One of the localities in Kankanādi area in the southern part of Mangaluru city (formerly: Mangalore) is known as Valencia. Very few of our readers may be aware of the history relating to how the place name was derived.
In fact, the Valencia happens to be the name of a famous metropolitan city located in the east coast of Spain in Europe.
A website of the Valencia Church of Mangaluru throws light on the history of this place and the origin of the interesting place name. The hilly area surrounded by dense vegetation was also known as Beary-palke or Gorigudda. The old name Gorigudda reveals that it was used for burial of the dead bodies.
In the beginning of the 20th century, there was no church for the villagers of Kankanādi and Jeppu region. People had to depend on Milagres or Rosario churches for their religious needs. The Madras Government of the period sanctioned 5.73 Acres of land in an area used for burial ground in Beary - palke or Gorigudda in the Kankanādi village. Accordingly, the Muncipal council handed over the land to Bishop of Mangaluru. Initially, Rosario cathedral erected boundary walls around the burial ground and later the Milagres parish authorities renovated the cemetery in the year 1923 followed by erection of a wooden cross in the premises by the Rosario administration in the year 1928.
Later in the year 1935, Bishop V.R. Fernandes approved the proposal for building a church in the Beary palke cemetery plot. He decreed that the new church be named in honour of St. Vincent Ferrar, a European Saint, who hailed from the city of Valencia in Spain. The foundation of the church was laid on September 24, 1942 and the construction was completed and religious ceremonies were begun since January 1944.
The rest is part of the history. Along with growth of the Mangaluru city, the name of the church spread to the entire surrounding area which is now known as Valencia. Along with Valencia the old name Gorigudda also survives even to date.