It was known in ancient literature by many names, such as Gomanchala, Gopakapattam, Gopakapuri, and Gomantak. In the 3rd century BC, Goa was known as Aparantha. In the 13th century, the Greeks referred to Goa as Nelkinda. Other historical names are Sindapur, Sandabur, and Mahassapatam.

Year:  2017

Area: 3,702 sq km

Population: 1,457,723

Flag: The blue and white flag is the unofficial state flag of Goa. There are no official state flags in India because the states of India are unified under central government of India. The Constitution of India does not encourage the concept of state flags as it could encourage the prospect of some states with the ambition of separating from India.

The ancient Hindu city of Goa, hardly a fragment of which survives, was built at the southernmost point of the island of Goa. The city was famous in early Hindu legend and history; its name appears as Gove, Govapuri, and Gomant. It was ruled by the Kadamba dynasty from the 2nd century to 1312 and by Muslim invaders from 1312 to 1367. The city was then annexed by the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar and was later conquered by the Bahmanī sultanate, which founded Old Goa on the island in 1440.

With the subdivision of the Bahmanī kingdom after 1482, Goa passed into the power of Yūsuf ʿĀdil Khan, the Muslim king of Bijapur, who was its ruler when seafarers from Portugal first reached India. The city was attacked in March, 1510, by the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque. The city surrendered without a struggle, and Albuquerque entered in triumph.

Three months later, Yūsuf ʿĀdil Khan returned with 60,000 troops and blockaded the Portuguese in their ships. In November, Albuquerque returned with a larger force and, after overcoming a desperate resistance, recaptured the city, killed all the Muslims, and appointed a Hindu, Timoja, as Governor of Goa.

Goa was the first territorial possession of the Portuguese in Asia. Albuquerque and his successors left almost untouched the customs and constitutions of the 30 village communities on the island, abolishing only the rite of "suttee" (the immolation of widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands).

Goa became the capital of the whole Portuguese empire in Asia. It was granted the same civic privileges as Lisbon, reaching the climax of its prosperity between 1575 and 1600. The appearance of the Dutch in Indian waters precipitated the decline of Goa. In 1603 and 1639, the city was blockaded by Dutch fleets, though never captured, and in 1635 it was ravaged by an epidemic. In 1683, a Mughal army saved it from capture by Maratha raiders. In 1739, the whole territory was again attacked by the Marathas and was saved only by the unexpected arrival of a new Portuguese viceroy with a fleet.

The seat of the government was moved to Mormugão (now Marmagao) and in 1759 to Panjim (or New Goa; now Panaji). Cholera epidemics were one of the chief reasons for the migration of the inhabitants from Old Goa to Panjim. Between 1695 and 1775, the population of Old Goa dwindled from 20,000 to 1,600; in 1835 the city was inhabited by only a few priests, monks, and nuns.

During the 19th century, major events affecting the settlement were its temporary occupation by the British in 1809 as a result of the invasion of Portugal by Napoleon I. The most notable of the revolts was that of September 3, 1895, which necessitated the dispatch of an expeditionary force from Portugal. The Portuguese prince Affonso Henriques accompanied this expedition and exercised governor’s powers from March to May, 1896.

After India achieved independence from England in 1947, it made claims on Goa in 1948 and 1949, and Portugal came under increasing pressure to cede Goa and its other possessions in the subcontinent to India. In mid-1954, Goan nationalists seized the Portuguese enclaves of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and established a pro-Indian administration. Tension between the two countries came to a head on December 18, 1961, when Indian troops supported by naval and air forces invaded and occupied Goa, Daman, and Diu. The Portuguese surrender in the two-day war marked the end of Portuguese governance in India, but many Portuguese customs remain in the Indian state of Goa.

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