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Rich Historical Past of Goa

Goa is the smallest state of India having a vast history dating back to the 3rd Century BC. At that time Goa was part of the Mauryan Empire but later on was ruled by various rulers whose ancient past and cultural impact is evident in present day Goa. The rich history of Goa tells tales of its historical past, invasions, battles, tyrannical rulers and finally the Portuguese rule.

Rulers of Goa

According to the Hindu Mythology, Goa, formerly known as Govarashtra was formed when Parashurama, a reincarnation of Lord Vishnu, shot an arrow into the sea to retreat the water. Various rulers ruled Goa from the Kings of Mauryan Empire to Bhojas to Kadamba Dynasty to Silahara Dynasty to the Hoysalas till the 14th century. During the 14th century Goa transformed into a flourishing trading centre with horses being traded from the Middle East. During this period it came under the rule of Vijaynagar Empire, but they were defeated by the Bahmani Sultans who ruled till the early 15th century. The Portuguese arrived at Goa in 1510 A.D when it was being ruled by Yusuf Adel Shah of Bijapur.

Goa under the Portuguese Rule

The Portuguese took control of Goa during the 15th century and it set the platform for taking control of spice trade from Middle East. Under the Portuguese rule which lasted for over 450 years, Goa transformed into a Christian state with the destruction of numerous Hindu temples and mass conversions into Christianity. At that time spice trade flourished in Goa and it was considered as its Golden Age. The Portuguese transformed Goa into one of the biggest cities in the East with over 300 churches and a population of around 40,000 people. Later in the 18th century, Portuguese were almost defeated by the Marathas and also faced stiff competition from the British, Dutch and French forces.

The End of the Portuguese Rule

After the Indian independence in 1947 from the British, Goa was still a Portuguese colony. Under former Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, "Operation Vijay" was conducted in 1961, whereby the Indian armed forces took control of Goa from the Portuguese in just two days. Since then Goa became one of the Union Territories of India.