Hinduism in Goa

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Goan Hindus
Total population
963,877 (2011)
66.08% Increase
Sanskrit (sacred)
Goan Konkani (native)

Hinduism is the majority religion in Goa, due to mass immigration of Hindus from other states of India. (The majority of ethnic Goans are Catholic.) As of 2011, 66% of the population of Goa is Hindu.[1]

History and roots[edit]

Goan Hinduism has unique properties. Although Hindu Goans and other Indian Hindus share most rituals, the isolation of Hindus in Portuguese India and the conversion of the majority of the ethnic Goans during the Christianisation of Goa has led to Goan Hindus having different practices.[2] Traditions of Goan Hindus after 1961 include festivals with processions wherein the deities are taken from the newly built temples in the Novas Conquistas to their original sites in the Velhas Conquistas.[3]

While Caste system is still a major factor among Goan Hindus, the egalitarian Indian constitution and the resulting affirmative action has helped to a perceived degree.[4]

Goan Hindus celebrate the Yatra of Shree Mahadeva Shiva and Shree Mahadevi Shantadurga (Durga) besides those of other deities. The festival of Holi is called Shigmo in Goa and celebrated with gaiety. Chavath or Ganesh festival as it is called by Goan Hindus is a major festival in Goa. Deepaavali is celebrated with the lighting of the deepstambs in the temples and with the burning of effigies of the evil demon Narakasur who was vanquished on the day before Diwali by Shri Krishna.

The Goan Hindu community is composed of 1% Saraswat Brahmins, Daivadnya Brahmins and other Brahmin communities like Karhad Brahmins and the rest are a combination of Konkanastha Brahmins (Chitpavans). Other castes are Konkan Kshatriya Chardos, Vaishya Vanis, Kunbis, Gaudas etc.

See also[edit]


  2. ^ "There were no Hindus in Goa before Portuguese landed: Church thinker-India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  3. ^ "Goa Language, Religion And Culture | Goa Travel Guide". www.goaexperience.co.uk. Retrieved 2021-05-14.
  4. ^ Henn, Alexander (2014). Hindu-Catholic Encounters in Goa: Religion, Colonialism, and Modernity. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-01287-6.

Further reading[edit]