History of Goa– Goa also known as Rome of the East is the smallest state of India but its history is long drawn and multi-layered, its history is also called as Gomantak. Most of the people visit Goa to take a break from their tough and monotonous routines and the sea works like a therapy for them.
But once you have experienced the cruise, the bars, the beach, the casino and the churches, even goa could appear like a routine holiday destination. So we have here for you, another aspect of Goa, History of Goa that tells you the cultural and historical background of Goa. Apart from the friendly and safe environment of Goa, it also has an extremely rich cultural heritage:
- There are references of Goa in Mahabharata, and Lord Krishna named it as Govapuri, because of his fondness for the local cows. That’s how it got its name.
- The Saraswat Brahmins are believed to be the first ones to settle in Goa. They got their unique name as they used to reside near the river Sarasvati and moved in different parts of south when the river dried up.
- The Mauryan emperor King Ashoka came to Goa in 3rd century B.C to 12th century B.C. The 11th century is said to be the Golden Period of Goan history, with the death of their king came the end of their rule.
- Then came the Muslim Bahamani, in 14th century and they plundered and demolished the Hindu temples. Then the Brahmins took over for a small period of time but the Muslims returned once again with even more power this time.
- In 1498, the Portuguese came to Goa with Vasco da Gama as their guide. They tried to take over Goa by various attacks against the then Muslim king Adil shah, but finally took over after his death, when his army became weak. They massacred the Muslims as revenge against the Muslim king, and spared the Hindus; they did not interfere with the Hindu rites and rituals but abolished the atrocious practices like ‘Sati’. The Portuguese ruled Goa for 450 years.
- In the 16th century the culture and economy of goa took a leap, when it was being referred as ‘Lisbon of the East’. St Francis Xavier and Jesuits brought Christianity to Goa, his influence was such that even today he is remembered as the Patron Saint of Goa. With that began the epoch of Christian conversion of Hindus.
- The Goan economy and population started to suffer when the Dutch came to goa on account of spice trade, the Marathas fought with the Dutch and a peace treaty was finally signed. The Portuguese rule became stronger with the establishment of ‘Estado da Índia Portuguesa’ which included territories like Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
- After the British independence, the Government of India insinuated Portuguese to free its clutches from the Indian territories, but they resisted.
- Finally the Indian military under the code name ‘Operation Vijay’ on December 19, 1961, entered the Goan borders and attacked Portuguese and freed it. In 1987, Goa was declared a proper state.
December19, 1961 was declared as Liberation day and is celebrated every year, and is considered a public holiday. Once you know the History of Goa you can connect better to the state.
So next time you visit Goa you definitely know about it better than others.