Goa History

So Old a Place

Goa formed part of the Mauryan Empire in the 3 rd century BC. This was followed by the rule of the Satvahanas of Kolhapur and the Bhojas who made Chandor their capital. From 580 – 750 AD the Chalukyas of Badami held sway over Goa until the Silharas took control in 1086 AD. Gulhalla Deva of the Kadambas, originally from Mysore, consolidated his hold over Chandor in the 11 th century AD until the 13 th century AD. On a pilgrimage to Somnath a sudden storm threatened the Kadamba King and his armada at the mouth of the River Zuari. Arab traders who lived in a settlement by the riverside rescued them and in gratitude, the Arabs were allowed to carry on their commercial activities in the kingdom.

As their kingdom prospered the Kadamba rulers built a navy that was unbeatable in its time. Chandor their capital was now too small. They then moved to Goa Velha, where only the massive tank of the temple of Goddess Chamunda remains today. The Fr Agnel monastery on the hill at Pilar houses the museum that has notable collections of this period. Jayakeshi-I 1052-1080 AD proclaimed himself Lord of the Konkan and Emperor of the Western Seas. On his death Goa fell to the Chalukyas of Kalyani and later to the Yadavas of Devgiri. Muslims held sway from 1312-1370 AD over the Konkan region. However with the breakup of the Tughlaq Kingdom, it was the Bhamani Sultans who then controlled Goa.

Madhav Mantri, who headed the army of Harihara of Vijaynagar, reclaimed and ruled Goa as its Viceroy. He fortified its ports and through these Arab steeds were imported for use in the Vijayanagar army. In 1469 the Bahamani Vizier Khwaja Mohammed Gawan of Gulbarga laid a two-year siege of Goa’s seaside forts and ended Vijayanagar’s rule. Yusuf Adil Shah the adopted son of Gawan, moved his capital to Ela in Old Goa in 1498. He later built himself a palace in Panaji which until recently housed the State Secretariat. His rule lasted 12 years. On 25 November 1510 he lost Goa for good to Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese who had taken the city earlier in March that year. The Portuguese ruled for 450 years. On 19 December 1961 troops of the Indian Union marched into Goa. By choice Goa remained a Union Territory of the Indian Union for 26 years and on 30 May 1987 Goa attained its statehood. In August 1992, Konkani the mother tongue of Goa was included in the Indian Constitution.