Siolim is situated about 7 km (4.3 mi) from Mapusa. It is located around Chapora River. There is a bridge over River Chapora, in place of the prior ferry.
To Siolim's north lies the quiet village of Oxel; green hillocks hedge it towards Assagao in the south and the east. Camurlim too lies to its east, and in the west flows the Chapora river with Morjim and its pine-wooded beach on the northern bank in Pernem.
Siolim, has several different types of sub-divisions, whom are independent of one another. They include:
There are 9 vadde: Igrez-Vaddo, Gaunsa-Vaddo, Bamon-Vaddo, Marna, Porta-Vaddo, Tarchi Bhatt, Guddem, Aframent, Vaddi and Oxel.
There are three panchayats: Siolim-Marna, Siolim-Sodiem, and Siolim-Oxel.
There are 2 comunidades: Siolim and Marna.
There are 3 parishes: Siolim, Oxel and Tropa.
The name "Siolim" comes from two words: 'Xinv' and 'Halli' . "Xinv" (pronounced 'Shiu') means "lion" and "Halli" refers to a village or place. This probably means that there once were plenty of lions in the hills of Siolim. This origin of the name has been documented in Fr. M. De Souza's book. An argument in favour of this origin is that the village on the other side of the Siolim (not Marna) hill is called Vagali, which could be 'Vag' + 'Halli' ("Vag" means "tiger"). Another explanation is that the name comes from 'Shivalaya' , which means a temple of Shiva, but there is no documented evidence for this origin.
Franciscan missionaries first built a church - the Church of Mae de Deus - at the Sonarkhett hill, wedged between Siolim and Assagao. It was located centrally to serve the spiritual needs of the new converts in the villages of Anjuna, Assagao, Siolim and Oxel. But being situated on the rising hill and probably being a kutcha structure, it did not survive many years, leaving behind the black stone cross at Sonarkhett.
This first church in Siolim was built near the site of the Mae de Deus chapel in Gaunsa-Vaddo in 1568. (There is a plaque commemorating this fact in the chapel compound). This church was probably a kutcha structure, and it survived for merely 32 years.
The Gaunsa-Vaddo Chapel of Mae de Deus was constructed in 1847.
Siolim's church is dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. The church possesses two steeples on the frontispiece and a statue of St Anthony holding a serpent on a leash. This is a depiction of the incident which occurred during the construction of the church wherein a snake that was disrupting construction work. The people turned to St. Anthony for help, and placed his statue at the construction site. The next morning, the snake was found caught in the cord placed in the statue's hand. In the church, the statues, paintings, and even the church bell, depict St. Anthony holding a serpent tied with a cord to commemorate this miracle.
The First Church: In 1600, the missionaries planned for a new and larger church in another location more central to the Christians of Siolim. The realization of this project seems in grave doubt due to lack of sufficient funds. At that time, two Portuguese merchants were caught in a severe storm while sailing from Portugal. They had with them a statue of St. Anthony, and vowed that if they made to port safely, they would build a church where they landed.
It so happened that their ship entered the Chapora River and docked on the left bank near the village of Marna. It was here they met the Franciscan missionaries looking for funds. The new church was dedicated to St. Anthony, instead of Mae de Deus (the Mother of God), and completed in 1630.
The Second Church: In the early part of the 20th century, the ravages of time took their toll on the first church of Saint Anthony. Attempts to repair the wall and renovate the roof appeared futile. The whole structure was in danger of collapsing. The parishioners decided to build a new church on the same site. The foundation stone of the church was laid in November 1902. The consecration took place on December 28, 1907.
Earlier, the local Christians would attend religious services at the Military chapel at Tropa or Palcho-Vaddo, which was raised to a Church in 1971. In the sixteenth century conquest of Goa, this place was well-fortified by the Portuguese with police to ward off the Bhosle attacks. The word "tropa" which means 'military troops', still survives in the name given to Tropa parish. Its church is dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation.
The church at Oxel-Siolim dedicated to Our Lady Of The Sea.
