Colva (Portuguese: Colvá) is a coastal village situated in the Salcete taluka, in South Goa district, of Goa state on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent. Colva Beach (Portuguese: Praia de Colvá) spans about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) along a sandy coastline of approximately 25 km (16 mi) extending from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south.

Praia de Colvá, Colluá, Coluvá, Kolluvá, Kolambe, Quoluva, Koleá
Village (Historic village)
Colvá beach
Colvá beach
Saxttichem Yead
Colva is located in Goa
Location of Colva in Goa
Colva is located in India
Colva (India)
Coordinates: 15°16′34″N 73°55′02″E / 15.27611°N 73.91722°E / 15.27611; 73.91722
Country India
DistrictSalcete, South Goa
1.1 m (3.6 ft)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Area code+91 832

The village had significant importance to the Portuguese, local (Gancars) noble chardó (Kshatriya) Feudal Lords and was the retreat for Goa's high, elite and aristocratic society, who would come to Colvá for their mudança (change of air), to enjoy the private beach of the then Roiz family. Today the Portuguese area is dotted with the past elite houses and modern villas, including many ruins from more than 300 years. On weekends, huge crowds of tourists, visitors from around the world as well as local Indians, enjoy the sunset and various activities. The beach is particularly busy in October, when hordes of religious pilgrims come and visit Colvá Church, called Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês (Church of Our Lady of Mercy), that was founded in AD 1630 by the Roiz family and the crown of the statue of our Lady has their family initials. The church was later modified in the eighteenth century which is located at the village square. The 1630 church construction was funded by the Roiz family, the Jesuits and the Gancars of Colluá.[citation needed]

The local people (now called: native Colvakars) brought to Colvá by their then ruling Lords and masters (called Bhatkars). These working class local people (called Mundkars lived on the land of their respected Bhatkars) have mainly been fisherfolk in majority since the mid-16th century. Other working class (curumbins, jornaleiros) were carpenters, massons, coconut pluckers (render/padekar), field/rice cultivation labourers, bakers (poder), etc... These included gentile converts as well as migrants from various Portuguese territories in the Indian subcontinent, overseas territories such as Angola, Mozambique, Brazil, etc. as well as Portugal itself that mixed and created the diversity of today.[citation needed]



Colvá was under Portuguese administration, as the Province of Portuguese-Goa, from 1510 until 1961 (and was still under dispute and represented in the Parliament of Portugal till 1974/75). It was the village of the Portuguese Roiz family, the descendants of D. Diogo Rodrigues, and its villagers. The village had belonged since 1550 to D. Diogo Rodrigues, who was the Lord of Colvá (Landlord of Colvá). He built the first Portuguese architecture residential house in 1551 facing away from the sea and at a distance from the shore to avoid any enemy attacks from the Arabian Sea. The entire beach called Praia da Colvá belonged to him.

In the 18th century, one of Diogo's descendants, Sebastião José Roiz, ordered the village people to plant coconut trees along the entire coastline, which the villagers thought was a waste of time as the soil was white and thus infertile and unable to sustain their growth. However today the shore line is fringed by those plantations of coconut trees. The entire Colvá shore and beach property as far as Betalbatim was inherited by various descendants of the Roiz family until the late 20th century, after which parts were handed over to the Government of Goa under the post-1974 Indian administration following the 1961 annexation of Goa by India. The rest of the land was sold.

Igreja da Nossa Senhora das Mercês

Colvá is still famous for the whitewashed Our Lady Of Mercy church, originally known as Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês, that was founded in 1630 and rebuilt in the eighteenth century in the village square. It houses the miraculous statue of Menino Jesus (Baby Jesus), which was introduced by a Jesuit missionary and which is believed to have healing powers. According to local legend, the statue at Our Lady of Mercy church was found in the mid-seventeenth century along the coast of Mozambique after Rev Fr. Bento Ferreira and his party had been shipwrecked off the coast. After swimming to safety, they spotted it as it was washed ashore after being dumped into the sea by Muslim pirates. In 1648 when Father Ferreira was posted to Colvá, he placed the statue on the altar, and it soon started drawing large crowds of devotees as it granted their favours. The Menino Jesus statue is kept for public viewing in October for the annual Fama ('Fame') festival for which thousands of people assemble. This is the only time that it is removed from the triple-vault locks of the church. It is then dipped into a nearby river after a procession, and the pilgrims use this water for anointment and good luck.

