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There is so much you can do here—from lazing around on the fine beaches, to taking a stroll among the numerous markets—all this coupled with its unique and elegant lifestyle, warm sunshine and friendly locals have made it one of the most sought after destinations in India.
Goa - Facts at a Glance
Having such a contemporary lifestyle, it is surprising to know that Goa has a history that stretches way back to the 3rd century BC. It was then part of the Mauryan empire.
Later, it was ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur and then the Chalukyans of Badami, who ruled from 580 to 750 AD. Goa got invaded by the Muslims in 1312. They were eventually forced out in 1370 by Harihara I of the Vijayanagar empire. Over the next 100 years, Goa's harbor served as an important port for ships carrying Arabian horses to the Vijayanagar cavalry at Hampi.
The port attracted the Portuguese who made it their base in 1510. Their aim was to control the spice route from the east and also carried a mission to spread Christianity. St Francis Xavier with his Jesuit missionaries, arrived in 1542. By the middle of the 16th century, Portuguese control had expanded beyond Old Goa to include the provinces of Bardez and Salcete.
The Marathas almost vanquished the Portuguese in the late 18th century, and there was a brief occupation by the British during the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. However, the Portuguese clung on till 1961, when they were finally ejected by India. It remained a Union territory for 26 years and gained full fledged statehood on August 12th 1987.