Goa Knowledge Guide
Rock art engravings found in Goa exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India. Goa, situated within the Shimoga-Goa Greenstone Belt in the Western Ghats (an area composed of metavolcanics, iron formations and ferruginous quartzite), yields evidence for Acheulean occupation. Rock art engravings (petroglyphs) are present on laterite platforms and granite boulders in Usgalimal near the west flowing Kushavati river and in Kajur. In Kajur, the rock engravings of animals, tectiforms and other designs in granite have been associated with what is considered to be a megalithic stone circle with a round granite stone in the centre. Petroglyphs, cones, stone-axe, and choppers dating to 10,000 years ago have been found in various locations in Goa, including Kazur, Mauxim, and the Mandovi-Zuari basin. Evidence of Palaeolithic life is visible at Dabolim, Adkon, Shigao, Fatorpa, Arli, Maulinguinim, Diwar, Sanguem, Pilerne, and Aquem-Margaon. Difficulty in carbon dating the laterite rock compounds poses a problem for determining the exact time period.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 the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (2nd century BC to the 2nd century AD), Western Kshatrapas (around 150 AD), the Abhiras of Western Maharashtra, Bhojas of the Yadav clans 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 Yusuf 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 colonial rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until its annexation in 1961. The Goa Inquisition, a formal tribunal, was established in 1560, and was finally abolished in 1812.In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panaji 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.
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 invaded with Operation Vijay resulting in the annexation of Goa, and of Daman and Diu islands 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.
Historic sites and neighbourhoods
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 (the patron of the Archdiocese of Goa is actually Saint Joseph Vaz). These are both Portuguese-era monuments and reflect a strong European character. The relics are taken down for veneration and for public viewing, per the prerogative of the Church in Goa, not every ten or twelve years as popularly thought and propagated. The last exposition was held in 2014. Goa has the Sanctuary of Saint Joseph Vaz in Sancoale. Pilar monastery which holds novenas of Venerable Padre Agnelo Gustavo de Souza from 10 to 20 November yearly. There is a claimed Marian Apparition at the Church of Saints Simon and Jude at Batim, Ganxim, near Pilar, where Goans and non-resident Goans visit. There is the statue of the bleeding Jesus on the Crucifix at the Santa Monica Convent in Velha Goa. There are churches (Igorzo), like the baroque styled Nixkollounk Gorb-Sombhov Saibinnich Igorz (Church of the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception) in Panaji, the Gothic styled Mater Dei (Dêv Matechi Igorz/ Mother of God) church in Saligao and each church having its own style and heritage, besides Kopelam/ Irmidi (chapels). The Velhas Conquistas regions are known for Goa-Portuguese style architecture. There are many forts in Goa such as Tiracol, Chapora, Corjuem, Aguada, Reis Magos, Nanus, Mormugao, Fort Gaspar Dias and Cabo de Rama.In many parts of Goa, mansions constructed in the Indo-Portuguese style architecture still stand, though in some villages, most of them are in a dilapidated condition. Fontainhas in Panaji has been declared a cultural quarter, showcasing the life, architecture and culture of Goa. Influences from the Portuguese era are visible in some of Goa's temples, notably the Shanta Durga Temple, the Mangueshi Temple, the Shri Damodar Temple and the Mahalasa Temple. After 1961, many of these were demolished and reconstructed in the indigenous Indian style.
Museums and science centre
Goa has three important museums: the Goa State Museum, the Naval Aviation Museum and the National Institute of Oceanography. The aviation museum is one of three in India (the others are in Delhi and Bengaluru). The Goa Science Centre is in Miramar, Panaji. The National Institute of Oceanography, India (NIO) is in Dona Paula. Museum of Goa is a privately owned contemporary art gallery in Pilerne Industrial Estate, near Calangute.
Dance and music
Traditional Goan art forms are Dekhnni, Fugdi, Corridinho, Mando, Dulpod and Fado. Goan Catholics are fond of social gatherings and Tiatr (Teatro). As part of its Portuguese history, music is an integral part of Goan homes. It is often said that "Goans are born with music and sport". Western musical instruments like the piano, guitars and violins are widely used in most religious and social functions of the Catholics. Goan Hindus are very fond of Natak, Bhajan and Kirtan. Many famous Indian classical singers hail from Goa, including Mogubai Kurdikar, Kishori Amonkar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Prabhakar Karekar.Goa is also known as the origin of Goa trance.
