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History of Goa

The history of Goa is dominated by Portuguese colonization. Long before the British gained their first foothold in India, the Portuguese had arrived in India in search of spices and other lucrative products. They were among the first Europeans to colonize some parts of India. Before the Portuguese, Goa had been ruled by various Hindu and Muslim dynasties. Amalgamation of so many social and cultural influences has had a strong bearing on the everyday life, arts, and culture of Goa.

Early History of Goa

The early history of Goa is quite obscure. References to a place called 'Gomantak' in the Mahabharata have been considered by some scholars to relate to Goa. Even earlier references have been claimed. The known history takes us back to the Mauryan times when Goa was a part of the vast Mauryan Empire. The region subsequently came under the Satavahanas, the Chalukyas, Kadambas, Yadavas, and the Vijayanagar Kingdom.

Goa under Islamic rule

Goa came under the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. However, the Vijayanagar Kingdom gained control shortly after this. Goa came under strong Islamic rule when the Bahmani sultanate of Gulbarga took over the region. After the disintegration of the Bahmani kingdom, the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur started ruling Goa.

Portuguese in Goa

The Portuguese set foot in India in 1498. Vasco da Gama is said to have arrived in Old Goa after his famous landing in Calicut. In 1510, Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the Adil Shahi king and gained firm control on Goa. Soon, the missionaries followed and started conversions among the local populace. Saint Francis Xavier arrived in Goa at this time. The period called inquisition (1560-1812), is an important part in the history of Goa. Forced conversions and temple destructions by the Portuguese were rampant during this period in Goa.

Goa under the Marathas

In the 17th century, the resurgent Marathas, under Chatrapati Shivaji started making inroads in Goa, capturing forts and towns. However, they could not hold on to their victories, and the Portuguese prevailed.

Goa Independence

The Portuguese remained in Goa even after India attained Independence in 1947. After a turbulent period marked by political negotiations, freedom movements, and finally, Indian military campaign, Goa became part of India in 1961. Goa was governed as a union territory along with Daman and Diu till 1987, when Goa was granted statehood.