It located in Gaunsa-Vaddo, Siolim, opposite Holy Cross Convent. It is built near the site of the ruined Mae de Deus church. The chapel feast takes place on the first Sunday of May. The Chapel was constructed in 1847
It located in Marna
It located in Vaddy
It located in Bamon -Vaddo
It located in Fernandes -Vaddo / Bamon -Vaddo
It located in Fernandes -Vaddo
It is located in Porta -Vaddo, Siolim, on the bend of the road leading to the Siolim - Chopdem - Morjim bridge. The chapel feast takes place on the Second Sunday of May.
It located in Tarchi Bhatt
It located up hill on Modlem Bhat, Feast celebrated on 29 dec, way of the cross in lent.
This temple is developed and designed by the architect Shri Nandan Sawant.
It is dedicated to Shri Dattatreya, the trinity, known for its serenity austere rites. The idol worshiped is "Ekhmukhi" which is very sacred and rare. This temple is located in Ghol Marna Siolim, away from all the disturbances of traffic and human location; this place is very sacred and an appropriate place for worship and meditation. A huge mandam has been built in front of the temple. Festivals there include Gurupadwa, Vardhapan Divas, Gurudwadshi, Dattajayanti, etc.
Kai. Gopinath Dattaram Prabhu (1900–49): This temple was established by Kai. Gopinath Dattaram Prabhu (Porob). He was born in a poor family background in 1900. He was very much devoted to God from his young age. His father died when he was 20. He went to Narsobaa-Vaddi to perform all the required things after the death of his father. Here he was influenced by Lord Dattatreya. Thereafter he often loved visiting Narsoba-Vaddi. He later resided there, and occupied himself worshipping Lord Dattatreya.
At the age of 31, he established a Portrait of Lord Dattatreya at Mapusa and started worshipping him. He established a temple thereafter. After a few months he came to be Kai Atmaram Fulari's resident. After settling here, he used to go to bathe near the spring at Ghol Marna. Surrounded by the beautiful nature, he liked this place very much. Thick forest, tall headed coconut trees, medicinal water flowing through the springs, and hills at all sides supporting a peaceful place, influenced his mind. In 1942 he took permission of the owner of the place, Visnum Ranga Kamat Dalal, and built a small hut in which he started worshiping a portrait of Lord Dattatreya. Many devotees started visiting this place. Festivals like Gurudwadashi, Dattajayanti, and Gurupadwa were celebrated later. He was then known as "Baba Maharaj". He gave many people "vibhuti". He expired on 27 August 1949.
Then his Samadhi was constructed in front of the temple. Afterwards, Shri Shreepad Fulari continued the worship.
Designed by Goan architect Ralino de Souza, this temple is situated in Shelim, Siolim. This temple of goddess Sateri is known for the festival of Diwsans. During this festival the temple is surrounded by a long feri. Many females go round the temple in a procession with oil-lamps in their hand and on their head. The scene is very auspicious.
There are five schools in Siolim, which are linked together by a community known as "Siolim Super School Complex". Every year, the Super School Complex organise a common exam for students of Std X (tenth) in October. The Super School Complex also organise competitions for students of these five schools. These schools are:
Holy Cross High School, which was a very popular girls convent in Goa, was founded by the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross in 1933. However since 1977 it has been converted into a co-ed school, with only the boarding for girls.
St Francis Xavier's High School and Higher Secondary School was established in Corlim, Mapusa in 1937 by Miguel Antonio D'Souza, and transferred to Bamon-Vaddo, Siolim, in 1950. Since 1953 it has been run by the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales.
Shri Shanta Vidyalaya is situated in Sodiem. The school was founded on 9 July 1973. It is managed by Vidya Bharati.
The school of Shri Vasant Vidyalaya is situated at Porta -Vaddo.
It is situated at Portawaddo. The school is established in the year 1969 and managed by Swami Vivekanand Seva Sangh, Siolim.
