THE HEADQUARTERS Of Goa’s northern most taluka, or sub-district, Pernem was occupied by the Portuguese in the mid-18th century. It was one of the last conquests they made between 1764 and 1788 a period during which they expanded their territory to include Pernem, Bicholini and Satan in the north, and Ponda Sanquem, Quepem and Canacona in the south. By this time, the fevour for conversions that existed during the period of the early conquests had waned, and these areas remained predominantly Hindu.
The brightly painted Bhagavati Temple, in the bazaar, stands on a 500-yearold site, although the present structure dates to the 18th century. It ig dedicated to the eight-armed Bhagavati, an incarnation of Shiva’s consort Parvati. Its elaborate gateway is framed by two life-size elephants. A short distance front the bazaar is the palatial Deshprabhu House, the 19th-century mansion of the wealthy Hindu Deshprabhu family, who fought for Goa’s liberation in 1961. This sprawling property, built around 16 courtyards, has a private temple and a museum displaying family portraits and antiques