History of Goa

Being the epicenter of spices, indigo and cotton trade; Goa became a Portuguese colony in 1510. Before attaining liberation from the Portuguese identity, Goa was ruled by many dynasties, apart from the Portuguese rulers. The first and foremost rulers of Goa were the Bhojas followed by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597 A.D; Silahara Dynasty, Kadamba Dynasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D. In 14th century Goa acquired the status of the best trading center of horses.

In 1503, Alfonso de Albuquerque with his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque from Portugal invaded Goa to capture the spice-trade of Goa, which was then directed towards the Middle East and Arab countries. After a temporary acquisition by the Muslim invaders in 1506-08; Alfonso de Albuquerque again won Goa in 1510.

In 1540, a strict adherence to Christianity was imposed on the residents of Goa and the non-Christians were ostracized from the society and other civil benefits. This was the time of propagation of Christianity in Goa when the Portuguese made Churches demolishing the ancient temples. The first and the only temple built during the Portuguese empire was the Mahalaxmi temple in Panaji made in 1818.

Goa remained under Portuguese command for about 450 years. In 1961, Goa became a union territory along with Daman and Diu in India. In 1987, Goa became the 25th state of India.

Heritage and Culture of Goa

The cultural and historical heritage of Goa demonstrates a symbiotic relationship between East and the West. The churches, temples and mosques in Goa set an example of religious harmony and secularism before other states in India. The historical monuments like the Goan Heritage Houses, which were once the private residences of the Portuguese officials, are now the reminders of that colonial era. The old Goan villages still retain their traditional ambience and maintain the rustic lifestyle. The most important cultural heritage of Goa is the "Great Carnival" celebrated in Goa since the 18th century with the same enthusiasm.

The natives of Goa are born with the inherent musical talent within them. The culture of Goa can be best described as "Eat, Drink and Be Merry!" The people of Goa are quite jovial and magnanimous in nature and certainly industrious. The nightlife, rave parties, dance and music are the active ingredients of Goan lifestyle. The famous folk dances in the state are Corridinho, Mando, Dhalo, Fugdi, and performing folk arts (like Khell-Tiatro), Jagar-perani and other art forms.

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