Natak, Tiatr (most popular) and Jagor are the chief forms of Goa's traditional performance arts. Other forms are Ranmale, Dashavatari, Kalo, Goulankala, Lalit, Kala and Rathkala. Stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata along with more modern social subjects are narrated with song and dance."Jagor", the traditional folk dance-drama, is performed by the Hindu Kunbi and Christian Gauda community of Goa, to seek the Devine Grace for protection and prosperity of the crop. Literal meaning of Jagor is "jagran" or wakeful nights. The strong belief is that the night long performance, awakens the deities once a year and they continue to remain awake throughout the year guarding the village. Perni Jagor is the ancient mask dance – drama of Goa, performed by Perni families, using well crafted and painted wooden masks, depicting various animals, birds, supernatural power, deities, demons, and social characters. Gauda Jagor, is an impression of social life, that displays all the existing moods and modes of human characters. It is predominantly based on three main characters, Gharasher, Nikhandar and Parpati wearing shining dress and headgears. The performance is accompanied by vibrant tunes of Goan folk instruments like Nagara/Dobe, Ghumat, Madale, and Kansale. In some places, Jagor performances are held with participation of both Hindus and Christian community, whereby, characters are played by Hindus and musical support is provided by Christian artistes.Tiatr (Teatro) and its artists play a major role in keeping the Konkani language and music alive. Tiatrs are conducted solely in the Roman script of Konkani as it is primarily a Christian community-based act. They are played in scenes with music at regular intervals, the scenes are portrayals of daily life and are known to depict social and cultural scenarios. Tiatrs are regularly held especially on weekends mainly at Kala Academy, Panaji, Pai Tiatrist Hall at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao and most recent shows have also started at the new Ravindra Bhavan, Baina, Vasco. Western Musical Instruments such as Drums, bass, Keyboards, and Trumpets. are part of the show and most of them are played acoustically. It is one of Goa's few art forms that is renowned across the world with performances popular among Goans in the Middle-East, Americas and Europe.
Konkani cinema is an Indian film industry, where films are made in the Konkani language, which is spoken mainly in the Indian states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka and to a smaller extent in Kerala. Konkani films have been produced in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala.The first full length Konkani film was Mogacho Anvddo, released on 24 April 1950, and was produced and directed by A. L.Jerry Braganza, a native of Mapusa, under the banner of ETICA Pictures. Hence, 24 April is celebrated as Konkani Film Day.Since 2004, starting from the 35th edition, the International Film Festival of India moved its permanent venue to Goa, it is annually held in the months of November and December.Konkani film Paltadcho manis has been included in the world's best films of 2009 list.Konkani films are eligible for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Konkani. The most commercially successful Konkani film (as of June 2011) is O Maria directed by Rajendra Talak.In 2012, the whole new change adopted in Konkani Cinema by introducing Digital Theatrical Film "The Victim" directed by Milroy Goes.Some old Konkani films are Sukhachem Sopon, Amchem Noxib, Nirmonn, Mhoji Ghorkarn, Kortubancho Sonvsar, Jivit Amchem Oxem, Mog ani Moipas, Bhuierantlo Munis, Suzanne, Boglantt, Padri and Bhogsonne. Ujwadu is a 2011 Konkani film directed by Kasargod Chinna and produced by KJ Dhananjaya and Anuradha Padiyar.
Rice with fish curry (xit koddi in Konkani) is the staple diet in Goa. Goan cuisine is famous for its rich variety of fish dishes cooked with elaborate recipes. Coconut and coconut oil are widely used in Goan cooking along with chili peppers, spices, and vinegar is used in the Catholic cuisine, giving the food a unique flavour. The Goan cuisine is heavily influenced by Portuguese cuisine. Goan food may be divided into Goan Catholic and Goan Hindu cuisine with each showing very distinct tastes, characteristics, and cooking styles. Pork dishes such as Vindalho, Xacuti, chouriço, and Sorpotel are cooked for major occasions among the Goan Catholics. An exotic Goan vegetable stew, known as Khatkhate, is a very popular dish during the celebrations of festivals, Hindu and Christian alike. Khatkhate contains at least five vegetables, fresh coconut, and special Goan spices that add to the aroma. Sannas, Hitt, are variants of idli and Polle, Amboli, and Kailoleo are variants of dosa; all are native to Goa. A rich egg-based, multi-layered sweet dish known as bebinca is a favourite at Christmas. There are some places in Goa which are famous for Goa's traditional & special cuisines. Ros omelette is one of the most popular snacks and street foods in Goa, it is traditionally sold on food carts on streets. The most popular alcoholic beverage in Goa is feni; cashew feni is made from the fermentation of the fruit of the cashew tree, while coconut feni is made from the sap of toddy palms. Urrak is another local liquor prepared from Cashew fruit. In fact the bar culture is one of the unique aspects of the Goan villages where a local bar serves as a meeting point for villagers to unwind. Goa also has a rich wine culture.
