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.
Goan 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.
Goa travel guide
The search for the perfect beach destination in India leads to Goa. The small state located on the west coast of India is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the world. Goa offers you everything from golden beaches and serene rivers to medieval forts and churches. A great kaleidoscope of different cultures, Goa caters to the interests of tourists with different outlooks and expectations. Before you set foot in Goa, this online Goa travel guide will help you to have an idea of what to expect once you are there. Refer to the Goa travel guide from time to time for updated information about Goa.
Fast Facts about Goa :
Area : 3660 sq km (1430sq mi)
Capital city : Panaji (Panjim)
Language : Konkani, Marathi, English and Portuguese
Major religions : Hinduism, Islam and Christianity
Temperature : 20°C – 34°C.
Altitude : Sea Level – 1022 meters.
Major Tourist attractions in Goa :
Churches : Chapel of St. Francis Xavier The Church and Convent of St. Monica Se Cathedral The Convent and Church Of St. Francis of Assisi The Professed House and The Basilica of Bom Jesus
Beaches :Anjuna, Vagator, Calangute, Baga, Dona Paula, Varca, Colva, Bogmalo, Cavelossim.
Forts :Aguada, Chapora, Mormugao, Tiracol, Cabo da Rama
Major cities :Panaji, Vasco da Gama, Mapusa, Margao, Old Goa, Bicholim, Mormugao
Being a tourism hotspot of India, Goa has numerous hotels that offer a wide variety of accommodation. These include five star resorts, budget hotels, as well as the cottages and beach side villas rented by the locals.
Climate of Goa :
Goa has a moderate climate that remains almost constant throughout the year. The temperature varies between 20 °C to 34 °C. Relative humidity stays around 60 %. The region receives considerable rainfall in the monsoon months of June – September. The best time to visit is between November and March.
Clothing and accessories :
Light colored cotton clothes, T-shirts, bandanas, shorts, three-quarters and Bermudas can be said to be the dress code for Goa! However, a few things are a must like sun-screen, hats, and sunglasses.
Transportation in Goa :
Goa can be reached by air, rail and the roadways. The infrastructure for all three modes is very good and there are numerous options of flights, trains and buses. Transportation within the state comprises tourist coaches, buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, motor cycle taxis and ferries. Water transport is an important part of the transportation network.