Introduction about Goa
Many believe that the name Goa was given by the Portuguese who came to India in 1400’s but even before that, the state of Goa was known as Gomanta, Gova or Gowapuri which were also the name of the ports at the Zuari river since the beginning. A strip of land which is 110 kilometer in length and 60 km in width which is known as modern day Goa. It lies between Western Ghats (Sahayadri range) and the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India. Gova was the port in the state of Gomanta and after Portuguese conquered Gomanta they called it Goa coz they found Gomanta a very foreign. Prior to the Portuguese arrival, Goa’s tradition was very much alike the rest of southern and costal India, the largest hindu community represented in Goa was goud saraswat brahmins who worshiped lord Parshuram. Legend has that Lord Parshuram (Shri Vishnu's sixth incarnation) shot an arrow in the Arabian Sea from the peak of the Sahyadri. This arrow hit Baannaavali (Benaulim) and made the sea recede, thus reclaiming the land of Goa.
One of the first rulers in Goa were the The Maurya dynasty, they are also known as one of the pioneer to start the trading business with the Europe, Greek and western country. Bhoja dynasty after Maurya dynasty utilized Goa as an opportunity in a well-planned manner, the interstate relation of Bhoja dynasty was vast and peaceful. People of Bhoja kingdom had an opportunity of trading the goods freely with the territory, many traders from different parts of India like Sumatra, Kerala, Bengal and Saurashtra. Production of large variety of goods triggered the trading between India and other parts of the world. Some of the well-known trading items of Goa ports are calico, fine muslins, rice, areca nuts and spices. Not only that Goa exported items but also imported fine quality of horses which were imported from ormuz and sold to rich and wealthy king and chieftains of Deccan. Many traders who came to Goa described it as inhabited by moors, respectable men, rich merchant and they also described Goa as Rome of the orient.
The 170 sailors who sailed onto the coast of Goa on their caravel ship, were the first ever Portuguese to enter Indian land. This expedition was carried out by Vasco Da Gama, arrival of foreigner to India opened a gateway of opportunity to commence trading. As Goa was filled with rich resource, which attracted many traders all across the world. as the business grew bigger, Portuguese empire took over the land of Goa and claimed it to be their headquarters of India. They started to expand their kingdom throughout Goa. This expansion triggered the dominance of Portugal ways and lifestyle, they created beautiful mansions, landscape and church. Their customs were influenced on the people and they were made to work under Portugal Empire. Slowly the lifestyle of Portugal took over majority of the population. Even today one can see what Portugal Empire left behind in Goa.
Image source: - Ancestral Goa
Introduction about Ancestral Goa
Maendra Jocelino Araujo Alvares is the person behind the center for preservation of Art, Culture and Environment known as ancestral Goa. Mr. Maendra was awarded Limca book of records in 1994 for the sculpting the largest sculpture of Sant Mirabai, India’s singing saint on laterite rocks. This motivated him to continue the amazing journey ahead. The steps which Mr. Maendra was thinking of taking was something which only a man of utter determination and self-motivation could do. His idea was to convert a barren hill which is covered with hardy shrubbery and thorn into what is today, a master piece of artistic mind and nimble hands. Mr. Maendra has spent extensive amount of time and energy with his worker under sun and the moon, in the rain and driven wind, because only he knew what he wanted and what shape the finished project was going to take. Each year the project has amazing remarkable and noteworthy changes. He recreated the tradition and culture of Goa which no longer existed, in a treasure- house of artifacts and precious items. He has also provided a vast opportunity to the locals, who usually travelled to urban area of Goa for low income jobs.
Hard work of Mr. Maendra made a small town of Loutolim of Goa which was inaccessible and providentially backward to hold its position in the world map of tourist. He has managed to place his village in the hall of fame and garner international acclaim for his land. Ancestral Goa has become educational premise for Nature Club programs of various schools and colleges and a vital part of the syllabus of the “Environmental Study” groups as mandated by the State Board of Education, many foreigner visit this place for their annual study tours and Indian architectural study. Students from the Fashion design institute generally visit the premises to study the culturally correct garbs and the confluence there of the east and west. Many also visit the place to study the huge variety of plants and their cures. The project of ancestral Goa wouldn’t have been possible without the contribution and support of Mrs Maureen Ann Alvares, a language & literature teacher by profession. The Govt. of Goa has acknowledged the project as the "Most Innovative and Unique Project in India's Tourism Industry". It has also been recommended it as a "Very Educative Centre" for students by the state department of Education.