History of Goa

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A brief History of Goa

Goa has a long history dating back to the 3rd Century B.C. Over the centuries lot of dynasties have ruled Goa, 451 years of Portuguese rule has imbued Goas towns and villages with a unique culture. Vishnu, reincarnated as Parasurama, shot an arrow from the Western Ghats into the Arabian Sea and with the assistance of the god of the sea reclaimed the magnificent land of Gomant. Shiva is also believed to have resided in Goa on a visit to sanctify seven respected sages who had executed sacrament for 7 million years.
A blend of fable and myth with evidence confirmed existence of inhabitants on the Konkan coast. The area witnessed some of its most primitive lifestyle, stone age cultures extending back over 100,000 years being reputable on the higher reaches of renowned rivers like the Krishna and Tungabhadra, which rise just inland of Goa. The inhabitants however are almost completely descended from the Indo-Aryans who arrived from the northwest after 1500 BC. Between 1300 and 1000 BC the heartland of this latest culture flourished in the plains of North India, gradually extending its power southwards.
When Ashoka (272 BC) stretched his supervision across the Deccan, the area of recent Goa was included into the grand Maurya kingdom of the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC, focused on Pataliputra (Patna in modern Bihar), whereas to the south the Cholas, Keralaputras and Pandiyas challenged each other for authority and dominance in the southern Peninsula. The Bhojas trailed behind the Mauryas and established their kingdom in Chandrapur (modern Chandor). From the 3rd to the 8th centuries AD the Kadamba dynasty flourished itself. Undeniably some Goans essentially claim possession of Rashtrakutas as their empire. From the 8th century AD until the entrance of the Muslims from the north in 1312 AD the Kadambas' power was concentrated to a narrow coastal and hill belt, and they were almost completely acquiescent to the prevailing Chalukyas who dominated most of central peninsular India.
In 1052, the Kadambas recognized their capital in the port town on the north bank of the Zuari, which had been developed by the Chalukyas as the prosperous port of Gopakapattana or Govapuri.
Since before the birth of Christ, the Arabs engaged in the trade activity along the west coast of India and Arab geographers recognised Goa as Sindabur. Arab traders spread their new religion and several settled in Goa. In 1312, Muslim attackers from the Delhi Sultanate seized supremacy, annihilating much of Govapuri and forcing the Kadambas to return to Chandrapur.
The discovery of sea route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1498 led to the start of Portuguese expantion in India. In 1510 under the command of Afonso De Albuquerque and with the help of the emperor of Vijaynagar, attacked and captured Goa. Afonso de Albuquerque grabbed the advantages of an exceptional natural harbor, huge enough to give a sheltered food-producing base but with a defensible moat, at the same time well placed with admiration to the important northwest area of the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese consolidated their position and continued to rule over the territory for the next 451 years, except for an interlude, during the latter half of the 17th Century, when Shivaji Maharaj of The Maratha Empire conquered a few areas in and around Goa, The Marathas were eventually routed in 1739 and thereafter there was no further threat to the Portuguese rule. The Portuguese were also possessed with the strong desire to spread Christianity. (Jesuit Missionaries led by St. FRANCIS XAVIER arrived in 1542). Goa was an ideal base for the seafaring Portuguese, who carried spices from the east, The fortunes made from spice led to Goa's Golden Age. At it's peak, with 300 000 inhibitians it was larger than London or Lisbon at the time. Portuguese became the official language and every sphere of Goan life from religion to architecture, cuisine to art was affected. Goa came to be known as the "Lisbon of the East". Portugal was the oldest colonial power in India and the last one to leave the Indian Soil. Goa reached its present size in the 18th century after a series of annexation. In 1763, the province of Ponda, Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona were added followed by Pednem, Bicholim and Satari in 1788.

Goa which was liberated on 19th December, 1961 along with Daman and Diu from 451 years Portuguese Colonial Rule, became the 25th State of the Indian Union when it was conferred Statehood on 30th May, 1987.

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