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Goa has a long history stretching back to the 3rd century BC, when it formed part of the Mauryan Empire. Goa was later ruled by the Satavahanas of Kolhapur (in Maharashtra) around two thousand years ago. It eventually passed to the Chalukyas of Badami, who controlled it between 580 to 750. Over the next few centuries Goa was successively ruled by the Silharas, the Kadambas and the Chalukyans of Kalyani, rulers of Deccan India.

Goa fell under the Islamic rule for the first time in 1312, coming under the governance of the Delhi Sultanate. However, the kingdom's grip on the region was weak, and by 1370 they were forced to surrender it to Harihara I of Vijayanagar. The Vijayanagar monarchs held on to the territory for the next hundred years until 1469, when it was appropriated by the Bahmani sultans of Gulbarga. After the dynasty crumbled, the area came under the hands of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur who made Goa Velha their auxiliary capital.

In 1498, Vasco da Gama became the first European to set foot in India through a sea route, landing in Kozhikode in Kerala, followed by an arrival in what is now known as Old Goa. The Portuguese arrived with the intention of setting up a colony and wresting control of the spice trade from other European powers. Later, in 1510, Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque defeated the ruling Bijapur kings on behalf of a Hindu king, Timayya, leading to the establishment of a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa).

By mid-16th century the area under occupation had expanded to most of Goa's present day state limits. The Portuguese intended it to be a colony and a naval base, distinct from the fortified enclaves established elsewhere along India's coasts. With the imposition of the Inquisition (1560–1812), many of the local residents were forcibly converted to Christianity by missionaries. To escape the Inquisition and harassment, thousands fled the state, settling down in the neighbouring towns of Mangalore and Karwar in Karnataka.

With the arrival of the other European powers in India in the 16th century, most Portuguese possessions were appropriated by the British and the Dutch. Portuguese possessions in India were reduced to a few enclaves along India's west coast, with Goa being the largest of these holdings. It soon became their most important overseas possession and was granted the same civic privileges as Lisbon.

The Portuguese encouraged its citizens to marry local women, and to settle in Goa as farmers, retail traders or artisans. These married men soon became a privileged caste, and Goa acquired a large Eurasian population. Subsequently, a senate was created, which maintained direct communications with the king. In 1883 the capital was moved to Panjim from Goa Velha.

After India gained independence from the British in 1947, Portugal refused to accede to India's request to relinquish their control of its exclave. Arbitration by the World Court and the United Nations General Assembly the 1950s, ruled in favour of India. Finally, on 19th December 1961, the Indian army moved in; taking the colony by force. After a brief skirmish lasting for twenty-six hours, Goa, along with Daman and Diu (enclaves lying to the north of Maharashtra), was made into a federally administered Union Territory. Though most nations recognised the annexation, Portugal acknowledged it only after its Carnation Revolution in 1974.

On 30th May 1987, the Union territory was split, and Goa was elevated as India's twenty-fifth state.


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