Goa was coveted and ruled by a great number of Indian kingdoms and
dynasties from the 4th century onwards. The first kingdom to rule Goa
and Konkan were Bhojas, who were the feudatories of Ashoka in 4th and
5th centuries AD. The city of Chandrapur (present Chandor) was founded
by Prince Chandraditya, son of Chalukya King Pulakesin from 566 to 597
A.D. after this, Goa was ruled consecutively by Silahara Dynasty,
Kadamba Danasty, and finally Hoysalas from 1022 to 1342 A.D.
From the 14th century onwards, Goa became a great trading center on the
west coast, especially in the vast trade of horses imported from the
Middle East. This was the time for bigger empires to move in and
Vijayanagar Empire conquered it in 1344. But their empire was not going
to last too long and in 1347, Bahmani Sultans defeated Vijayanagara
forces in 1347 and controlled Goa. Afterwards, it was a time of great
prosperity and peace for Goa, especially during the rules of Yusuf Adil
Shah and Ismail Adil Shah. They created beautiful houses, fortified Goa,
and encouraged local craftsmen.
Portuguese Goa India
Goa for all purposes was not on the Portuguese Radar even after a long
time of their presence in India. When the Portuguese nobleman Alfonso de
Albuquerque and his cousin Francisco de Albuquerque were sent with a
powerful fleet in 1503 on the orders of King Dom Manuel I, the purpose
was to defend the cargoes of spices, mostly pepper, against Arab Muslim
raiders. The center of spice trade was Calicut at that time and
Portuguese had built forts in Cochin and Cannanore.
It was in 1506-08 that an opportunistic pirate, Timoja, persuaded
Albuquerque to attack Goa and acquire a better land base. This made Goa,
Portugal's first real territorial acquisition in Asia. After a brief
period of recapturing by the Muslims, Goa Albuquerque finally captured
Goa in 1510.
The inquisition of Goa in 1540 reversed the previous liberal policy of
Albuquerque and imposed strict censorship of literature and new laws to
forbade non-Christians from professions. Forced conversions took place
continuously, censorship was established on literature, the temples were
destroyed, and non-Christian priests, holy men, and teachers were
evicted. This led to continuous fleeing of Hindus from Goa to other
parts of India.
It is not that the relationship with Portugal brought only destruction
for the Goans. Portuguese also built great churches like the church of
St. Cajetan and Bom Jesus basilica in Old Goa, which is a pilgrimage
site for the Christians from around the world. But it is also true that
pre-1961, Goa was a highly impoverished region very backward and
primitive. It is after the liberation that Goa of today has emerged and
it has surprised even the locals many of whom had left their homeland
before its liberation. Portugal and India are today friends and Goa
continues to be a fascinating blend of Latin and Oriental.
As a legacy of its unusual colonial history Goa was inherited a mixture
of language. Portuguese is still spoken as a second language by a few
Goans, although it is gradually dying out. The official language of
India is Hindi, which children in Goa are obliged to learn in school.
Konkani is now accepted as the official language of the state and
Marathi is also taught as a standard subject. Ironically the primary
language used in many schools is none of the above - for most children
are actually taught English. The arguments about continuing or
abandoning this policy of placing such importance on English rage on.
Most feel that continuing use of English is a distinct advantage to
their children who will need it if they are to find good jobs in the
future. Meanwhile children in Goa are taught three or four languages as
a standard part of the school syllabus.
In spite of remaining under Portuguese control for so long, majority of
the people in Goa are still Hindu. Though, strong catholic influences
are visible everywhere in the art, culture, and society. The demography
of the state started changing after the coming of the Portuguese in the
15th century due to the spirit of propagating Catholicism they brought
Arts and Crafts of Goa
The art and craft forms of Goa show a remarkable harmony between
Portuguese and Indian cultures. The crafts of the state are intricately
beautiful, capturing the fancies of tourists and locals alike. These
crafts can be at best described as a mirror of Goa's perennial glory and
beauty and they have carved a niche for themselves with the
connoisseur's of art the world over. The major art forms of the state
include bamboo craft, woodcarving, brass metals, seashell craft,
papier-mâché, and wooden lacquer ware. Other important crafts of the
state include jute macramé, fabric collage, plaster of Paris, crochet
and embroidery, fiber and batik prints, fiber stone carving, coconut
shell carving, metal embossing, silver and imitation jewelry, cotton
dolls, soft toys, woolen tapestry, and artistic weaving.
The state of Goa is located between Latitudes 15 degrees, 48'00" N and
between 14 degrees, 53'54" N and Longitudes 74degrees, 20'13" E and 73
degrees 40" 33" E. It is 1,022 meters above sea-level.
GMT + five and half hours.
It has a land area of 3702 Sq. Kms.
It has a coast line of 104kms
Goa is bounded on the north by Sindhudurg district of Maharastra state,
on the West by the Arabian sea, on the South by Karwar district of
Karnataka state and on the East by Belgaum district of Karnataka state
The highest mountain is Sonsogor in the Sahyadri range of the Western
Ghats which is 3,827 feet.
