Deao Jose Paulo
Quepem is a town with a municipal council in South Goa district in the Indian state of Goa.The town is the administrative capital for the Quepem taluka. The town was established by a Portuguese noble man Deao Jose Paulo, the dean (Deao) of the church in 1787 after he moved there just 5 years after the conquest of Qupem taluka by the Portuguese. He build his famous Palacio do Deao, followed by a public market, hospital, Church and other facilities for the benefit of the iinhabitants through his own expense.He was later awarded the unofficial title of Barao de Quepem by the then viceroy D. Manuel Francisco Zacarias de Portugal e Castro.Curchorem and Sanvordem are the major towns located near the Quepem town.
Quepem is located at . It has an average elevation of 21 metres (69 feet). Located on the bank of River Kushawati.
The city is known for the annual Ganeshotsav Festival, Carnival, Shigmostav celebrated with pomp and gaiety. The center of such celebrations is the Municipal Garden, at the center of the town. The village feast of Holy Cross is also celebrated with great zeal on September 14.
Qupem city before 1787 was a scattered settlement surrounded in vegetation.It was situated in the princely state ruled by the soondas which was an reality a dependence of Portuguese India. When Hyder Ali began raiding and annexing the state,the princely family turned to the Portuguese who immediately took on Hyder Alis forces and repelled them back, as well as financed the administration of the state.Having no heir to succeed, the then ruler gave complete control of the provinces to the Portuguese for their generosity in 1783.
In 1787, Deao. Jose Paulo de Almeida transferred his residence from Old Goa to Quepem and founded a hamlet. Quepem was, in those days, covered with forest. He ordered the planting of rice, coconut palms and other fruit trees.
He established a public market, hospital and other facilities for the benefit of the inhabitants.
He also founded the St. Cruz Church, at his own cost, as inscribed on the pyramidal structure in the churchyard.
It is believed that the Deao, began by erecting two columns at the entrance of Quepem. Thereafter, he obtained permission that criminal offenders who entered this village across these columns to work could rehabilitate themselves in this village which he had founded. Thus, he was able to establish Quepem as arable, self sustaining and habitable place.
It is not known the origin of this story, but one is able to still see the bases of these columns at the entrance of Quepem.
He constructed in Quepem, for his occasional stay, a spacious house that he modestly described as a ‘Farm House’. It was later, justifiably, come to be known as the ‘Palacio Do Deao’