average literacy rate of 75%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 80%, and female literacy is 70%. In Mormugão, 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.


When the Portuguese colonized part of Goa in the sixteenth century, they based their operations in the central district of Tiswadi, notably in the international emporium 'City of Goa', now Old Goa. As threats to their maritime supremacy increased, they built forts on various hillocks, especially along the coast. In 1624, they began to build their fortified town on the headland overlooking Mormugão harbor.

The sultans of Bijapur, who had colonized Goa before the Portuguese, did not give up easily. There were several invasions. From the sea came the Dutch, who eventually took over from the Portuguese most of the coastal settlements: the Moluccas, Batticaloa, Trincomali, Galle, Malacca, Manar, Jaffna, Quilon, Cochin, and Cannanore. From 1640 to 1643, the Dutch tried their best to capture Mormugão but were finally driven away.

In 1683, the Portuguese in Goa were in grave danger from the Marathas. Almost certain defeat was averted when Sambhaji suddenly lifted the siege and rushed to defend his own kingdom from the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The narrow escape, no less than the decline of the City of Goa, convinced the Portuguese viceroy, Dom Francisco de Távora, that he should shift the capital of the Portuguese holdings in India to Mormugão’s formidable fortress.

In 1685, the new city’s principal edifices were under construction, with the Jesuit priest Father Teotónio Rebelo in charge. The Jesuit architects made a consistent effort to avoid the ornate style of the time. The austere viceregal palace still stands, having been used, after its short stint as a palace, in various capacities, including as the hotel which housed the British agents who in 1943 destroyed German ships anchored in Mormugão’s neutral waters. Viceroys after Távora found Mormugão too secluded for their liking. The administrative headquarters were moved to the new city of Panjim, which is till today Goa’s chief city.

Mormugão Port

Ever since it was accorded the status of a Major Port in 1963, the Mormugão port has contributed immensely to the growth of maritime trade in India. It is the leading iron ore exporting port of India with an annual throughput of around 27.33 million tonnes of iron ore traffic.

Transport links

Epidemics devastated Mormugão during the eighteenth century, but after that, its fortunes turned. As the importance of one of India’s best natural harbors grew more apparent, Mormugão, which the British called Marmagoa, became a key trading point. It was chosen for the terminus of the new meter gauge railway linking the Portuguese colony to British India. For a fabulous price, the Western India Portuguese Guaranteed Railways Company, a British enterprise, modernized the port and built the railway. Both were opened to the public in July 1886.

Mormugão’s city of Vasco da Gama was planned and built in the early years of the twentieth century. A colorful city of officials, traders and migrant laborers, it had its Portuguese academies and British club life for several decades. Now rather scarred, Mormugão district continues to be unique in Goa.

With Goa’s airport at Dabolim, the railway terminus at Vasco da Gama, and the busy port, Mormugão is many visitors’ first experience of Goa.

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Mormugao, Goa, India: Port Information

Cruise ships dock at Mormugao Port, which is situated 25 miles away from Panjim.
Taxis are available. You should note that not all taxi drivers speak English. Besides, you should agree on a price before getting into the taxi.
There's no shuttle service in the port, so you have to walk to the port gate.

Get around Mormugao, Goa, India

You can take a taxi or a rickshaw right outside the port gates. Be sure to agree on a price in advance. 
Besides, you'll find a bus stop in front of the port exit. However, the bus won't take you to any tourist attraction. 
Also, you can rent motorbikes, scooters, and cars. 

What to see in Mormugao, Goa, India

  • Religious Museum of The Blessed Joseph Vaz
  • Mormugao Fort
  • Vasco da Gama City
  • Naval Aviation Museum

What to do in Mormugao, Goa, India

Sightseeing, swimming, water sports, boat tours.

What to eat and drink in Mormugao, Goa, India

The Goan staple diet consists of rice and fish curry along with pickles and fried fish. This can be found on many of the beach shacks. Goan cuisine is a blend of Portuguese and local flavors. Many dishes such as prawn balchao and Kingfish in Garlic have distinct Portuguese flavor. The cuisine is mostly seafood based, the staple foods are rice and fish. Kingfish (Vison or Visvan) is the most common delicacy, others include pomfret, shark, tuna, and mackerel. Among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid, and mussels.

Dishes such as Sorpotel, Vindaloo, and Xacuti (pronounced Cha'cuti), Cafreal will be familiar from Indian restaurant menus and are originally Goan dishes. For those with a sweet-tooth, Bebinca is a must. A traditional Goan pudding, Bebinca is made of flour, egg-yolk, and, coconut milk. It is certainly a great way to finish that sumptuous meal.

