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Gadyachi Jatra in Goa – Held Once in Three Years Dedicated to Ghosts

Gadyachi Jatra is an important ritual and festival held once in three years at Canacona in Goa. Next, Gadyachi Jatra will be held in 2026 at the Betal temple at Mahalwada, Poinguinim. The rituals and festivities on the day are dedicated to ghosts, locally known as ‘bhutam’, and holy spirits, known in Goa as ‘denvchar’.

Gadyachi jatra is mainly held at:
  • Sal
  • Borde-Bicholim
  • Pilgao
  • Kudne
  • Savoi-Verem and
  • Betal Temple at Mahalwada, Poinguinim

Gadyachi Jatra Ritual

  • Four males dressed in gadde (white dhoti) take part in the ritual.
  • A document written on cloth in 1823 AD is read out on the occasion.
  • In front of the temple or sacred place, a revolving wheel is erected on a tall arecanut tree trunk. The four males are suspended by hooks on the revolving wheel.
  • Folk songs called naman are chanted to the beats of dhol. 
  • The men are only released when the devotees assembled shout – ‘mal- gaddo’ (satisfied).
  • Pair of roosters are sacrificed on the occasion.
  • It is said that in olden days when the men were released from the revolving wheel, they used to fall down and die.