Goa History

Goa has a very interesting historical past which dates back to the 3rd century BC. It was a crucial part of the Mauryan empire which was ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. It was in this phase that the Buddhist monks spread Buddhism in Goa and laid foundation of Buddhism. In the middle of the second century BCE and the sixth century  CE, Goa was under the reign of Chutus of Karwar as feudatories of the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (second century BCE to the Second century CE) , Western Kshatrapas (around 150 CE) The Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhoja of the Yadava clans of Gujrat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris. The rule later went to Chalukyas of Badami, and they controlled it between 578 to 753 and then to Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 tpo 1015 the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Then the next years Kadambas ruled Goa successfully, as feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa. In 1312 Goa came under the governance of Delhi Sultanate. The kingdom had weak governance and control over the state and thus were forced to give up the state to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs ruled the territory till 1469 and then it was given to   Bahmani sultan of Gulbarga. The dynasty collapsed and went to the hands of Adil Shahis of Bijapur and they established their auxiliary capital, the city which under the Portuguese was called Velha Goa.

In 1510 the Portuguese defeated the ruler of Bijapur kings with the help of their local friend Timayya and led to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa or the Old Goa.

The Portuguese converted a large number of people there to Christianity. There was a constant war between the Portuguese and the Deccan sultanate. The repressive religious policies of Portuguese the Goans started to migrate to other regions. Goa Was occupied by the British between the 1812and 1815 during the Napoleonic war.

In 1843 the capital was shifted from Velha Goa to Panjim.  By the mid-18th century the area under the occupation was expanded to the present day limits. Portuguese lost their control and were curtailed to stay within the borders, stabilised and formed Estado da India Portuguesa of which Goa was the largest territory. India got independence in 1947, Portugal refused to negotiate with India and transfer sovereignty of their Indian enclaves. In December 1961 the Indian army with Operation Vijay resulted in the annexation of Goa, Damn and Diu.

Importance of Goa was amplified due to the presence of the natural harbours and wide river base. It was only in 1987 that Goa got the status of an independent state and Konkani was accepted as one of India’s official languages.