Aristocratic families of Colvá


The Feudal Lords and aristocratic families of Colvá that included Gandaulim, Vanelim, Sernabatim and limited part of Canã were: Roiz/Roiz dos Mártyres (Rodrigues), Friz (Fernandes), Mascarenhas, Aguiar, Santimano, Gracias, Costa, Vales, Texeira, Pacheco, Cunha, Cruz, Silva, Rebêlo. These families belonged to the parish church called Igreja Nossa Senhora das Mercês de Colvá and had allegiance to the Portuguese Empire. The church was built in 1630 and affiliated to the parish of Benaulim until 1635. From 1581 to 1635, these aforementioned illustrious, elite and noble families and all their subjects (mundkars) in Colvá belonged to Igreja de São João Baptista.[citation needed]

Demographics and geography




Colvá has an average elevation of 1.1 metres (3.6 ft). Its main village market is located behind the church, which is about 2.3 km (1.4 mi) away from the beach; there are various other shops at the cross road near the beach. Colvá recognises three beaches; firstly the main Colvá beach which is the prime beach, secondly Sunset beach (towards Betalbatim) which is less congested, and thirdly Baywatch beach (towards Benaulim at Sernabatim).

Colva Beach

Colvá Beach
Colvá Beach with local fishing boats

Colvá beach stretches for around 2.4 km, part of a beach consisting of about 25 km of powder white sand, lined along its shore by coconut palms, and extending as far as Bogmalo Beach to the north and Cabo de rama Beach to the South Goa's coastline.[1] Colva is now a famous tourist destination, enjoyed for its beach. The tourist industry is well developed with many budget hotels, guest houses, beach shacks, food stalls, small restaurants and pubs and bars, although these developments have not extended in any large degree to the nightlife.

Colvá Beach for a swim

The beaches are constantly monitored by lifeguards and the swimming areas flagged with coloured flags accordingly. Being one of the famous beaches of Goa, this beach is highly crowded most of the time of the year. With a majority of its visitors being domestic Indian visitors this beach is mostly neglected by foreigners.[2]



The nearest airport is Dabolim Airport which is about 28 km away. The nearest railway station is Madgoan junction railway station, 20 minutes' drive away. Colva beach can be reached from Margao by bus. Private transport is also available.[3] Colvá is 8 km (5.0 mi) from Margao and 40 km (25 mi) from Panajim. The closest railway station is in Margao followed by Vasco da Gama, Goa. The airport is Dabolim Airport (GOI) at Vasco da Gama, Goa. The neighbouring villages are Betalbatim and Benaulim and the nearest city is Margao.

Distances around Goa (from and to Colva):

  • Margao - 8 km (5.0 mi),
  • Vasco - 35 km (22 mi),
  • Mapusa - 53 km (33 mi),
  • Calangute - 56 km (35 mi),
  • Ponda - 28 km (17 mi),
  • Dabolim Airport - 28 km (17 mi),
  • Panjim - 40 km (25 mi),
  • Tiracol - 82 km (51 mi).



Colvá features a tropical monsoon climate under the Köppen climate classification. Colvá, being in the tropical zone and near the Arabian Sea, has a hot and humid climate for most of the year. The month of May is the hottest, seeing day temperatures of over 35 °C (95 °F) coupled with high humidity. The monsoon rains arrive by early June and provide a much-needed respite from the heat. Most of Colvá's annual rainfall is received through the monsoons which last till late September.

