The village of Siolim is situated to the extreme North-West point of the taluka of Bardez, on the left bank of the Chapora river. Siolim is also the last ‘bourgeois’ village in the north of Goa. After crossing the Chapora with the ferry the villages are simpler, more rustic. Siolim also provides the quickest escape to the unspoilt northern beaches, including Morjim, Mandrem and Arambol. It is vey easy to get to Siolim, which is only 10 minutes from Mapuça and about 30 from Panjim. If you are familiar with Goa, you can find a map on this site showing where it is exactly.
The village lives at a slow rhythm, according to the weather, the seasons and the harvests. Its slow paced life, once characterised as the way things were on the west coast still remains alive here. There may be a few noisy crossings and markets, but walk off the road into the fields and the hills and you will get to enjoy a taste of the real life of the place. A harvest in progress maybe, done the way it always was. A few fishermen waiting for the catch by the sluice gates. A carpet of fallen coconut palm leaves as you weave your way between the trunks.
There are very few temples here, as most of them were destroyed during Portuguese rule, and those that are were built recently. However there are some built into the forest and are worth a hike (you can see them on our map).
Siolim was one of the earliest places to come under the domination of the Portugese. Siolim is home to a major Church, St. Antony’s. The people believe that the church was the site for two miracles. You can see more information here. In fact the first church in Siolim was built as early as 1568, and was only the fifth church built by the missionaries of the Society of St. Francis of Assisi in Bardez. The first one was that of Reis-Magos built on the right bank of the Mandovi, and thereafter those of Candolim, Nagoa, Salvador do Mundo.
Siolim is home to a number of festivals, from the Feast of San Joao (saint John the Baptist) monsoon festival, during which a highlight is the boat festival organised in the rivulet just opposite Siolim House. Village youth course through the village with unique floral head-dresses to jump into wells (safely of course) to celebrate the festival and the villagers organise blessings to the local farmers and farms to ask for a plentiful harvest.
There is also the unique ‘Zagor’ festival that is celebrated by Hindus and Christians alike, at the end of January where the villagers organise an all night vigil. The festival starts at night and continues through the night, to pay obeisance to the local deity ‘zagorio‘. You will find more information here.
BOOK YOUR STAY AT SIOLIM HOUSE
Our hotel in Goa, Siolim House has a perfectly tailored accommodation for you no matter who you’re traveling with. Stay in one of our five guest rooms or four suites. For now, we recommend one of our Governor’s Suites. These first floor-level rooms in the Governor’s House building, are airconditioned, with wooden flooring, have huge proportions and feature antique furniture and attached bathrooms with showers. These rooms also allow for optimal privacy. accommodations and book your stay with us!