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Ancient history of Goa dates back to 3rd century BC. Chandragupta Maurya had established his empire in Goa that was further enhanced by his son Ashoka. After the death ofAshoka in 232 BC, the Maurya Empire collapsed almost immediately. Later the Kadamba dynasty and the Chalukya dynasty also ruled the state. The 14th century saw Goa, gradually becoming a trading centre where mostly horses were traded from the Middle East. Eminent empires such as the Vijaynagar Empire and Kadamba Empire took Goa under their rule. However, they were soon defeated by the Bahmani Sultans. Things started to change in 1510 AD when the Portuguese arrived into Goa. Goa was also ruled by Adil Shah of Bijapur. Goa served as a perfect base for the Portuguese to take control of the spice trade from the Middle East. The Portuguese had come to Goa in the year 1510 and their stay lasted over 450 years. During the Portugueese rule, conversions to Christianity began. In early 1605, The Dutch invasion in Goa began. They annexed the principal Spice Islands in the East Indies and the Portuguese were forced to shift to the South Celebes. Slowly the Dutch conquered the coastal settlements of the Portuguese Empire. In 1560 the holy office of Goa arrived. The holy office kept Goa in a state of dogmatic purity for the next 200 years. It was finally abolished in 1774.

However, in 1739, the Marathas sent a huge force against Goa that successfully blocked the borders of Bassein from the capital. Margao and Rachol Fort were also captured and the nuns and priests were also forced to vacate from Goa to the fortress of Marmagao. Goa in the nineteenth century witnessed the end of the Maratha power. During 1818 and by the end of the third Anglo-Maratha war half of India was reduced to British pensioners. The British had gradually taken over most of the country. On the other hand the Portuguese territories gradually slipped away from their hands. Finally in 1947 with the help of eminent freedom fighters, India gained its independence from the Britishers but Goa remained a Portuguese colony. In 1961, Jawaharlal Nehru sent armed forces to Goa and under 'Operation Vijay' the Indian army took over Goa in just two days. Since then Goa became one of the union territories of India.

East and west come together in this sun-soaked state, where the beaches have long served as a magnet for hedonists and Indian culture intertwines with Portuguese influences left over from a 500-year occupation. To the north, the tourist-centric scene is prevalent, with an international flair that is now skewing more hip than hippie. Travel south for stretches of unspoiled sand and an escape from large resorts. Temples, mosques and wildlife sanctuaries provide diversions from the beach.

The capital of Goa and headquarters of North Goa District, a small and charming city on the left bank of silvery Mandovi River, with beautiful red-roofed houses, built in Latin style, alsoboasts of many modern houses, well laid gardens etc.


Basilica of Bom Jesus
The Bom Jesus Basilica, perhaps Goa's most famous church and among the most revered by Christians worldwide, is partially in ruins but still a model of simplicity and elegance, and a fine example of Jesuit architecture. This is the only church in Old Goa, which is not plastered on the outside, the lime plaster having been stripped off by a zealous Portuguese conservationist in 1950. Located at Old Goa, 10 km east of Panaji, the Bom Jesus Basilica is a World Heritage Monument.


This is a modern, well laid out city close to Mormugao Harbour that has beautiful and extensive avenues. The air terminus of Goa at Dabolim lies on the outskirts of the city.


Arambol Beach
A unique beach in North Goa, this one is both rocky and sandy beach and much sought after.


Calangute Beach
This is the most popular holiday beach in Goa with a string of luxury resorts resting alongside.


Aguada Fort
Aguada Fort, which crowns the rocky flattened top of the headland, is the best-preserved Portuguese bastion in Goa. Built in 1612 to protect the northern shores of the Mandovi estuary from Dutch and Maratha raiders, it is home to several natural springs. A spring within the fort provided water supply to the ships that called there arriving after the long sea voyage from Lisbon, giving it the name 'Aguada' (meaning 'water' in Portuguese).


Dona Paula
This one is an idyllic picturesque spot with a commanding fine view of the Zuari River and Mormugao Harbour.


Anjuna Beach
A popular beach area adjacent to Chapora Fort, in Anjuna there is magnificent Albuquerque mansion built in 1920, flanked by octagonal towers and attractive Mangalore tiled-roof.


Baga Beach
Goa Baga beach is an option for those who want to be away from the hustle and bustle found on the other beaches. Baga Beach in Goa looks as if it has come straight out of a painting Majestic white waves rushing to wipe out the feet imprints left by you on the white sand while the wind continues to flirt with the palm trees.


Water Sports
Windsurfing, paragliding, jetskiing, or just swimming, water sports is yet another reason why people come back to Goa again and again. John Lucas, an Englishman, who first came to Goa in the early 70s like thousands of other westerners on a spiritual journey, found his heaven here in Goa. Being a keen windsurfer, the next time he came back to Goa, he had with him, his board and rig. And the trend for water sports in Goa was set.


Once you're done with the beaches and the to-die-for seafood, the next stop on your itinerary has to be a visit to Goa's renowned flea markets. There are two of them here – the larger, more flamboyant one is at Anjuna Beach and the other is at Arpora between


Anjuna and Baga beaches.
Every Wednesday afternoon, Anjuna beach morphs into a global bazaar with hundreds of stalls manned by Indians and foreigners, selling everything from clothes, jewellery, and sunglasses to hammocks and drums. Prices at the Indian-owned stalls are likely to be hiked at least 3 times (bargain, bargain, bargain), while foreign-run stalls keep their prices reasonable and discourage haggling. Loud trance music sets the scene, and the crowd includes a liberal smattering of holiday makers from all over the country in addition to medical tourism vacationers and run-of-the-mill tourists. Chow at the vibrant markets is as varied as the choice of goodies on sale, ranging from cheese cakes and Continental fare to Indian snacks and juices. At the Indigo Saturday Night Bazaar, most of the activity centres on drinking and binging, and the mood is festive rather than retail oriented.


Local Treasures
Goa is known for its traditional carved wooden furniture, lacquer ware, and leather goods. Vintage galleries stock superbly maintained colonial Portuguese furniture, while more contemporary ones display a selection of objects d'art sourced from all over the country; azulejos or Portuguese style hand painted ceramic tiles, eco-friendly rattan furniture, linens, hand painted chests, and sculptures. While Goa isn't the best place to buy the country's exquisite silks, trendy boutiques showcase affordable Indo-Western designer wear by local names in addition to comfortable casual clothing. North Goa is where most of the shopping action is centred, while beautiful South Goa is where medical tourism shoppers should head for an undisturbed romantic rendezvous. The capital of Panjim is the focus of most retail activity with all the best boutiques and galleries being located here.