The Goan landscape is bisected by two major rivers that open into the
arabian sea; they are
The other major rivers include the Tiracol, Chapora, Sal and the Talpona
rivers. All the rivers originate in the Sayhadri ranges and flow
westward into the Arabian sea and are navigable throughout the year.
Overall Goa's inland waterways are about 250kms
One third of Goa is covered by forests, the actual number being
1424.38Sqkms. Of this the Government owns 1224.38Sqkms, the rest (
approx 200Sqkm ) is held by the private sector.
The state capital is Panaji, in Ilhas taluka in North Goa.
Winter: Ranges from 21 0C
Summer: 35 0C
Goa receives rainfall from the South West monsoon winds between June and
September. Rainfall received in 1998 was 3008 mm. This is also the
tourist "OFF SEASON".
Goa’s total population is around 1,169,793 (1991 census of India) The
density of population is 316 per SqKms. Most of Goa's population is
rural ( 690,041), a significant population is however urban ( 479,752).
Aracanut, Cashew, Coconut, Forest Produce, Rice, Millets and Sugarcane.
The main feature of the Goan climate is the monsoon, which occurs
between June and the end of September. Goa is in the path of the
southwest monsoon, thereby experiencing a dry period lasting six to
eight months of the year, followed by the annual rainfall, which occurs
over the remaining four months. During the two months preceding the
onset of the monsoon the humidity increases dramatically, and the
normally clear skies become hazy and then cloudy. During the monsoon,
250cm to 300cm of rain is normal, although in the Western Ghats the
downpour is considerably high than on the coast.
Once the monsoon has run its course the skies clear and the weather
becomes pleasant. For four to five months from October through February
the climate is near perfect-cloudless blue skies, warm but not
oppressively hot days, and calm seas. By mid-March the humidity starts
to rise as the monsoon begins to approach again
July To End September (26 inches)
Late November To Mid-February (Min. 3° C - Max. 11° C)
Mid-March To End Of June (Min. 25° C - Max. 45° C)
Languages spoken in goa : Konkani
This Indian state of Goa can definitely boast about fusion of languages,
because this is exactly what is found in Goa. Portuguese was widely
spoken till 1961 when Goa was liberated from the Portugal regime. The
older generations can still speak Portuguese. However, the main
languages spoken now in Goa are Konkani and Marathi. Marathi is widely
taught in schools too.
But a tourist need not take tensions about the lack of communication he
might have to face in Goa. The people of Goa cater very well to the
needs of the tourists as far as language is concerned because almost
everyone in Goa can speak in English and Hindi. A tourist will find sign
posts and directions written in English, so he won't have to face any
confusion once he lands up in Goa.
How To Reach Goa
The airport is about 30 kms from the capital city of Panaji and is owned
by the Indian Navy. Major airline operators such as Indian Airlines, Jet
Airways and Sahara Airlines have flights carrying passengers and cargo
in and out of Goa. Besides these, a number of chartered flights land in
Goa from UK and other European countries. The national airline Air India
also lands a few international flights, especially from the Gulf
Most of the local airlines have a contact phone number in the city as
well as at the airport where the latest information about flight status
is always available. The list of phone numbers is available in the
travel services section of the website.
It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance, especially during
the high peak tourist season of October to January when most flights run
full. It is also essential to re-confirm your flight timings at least 24
hours before departure.
Most major international airlines usually have agreements with one or
more of their domestic counterparts in India, so if you are arriving
from abroad it is possible to book your onward domestic flight at the
same time as you pay for your international ticket.
Rail : Goa is connected with Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Secunderabad, Tirupati
via Londa junction on the Mirage-Bangalore sector of south central
railway, and to Mumbai, and Mangalore on the Konkan Railway Corporation
section. Convenient stations are Margao/Vasco and Karmali.
Road : Panaji, the capital of Goa, is connected by road to Bangalore-598
kms, Belgaum-157 km, Bombay-594 km, Gokarn-154 km, Hospet-315 km,
Hubli-184 km, Karwar-103 km, Kolhapur-246 km, Malwan-150 km,
Mangalore-371 kms, Mysore-696 kms, Pune-458 kms, Ratnagiri-263 kms,
Vengurla-73 kms etc.
Bus Service : Kadamba Transport Corporation. MSRTC and KSRTC operate
frequent bus services between Panaji, Vasco, Margao and to Bangalore,
Belgaum, Gokarn, Hubli, Karwar, Kolhapur, Malwan, Mangalore, Miraj,
Mysore, Pune, Ratnagiri and Vengurla.
Sea : Ship services between Bombay and Goa organised by Damania.
Internal Distances :
Panaji to Baga beach (18 kms), Bondla (55 kms),
Calangute (16 kms), Dabolim Airport (29 kms), Mapusa (13 kms), Margao
(33 kms), Old Goa (10 kms), Terekhol (42 kms), Vagator (22 kms), Vasco-da-gama
(30 kms), Ponda (28 kms).
Local Transport :
Local buses, auto-rickshaws and motor-cycles/taxis available