Touted as the commercial capital of Goa, Margao has a delightful collection of Portuguese churches and residential buildings. It is often called Margaon or Madgaon and is the second-largest city in the state of Goa by population. It attracts not just businessmen for its excellent trade and commerce facilities but also draws tourists for its splendid architecture and the nearby Colva Beach. At the entrance of the city, visitors are greeted by the Largo de Igreja, or the Church of the Holy Spirit. Built by the Portuguese in 1675, it is one of the most beautiful examples of late-Baroque architecture in the state.

At the heart of Margao lies the Praça Jorge Barreto, also known as the Municipal Garden, around which are located an array of restaurants and offices. By-lanes from here lead to the bazaar, Margao's main market area. Once a major religious centre with a number of wealthy temples and dharamshalas, Margao is apparently a Portuguese corruption of the word 'Mathgram', which is broken into two - 'math' meaning a Hindu religious centre and 'gram' meaning village. Margao has some wonderful remnants of Portuguese architecture with shady balcaos (porches) and oyster-shell windows. 

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