Goan History – Timeline of Historical Events in Goa

History of Goa

Goa was nicknamed the Pearl of the Orient by medieval sailors. But before that it was Govapuri, a port-habitation on the river Mandovi. Even before, this palimpsest was home to the Dravidians. Then the Aryans. Later still, the Buddhists. It was sacked by Islamic invaders. Its last Hindu rulers were the Sultan of Bijapur. In 1510, the Portuguese set foot in Goa, the conqueror was Afonso De Albuquerque, following in the footsteps of Vasco Da Gama who had discovered the sea route to India twelve years earlier. The age of invasions from the sea in India’s history had begun. The Dutch, the French and the English came as traders and colonisers, and stayed, and eventually went, but it was the Portuguese who stayed the longest.

Two periods of Portuguese dominion mark their Governance of this region. The first of these was sparked off under the Old Conquests (Velhas Conquistas) after they won the port of Goa in 1510 and included the modern districts of Bardez, Salcete, Mormugao and Tiswadi. This is the Goa familiar to most tourists, with its coastline of palm fringed beaches, its paddy fields and the characteristic white facades of churches. The Novas Conquistas or New Conquests followed two and a half centuries later. By this time, the Portuguese had consolidated their hold and were less zealous about the spread of Christianity. Also, since these conquests lay on the outlying flanks (with their hillsides of forests and fast flowing rivers), the Portuguese were less inclined to interfere with the largely Hindu and to a smaller extent, Muslim, population.

The small former Portugese enclave of Goa is still one of India’s most touristically important places. It combines old Portugese architecture with a Portuguese flavour to the lifestyle which somehow manages to exist even 35 years after liberation. Most important to many travellers, there are the superb beaches and the ‘traveller scene’ which so many of them offer.

Goa has a long history stretching back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of the Mauryan empire. It was later ruled by the Satavahans of Kolhapur at the beginning of the Christian era and eventually passed to the Chalukyans of Badami, who controlled it from 580 to 750 AD. Over the next few centuries it was ruled successively by the Shilharas, the Kadambas and the Chalukyans of Kalyani. The Kadambas are credited with constructing the first settlement on the site of Old Goa in the middle of the 11th century, when it was called Thorlem Gorem.

Goa fell to the Muslims for the first time in 1312, but they were forced to evacuate it in 1370 by Harihara I of the Vijayanagar empire whose capital was at Hampi in Karnataka state. The Vijayanagar rulers held on to Goa for nearly 100 years, during which its harbours were important landing places for Arabian horses on their way to Hampi to strengthen the Vijaynagar cavalry. In 1469, however, Goa was reconquered, this time by the Bahmani Sultans of Gulbarga. When this dynasty broke up, the area passed to Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who made Goa Velha their second capital. The present Secretariat building in Panaji is the former palace of Adil Shah, later taken over by the Portuguese Viceroys as their official residence.

The Portugese arrived in Goa in 1510 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque after having been unable to secure a base on the Malabar coast further south. This was due to opposition from the Zamorin of Calicut and stiff competition from the Turks who, at that time, controlled the trade routes across the Indian Ocean. Blessed as it was by natural harbours and wide rivers, Goa was the ideal base for the sea faring Portuguese, bent on their quest for control of the spice route from the east and the spread of Christianity. For a while their control was limited to a small area around Old Goa, but by the middle of the 16th century it had expanded to include Bardez and Salcete.

Goa reached its present size in the 18th century as a result of further annexations, first in 1763 when the provinces of Ponda, Sanquem, Quepem and Canacona were added, and later in 1788 when Pednem, Bicholim and Satari were added. The Marathas nearly vanquished the Portuguese in the late 18th century and there was a brief occupation by the British during the time of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. The freedom struggle of Goa are written in golden letters in the annals of Goan and Indian history. It was not until 1961, when India ejected the Portuguese in a near bloodless operation, that the Portuguese finally disappeared from the sub-continent. The other enclaves of Daman and Diu were also taken over at the same time. Despite the intervening years of Indian rule, Goa still maintains its distinctively Portuguese flavour and easy going ways.

Timeline of Historical Events in Goa

1367 – Conquest of the kingdom of Kadamba (of which Goa was the capital) by the empire of Vijaynagar.
1469 – Capture of Goa by the Muslim Bahmani king, Muhammad Shah II.
1488 – Capture of Goa by Yusuf Adil Shah (“the Sabayo”) of Bijapur.
1498 – Discovery of the route to India by Vasco-da-Gama.
1510 – Capture of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque.
1515 – Defence of Goa against Ismail Adil Sha (“the Idalcao”).
1542 – Arrival of St.Francis Xavier.
1570 – Siege of Goa by the Idalcan.
1595 – First Dutch voyage to the Indies.
1600 – English East India Company’s charter.
1642 – Treaty between England and Portugal.
1683 – Attack on Goa by Marathas under Sambhaji.
1695 – Viceroy moves his residence out of the city of Goa.
1741 – Marathas and Bhonsles defeated by Portuguese forces.
1749 – Expulsion of the Jesuits.
1759 – Viceroy takes up residence in Panjim.
1764 – Acquisition of New Conquests.
1778 – Acquisition of Pernem.
1797 – Occupation of Goa by British Army.
1813 – Withdrawal of British Army.
1821 – Goa represented in Portuguese parliament.
1843 – Panjim declared the capital of Goa.
1881 – Commencement of railway building in Goa.
1905 – Development of iron and manganese ore mines.
1946 – Civil disobedience call against Portuguese given by Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia.
1947 – Indian independence.
1961 – Goa incorporated into the Indian Union, as Union Territory.
1987 – Goa became the 25th state of the Indian Union.

Share This Post

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

© 2016 GoaLive.org. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS · Comments RSS
Powered by WordPress · Designed by Theme Junkie