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Goa Tourism : Goa Travel Guide : History of Goa

History of Goa

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In the last Pleistocene Age about 10,000 B.C., the bottom of the Arabian Sea rose up by the tectonec movement and formed the level mass available on the Western Coast known as the Malabar Coast. Goa forms a part of that land mass. This movement broke the huge late rite caps of the rocks and threw them into the sea where we today find evidence of the same. Evidence of this is also found in the discovery of the conch shell in Surla village, fossilized marine conches discovered near Surla and basalitic pillars discovered near Riva village. We also have evidence of coral reefs at Malvan and near Mormugoa harbour. The dating of the coral reefs at Netiana islands also establishes the same findings.

Arch of the Viceroys or Viceroys Arch in Old GoaThe land so exposed continued to be washed by the rains till about 9000 B.C., there was a change of climate. The atmosphere became arid leading to cyclones. The vegetation was de­stroyed and the trees uprooted. Some pieces of the trees got fossilized and today we discover such pieces. Around 8500 B.C., the Monsoons started wash­ing the land. This gradually changed the original hydrographic system into the present age of Fauna and Flora. The land thus became suitable for habitation.

The Historians believe that during this period, the settlers in South India were Australoids, with the Negrito being a part of the same race, but sepa­rated. Over a period of tinae, the two led to different tribal groups. The find­ings in Goa can lead one to surmise that Early Man settled in this Area not earlier than 10,000 B.C. Then he was perhaps roving and only around 8500 B.C. did he have permanent set­tlements. Iron implements have been found dated about 3000 B.C. The rov­ing hands gave way about 6000 B.C. to more permanent pastoral tribes from South India. They domesticated ani­mals and had knowledge of farming of plants and cereals. These were wor­shippers of stone symbols of the fe­male and male elements.

It seems that later on about 5500 years ago, a tribe known as Asura appeared on the scene from the area around Chota Nagpur. They used crude iron implements and did agriculture with the cut and burn meth­ods. Cereals were produced by them. Another 500 years later the Kol, Mundari and Khariwa tribesmen coming from the same area as the Asura forced their way in the Area. The Kols occu­pied the land," prepared paddy fields and set up a sort of collective village’s administration. They had knowledge of rotation of land for cultivation. The Mundaris worked, perhaps, as work­ers while the Kharwas took to fishing and boating. It can be safely presumed that the tribal customs of these three tribes were the same.

 Historians like Anand Ramakrishna Sinai Dhume have found evidence of Sumerian influence and culture in Goa. The discoveries of Sumerian signs in a late rite Cave at SavoiVere, as well as other signs of this influence are traced by Dhume. In his opinion, 'the wealth of archaeological, socioreligious, cul­tural anthropological, sociopolitical, legal evidence as well as the compara­tive study of ancient Sumerian soci­ety and its impact' show positive signs of Sumerian settlements in Goa around 2000 B.C.

Arch of the Viceroys or Viceroys Arch in Old GoaThe first wave of the Aryans came about 2400 B.C. and settled in Goa, they brought with them the Vedic ideas. They were joined by the Sumerians in about 2000 B.C. A second wave of Aryans came about 700 B.C. These consisted of Bhojas, Chediyas and Saraswatis Brahmins, while these tribes were in the area of Goa for quite a few hundred years, the copper plates which are the only real evidence of these rulers namely the Bhojas are only available of a much later period. The Devaraja Shiroda copper plate is sued from Chandraura (present Chander) village of Salcete Taluka gives us information of the grants and names of officials. The exact dating is difficult. The Asamkita Hire Gutle cop per place tells of King Asamkita of Bhoja Dynasty and his gifts of land to a Buddhist Vihara. The Asamkitavar man Ropbli copper plate talks of a grant made to a Brahmin. The Kapar divarma Arya copper plate state sabout the gift made by King Kapar divarman of the Bhoja Dynasty. The language is Sanskrit and in prose. The Prithvimallavarman Bandode cop per plate. States about the grant made by King Prithvimallavarman of Bhoja lineage to a Madhavarya of the Agni veshya Gotra. The Prithvimallavarman Bandode copper place B is a charter granted by King Prithvimavaflayar man of the Bhoja dynasty to Damarya of the Bhardwaja Gotra. The Anirjitav arman Bandode copper plate is in Sanskrit language. The charter is writ ten in prose and is attributed to 6th century A.D. The charter is of Konkan Maurya Maharaja Anirjitavarman. The Chandravarman 'Shivapur copper plate describes the grant made by King Chandravarman to a monastery situated at Shivapur. These plates are evidences of the fact that the Boas were ruling in the Goa Area for some period of time between the 6th and the 7th century. There is also evidence of the Konkan Mauryas ruling partially over the area occupied by the Bhojas. The Mauryas in turn were subdued by the Chalukyas of Badami. We have according to Dr. V.T. Gune as many as eight copper plate grants of the Chalukya Emperors of Badami. A.R.S. Dhume disputes some of these cop­per plates as evidence of the Chalukya rule in Goa. We have the copper plate of Pulakesin II of the period A.D. 61142. At worst we can presume that while evidence is lacking to completely link Goa under the sway of the chalukyas till the Silaharas of South Konkan took over from them, we can presume that the Chalukyas may have continued their control over Goa area.

The Silaharas ruled in Goa from 750 to 1020 A.D. We have two copper plates from Kharepatna which tell us that Shanaphulla, the founder of the Goa Dynasty of Shilahara of South Konkana obtained the lordship of Sinhala (Simhalesha) from Krishna I of the Rastrakuta Dynasty. Krishna I suc­ceeded Dantedurga in A.D. 759. He ruled from 76595. Aiyapa, the Shi­lahara King, invaded Chandrapura and celebrated his victory over that king­dom by bathing in coconut water. He ruled from 82045 A.D. Avasara II (892920 A.D.), son of Adityavarman, suc­ceeded him. He also helped the rul­ers of Chandrapura and Chamulya, The Chikodec Plate of Avasara III states that Bhima (94570 A.D.) an­nexed Chandramandala. Rattaraja (9951020 A.D.) acknowledges suze­rainty of Tailapa, the Chalukya King in A.D 980. He also refers to Satyashraya, the son of Tailapa. An­other grant of Rattaraja is dated 24th December A.D. 1010. The Shilahara Rule in Goa seems to have ended within about 15 years of this grant. Jayasimha II, brother of Chalukya Vikramaditya V invaded Goa and took over the Area, ending the Konkan Silahara rule. The Kolapur Shilaharas who seem to have been made over­lords of Goa by the Chalukyas and the Thana Silaharas as per the Kharapata plate of Anantadeva of the Thana Shilaharas, were always fighting for the suprmacy of the entire Konkan area. This lead to Shashthadeva II of the Kadambas to takeover Southern Konkan.

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