Most beaches have shacks that serve surprisingly delicious meals, especially sea-food and they'll usually consult you to see how you like your food. Don't miss the shack eating experience. You'll want to go back and do it again. Most fancy hotels and restaurants serve terrible food, it is best to eat at local places, ask a taxi driver where these would be and don't let him take you to any fancy restaurants as they receive a commission.

For a destination which tends to be costlier - in almost everything - than the rest of India, Goa has liquors and wines that are priced noticeably low. Products available range from wine (red and white), to the oddly-named Indian-made foreign liquors (IMFLs, which include whiskey, brandy, rum, gin, vodka and more), and local liquors (basically cashew and coconut feni). Prices of domestic products range from Rs 40 to Rs 350 per bottle, depending on product and brand.

There are two local brews long made and drunk in Goa -- cashew feni and coconut feni. One comes from the cashew apple, and the other from the sap of the coconut tree. Goa's feni-making has been much focussed on.

Shopping in Mormugao, Goa, India

From wines to cashew-nuts, enchanting local music to alternative books and handicrafts, Goa has a lot. Goa's handicrafts are clearly under-rated and under-appreciated, even while being reasonably priced. Their range includes carved furniture, brassware, crochet and more.

Safety in Mormugao, Goa, India

Goa is an ideal holiday destination for travelers, but tourists should bear in mind that India has its own set of safety issues.
  • Be careful, when alone=.
  • Many tourists are regularly barked at aggressively by dogs on the beach at night. There can also be dog and cow excrement on the beach.
  • Do not accept un-bottled drinks from strangers under any circumstances.
  • Branded Cigarettes can be fake and reportedly contain very bad chemicals.
  • Do not accept rides from strangers, locals or foreigners, especially at night.
  • Be careful when wading at the beach as undertow riptide currents can be strong on certain beaches. Avoid the mouths of all rivers, especially at low tide when the flow of the water current out to sea is the strongest. And just don't get into the water at all in the offseason. The safe swimming period in Goa is November to early May.
  • Avoid contact with unprocessed cashew nuts as they contain an irritant ('urusiol') also present in poison ivy. The cashew apple is edible when ripe.
  • Goans are very friendly and helpful; should you have any problems, talk immediately to the nearest Goan shop, restaurant or bystander and ask for help.
  • Travel guides can be expensive and have been known to dupe foreign visitors. Beware of guides offering to take you to a disco with lots of attractive girls, who will dance with you. This is a scam to cheat you of your money.
  • Befriend a decent taxi driver and agree on regular business.
  • Temperatures in winter and summer can be extreme, so do not forget sunscreen.
  • Beware of any scam that offers a free ride in return for a "prize". The prize will suck guaranteed.
  • Also, beware the 'ear doctors', who are more likely to accost men than women and 'produce' some tiny revolting creature, supposedly from your ear, for which they then offer a 'cure' (It is, however, humorous to read the cards they print up promoting themselves).
  • People traveling by car do ensure to carry all vehicle documents and driving license because some of the police constables in Goa are corrupt and will harass you to shell out exorbitant amount. Never pay bribe always go the legal way - go to the police station. Pollution under control certificate is must and is issued in every 3 months you may contact the nearest petrol pump to get it re-issued.

Language spoken in Mormugao, Goa, India

Goa's state language is Konkani. Most Goans speak Konkani, English, Hindi, and Marathi. Portuguese is also known by a small segment, especially the elite and earlier privileged class or the older generation which studied in pre-1961 Portuguese-ruled Goa.

Different languages tend to be used for different purposes in Goa. Konkani is the most widely spoken. English and Marathi tend to be most widely read (most newspapers are read in these two languages too).

Catholics largely use Konkani for their prayer services, while the language for religion is largely Marathi for Hindus. The administration is largely conducted in English, which is also the language of publication of the official gazette, and the language mainly used in the courts.

It can be rather difficult currently to learn Konkani, with options for learning rather restricted. The language is written in four to five scripts, in and beyond Goa -- Devanagari (the official script), Roman or Romi (widely used in Goa), Kannada-script, Malayalam-script, and Perso-Arabic, reportedly used by some Muslim communities further south along the Indian west coast. Recently, books to learn Konkani in the Roman script have also been published, making it easier for those not knowing the Devanagari script (used to write Hindi, Marathi, and other languages) that is the officially-recognized script for Konkani in Goa.


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