The History of the Roman Catholics of Mangalore - Part One

Write Comment     |     E-Mail To a Friend     |     Facebook     |     Twitter     |     Print

By Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla, Shankerpura
Bellevision Media Network


The LORD said to Abraham, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you” (Gen 12:1) 


At a glance…………


Mangalorean Catholics as we are known today migrated from Goa between 1560 and 1763.  We still speak Konkani though we learned other native languages such as Tulu and Kannada.  We toiled hard to remain in this beautiful land. We were driven out to Srirangapatana by Tippu Sultan estimated at 60,000 to 80,000, but only a few say 10,000 to 12,000 returned surviving Tippu Sultan’s persecution.  Historian Alan Machado Prabhu mentions that only 11,000 survived the captivity as Christians and according to genealogist Michael Lobo, the present Mangalorean Catholic community has descended almost entirely from this small group of survivors.


At present………


Today, we Mangalorean Roman Catholics are decedents of these small survivors from the clutches of Tippu Sultan and are a very prosperous community spread all over the globe and leading a respectable and dignified life.  Mangalore Diocese has so far produced 41 Bishops including some Arch Bishops, Apostolic Nuncios, thousands of priests and religious who work and toil in the vineyard of the Lord.  We have also produced Ambassadors, Government officers, statesmen, politicians and even ministers who provide service not only to Mangalore, but whole of Karnataka and India. We have great historians, craftsman, writers, poets, dramatists. Literary figures and virtually excel in every field.  We have our own news papers, periodicals and even websites which are viewed by thousand of viewers world-wide including this website and keep updates happening not only in Mangalore but news of Mangaloreans settled all over the globe and our mother tongue is Konkani and we live in this beautiful God given land of honey and milk…. But…..


Trials & Tribulations……..


However, behind this enormous success of our community, our ancestors endured enormous pain, sacrifice and even death to preserve our language Konkani, our Traditions and our Religion.  The pain the agony, trials and tribulations which began in Goa in 1560 resulted in fleeing Goa to Mangalore and ended at Srirangapatana from the fifteen years of captivity by Tippu Sultan (from 24th February 1784 (Ash Wednesday) to 4th May 1799 to be precise.



This article will be published in two parts: 1) Escape from Goa  - published today and 2) Captivity of Mangalorean Christians by Tippu Sultan and eventual release… will follow soon.


I am Grateful to… for their article “History of Konkani” and historian Alan Machado (Prabhu) for a few quotes have been referred from his latest English novel: “Shades within Shadows”  which is available currently In Mangalore book stalls and special thanks to Lavina Nazareth, Permude  for her inputs on life of Christians under Keladi king of Canara immediately after escape from Goa and most importantly to Elias D’Souza (Bellevision.Com) for his constant encouragement and support to write this article.  Without his encouragement I could not have completed this article.  (Alphonse, Pangla)


In the beginning………


We are aware that our history and our language Konkani was born way back in 4000bc from Central India on the banks of Saraswati River which was flowing between Yamuna in the east and Sutlej in the west.  The mighty river for some reason dried up or went underground around 2500B.C. and its inhabitants had no other option but to migrate to a place called Thrihotraputra or current Tirhoot in Bihar and from there in search of greener pastures slowly moved to Konkan region namely Goa in 1000 A.D.  Goa was chosen mainly for its fertile soil and they with their expertise in farming reaped three crops in a year. Their coming down to Goa gave them one valuable inheritance – their name ‘Konkani’ meaning the ‘people of Konkan.



Initially there were only two communities Konkani and Marati and most of them were converted to Christianity and  there were other konknai speaking communities lived side by side.  However, I am not going to elaborate on other Konkani communities but would like to dwell only on Roman Catholics of Goa who fled to Mangalore or South Canara. The Konkani Christians were then divided into castes- Bahmons (Brahmins), Chaddos, Sudirs, Madivals, Gavdis, Renders, Kumbars and other classes corresponding to the Hindu castes from which they had been converted. Inter-marriages between these castes were not forbidden, but took place, if at all, rarely.  I believe even today many of Konkani Catholics do not consent or permit marriages between these classes even if they are Catholics, especially Bahmons would not like to mingle with lower caste Catholics.


Coming back to our life in Goa, we know that we were all Hindus prior to our conversion to Christianity and almost forcibly converted to Christianity by the Portuguese and many were converted due to poverty and Portuguese offered supply of rice and other essentials for those who converted. However, even after the conversion, it was very hard for our ancestors to give up their age old beliefs, customs and traditions which Portuguese wanted them to abandon. Our ancestors refused to oblige to these new conditions set by Portuguese and hence a new rule or dreaded law was introduced and it was called the “Inquisition”. It hit like a thunderbolt for a peaceful peasant community and especially to the new converts.  This terrorizing law impelled our ancestors to escape from Goa to Mangalore, leaving everything behind, their property, cattle, money and everything earned and cared for, friends and many times their close relatives as they had to flee overnight.  Many were caught and punished severely. How and why it all began and why we had to flee from Goa to Mangalore? I try to answer as briefly as possible though it would take several pages to give details of incidents that took place from 1560 onwards.


In brief, there were three migrations that took place from Goa to Mangalore, First wave of migrants left due to the Goa Inquisition of 1560. The second and third waves left Goa because of famines, epidemics, and political upheavals such as the Portuguese–Maratha Wars.


Customs and traditions…..


