Bicholim

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Bicholim
दिवचल or डिचोली
city
Arvalem Caves
Arvalem Caves
Bicholim is located in Goa
Bicholim
Bicholim
Location in Goa, India
Coordinates: 15°36′N 73°57′E / 15.60°N 73.95°E / 15.60; 73.95Coordinates: 15°36′N 73°57′E / 15.60°N 73.95°E / 15.60; 73.95
Country  India
State Goa
District North Goa
Elevation 22 m (72 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 14,913
Languages
 • Official Konkani
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Bicholim (Konkani: दिवचल; Marathi: डिचोली, pronounced [ɖicoːlĩː]) is a city and a municipal council in North Goa district in the state of Goa, India. It is a town in the territory of Goa, and the headquarters of the concelho (district) of the same name; the Concelho of Bicholim, located in the north-east quarter is one of the seven that make up the Novas Conquistas or New Conquests, territories added to Goa comparatively latter than the first three of the Velhas Conquistas. The town is located about 30 kilometres from the capital Panjim. It is in the mining heartland of Goa.

History[edit]

A part of Bicholim was once part of Kingdom of Sawantwadi till late 18th century, but the major part was of an independent Warlord (PrabhuDesai's of Sankhali/Sanquelim) It was taken over by Portuguese in late 18th century as part of New Conquest.

Geography[edit]

Bicholim is located at 15°36′N 73°57′E / 15.60°N 73.95°E / 15.60; 73.95.[1] It has an average elevation of 22 metres (72 feet).

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[2] Bicholim had a population of 14,913. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Bicholim has an average literacy rate of 80%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 84% and female literacy of 75%. 10% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Economy[edit]

Mining constitutes a major chunk in the economy of Bicholim with about 36% of the population working for a single iron ore mine owner, formerly Souza Mineralia Pvt. Ltd. owned by M.M.P. DeSouza who formed a partnership with the Dempos, the Dempo clan took over the mines underhandedly and it is now taken over by Sesa Goa which has been merged into Vedanta Resources of Anil Agarwal.

Wednesday is the market day where people in and around Bicholim gather in the main market region for trading small goods/commodities.

Socio-political[edit]

Bicholim has three primary schools, four secondary schools, a polytechnic institute, a number of hospitals, temples, churches and mosques, and a protected site, pandava caves.

Some of the prominent temples are the Shanta Durga temple and the Mahadeva Temple. The Shanta Durga temple is close to the banks of the river, which is a tributary of river Mandovi.

The church of Our Lady of Grace dominates the city square. The high school run from the precincts of the church complex is one of the prominent schools of Bicholim.

A historic monument Nimuz ghar (possibly Namaz Ghar) stands on the hilltop prominently overlooking the town of Bicholim. The monument was built to commemorate the victory of the combined Muslim and Hindu forces over the Portuguese.

Another prominent landmark of the town is the Tribunal started by the Portuguese to deal with civil and criminal cases after the Nova Conquista.

As in other communities of Goa, Ganesh Chaturthi or Chawath is a celebrated with its own unique touch in Bicholim. A folk dance called 'Ghode Modni" which has a cavalry theme is a specialty of Bicholim.

Mayem Lake[edit]

Bicholim has an idyllic landscape dotted with serene lakes and majestic waterfalls. The tranquil Mayem Lake is a major tourism destination in Bicholim. Located amidst rolling hills and surrounded by a countryside, the lake is one of the most pristine nature spots in Goa. The Goa Tourism Development Department has developed a boating area and a resort here.

Bicholim Industrial Estate[edit]

Set up by the Goa Industrial Development Department, the Bicholim Industrial Estate located at Honda is home to more than 50 industrial workshops and manufacturing units specializing in a range of products and services such as aluminium and steel fabrication, plastics, mining equipment, rolling mills, bus body, etc.

References[edit]