This article takes you back to when it all started. Goa is known for its rich heritage and Portuguese colonization. Read on to find out more about its fascinating past.
History of Goa
The origins of the beach capital of India date back to the 3rd century BC. Having been colonized by the Portuguese for several years, the remnants of the lost culture have seeped their way through into the lifestyle, architecture and even the food of Goa. The history of this state has been a fascinating subject for historians over the years as the state grew under the blanket of different oppressive rulers and dynasties. During this time, Goa became a part of the 'Mauryan Empire'. There have been various Hindu mythological inferences to how the state came into being. According to the mythology, Lord 'Parashuram' (A reincarnation of the Lord Vishnu), shot an arrow into the sea and commanded the sea to retreat, so that he could make his kingdom in the area the arrow landed. This formed the region of Konkan, in the southern region of Govarashtra, which is now known as Goa.
- The state was under various rulers for centuries, starting with the 4th century AD, under the rule of the Mauryan Empire. During this period, there were tiffs with other rulers called the Bhojas, who ruled Goa for a long time. Some other dynasties evolved after the Bhojas and took their chances of governing the state. A few of them were the ‘Kadamba’ dynasty, Silahara dynasty and the Hoysalas from the 11th to the 15th century.
- The early 15th century was the time when Goa was considered to be the epicenter of trading activities. Horses were traded and brought in from the Middle East to carry out all types of barter and trade. It was during this time the Vijayanagara Empire took Goa under its rule.
- The reign lasted till the Muslims invaded and overthrew the Vijayanagara Empire. They were defeated by the Bahmani Sultans and Yousuf Adil shah of Bijapur. This reign was also short lived. The Portuguese soon entered Goa and took over the state, abolishing Muslim control.
- It was only fitting that the Portuguese landed in a state that had massive harbors, abundant space, sea routes to the outer world and natural beauty. They came in during the early 16th century and reigned over Goa for over a whopping 450 years before they were defeated.
- During their rule over the state, a lot of Christian conversions began to happen. Hindu temples were demolished and Catholic practices were promoted all around the state. This led to the mass conversion of religions to Christianity.
- During the time of the spice trade, Old Goa was the biggest state in the East and had a mammoth count of churches and Christians. Over 400 churches were built in the state. The Portuguese were not only destructive in the state, but made sure the architecture, lifestyle and food were purely of Portuguese essence. This culture is still visible in most parts of Goa, with a few archaic structures still remaining such as the Bom Jesus Basilica and the Cajetan Church.
- During the early 18th century, The Marathas almost defeated the Portuguese with some stiff fighting and competition from the British, Dutch and French. The Portuguese were struggling to keep their reign till the time of the Indian Independence.>
The Fall of the Portuguese - Post independence
- India gained its independence in the year 1947, but even after that, the Portuguese continued to rule over Goa.
- In the year 1961, under the orders of the erstwhile prime minister; Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, armed forces were sent into the state under the name, “Operation Vijay”. These forces overthrowed Portuguese rule in a matter of two days.
- Post the fall of the Portuguese, Goa was included as one of the Union states of the country.
Since Independence, Goa has prospered in various fields and is growing at exponential rates in their various industries at the same time retaining essences of the Old Goan-Portuguese love affair. Even though Goa is an extremely small state, it has managed to become one of the most important states in the development of the country as a whole.