“ When Anant became Antonio he could not wear his puddvem, his wife could not wear her cholli, he had to uproot the tulsi from his land, he could not observe the fast on the eclipse of the moon and he could not place his new-born child on a bed of raw rice.  Antonio could not celebrate his son’s wedding as his father had done his, with the anointing of the ros to the accompaniment of vovio; there was to be no ritual bath, no offering of pan or betel nut or flowers.  He could not do many things “ (Shades within Shadows)


To begin, on the 26th February 1510, Goa fell to Portuguese with the surrender of the Muslim forces of Bijapur Sultan. The Portuguese rulers let loose their extreme fanaticism and started a reign of persecution against the Hindus of Goa.  As I said earlier that our ancestors were all Hindus prior to their conversion to Catholicism and obviously they practiced their ancestral practices and followed their customs and traditions.  They followed some of the customs even after their conversion. These included marriage ceremonies like Roce, reciting Vovyo, putting garlands and many other customs including eating pan, removing slippers prior to entering the Church and even practicing their age old religion secretly and even speaking their mother tongue Konkani.


After they converted to Christianity, our ancestors in Goa were forced to give up their Hindu customs, beliefs, and caste system which they refused oblige.  This greatly worried the Catholic Missionaries and they saw it as a threat to the purity of Christian belief and decided to suppress the new converts from practicing their old customs and traditions. St. Francis Xavier, in a letter to John III, King of Portugal (1545), requested an Inquisition to be installed in Goa.  Apparently, his intention was to protect Catholics and make them to follow strict rules which he thought would change them and make them good Catholics.  Even though Francis Xavier requested the foundation of the Goa Inquisition in 1545, he never saw it happen; it actually commenced eight years after his death.



When it was implemented, Instead of advising or correcting our ancestors and new converts of their blind faith by means of properly educating them they straight way terrorized the new converts which resulted in harsh punishment and deaths by burning.  This forced a large number of our ancestors to flee Goa instantly leaving everything behind to preserve their customs and traditions and most importantly their language Konkani as Portuguese insisted upon speaking Portuguese by new converts.


The Inquisition….


“ It was not then known as the Big House, not until the Santo Officio expanded it to accommodate its anticipated guests.  Two hundred cells, dark and dank, it was said, were built in excavated earth beneath the Vhoddlem Ghor, to feed and sequester the numerous guests and urge them to confess.  Urge them they did with a little fire to warm, not burn, the feet, or water, not sufficient to drown, forced down their throat; sometimes the strappado.  They passed the hours in their cells in enforced silence, in the company of the restless ghosts doomed to wander those dark passages of hopelessness and fear.  They remained there until judgment day, until the next auto de fe. “ (Shades within Shadows)




The Inquisition was a system that began during medieval times during the year 1184 in Europe (France, UK and Germany). Initially it was not a punishable law but eventually it became a terrorizing act of severe punishment.  The system’s purpose was to search out heretics (one who committed sacrilege or one who went against Catholicism) and prosecute and kill them eventually. The inquisitors would torture the person until they admitted that they were heretics or we can say not a true Christian. After that the inquisitors would kill them either by hanging or even by burning at stake.  Once a person was caught for alleged heresy, he was like a trapped rat and he would never see the light of the day.  The Inquisition existed in Portugal, Spain and other parts of Europe.  Prior to coming to our mother land Goa.


When Portuguese landed in Goa, Catholic Missionaries too landed. As we know,  St. Francis Xavier was the one who was instrumental in brining large folk into the fold of Catholicism and as I said earlier our Hindu ancestors could not give up their customs and traditions which were hindering the growth of the religion of new converts, to bring them to the new fold called “ Pure Catholics” this law Inquisition was introduced in Goa in 1578.  A large number of Hindus were first converted and then persecuted from 1560 all the way to 1812.


The 1578 handbook for inquisitors spelled out the purpose of inquisitorial penalties: ... “quoniam punitio non refertur primo & per se in correctionem & bonum eius qui punitur, sed in bonum publicum ut alij terreantur, & a malis committendis avocentur”. Translation from the Latin: ... “for punishment does not take place primarily and for the correction and good of the person punished, but for the public good in order that others may become terrified and weaned away from the evils they would commit."


Other than heresy Inquisition practices were also used on offences against Canon Law.  This means any one found questioning the Canon Law, (Law of the Church) or anyone questioned the religion or contrary to the religion or the rule of Popes were punished severely resulting in death by burning after continuous torture in torcher cells.  But in Goa the inquisition also had the hidden agenda. That is to confiscate property of the victim and therefore many times the Catholics were arrested for petty offences and made forced confessions, tortured and their entire property was been confiscated and their family members taken into custody and left to die.  It was one of the tactics by Portuguese to gain complete control over the land and rule Goa with iron hand.



Goan Inquisition, as per some historians was one of the cruelest and terrorizing instruments implemented by the Portuguese rulers to establish their kingdom in Goa firmly.  There was also torture cells of which one was called as Big House.  King Sebastião I decreed that every trace of Indian customs should be eradicated through the Inquisition. Many Christians of Goa were tenaciously attached to some of their ancient Indian customs, especially their traditional Hindu marriage costumes, and refused to abandon them. Those who refused to comply were forced to leave Goa and to settle outside the Portuguese dominion, which resulted in the first major wave of migrations towards South Canara.



To sum up from 1560 to 1774, a total of 16,172 persons were tried and condemned or acquitted by the tribunals of the Inquisition. While it also included individuals of different nationalities, the overwhelming majority—nearly three fourths were natives, almost equally represented by Christians and non-Christians. Many of these were hauled up merely for crossing the border and cultivating lands there.