The architecture of Goa is a combination of Goan, Ottoman and Portuguese styles. Since the Portuguese ruled and governed for four centuries, many churches and houses bear a striking element of the Portuguese style of architecture. Goan Hindu houses do not show any Portuguese influence, though the modern temple architecture is an amalgam of original Goan temple style with Dravidian, Hemadpanthi, Islamic, and Portuguese architecture. The original Goan temple architecture fell into disuse as the temples were demolished by the Portuguese and the Sthapati known as Thavayi in Konkani were converted to Christianity though the wooden work and the Kavi murals can still be seen.
Goa International Airport, is a civil enclave at INS Hansa, a Naval airfield located at Dabolim near Vasco da Gama. The airport caters to scheduled domestic and international air services. Goa has scheduled international connections to Doha, Dubai, Muscat, Sharjah and Kuwait in the Middle East by airlines like Air Arabia, Air India, GoAir, Indigo, Oman Air, SpiceJet and Qatar Airways. Though night operations were not permitted till recently, the military now allows civil airlines to fly during the night. The proposed greenfield Mopa Airport will be built at Mopa in Pernem taluka.
Goa's public transport largely consists of privately operated buses linking the major towns to rural areas. Government-run buses, maintained by the Kadamba Transport Corporation, link major routes (like the Panaji–Margao route) and some remote parts of the state. The Corporation owns 15 bus stands, 4 depots and one Central workshop at Porvorim and a Head Office at Porvorim. In large towns such as Panajiand Margao, intra-city buses operate. However, public transport in Goa is less developed, and residents depend heavily on their own transportation, usually motorised two-wheelers and small family cars. Goa has four National Highways passing through it. NH-66 (ex NH-17) runs along India's west coast and links Goa to Mumbai in the north and Mangalore to the south. NH-4A running across the state connects the capital Panaji to Belgaum in east, linking Goa to cities in the Deccan. The NH-366 (ex NH-17A) connects NH-66 to Mormugao Port from Cortalim. The new NH-566 (ex NH-17B) is a four-lane highway connecting Mormugao Port to NH-66 at Verna via Dabolim Airport, primarily built to ease pressure on the NH-366 for traffic to Dabolim Airport and Vasco da Gama. NH-768 (ex NH-4A) links Panaji and Ponda to Belgaum and NH-4. Goa has a total of 224 km (139 mi) of national highways, 232 km (144 mi) of state highway and 815 kilometres (506 miles) of district highway. National Highways in Goa are among the narrowest in the country and will remain so for the foreseeable future, as the state government has received an exemption that allows narrow national highways. In Kerala, highways are 45 metres (148 feet) wide. In other states National Highways are grade separated highways 60 metres (200 feet) wide with a minimum of four lanes, as well as 6 or 8 lane access-controlled expressways.Hired forms of transport include unmetered taxis and, in urban areas, auto rickshaws. Another form of transportation in Goa is the motorcycle taxi, operated by drivers who are locally called "pilots". These vehicles transport a single pillion rider, at fares that are usually negotiated. Other than buses, "pilots" tend to be the cheapest mode of transport. River crossings in Goa are serviced by flat-bottomed ferry boats, operated by the river navigation department.
Goa has two rail lines – one run by the South Western Railway and the other by the Konkan Railway. The line run by the South Western Railway was built during the colonial era linking the port town of Vasco da Gama, Goa with Belgaum, Hubli, Karnataka via Margao. The Konkan Railway line, which was built during the 1990s, runs parallel to the coast connecting major cities on the western coast.
The Mormugao Port Trust near the city of Vasco handles mineral ore, petroleum, coal, and international containers. Much of the shipments consist of minerals and ores from Goa's hinterland. Panaji, which is on the banks of the Mandovi, has a minor port, which used to handle passenger steamers between Goa and Mumbai till the late 1980s. There was also a short-lived catamaran service linking Mumbai and Panaji operated by Damania Shipping in the 1990s.