A place that’s equally synonymous with serenity and solitude and also fun and revelry. A place that has sun-kissed beaches, verdant fields, and towering coconut trees… a place that has embraced modernity but has not cut off ties with its glorious past… a place where contradictions co-exist beautifully. That is Goa for you – a paradise for beach lovers, partygoers, nature enthusiasts and history buffs. The beach state also boasts a beautiful blend of various cultures – both indigenous and foreign. In this article, we will explore Goa’s tryst with history and its rich cultural heritage. 

Ancient To Modern: Goa Through the Ages

Goan history can be traced back thousands of years. It has been referred to in the texts of the later Vedic Period (1000-500 BC) as “Gomantak”, among other names. A land that has borne witness to the rise and fall of many empires and invaders, it was part of the Mauryan Empire, ruled by emperor Ashoka, in the third century BC. From the second century BC to the sixth century CE, Goa came under the control of multiple rulers – there were the Chutus of Karwar (feudatories of the Satavahanas), followed by the Western Kshatrapas and the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra. Goa was also controlled by the Bhojas of Gujarat, the Konkan Mauryas (feudatories of the Kalachuris) and the Chalukyas of Badami and Kalyani. Others who ruled over this beautiful land were the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed, the Southern Silharas of Konkan (feudatories of the Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas) and the Kadambas.

In the 14th century, Goa was ruled by the Delhi Sultanate for a brief period before the Vijayanagara Empire conquered it. The Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga defeated Vijayanagara and conquered Goa in the 15th century. The area then fell under the control of Adil Shahis of Bijapur. In the 16th century, Goa became a colony of the Portuguese, who defeated the ruling Bijapur kings. They established a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (old Goa) and later shifted the capital to the modern Panaji. 

After India gained independence in 1947, the Portuguese refused to transfer the sovereignty of their Indian conquests. In 1961, the Indian Army launched an operation (Operation Vijay), which culminated in the annexation of Goa, Daman and Diu.

Imprints Of the Past

While references to Goa came at a later stage, the area was home to a thriving prehistoric society. Rock art engravings that have been found here are the earliest known in India. If you want a glimpse of this ancient past, visit Usgalimal village in South Goa – one of the most important prehistoric sites in the country. From stone age artefacts to stunning colonial architecture, Goa has it all. Seven sites in Goa, collectively called the churches and convents of Goa, have been granted UNESCO World Heritage Status. This includes the Bom Jesus Basilica, which holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, who is worshipped as the patron saint of Goa. The must-visit historical sites in this beautiful beach state include Fort Aguada, the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, Chapora Fort, Reis Magos Fort, Fort Terekhol and Gateway of the Palace of Yusuf Adil Shah. 

Land Of Cultural Concoctions

Goa is the land of multiple cultures – Indian, Portuguese, Hindu, Christian and Muslim. A scintillating fusion of the East and the West, its culture and traditions have been influenced by the various phases in its history. The friendly and open-minded people of this picturesque state celebrate every festival with equal fervour. The Feast of St. Xavier, celebrated on December 3 every year to mark the anniversary of the Saint’s death, sees a gathering of thousands at the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The 10-day Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is also celebrated in full grandeur across the state. And need we say anything about Goa during Christmas and New Year?   

The amalgamation of various cultures is also evident in the art forms of Goa, especially it’s folk music and dance. After educating yourself about Goa’s history and exploring its natural beauty, find some time to enjoy traditional Goan music and dance. The most popular Folk dances of Goa are Dhangar, Ghode Modni, Shigmo, Goff Talgadi and Mussel Khel. Traditional music in Goa has been enriched with styles like Mando Suvari, Ovi, Dhallo, and Duvallo. The Goan Carnival, one of the biggest in India, sees people from all corners of the world flocking to the state.  The Carnaval is a riot of colours, a unique example of cultural expression and a celebration of life with spectacular parades featuring beautiful floats, live music and dance performances, and mouthwatering food. 

Say Hello to An Idyllic Life

Nature, beaches, history, festivals galore, dance and music – Goa has everything that makes life a celebration. If this is the life of your dreams, Provident Housing will help you fulfil it. Our project – Provident Adora De Goa at Dabolim – has been shaped by your desires and aspirations. An enviable permanent address, it’s also an excellent choice as an investment or a holiday home. Located centrally, it’s very close to the airport. What makes Provident Adora De Goa even more irresistible from a historical point of view is its proximity to Bom Jesus Basilica – the world heritage site is just 30 minutes away.  A land which offers magical glimpses of the yore, a land of vibrant cultures and breathtaking beauty – imagine calling it home!