Seventy-one autos da fe were recorded.   In the first few years alone, over 4000 people were arrested. In the first hundred years, the Inquisition burnt at stake 57 alive and 64 in effigies, 105 of them being men and 16 women. Others sentenced to various punishments totaled 4,046, out of whom 3,034 were men and 1,012 were women.  According to the Chronista de Tissuary (Chronicles of Tiswadi), the last auto da fe (Act of Faith - Judgement) was held in Goa on 7 February 1773.


The language factor….


As I said earlier, our language Konkani was born on the banks of Sarvaswaty River approximately 4000B.C. Our ancestors could have tolerated anything but giving up their mother tongue was too much for them.   Urged by the Franciscans, the Portuguese viceroy forbade the use of Konkani on 27 June 1684 and further decreed that within three years, the local people in general would speak the Portuguese tongue and use it in all their contacts and contracts made in Portuguese territories. The penalties for violation would be imprisonment. The decree was confirmed by the king on 17 March 1687. However, according to the Inquisitor António Amaral Coutinho’s letter to the Portuguese monarch João V in 1731, these draconian measures did not meet with success. The Bamonns and Chardos were required to learn Portuguese within six months, failing which they would be denied the right to marriage. The Jesuits, who had historically been the greatest advocates of Konkani, were expelled in 1761. In 1812, the Archbishop decreed that children should be prohibited from speaking Konkani in schools and in 1847, this was extended to seminaries. In 1869, Konkani was completely banned in schools.  This was one of factor for our ancestors had to flee Goa to preserve our language.  Today many of us and our children feel ashamed to speak among ourselves forget about in front of others.  Only if they had known the importance of our language and our ancestor’s love,  sacrifices and trials they have gone to through to preserve our language.  If they could preserve our language for more than 5000 years giving their life for mother tongue isn’t it our duty and dignity to preserve it until the end????  Remember, the mighty river Saraswati died but Konkani survived….


Well these two were the main reasons behind fleeing of our ancestors from Goa to Mangalore in 1560.  The second migration took place after 1570 due to sever famines and epidemics and third wave of migrations took place in 1683 due to various wars jointly led by Sultan of Bijapur and Sultan of Ahmednagar against the Portuguese.


The new beginning….


Our ancestors who escaped Goa mostly were farmers who abandoned their irrigated fields in Goa to achieve freedom.   At the time of migration, Canara was ruled by the Keladi king  Shivappa Nayaka (1540–60). There were vast lands in Canara to produce rice and other grains but no labourers.  The king took great interest in the development of agriculture in his empire and welcomed these farmers to his kingdom, giving them fertile lands to cultivate.  Some of them were also recruited into the armies of the Bednore dynasty.  This was confirmed by Francis Buchanan, a Scottish physician, when he visited Canara in 1801. In his book A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar (1807), he stated that "The princes of the house of Ikkeri had given great encouragement to the Christians, and had induced 80,000 of them to settle in Tuluva." The taxation policies of the Keladi Nayakas during 1598–1763 enabled the Goan Catholic migrants to emerge as prominent landowning gentry in South Canara. These migrants usually brought their own capital from Goa, which they invested in their new lands, thereby indirectly contributing to the prosperity of the Keladi kingdom.



The cast system also played an important role in agriculture.  The Brahmin’s who had names like Kamat, Saldhana, Fernandes, Mendonsa, D’Souza were even after escaping from Goa did not prefer to work in the fields.  They could have chosen other jobs but they did not and instead they bought lands with the capital they had and gave the lands to the lower caste people on interest (Ghenn) who produced in abundantly.  This also helped Keladi king to sell produce to Portugese in Goa as there was shortage of rice and other agriculture products.  In the British records of 1799-1800, the escaped Goans were recognized as one of the best farmers in Kelladi Kingdom who helped Keladi Kingdom to grow and flourish and became very rich selling its produce to Goa and other parts of India.


Finally our ancestors were all well settled in Canara and were involved heavily in agriculture and cultivation and slowly ventured into other businesses as well. They learned the local languages and were freely mingled with other Hindu and muslim brethren in Keladi Kingdom.  Even though they were well settled and learned local languages like Tulu and Kannada, they did not give up their mother tongue Konkani in any situation and surprisingly even their new religion that is Roman Catholicism. Marriages and other rituals and customs of their ancestors continued to follow.  Marriages were strictly within the religion and even within their own casts i.e. Bamonns with Bamonn’s only and even now this practice is followed in the areas in the coastal Karnataka.  Hence the population of Mangalorean Catholics grew fast and spread across the coastal area from Barkur, Brahmawar, Kundapura till Kasargod and became rich in trade, agriculture and were admired for their hard work and eventually they owned vast lands and other Hindus worked in their lands as well. In one of the letters written by Tippu Sultan, he has said that the Catholics in Coastal Karnataka were hard workers and they have involved in all out progress of the kingdom by involving themselves many trades such as Agriculture, cultivation, farming, property business and even cattle breeding, etc.  Slowly they forgot their mother land Goa and the Mangalore became their new home and eventually called Mangaloreans.


However, what seems to be a Golden area for them soon to be turned to be a hell.  A dark cloud was looming on the horizon of Canara and eventually would become a hurricane that would wipe out the entire Mangalorean Konkani Catholic community and all their dreams and aspirations were to be shattered..


The Captivity and Persecution…  (To be continued……in Part Two)


The second part of this article which will be published next month on this site which will narrate the sad story of Mangalorean Catholics who were entirely and systematically driven out from Canara to Srirangpatanam (Mandya) on a Ash Wednesday, one of the most Holy day in the life of Catholics.  It was the day of fast and penance in preparation for the feast of Pask (Easter) but it turned out be a nightmare and only a handful of them could return to Mangalore after 15 years of imprisonment and persecution.  The complete history of 15 years of imprisonment and persecution, trials and tribulations, pain and agony…. of our ancestors ….


