In ancient literature, Goa was known by many names, such as Gomanta, Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, Govapuri, Govem, and Gomantak.
In1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yousuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally,Timayya and captured the territory which they named it Goa. They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). This was the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until 1961.
Over 450 years of Portuguese rule and the influence of the Portuguese culture presents to visitors to Goa a different environment than what is to be found elsewhere in India. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. The Bom Jesus Cathedral and Fort Aguada are other tourism destinations.
Goa has two World Heritage Sites: the Bom Jesus Basilica and churches and convents of Old Goa. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa but the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually the Blessed Joseph Vaz.
Also, a place not well known to tourists is the Goa Science Centre, which is located in Miramar, Panjim. The National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) is also located in Goa at Dona Paula.
The Goan Carnival and New Year celebration is known to attract a large number of tourists globally.
The Goa Opinion Poll was a referendum held in the state of Goa, India, on 16January 1967, to decide the future of the Union Territory of Goa, Daman and Diu within the Indian Union. Although popularly called an opinion poll, it was in fact, a referendum, as the results of the poll were binding on the government of India. The referendum offered the people of Goa a choice between continuing as a union territory or merging with the state of Maharashtra. It is the only referendum to have been held in independent India. The people voted against the merger and Goa continued to be a union territory. Subsequently, in 1987, Goa became a full-fledged state within the Indian Union. This is the reason we have maintained our unique identity. Today Goa is India’s fourth smallest state.
The first printing press in Asia & India was introduced by the Portuguese in Goa in 1556. Later the Portuguese also introduced Tea to India from China and fruits and flowers from the New World (Brazil) such as cocoa, cashew, common beans, chili peppers, cocoa, custard apple, grape, cotton, guava, maize, papaya, peanut, maize, pineapple, potato, pumpkin, rubber squash, strawberry, sunflower, sweet potato, tobacco, tomato, rubber, strawberry and many others to India through Goa.
Goa Medical College (GMC) is a medical college and hospital in Goa, India was built during the Portuguese rule in 1842. It is one of the oldest medical colleges in Asia teaching medicine.
Goa along with the former Portuguese territories of Daman & Diu, Dadra &Nagar Haveli follow laws of the Portuguese civil code which is still in use today unlike the rest of India which doesn’t have a uniform civil code for all its citizens. Under the civil code all are treated equally and not judged on the basis of religion, caste or sex. All are equal.
Konkani as we know has no writing script but the Portuguese created a writing script for Konkani with the Roman alphabet today known as Romi Konkani.
Sati in Goa was abolished by the Portuguese and we are the first in India to do so.
Earlier it was said, “He who has seen Goa need not see Lisbon.” Goa was then known as the “Lisbon of the East” and was Capital of the Portuguese Indian Vice-Kingdom. From Goa the rest of Portuguese-India was governed along with Macau, East Timor along with other possessions in south East Asia & the Far East, Mozambique & other possessions on the coast of East Africa & the Arabian Coastline in Asia. This is the highest value Goa has ever had in its history. The people of Goa had the same rights as citizens of Portugal and also had a representative in the Portuguese Parliament until 1974.
We are Goans, the cultural bridge between the East & the west. We must be proud of what Goa is to India which the rest of India is completely unaware of. We are unique in our culture and way of life as compared to the rest of India and many envy it. Our prime goal must be to stay united and save Goa and its identity.