Siolim has produced doctors, musicians, sports-persons, bishops, priests, and other representatives in other professions:
Siolim is probably one of Goa’s few villages with more than a dozen doctors. At one time, everyone rushed to “Gauddo dotor” and (Late) Dr Zeferino de Souza. Patients from the surrounding villages still come to the consulting room of Dr. Datta Ramnath Naik, despite the long queue waiting to be treated by him. Dr. Frank Pereira, Dr. Vinaik Chodankar, Dr. Bidhan C Das, Dr. Edna Pereira, Dr. Ramchandra Naik Bandorkar,Dr. Thaly, Dr. Donald D’Souza, Dr. Sachin Yeshwant Govekar, Dr. Belarmino Ribeiro, Dr. Geeta S Govekar, Dr. Anil Humraskar, Dr. Lalita Fernandes, Dr. Minaxi S Gawas are among Siolim’s physicians. There is also a veterinarian - Xavier Fernandes, of Gaunsa-Vaddo.
Native clergy include Bishop Leonard Monteiro, former Archbishop of Nagpur. Former Bishop of Belgaum, the Rt. Rev. Ignatius Lobo is from Gaunsa-Vaddo; The present Bishop of Sindhudurg diocese, Rev. Allwyn Baretto is from Fernandes -Vaddo, Siolim. Fr. Moreno D’Souza, the popular Jesuit who edits the Konkani monthly “Roti” too hails from Siolim. Others include, Mgr Aires Fernandes, Fr. Walter Mathias, Fr Antonio Paulo Cyriaco, Fr. Cyriaco Fernandes, Fr. Damien Fernandes(MSFS), Fr. Matthew Fernandes, Fr. Francis Fernandes, Fr. Anthony Fernandes(MSFS), Fr. Bruno Rodrigues(MSFS), Fr. Archie Fernandes(MSFS), Fr. Vivian Lobo s.j., Fr. Ross, Frs. Francis & Xavier Pinto (C.Ss.R.), and lately, Fr. Valerian Carvalho(MSFS), Fr. Marcos(MSFS), etc.
Among sports-persons, hockey internationals Gregory, Olimpio, Edgar and Egbert Fernandes and international hockey referee Domnick J Fernandes have represented India. Marie (Simoes) Mendonca captained the Indian hockey team, represented India at the first and 2nd Asian Games in Delhi and Manila respectively in athletics and in 1956 wore Indian colours at the Melbourne Olympics. At the national level, Eleuterio "Electro" Fernandes of Vaddy played for Air India/Indian Airlines in the mid-1960s, Peter Fernandes (Vasco Sports Club), Johnny Franco and goalkeeper Caetano Fernandes (both of Dempo), earned honours for Siolim. Footballer Maxie (Burmah Shell) hailed from Bamon-Vaddo, Siolim.
Music is an essential ingredient of Goa, and more so in Siolim. Relatives of Pinta Xapai (the old patriarch who died at the age of 114, in 1892) put up the statue of Beethoven in his courtyard in Gaunsa-Vaddo. Inscriptions identify the Brazil-born descendant who funded the project, as also the descendant who actually performed the inauguration.
Musician Remo Fernandes hails from Siolim, Fernandes -Vaddo -(Guddem).
Another well-known musician was Late Joaozinho Carvalho "Johnson". Johnson (Carvalho) of the Johnson & Jolly Boys was also a footballer in his younger days. Of course, the late Johnson’s son, Juvencio Carvalho, is still carrying on the musical tradition, at least training budding musicians.
Late Rosario “Tequila” Basil was a saxophonist, who played for diners at class hotels in Bombay and the Hindi film ensembles.
Writer-trumpeter Late Reginald Fernandes, played for Hal Green, Nelly Batliwalla and her orchestra. Known as ”Romansincho Patxai”, he has written a record number of Konkani novels, nearly 100. A musician of high repute, he has left behind several Konkani compositions, which are played still on All India Radio, one of the well-known ones being the melancholic "Adeus Korchea Vellar" sung by Allan Costa.
Late Antoninho de Souza was a music director and music recordist for Emissora De Goa & All India Radio, Panjim. The music and lyrics for the beautiful konkani duet, Rajan and Prema were written by him.
Well known satirist of yesteryear Cruz Noronha, popularly known as Cruz Jazzwala was also from Siolim.
