Knowledge Corner

Goa is a state in southwest India, bounded by Maharashtra to the north and Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its western coast. It is India’s smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Goa is one of India’s richest states with a GDP per capita two and a half times that of the country. It was ranked the best placed state by the Eleventh Finance Commission for its infrastructure and ranked on top for the best quality of life in India by the National Commission on Population based on the 12 Indicators.

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese Indiaexisted for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.

Goa is visited by large numbers of international and domestic tourists each year for its beaches, places of worship and world heritage architecture. It has rich flora and fauna, owing to its location on the Western Ghats range, a biodiversity hotspot.

History

In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanta, Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak. The Indian epic Mahabharata refers to the area now known as Goa as Goparashtra or Govarashtra, which means “a nation of cowherds”. Gopakapuri or Gopakapattanam were used in some ancient Sanskrit texts, and these names were also mentioned in other sacred Hindu texts such as the Harivansa and the Skanda Purana. In the 3rd century BC, Goa was known as Aparantha and is mentioned by the Greek geographer Ptolemy. In the 13th century, the Greeks referred to Goa as Nelkinda. Other historical names for Goa are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.

Goa’s history goes back 20,000–30,000 years. The rock art engravings exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India.Upper Paleolithic or Mesolithic rock artengravings have been found on the bank of the river Kushavati at Usgalimal. Petroglyphs, cones, stone-axe, and choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in many places in Goa, such as Kazur, Mauxim, and the Mandovi-Zuari basin. Evidence of Palaeolithic life is seen at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon etc. Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem for determining the exact time period.

Gold coins issued by the Kadamba king of Goa, Shivachitta Paramadideva.Circa 1147–1187 AD.

Early Goan society underwent radical change when Indo-Aryan and Dravidian migrants amalgamated with the aboriginal locals, forming the base of early Goan culture.

In the 3rd century BC, Goa was part of the Maurya Empire, ruled by the Buddhist emperor, Ashoka of Magadha. Buddhist monks laid the foundation of Buddhism in Goa. Between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD, Goa was ruled by the Bhojas of Goa. Chutus of Karwar also ruled some parts as feudatories of theSatavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 AD), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadavclans of Gujarat, and the Konkan Mauryas as feudatories of the Kalachuris. The rule later passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 578 and 753, and later the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 753 to 963. From 765 to 1015, the Southern Silharas of Konkan ruled Goa as the feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas. Over the next few centuries, Goa was successively ruled by the Kadambas as the feudatories of the Chalukyas of Kalyani. They patronised Jainism in Goa.

In 1312, Goa came under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. The kingdom’s grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 it was forced to surrender it to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara empire. The Vijayanagara monarchs held on to the territory until 1469, when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After that dynasty crumbled, the area fell into the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur, who established as their auxiliary capital the city known under the Portuguese as Velha Goa(or Old Goa).

In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yousuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally, Timayya. They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa. This was the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until 1961.

In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panjim from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century, Portuguese Goa had expanded to most of the present-day state limits. Simultaneously the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Estado da Índia Portuguesa or State of Portuguese India, of which Goa was the largest territory.

After India gained independence from the British in 1947, India requested that Portuguese territories on the Indian subcontinent be ceded to India. Portugal refused to negotiate on the sovereignty of its Indian enclaves. On 19 December 1961, the Indian Army began military operations with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, Daman, and Diu into the Indian union. Goa, along with Daman and Diu, was organised as a centrally administered union territory of India. On 30 May 1987, the union territory was split, and Goa was made India’s twenty-fifth state, with Daman and Diu remaining a union territory.

Geography

Goa encompasses an area of 3,702 km2 (1,429 sq mi). It lies between the latitudes 14°53′54″ N and 15°40′00″ N and longitudes 73°40′33″ E and 74°20′13″ E.Goa is a part of the coastal country known as the Konkan, which is an escarpment rising up to the Western Ghats range of mountains, which separate it from the Deccan Plateau. The highest point is the Sonsogor, with an altitude of 1,167 metres (3,829 ft). Goa has a coastline of 101 km (63 mi).

Goa’s main rivers are Mandovi, Zuari, Terekhol, Chapora kushavati river and the Sal. The Mormugao harbour on the mouth of the River Zuari is one of the best natural harbours in South Asia. The Zuari and the Mandovi are the lifelines of Goa, with their tributaries draining 69% of its geographic area. These rivers are some of the busiest rivers in India. Goa has more than forty estuarine, eight marine and about ninety riverine islands. The total navigable length of Goa’s rivers is 253 km (157 mi). Goa has more than three hundred ancient water-tanks built during the rule of the Kadamba dynasty and over a hundred medicinal springs.

Demographics

Population growth
CensusPop.
1951547,000
1961590,0007.9%
1971795,00034.7%
19811,008,00026.8%
19911,170,00016.1%
20011,347,66815.2%
20111,458,5458.2%

Languages

Languages in Goa
Konkani61%
Marathi19%
Kannada7%
Hindi5%
Urdu4%
Others4%

Skill Test

1. Who was the famous Portuguese who discovered sea route from Europe to India by reaching Goa?

2. Which is the famous festival of the native people of Goa?

3. Which is Goa’s official language?

4. Name the capital city of Goa.

5. What is the total area of Goa?

6. Which sea borders Goa in the west?

7. When was Goa established as a separate state?

8. When Goa was made a Union Territory along with Daman & Diu by the 12th Amendment Act?

9. How many districts are there under Goa?

10. Name the first Woman Grandmaster from Goa.

11. Who became the Chief Minister of Goa after replacing Francisco Sardinha in 2000?

12. Which river flows through Goa?

13. Which state borders Goa in the south?

14. Which state borders Goa from the North?

15. Name the article of the Constitution of India that is a special provision for Goa.

16. Which is the state bird of Goa?