To be continued shortly…



Comments on this Article
Francis Lobo, Moodubelle /Mumbai Sun, January-30-2022, 2:38
I really appreciate the Author for bring out the facts how badly Hindus and Christians in Goa were persecuted by Portuguese (who are they?) Many do not believe the fact but it is the fact which can not be removed from the History. We can not blame only Hindus who were much tolerant and forgiven such horrific inquisition in the history. Now we are seeing highest level of corruption in our church administration which is the fact!
Denzil, Mangalore Tue, January-25-2022, 4:19
May I know the Viegas root in Mangalore?
Jerry, Mumbai Tue, November-24-2020, 9:36
Very good it possible to trace the place of origin in Goa where one came from?
Dr Kristanand Desai, Margao, Goa Wed, August-5-2020, 6:36
Thanks for your interest and pains to write the article...waiting to read more from you
Ivetes Rony Lobo, Badlapur Sun, June-28-2020, 2:22
Your article has put some light on our Catholic community which has migrated from Goa to Mangalore, now we would like to know more about the present day position our young Catholic people who are residing in foreign land and how are they looking at the history of their ancestors and their present life with the future of the Goan identity of which one can have big pride.
Amlin Roche, Dakshina Kannada Wed, January-29-2020, 9:19
Thank you for this illuminating Article.
Adam D Souza, Kattingiri/Dallas Fri, September-15-2017, 12:49
Would love to hear from natives who enjoy genealogy and have information on migration to belle from shirva and other places. I can be contacted at wilfee at gmail
Capt A. Mendonca, Mangalore Mon, September-11-2017, 12:12
The article shows one thing very clearly- we are fascinated by our CASTE origin.After being Catholics for maybe 3 or 4 centuries-so much about believing in the main tenet of the New Testament :equality amongst humans.even the letters here try to convey the same. The very issue i.e.CASTE which is destroying us as Indians also is a part of our Mangalore catholic culture is deplorable.
FRANCIS LOBO, Mumbai Tue, July-11-2017, 9:23
As this article speaks about worst Goan Inquisition, please google and read Victims of Francis Xavier to understand what injustice to the Humanity and exactly today we see hatred generated and corrupt our religious leaders have become. Truth shall prevail and humanity shall be served .
Rebecca Rebello, Mumbai Sun, July-9-2017, 3:44
I agree 100 percent with the view of Janet Titus
PAWAN PINTO, Mangalore Fri, February-24-2017, 3:58
Do we manglorean catholics for UPSC central government belong to OBC or not?
Hari Padmanabhan, Chennai, Tamil Nadu Thu, January-12-2017, 9:39

My question is this: Now that India is a free, independent country, and Goa having been liberated from Portuguese rule, why don t the Goan Catholic Brahmins and Konkani-speaking Catholics and other forcibly-converted Hindus return to the religion of their ancestors? Your ancestors suffered agony and torture and were converted through force by the Portuguese. I and many others feel sorrow, deep sorrow for you wonderful people. But now all of you can return to the spiritual traditions followed by your noble ancestors. Why don t you?

Nelson D souza, karkala, mangalore Sat, October-15-2016, 5:21

So now it is time that we should get united not only Manglorean roman catholic (kashmiri saraswat brahman) but all kashmiri saraswat brahman from every part of world.

