Vasco da Gamma
was the first European
to land in India via a sea route when he landed in Cochin in Kerala
on May 28, 1498.where he soon started a trading post. He carried
spices from India to Portugal. It was a very profitable business and
so the Portuguese sent other expeditions to India and soon trading
centres were established in Calicut, Cochin and Cannanore.
He carried spices from India to
Portugal. It was a very profitable business and so the Portuguese
sent other expeditions to India. Soon trading centres were
established in Calicut, Cochin and Cannanore.
Dom Alfonso de Albuquerque Enters Goa
Alfonso de Albuquerque came to
India in 1503 as a commander of a squadron and in 1509 was appointed
as the Governor of
Portuguese affairs in
He realized the need for a permanent base in India and so set off
with a fleet of 21 ships and 1600 men to conquer Goa.
Goa was conquered on the
morning of March 4, 1510. However, on
May 20, 1510 Adil Shah recaptured Goa and Albuquerque had to
abandon Goa and flee back to Portugal.
As luck would have it they met reinforcements
on the way
and so headed back for Goa with a
fleet of 23 ships and 2,000 men. And so
on the morning of 25 November 1510, Albuquerque's men attacked the
city, and at midday Goa was
again in Portuguese hands. It was the
feast of St Catherine and kneeling in the
square he dedicated
Goa to her.
The City Of Goa
Alfonso de Albuquerque immediately repaired the fortifications to
the City of Goa and ordered the strengthening of the forts of Benasterim, Devarim and Pangim,
which commanded the principal passes to the mainland.
A mint was established and gold, silver and copper money were
minted. Asia's first hospital was built in Goa in 1511.
Primary schools with Portuguese teachers were set-up in the same
year and Albuqurque
reduced by one-third the tribute that they had thus far paid (to Adil
(Church of Priorado do Rosario, Chapel of Santa Catarina) were built
Albuquerque allowed the locals to practice their own religion. He encourage the marriage of Portuguese soldiers
with native women and passed an order abolishing the practice of
In 1530, the capital of Portuguese India was transferred from Cochin
to Goa and in 1534 it became the centre of the Roman Church in the
whole East. Finally in 1557 Goa became the seat of an archibishopric.
On this occasion a large cathedral was also built (Sé of Santa
The Velhas Conquestas (Old Conquests)
By 1543, the Portuguese had extended their control over Salcette,
Mormugao and Bardez, thus ending their first phase of expansion into
Goa. The territories of Ilhas, Salcette, Mormugao and Bardez formed
part of the Portugal's "Velhas Conquestas" or Old Conquests, and
formed only one fifth of the total area of modern Goa.
The Novas Conquestas (New Conquests)
The second attack by the Marathas in 1737 was led by King Shahu, grandson of Shivaji
and this ended in a truce. The treaty of May 1739 gave control of
Portugal's northern Indian provinces including Bassein to the
Marathas in return for the withdrawal of Maratha forces from Goa. In
1741, the Marathas invaded Bardez and Salcete and threatened the
city of Goa itself. Fortunately for the Portuguese, a new viceroy,
the Marquis of Lourical arrived with substantial reinforcements and
defeated the Marathas in Bardez. During this period, the Portuguese
slowly expanded their territories which enabled them to extend their
control over Bicholim and Satari (in 1780-1781), then Pernem later
that decade and finally Ponda, Sanguem, Quepem and Canacona in 1791.
These acquisitions known as the" Novas Conquestas " were quickly
integrated with the Velhas Conquestas consisting of Salcette, Bardez
This second and final phase of Portuguese expansion was rather
different from their initial conquests. By the time these
territories were added, their attitude had changed and their zeal
for religious conversions had died down. By 1835, all religious
orders were banned, and the Hindu majority were granted the freedom
to practice their religion. As a result, the "New Conquests"
retained their Hindu identity, a characteristic feature that
persists even today, and this is also why there is a
religious/cultural/language or dialect difference existing in Goa
between the Talukas of Tiswadi, Bardez, Salcette and Mormugao on one
side and Pernem, Bicholim, Sattari, Ponda, Sangem, Quepem and
Canacona on other.
At the beginning of 17th. century, Goa was the capital of an empire
which spread from Moçambique to Nagasaki and that controlled the
Indian Ocean trade. This was the period of great brightness for Goa
and the Portuguese power in the East, the city was also called "Goa
Dourada" or "Roma do Oriente" at that time is said that Goa had
200.000 inhabitants and was able to compete with the most important
cities in the world, a lot of magnificent churches and buildings
were built during these years. Several of them are still visible
today. A proverb of the time said: "Quem viu Goa, dispensa de ver
Lisboa" (whoever has seen Goa need not see Lisbon). Goa became the
jewel of Portugal's eastern empire and was the headquarters of
Portuguese India, and seat of the Portuguese viceroy who governed
the Portuguese possessions in Asia.