The village of Saligao is 10 kms from Panjim, the capital of Goa, 6kms from Mapusa the capital of Bardez Taluka, and 3 kms from the world famous Calangute beach. It has a population of nearly 5000 people. The name Saligao was probably derived from "Sal" meaning wooded forest and "gao" meaning village and even today Saligao has an abundance of fruit bearing trees and just like other hamlets of North Goa has paddy fields and coconut palms lining the narrow roads.However, what makes this village different is that the typically Goan houses are almost connected with each other amongst a maze of small lanes and tiny pathways interspersed with greenery all round which is very reminiscent of a traditional Portuguese village. People of various religions live together in harmony and unity here and all are equally proud of the village's 125 year old Mae de Deus Parish church. This is one of the most beautiful churches in Goa and the Goa Tourism Department has made arrangements to illuminate the church at night. In most aspects, life in Saligao has not changed. Though modernisation has arrived, it does not make itself evident. The older generation walk or cycle to the tinto or market place occasionally stopping to exchange a bit of news or greeting with a fellow villager and "Florentine's" restaurant, which is well known for its Chicken Cafreal, remains a popular eating place for locals and visitors alike.
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