Cleveland Moras, Udupi Tue, August-23-2016, 10:49
Most of your article is taken from Wikipedia and the book Shades and Shadows . Decent work though, kudos
Ivetes, Badlapur maharashtra Mon, January-18-2016, 3:07
Your article is perfectly in order, with exactly what I have been reading and hearing related to Mangalorean catholics. I want to know more about our migrated Goan ancestors to kerala in this period of Inquisition. So Sir please publish one more article on our kerala based Goan ancestors.
Balamani, bengaluru Fri, December-18-2015, 6:18
very interesting and candid account of conversions and persecution of locals by invaders
Sidney Mascarenhas, Mangalore Fri, December-18-2015, 8:16
I have never found a history so much based on hear say and conjectures.
Kashinath Nayak, MANGALORE Thu, December-17-2015, 9:46
Very informative. I have experienced the warmth from my Catholic friends in Goa and the facts/history are in agreement. Our brotherhood feelings should further be strengthened and we should never allow any petty politicians to ruin/damage our sentiments and community love/affection for each other.
alwyn pinto, riyadh Fri, October-23-2015, 10:10
The above history i have read in vjp saldanha s ಸಾಯ್ಬ ಭೊಗೊಸ್ in konkani.nice to read it again in english in internet by bellvision.congratulations.
Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla Tue, April-14-2015, 6:13
Dear Sailesh Prabhu.. this is only a history which I have narrated. We are still united, may be our religion has changed but not love and affection to each other community.. Only sad things is the current situation and public speeches by some Hindu fundamentalists lacks peaceful atmosphere and create a lot of tension.. We were all leaving like true Indians but suddenly now the scenario has changed and again we have become, Hinidus, Muslims and Christins.... anyways, here is the second part.. check and comment please. Alphonse ( type=155 hc_location=ufi
Janet Titus, Mangalore Thu, April-9-2015, 9:41
Shouldnt we all unite in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ rather than a state, caste, tradition or language. After all it was The Lord Jesus Christ who has gifted us salvation. everlasting life
Shailesh Prabhu, Ankola/Bangalore Mon, April-6-2015, 1:03
Mr. Alphonse, Great work. To put 1000 yrs of history in one page is fantastic. I am Hindu GSB. I have been always received by my Catholic brethern as their own wherever I meet. We immediately talk about being of one family. I see we have some animosity in places where we live together but outside we relate to each other. I am actually stunned when many catholic families relate to " Hindu family Dieties"/ Surname as in KULDEV AND AAADNAAV. I wonder when we all join together. I am also eagerly waiting for the next part.
Ashith attavar, United Kingdom Mon, December-29-2014, 7:51
A very good piece that succinctly charts the progress of a people warts and all. I note Vishal DSousa assertions that conversions were not forceful and done by the gospel of love is a fallacy. The Portuguese were notorious for forcing the disenfranchised especially the starving during famines etc. Hence the coined phrase Rice Christianity came about. Its an appreciable fact that Mangalorean Catholics acknowledge their Hindu past and are not in denial like many Goan Catholics who imagine they are Portuguese.
John Major, USA Mon, November-3-2014, 3:25
Tipu Sultan was a Islamic terrorist of the time and should be recognized as such. He caused massive damage to the Mangloreans. The same thing the Islamic state are doing to the Yazidi christians currently in Syria. Any glorification of this terrorist - Tipu Sultan should be severely protested by the Christians in India. The 10000 or so Manglorean Catholics of the time are the true heroes and should be recognized as such by the Indian Government. The Mangloreans Catholics should get together and build a memorial to our brave ancestors.
Rajkishan Poojary, Mangalore Sun, October-5-2014, 3:30
Excellent article.Well written
Sanju, Manipal , Udupi Thu, August-7-2014, 4:10
Why cast, religion, language, food habits was used by all these kings rulers. How could we Indians so easily fell pray for these wrong tactics? Lion in jungle rules all animals without any discrimination.
Joseph Kiran, Mangalore Tue, July-8-2014, 3:46
article explains very well the history of Mangalorean Catholics. yes indeed the firm conviction, spirit of hard work, and courageous life of our ancestors have reaches us to this stage. they have kept their faith and at the same time they believed in inculturation. they are fitting examples to show us religion and culture are different things. so one must not make culture as religion and religion as culture.
Elias, amtady Tue, January-28-2014, 11:58
Dear writer why can`t throw some light of netter kedu of bantwal.
Vishal D Souza, Mangalore Wed, November-27-2013, 8:56
Indeed the article provided a lot of information however some incidents may not be true. Eg 1.Forceful conversions: The Christian conversion was evident not only in India but other parts of the World only through Gospel message of Love. 2. The converted people now Roman Catholics escaped ONLY to protect preserve the KONKANI Language and not for their lives? Ridiculous. 3. Most of the KONKANI Roman Catholics now prefer to adopt
Benoy, Mumbai Tue, October-15-2013, 6:05

It is sad that the very man francis xavier, whom the catholics venerate as St. Francis Xavier, was responsible for the inquisition. I am sure 90 % of goan christians dont even know that francis xavier was a man with an evil intention....

John Fernandes, Bombay/Toronto Wed, October-9-2013, 11:32
Always wondered on origins esp being Shet-Shenoy Falnir-Nanthur combo. Very informative to know we have originated from 8000 survivor group that has re generated so well and can now understand why we are so much more Hindu in our ways than Goans or East Indians. Sad to think we are changing to identify more with western culture that our own
Archie D Souza, Mumbai/Kochi Fri, August-30-2013, 4:24
I do wish the author had got his facts on Tippu Sultan right I d like to correct the author on one point though. Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali are national heroes not enemies of India. They are among the few monarchs of India who fought the British till the end. If at all some of our forbears suffered under them, I do believe that the reports of Tipu resorting to torture and ill treatment are false, they must have been British collaborators. Tipu Sultan was a very enlightened and secular mined person and very tolerant of all faiths
Joseph Araujo, Loutulim Goa Fri, August-30-2013, 3:48
Very exhaustive and informative article giving spot facts.
Dr.Halowine Coelho, Mangalore,Dubai Fri, August-30-2013, 12:38
Very good article tracing our roots.Importance of Konkani and of our traditions.We need to value and preserve it in this modern age.
vanet desouza, Belman/Raipur Sun, August-25-2013, 10:52
Excellent article. I always wondered about our history and could not get much information.! It so interesting to know about our ancestors and our origins.Waiting for the second part. Thanks and appreciations to the author and
Azrael Sempre, Goa Wed, July-17-2013, 6:24
India has never existed on the map of the world before the arrival of the British in the Indian sub-continent. The Indian Union was born on 15th August 1947 and only had the right to form their own government. The King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was the head of state of the Indian Union until the 26 January 1950. It is on this day the republic of India is born. The Indian Union is made through force and persecution and merger of other states which were not part of directly ruled British India. The history taught to the people of the Indian Union has been designed by the government to suit their political needs. We who call ourselves Catholics discriminate against our own Christian brothers by creating caste systems which don t exist in Christianity. We have never been united as a community as we are selfish. Stand united to be heard by all or be persecuted and fall.
Assuntha Mathias, Mangalore Mon, July-15-2013, 11:09
Good article. Very well written and nice to know about our ancestors. So sorry to see the brutal act done to our forefathers and brothers.
Lawrence Braggs, Omzoor Mon, July-15-2013, 3:47
Very informative. Useful to anyone who would like to know the history and origin and look forward to the next part.
Mohan, Trivandrum Sat, January-19-2013, 5:00
Happend to saw this site accidently and went thru the whole thing.It was really hurting to read the pain inflicted by these intruders on our ancestors(as a fellow Indian.. btw i am from kerala).One thing which really felt strange was that all these hardships of travelling from Goa to Mangalore was done for preserving Konkani, but i wonder.. if they were totally free , then why could they stick on Hinduism? just my thoughts
Frank Mascarenhas, Mangalore/ Fosses,France Tue, January-1-2013, 2:51
Your article was indeed a revelation. On reading through it, it would seem that the logical thing for us- Mangalorean Catholics- to do is to revert to the religion of our Hindhu forbears!!
Sharon, Mangalore, Serenity Apartments Fri, November-9-2012, 10:12
Exhaustive article!!! hats off to u dear uncle... keep it up!!!
Jenni, Pune Thu, August-9-2012, 8:34
All the races are converted to christanity expect Jewish,kindly find out how the "Roman Catholics" got converted to christanity.
Akashdeep, Pune Thu, August-9-2012, 8:19
Good Job brother, yet not satisfied,i want to know the actual place, conversion and "race" of this people because they are jewish who are spread all over world and India.if we study The Book Acts and leter period.we find different people races atually in the time of O.T and N.T there are only JEWISH PEOPLE. And God sent His Son firstly for his own Jewish people .That time where were these people.
Joy D’Souza, Mangalore Sun, June-10-2012, 5:39