Late Rev. Fr. Archiebald Fernandes (MSFS) founder of Bands "Greensleeves" well known in Bardez in the 1970s and also the founder of "The Cascades", a band that still exists to this day. "Fr. Archie" was an ace Saxophonist, He played the Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, as well as the Clarinet with ease. Besides Music, Fr. Archie was the Principal and Headmaster of St. Francis Xavier's High School, Siolim from 1972 - 1979. He also served as the Principal and Headmaster of St. Thomas Boys High School, Aldona from 1979–80 and 1982-87. He was instrumental in starting "Mothergoose Nursery" at Shaanwadi, Nagar Road, Pune, which now has grown into the full-fledged St. Francis de Sales High School.
Pascoal Fernandes is one of India's jazz legends. He moved to his hometown Siolim, Goa, after doing the jazz/nighclub circuit in Mumbai for over two decades.He currently sings and plays almost every night at some of the best venues for live music in Goa.
Fr. Valerian Carvalho (MSFS), presently at St. Francis Xavier's High School, also trains budding musicians besides playing his Violin.
Late Rt. Rev. Ignatius Lobo's famed brother, John Lobo, was from the first batch of Indian Police Service in 1948, who was the Director, Central Bureau of Intelligence.
Well-known cartoonist Alex Raphael Fernandes "Alexyz" and renowned fashion designer Savio Jon Fernandes are from Siolim. One of Goa's most prominent tiatrist, Kid Boxer came from Siolim. Well-known Konkani stage actors Romaldo Desouza "Miss Cuticura" and Vintorinho Rodriguez "Victor Chevalier" also hailed from Siolim (Bamon-Vaddo) as did Late "Mini" Diogo.
Domnick Fernandes from Bamon-Vaddo, who returns to native Siolim on and off after retiring as a librarian of St Xavier’s College, Bombay, is virtually a walking encyclopaedia. In the same area lives, writer Dominic Mathews who has authored at least four inspirational books.
Late Chevalier Bruno Fernandes, MBE & Knight of St Silvester, lived in Marna Siolim. Architect Ralino J de Souza lives elsewhere and one would like to know more about Herman Raymond, who was a judge in Karachi once.
The late Mr. Monty D'Souza, who is the younger brother of Rev. Fr. Reggie D’Souza msfs, (SFX High School) was a very well respected and popular personality in Siolim. He is fondly remembered till date for his social service. He was a very active member, of pão de s Anton, the Siolim Foot Ball Club, Siolim Panchayat and the Lions Club. He used to be a great Master of ceremonies, for most of the weddings and socials in Siolim during his time.
Electric power was introduced in 1972 and tap water flowed in 1975. By 1980 Siolim had a telephone exchange, which has since shifted to a large building. The first KTC bus travelled to Siolim on 14 July 1981. Broadband internet access was first available in January 2008.
Three brothers from Gaunsa-Vaddo - Santa, Ganexa and Zagre Gauns - were the first Christian converts. Their descendants are Fr. Cyriaco Fernandes MSFS, Victor Santana, Dr. Cosmas and Fr. Damian Fernandes. Incidentally, there is a book written by Rev. Fr. Cyriaco Fernandes which gives a lot of information about Siolim, and Fr. Cyriaco's life in Brazil; the book is titled "Indian Apostle in Brazil" written by Rev. Fr. Damian Fernandes.
Some of Siolim's most beautiful places are its green fields and hills. However, as seen in all of Goa, these are being lost due to rapid increase in settlement, with a huge rise in new constructions. Open spaces for children and youth to play outdoors are fast disappearing. At the present rate, the only open space remaining may be the football ground owned by the church. All Siolcars should awake and take steps to prevent this unplanned development.Siolim has a few football teams, the most prominent being that of Football Club of Siolim (FC Siolim).
Siolim has inspired the Goan mando "Siole dongra sokolu"
As of 2001 India census, Siolim had a population of 10,311. Males constitute 48% of the population and females 52%. Siolim has an average literacy rate of 82%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 87%, and female literacy is 77%. In Siolim, 9% of the population is under 6 years of age.