Colvá has a short winter season between mid-December and February. These months are marked by nights of around 21 °C (70 °F) and days of around 28 °C (82 °F), with moderate amounts of humidity.

Climate data for Colvá
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 31.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 19.6
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.2
Average precipitation days 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.8 4.2 21.9 27.2 13.3 13.5 6.2 2.5 0.4 90.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 313.1 301.6 291.4 288.0 297.6 126.0 105.4 120.9 177.0 248.0 273.0 300.7 2,842.7
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN)





The Saxtti dialect of Konkani, belonging to the Indo-European family of languages, is the local language and spoken widely by the people of Colvá. Konkani (Concanim) is primarily written in the Latin script in Colvá. Portuguese is spoken by the elite, and older generations including the ones with Portuguese ancestry, i.e. these are the noble aristocratic descendants. English is spoken by all and is compulsorily taught in schools. Marathi, Hindi and Kannada are also recently widely understood and spoken throughout the locality post the year 1975 due to the large influx of various migrants from India and Nepal.



Religion in Colvá

  Christianity (91.68%)
  Hinduism (6.25%)
  Islam (1.56%)
  Others (0.51%)

Colvá is predominantly Roman Catholic. The main village church has various masses and novenas at various times of the year. The traditional feast called Fama is celebrated on the 2nd Monday of October every year, and pilgrims from around the world take part. The traditions of saibin or Mother of Jesus visiting each one's home is still continued.

Food and beverages


Colvakars, or people from Colvá, love fish and seafood. The cuisine is influenced by various influences, origins and four hundred years of Portuguese governance and recently a blend of modern techniques. The locals enjoy rice with fish curry (xitt kodi in Konkani), which is the staple diet in Goa. Colvá cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil are widely used in cooking along with chili peppers, spices and vinegar, giving the food a unique flavour. Various seafood delicacies include kingfish (visvonn, the most common delicacy), pomfret, shark, tuna and mackerel. Among the shellfish are crabs, prawns, tiger prawns, lobster, squid and mussels. Colvá food has pork dishes such as vindaloo, chouriço and sorpotel. Beef dishes and chicken xacuti are cooked for major occasions amongst the Catholics. Sannas are relished. A rich egg-based, multi-layered sweet dish known as bebinca is a favourite at Christmas. Rissóis de camarão, beef croquettes, fried mussels and semolina prawns are favourite starters.[citation needed]

The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa and enjoyed in Colvá is feni. Cashew feni is made from the fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms. The people also drink wine, especially on feast days.

Subdivisions & Government


Panchayat: The office of the village panchayat of Colva administers the area covering Colva, Sernabatim, Vanelim & Gandaulim.

Office of the Comunidade de Colvá

The areas are then uniquely identified by wards or bairros such as Bairro 1 (1st ward), Bairro 2 (2nd ward), Bairro 3 (3rd ward), Bairro 4 (4th ward).

Comunidades: The office or Casa de Sessōes for the comunidades of Colva, Sernabatim, Vanelim, Canã and Gandaulim are located in the premises of Our Lady of Mercy Church (Igreja de Nossa Senhora das Mercês) in Colva. Prior to this (current) office space allocation, the sessions were held at the ancestral homes of the Gancars of Colvá.

Police station: The Colva police station has a jurisdiction covering the entire coastal belt of Salcete from Majorda to Cavelossim [4] and operates from a rented home.[5]

Prominent individuals of Colvá origin and roots



  • Dr. João Roiz Pereira, Medical doctor and Gancar of Colluá.
  • Dr. Aniceto Aleixo do Rosário Roiz, Medico e Regedor Substituto de Colluá.
  • Dr. António Cândido Ponciano de São José Rodrigues, Medical doctor.
  • Dr. José Luís Marcos da Silva Pereira, Physician and Director of Provedoria.
  • Dr. Umesh S. Panandikar, Medical doctor.
  • Dr. Trevor Leo Rodrigues, DVM, veterinarian, Founder of Aloha Veterinary Center at Hawaii.