A very good article. keep up the good work.

Sr.Lilly Pereira. F.M.M., Shirva./ Bangalore Tue, June-5-2012, 5:38
Very good. I have read many in bits. Now to read as history I am delightedfor the second part. Since I have given you my id I suppose I shall get it directly. God bless your good work. Lilly Pereira fmm.
Philomena Pereira,, Bangalore/Dubai Wed, May-23-2012, 12:04
Dear Alphonse, I read the Article many times and eagerly waiting for the second edition. History is my favourate subject and all the more because it is about us Konkanas. I did not know that our ancestors actually migrated from Goa and was always under the impression that the Canara Brahmins were conveted forcefully. Thank you for bringing the facts to our knowledge. I have forwarded this to all my friends and all Association members in Bangalore. Knowing you closely, following all your articles, hats off to you. You have dedicated a large amount of your time for our Konkani community.
Victor Castelino, Boliye/Dubai Thu, May-17-2012, 7:09
Are we, the Mangalorean Konkani speaking Roman Catholics any way better than the then Portugese? The Portugese tried to impose their language on the local population in the name of religion and we too are implicitely though, imposing our konkani language on non konkani speaking Roman Catholics of the diocese of Mangalore in the name of religion. We are serving two masters and most of the time putting the cart before the bullocks! As Philip said, the author has raised more questions than he has answered. Any way, he has tried his best to put things in perspective with the limited resources at his disposal. Very good attempt!
Charles D Mello, Pangala Tue, May-15-2012, 10:27
Dear Alphonse, very informative article. Although I hated history lessons during school days I made a point to read this article as it is our own background. Our ancestors have died in an attempt to keep the Konkani Alive and most of our latest generation is trying to kill it. Anyway i am waiting for the second part. Thanks Bellevision for nice article.
Ted, Mangalore Fri, May-11-2012, 12:13
Francisco De Jasso y Azpilicueta or St.Francis Xavier “The Co-founder of the Society of Jesus, as we know him today requested the foundation of the Goa Inquisition .On May 16, 1545, Xavier wrote to John III The King of Portugal to establish the Inquisition in Goa which resulted in persecution of millions of Hindus, Jews, Goan Christians, Muslims, Syrian Christians, Knanaya people Suppression of Konkani. This will remain as a Dark Chapter in the history of Mangalorean Christians which we are not proud of.
Rony Lobo, Belthangady / Abu Dhabi Thu, May-10-2012, 12:40
Well done Alphonse Bab. Well appreciated your efforts to narrate the information of our history, culture and our language.
Prakash Noronha, Pamboor Doha Qatar Thu, May-10-2012, 11:38
Dear Alphonse, Good article I appriciate your efforts to write about our History.All the best.
Jerald Q, Pangla/ Kuwait Thu, May-10-2012, 6:55
Nice to know our history. Hats-off to you Mr. Alphonse.
Monica Valdar, Loretto-Dubai Thu, May-10-2012, 6:15
Thank you for this very informative and well organized write-up! Congratulations Alphonse..God Bless.
vivian, dubai Thu, May-10-2012, 12:38
Nice to hear that you are planning to translate this history in Konkani also....THank u so much..
Leo Victor, Hubli/Mangalore Thu, May-10-2012, 12:31
Good Information, as I can see many doubts exists by some of the people, if you can clarify the same. Really it would be a great piece of work Uncle.
Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla/Abu Dhabi Wed, May-9-2012, 10:56
Dear Bellevision Readers, Good morning to you all. I am happy to see a large number of readers reading this article and also happy to note that may have applauded my efforts and a few have put in their views. I have said in the beginning that I am touching only on subject of Mangalorean Konkani Catholics and have put in only a few reasons for their escape. Yes I am aware of other konkani community who also fled, others remained in Goa and many other Christians converted by St. Thomas. But it would be a too much subject to touch upon now but eventually will be discussed when I get more addl info and knowledge on this article. Secondly, the loads of records of Catholic history was destroyed during Tippu s raid on our churches and what we have is history available through many other sources like some historians, Letters passed between Gen. Mathews to East India Company and Tippu s letters to Gen. Mathews and Heads of Clergy at that time. I am also planning to translate this history in Konkani once I get more realistic facts from our authors, readers, novelist etc.. THANKS ALL AND PLZ WAIT FOR MY SECOND PART.... Alphonse, Pangla
G.W.Carlo, Hassan Wed, May-9-2012, 1:15
Dear Alphonse, Though your article is very informative, I have some doubts regarding the Konkani language spoken by the Saraswat and Mangalorean Catholics. Are we decendent of different parts of Goa? Otherwise, why so much difference? Because of Portuguese influence Goan Konkani may be diffferent, but, Saraswats and Mangalorean Catholic Konkani should have been similar, isn\ t it?
Jossie Pinto, Kuwait Wed, May-9-2012, 11:13
Good article Alphonse.....keep it up and all the best
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Wed, May-9-2012, 7:49
