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History of Goa

Goa has a rich history, which is both intriguing and appalling to historians and the common man. Goa was plundered by a number of rulers and lastly by the Portuguese from whom Goa sought independence in 1961. Given below is a brief insight into the history of Goa, its discovery, plundering, different rulers and the smooth transition to the present. The original name of Goa was actually Konkan and the people were known as Konkani and so was the language.

One of the earliest information about the rulers of Goa dates back to as early as 1000A.D. Goa was an important seaport where all trade dealings relating to export and import took place. The Shilaharas were the rulers then. Their power started to diminish as the Arab merchants were now beginning to have control over international trade. The Kadamba rulers also eyed Goa and by the end of the 11th century they had firmly established their rule over Goa. An important landmark during the Kadamba rule was the establishment of their capital city of Goapuri. This became the core of all trade activities and remained that way for a long time. Goapuri became a famous and well-known destination despite all political instabilities.

Internal forces overthrew the Kadambas as many wars were fought within the state itself. Invasion by Muslim rulers was one of the main reasons of the Kadambas losing power. The Muslim rulers then firmly established themselves and dominated throughout the 14th century. Then came the era of the Portuguese rule which was another landmark in the history of Goa.

The Portuguese set sail and discovered Goa in 1510. Alfonso De Albuquerque conquered Goa in 1510. He ordered his men to marry the widows of the Muslim defenders. The basic idea was to convert the locals into Christians. Somehow the plan backfired and the Portuguese took to the Indian ways of living. The Portuguese built extensive churches with exquisite architecture and one can see the Portugal influence in the buildings of Goa even now.

Goa was influenced by the War of Independence and the French revolution and started revolts of its own to free itself from the Portuguese, though it was not very successful. The 19th century saw the birth of Goan telegraph and postal services, the railway network and some amount of journalism. It also saw the exploitation by the British. The 20th century saw India's independence from the British rule in august 1947. Shortly after this, Goa was able to free itself from the Portugal rule in December 1961. It was declared a union territory then, and after a constitutional amendment, Goa was declared an independent state in 1987.

Today Goa boasts of a rich historical legacy and one can see an amalgamation of the past in the present, beautifully merging into one another. Even today Christianity is one of the major religions being followed here in Goa apart from Hinduism.

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