Thousands of years ago the enchanted land of Goa was deeply submerged into the sea. How did it come into existence? How did life evolve in this beautiful state?
Goa’s origins are well rooted in its mythological history. As per the Skanda Purana and other Hindu Scriptures, Goa’s mysterious birth dates back to 12000 BC when the sage Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu was banished from the lands he had once conquered. He therefore waited for an opportunity to claim land for himself. He shot seven arrows from the Sahyadris to push back the Arabian Sea and create a stretch of land which he could acquire. The sea-god was forced to withdraw making way for the submerged land to resurface. And from within the sea in the western coast of India, Goa was born.
Parashurama then brought ten sages to settle on the newly acquired land. They performed rituals and Yagnas alongwith many other Fire Sacrifices. Seven of them were chosen and blessed by Lord Shiva. They were called ‘Saptarishis’ or ‘Saptakoteshwara’ which means ‘Seven Sages’.
As time passed by, Goa was christened with many other names like Gomanchala, Govem, Sindapur, Sandabur, Gopakapuri, Gopakapattam, Gomantak, Aparantha, Mahassapatam, Nelkinda and so on.
The foundation of Buddhism was laid in this region by Ashoka of Magadha. Between the second century BCE and the sixth century CE, the Bhojas of the Yadava clan of Gujarat and the Konkan Mauryas of the Kalachuris ruled the land. Later the Chalukyas of Badami took over the reins. From 753 onwards, the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed and Southern Silharas of Konkan were dominant. They were succeeded by the Kadambas, the Chalukyas of Kalyani who patronized Jainism in Goa.
The Delhi Sultanate took over the Goa governance in 1312 but had to later surrender to Harihara I of the Vijayanagara Empire. It was not long before the Vijayanagara Empire came crumbling down and in 1469 the Adil Shahis of Bijapur took a stronghold of the kingdom and established Velha Goa (or old Goa) as their auxiliary capital. Eventually they were defeated by their local ally Timayya alongwith the Portuguese. The Portuguese then ruled over the region for over 450 years until Goa was annexed into the Indian Union. In 1987, the Union Territory was split and Goa was declared a State while Daman & Diu continued to remain Union Territories.
This mysteriously evolved land has over the years attracted many influential dynasties, seafarers, merchants, traders, monks and missionaries and is even today a treasure chest of natural beauty, spice gardens and rich culture. It is a destination of choice atop every traveler’s list from India and across the globe. Visit Goa to unearth its dynamic history and legends of the past.
Visit Goa to know it better and live it at best, stay at hotels in Calangute, the concierge service of Hard Rock Hotel in Goa is one of the best in town.