In any case, were these Christians belonged to Gnostic tradition or any other tradition not sanctioned by canonical law at that time? Did Jesuits get their orders to re-convert them in Goa? 11. If indeed all KSMC are descendants of returnees from Captivity, then is it right to argue that Catholic Church has not evangelized Konkani Speaking Hindus or Muslims since 212 years. Then who are being converted? And what is the political storm about conversions? If our ancestors suffered due to political assoications of our clergy and not due to faith alone, then are we not going to get hurt today also, if clergy is directing our political affiliations. What lessons do we learn from our history?
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Wed, May-9-2012, 7:46
the migrants eventually converted due to reasons other than state-enforced conversions? 7. Is it possible that the southward migration through Kanara was gradual and in stages, over generations due to pressure on land and resources? 8. Is it possible that some arrived in South Kanara and Malabar as Hindus and were converted by missionaries in their new homes? 9. Vasco da Gama had arrived in Calicut, St. Mary's Islands in Udupi and also in Goa. How come, the missionaries belonging to his nationality, especially Jesuits, were kind to let Eastern Orthodox Church of St. Thomas survive and thrive in Kerala, and not kind with Konkani speaking Goan Christians if they were Early Christians (of St. Bartholomew) era? Why were they bent upon making our ancestors eat pork, give up traditional clothes and dance to their music, while they did not bother with Malayalam or Marathi Speaking Christians? 10. If St. Thomas or St. Bartholomew or any of eleven disciples of Jesus and several disciples of these disciples or through their trader agents did establish Christianity in India, along the coast, could this be a sea-based effort? Or is it Fars origin land-route effort? In any case, ..
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Wed, May-9-2012, 7:45
1. Are we, today's Konkani Speaking Mangalorean Catholics (KSMC), exclusively the descendants from survivors of Captivity by Tipu Sultan, as genealogist Lobo claims? 2. Did Tipu capture only KSMC exclusively? Why did he not capture Protestants and Eastern Orthodox Church people? The latter should be hand-in-glove with English more than the Jesuits controlled KSMC. 3. Bishops during1560-1784 for KSMC must have been Jesuits of Spanish, Portuguese or Italian origin. Since Inquisition was enforced through papal bull, are we saying that these Bishops disobeyed Pope in Kanara? In Goa they behaved differently? 4. If the first wave Goan Catholics migrants be to flee inquisition, were these a rebel minority who did not agree to give up their Hindu ways? Why did majority stay back and support the Portuguese in the wars against Mughals and Marathas? 5. If they fled to protect Konkani, how come Konkani survived the Portuguese, Marathas and Mughals in Goa? If so, the entire population should have fled except the Bishops and Clergy because almost everyone in Goa spoke Konkani at that time. 6. Is it possible that they were all Hindus when they fled Goa? Is it possible that among the ..
Alister, mangalore Wed, May-9-2012, 3:46
Interesting Read. Looks like you have done quite some research for this. Awaiting for part 2 :)
Austin Pinto, Muscat Wed, May-9-2012, 2:38
Please read Desaantar Thaun Bandhadek “ Karavali Karnatakantle Konkani Kristanv (From Migration to Captivity ” The Konkani Christians - from Fr.Fidelis Pinto
Brilliantly narrated in simple English language and should be easy for everyone to grasp the information. I am now looking forward for the 2nd edition. Incidentally my ancestors “ both from my Mother's side and Father's side were among the few who returned from the captivity of Tippu Sultan¦.and they had walked all the way back from Seringapatnam. These returnees families were known as PONGO MENEZ family. Some of the descendants include well known names like Octavia Albuqurque, Noel Mascarenhas of Dubai and others. However there is one little contribution I would like to make¦which was based on a study made by my old great college lecturer Mr.J.M.Rebello. He mentioned that St.Thomas when he arrived in India, he certainly would have brought with him a large number of associates and their families. And he would certainly have traveled all along maintaining close distance to the shorelines of the countries he would have passed ¦.viz, Iran, Pakistan and India., and he would have landed in India alongside the Gujerath coast. And as he traveled further down the coastline, that would have been present day Surat, Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Goa, Karwar, Mangalore, Calicut, Cochin, Trivandrum and thereafter to Madras, he may have converted thousands of natives and may have built small churches all along the coastline. The Cross of Nilambur in Kerala is even now believed to be erected by St.Thomas himself. Even in Qatar we have a famous doctor (Dr.Mohan Thomas) whose ancestors Namboodris were supposed to be among the first converts of St.Thomas himself. May be the local chieftains and also subsequent invaders may have destroyed most of these churches. Even St.Thomas himself was martyred in Madras and his Tomb with his mortal remains are still there in the underground of San Thome Basilica. The ancient hill-top church of Batim in Goa is also believed to be originally constructed by St.Thomas himself (or by his close followers).
Wilson D Cunha, Permude/Kuwait Wed, May-9-2012, 12:43
Well written Alphones dhattu, Nice to read your article, Keep writing, may god bless you!!!!!!!!!
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Tue, May-8-2012, 11:45
