Goa, popularly known as ‘the pearl of the east', is famous for its churches, age-old ruins, palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves, ferry rides, and bubbly folk music.
Goa is between Arabian sea on Western Coast of India and Sahyadri Range of Western Ghats. Many rivers are also there and these are the main reason that foreigners entered the country for trade.The major west-flowing rivers that crease the territory are Mandovi, Zauri, Tere Khol, Chapora and Betul.
The total navigable length of these rivers, which form the waterways by which Goa's main export commodity iron and manganese ore is transported to the Marmugao harbour, is 253km. The Marmugao harbour is virtually the confluence of the Mandovi and Zuari rivers.
The coast is full of creeks and estuaries formed by these rivers, which provide a good shelter for the fishing crafts. Estuaries of these rivers are rich in marine fauna.
Climate is topical but humidity is surprisingly low here.
Map of Goa (Source: India-WRIS)
Ancient History of Goa
According to ancient Hindu mythology Parashuram, an incarnation of God Vishnu shot an arrow in the western part of India and a portion of land came into existence and later known as Goa.
Goa was the part of Buddhist state of Great Ashoka in 300 BC.
It was under Chalukyans of Badami in 570 to 750 AD capital was Chandrapura.
Later it was under Kadambas and then transferred to Gowapuri.
In 1312 Goa was under Muslims by Ala Udin Khilji . In 1370-78 it was under Vijayanagar Empire.
Bahamanis ruled it in 1490 and then it was under Adil Shah of Bijapura, who made old Goa (Velha) his capital.
In 1510 the Portugese, under Alfonso de Albuquerque, invaded Old Goa in order to secure the “Spice Route”. By 1788 they had secured their hold on all Goa, and this era became known as Goa’s “Golden Age”. Churches and cathedrals were built and the natives forcibly converted to catholicism (Old Goa was known then as ‘Rome in India’).
In 1893, due to the silting of the Mandovi River, the capital was moved to Panjim (Panaji). In 1961, fourteen years after the British left, the Indian army peacefully ‘liberated’ Goa from the Portugese in ‘Operation Vijay’. On 30th May 1987 it achieved full statehood and became the 25th state of the Indian Union.