  • Deão. Padre. Martinho António Fernandes, Judge of the Pontifical Section of the Appeal, Master Synodal Examiner, Vice-President of the Junta da Bulla de Santa Cruz, former procurator of the General Council of the Province.
  • Padre. António João Ignácio Santimano, Cavaleiro da Ordem de Christo, Muito Reverendo.
  • Padre. Tomás das Mercês do Rosário Roiz, Coadjutor da Igreja de Colvá.
  • Bishop. Rev. Fr. Agnelo Rufino Gracias, Apostolic Administrator.
  • Rev. Fr. Arsenio Lucio Fernandes, Founding Manager of Vaurddeancho Ixtt[6]
  • Msgr. Padre. José Ornelas Orta e Costa Machado, Monsignor.
  • Juiz. Adv. D. Lourenço Roiz dos Mártyres, Administrator of the Comunidades of Salcete.
  • Juiz. D. Lourenço Mariano do Rosário Roiz, Presidente da Igreja de Collua (Colvá), Presidente da Junta. (Chairman of Board)
  • Adv. Martinho António Fernandes, Administrator of the Comunidades of Salcete.
  • Juiz. Adv. Francisco de Assiz Fernandes, Member of the General Board of the Union and Councilman elected by the Municipal Council of Salcette. Judge in the Portuguese colony of Macao, Chairman of the Salcette voter registration commission.
  • Adv. D. Luís João Baptista do Rosário Roiz, Tesoureiro de Colluá.
  • Adv. D. Sebastião José Roiz, Regedor de Colluá.
  • Adv. Roque Ambrosio de Menino Jesus Fernandes, Regedor de Colluá.
  • João Menino do Rosário Rodrigues, Tesoureiro da Igreja de Colvá.
  • Juiz. Adv. Crisanto de Menino Jesus Fernandes, Judge in Goa courts.

Political, Activism and Forces

  • D. Justo Felicissimo Mariano Ferreira do Rosário Roiz, Alferes das Milicias.
  • Dr. Luís António Francisco Proto Barbosa, Ex Chief Minister of Goa.
  • Emidio Francisco Lamberto Mascarenhas, aka Lambert Mascarenhas, Journalist, Activist & Writer. Padma Shri in 2015.
  • António Lourenço Mariano Ernestino do Rosário Rodrigues. Portuguese forces.

Literature, Poets and Musicians

  • Bernardino Jacinto Francisco Mesquita, Poet, Play-write & Song writer[7]
  • Anthony D. Diniz, Musician, Composer, Music Teacher
  • José Venâncio Machado, author of Fama de Menino Jesus de Colvá

Science, Engineering & Technology

  • Prof. Dr. Bernard Felinov Rodrigues, Professor and Scientist of Cytogenetics, Plant Breeding, Mycorrhizae and Reclamation of mine wastelands.
  • Prof. Dr. Engr. Shaun José Rodrigues, Fellow, CEng, Engineering professor, technologist, inventor and scientific consultant.


  • Mrs. Iva Fernandes, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Officer[8]
  • Prof. Isidoro Wolfango Gaspar Pascoal Boulais Aviano Jesus das Mercês da Costa

See also



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 November 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Colva Beach, Goa".
  3. ^ "Colva - Crowdsourced Pictures, Tips & Reviews of Colva Goa". Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Colva police station short-staffed". oHeraldo. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  5. ^ "Colva police continue to operate from old, crammed house". The Goan EveryDay. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Vauraddeancho Ixtt in service of Konkani language for 90 years". oHeraldo. Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  7. ^ "19 AUG HERALD PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD by Herald Publications - Issuu". Retrieved 2 May 2023.
  8. ^ "Top FDA official Iva transferred". The Goan EveryDay. Retrieved 2 May 2023.