Congratulations dear Alphonse for giving the brief history. I have glanced through and could not read fully. I will preserve it and read later. But do not forget to cover the CORRUPTION part previling in the Church AND BLACK MONEY playing its part, which has affected the church very badly. There have beccome a number of prayer groups and also scandalise the theme of prayer and collecting money. Grace Ministry is in news. Read Raknno Paper through internet. Jesus saif " if he is doing our work, do not stop... He is not against us is for Us(?. so why hate?). Please also extract the information as to formation of Udupi Diocese and please donot ask for records but hae your own way of research. I will preserve your essay. It is a great venture. Well done. Keep it up.
Mervin D\ souza, Belman / Abudhabi Tue, May-8-2012, 1:59
Kudos to Mr. Alphonse Mendonsa for this excellent article about our history, culture and struggle to keep konkani language alive by our ancestors though they sacrificed their lives.Feeling proud about my roots and for being a manglorean catholic for the rich heritage that we share. Eagerly waiting for the second part to get published.
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Tue, May-8-2012, 10:48
The subject, widely researched, conjectured, written about and passed down as oral tradition is vast as well as yields to interpretations and controversies. History is like that. In my childhood, I used to sit around elder men like my great-grandfather downwards and uncles to hear orally our traditional stories passed from generations for 400 odd years. I think most of it is hearsay and not facts. While in college and later in Mumbai, I befriended VGP Saldanha (Khadap), Cha-fra, and a few others to hear their accounts and also read some dilapidated manuscripts lying in the tower vault of St. Aloysius College. After internet and email arrived in Qatar (1997 onward), sharing and accessing additional information became easier than before. To cut it short, the author has done a service to all of us, and novices in the history of Kanarites, who should pay more interest to their roots. However, from this historical perspective, lessons should be drawn. We should not take the chronological recounting as cast in concrete facts.. There are some questions I am still searching for answers, on thi ssubject, which I take liberty to post separately..God willing.
Donald Pinto, Chickmaglur Tue, May-8-2012, 8:41
very good Alphi bab.. Excellent waiting to read.. coming part..
Anil Menezes, Bahrain Tue, May-8-2012, 7:32
Thanks Sir for such a good read on our history, which I knew only in parts. Looking forward to the second part. Thanks to bellevision for publishing such articles and giving freedom of thought to the writers. I am also eagerly awaiting for some articles to be published on any websites regarding Significance and History of celebrating annual church parish feasts, because today the real meaning of parish feasts are not handed over to the younger generation. If anyone has such an article, please share it with all.
Anil, Abu Dhabi/Mangalore Tue, May-8-2012, 5:51
thks for the info.
Dolphy Dmello, Pangala/Shankerpura Tue, May-8-2012, 5:34
Great jobbbbbbbbb !!!. Alps keep it up
Leena Mendonsa, Shankerpura Tue, May-8-2012, 3:57
Nice article Alphonse.I appriciate your efforts to narrate this article.keep it up. all the best.
Felcita, Shirva,Kuwait Tue, May-8-2012, 3:22
Excellent article with our history. Awating for the second part
Anil, Dubai Tue, May-8-2012, 2:54
Great work Alphonse! You have put together what we knew half in bits and pieces. Looking forward to the next part. Would be interesting to know anyone of the Canara Catholics managed to avoid captivity and any of the books on history have a mention of it? May be the ban on konkani by portugese could be one and Tipu s captivity is the other reason for the sorry state of konkani language today. After all this trials and tribulations it is our ancestor s sacrifice that konkani is still alive.
Arun Noronha, Pangla/Kuwait Tue, May-8-2012, 2:44
Thanks a million Alphonse for this great work...I can very well imagine the pain that our and ancestors and parents have gone through to keep our faith, language and culture alive.
Francis J. Saldanha, Moodubelle / Bahrain Tue, May-8-2012, 2:10
Well written and thoroughly researched article on the history of the Roman Catholics of Mangalore Keep up your good work Dear Mr. A. Mendonsa! Lovely pictures, God bless you always.
Vivian Fernandes, dubai Tue, May-8-2012, 1:31
Very well Narrated ...waiting for the second part...
Mario Braganza, Thane Tue, May-8-2012, 12:41
Kudos! Nicely done! Impatiently waiting for part 2
Manoj Menzes, Shirva/Abu Dhabi Tue, May-8-2012, 12:39
Excellent article Aphonse. Keep writing and look forward for the next part. Thank you bellevision for publising it.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Mon, May-7-2012, 2:59
Great history and the article! Keep it up Alphonse! Looking forward for the second part....
Write your Comments on this Article
Your Name
Native Place / Place of Residence
Your E-mail
Your Comment   You have characters left.
Security Validation
Enter the characters in the image above
Disclaimer: Kindly do not post any abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful material or SPAM. reserves the right to block/ remove without notice any content received from users.
GTI MarigoldGTI Marigold
Anil Studio
Badminton Sports AcademyBadminton Sports Academy

Now open at Al Qusais

Veez Konkani IllustratedVEEZ Konkani

Weekly e-Magazine

New State Bank of India, Customer Service Point
Cool House ConstructionCool House Construction
Uzvaad FortnightlyUzvaad Fortnightly

Call : 91 9482810148

Your ad Here
Power Care
Ryan Intl Mangaluru
Ryan International
pearl printing

Konkani Literature World