1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Goa

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GOA, the name of the past and present capitals of Portuguese India, and of the surrounding territory more exactly described as Goa settlement, which is situated on the western coast of India, between 15° 44′ and 14° 53′ N., and between 73° 45′ and 74° 26′ E. Pop. (1900) 475,513, area 1301 sq. m.

Goa Settlement.—With Damaun (q.v.) and Diu (q.v.) Goa settlement forms a single administrative province ruled by a governor-general, and a single ecclesiastical province subject to the archbishop of Goa; for judicial purposes the province includes Macao in China, and Timor in the Malay Archipelago. It is bounded on the N. by the river Terakhul or Araundem, which divides it from the Sawantwari state, E. by the Western Ghats, S. by Kanara district, and W. by the Arabian Sea. It comprises the three districts of Ilhas, Bardez and Salsette, conquered early in the 16th century and therefore known as the Velhas Conquistas (Old Conquests), seven districts acquired later and known as the Novas Conquistas, and the island of Anjidiv or Anjadiva. The settlement, which has a coast-line of 62 m., is a hilly region, especially the Novas Conquistas; its distinguishing features are the Western Ghats, though the highest summits nowhere reach an altitude of 4000 ft., and the island of Goa. Numerous short but navigable rivers water the lowlands skirting the coast. The two largest rivers are the Mandavi and the Juari, which together encircle the island of Goa (Ilhas), being connected on the landward side by a creek. The island (native name Tisvādī, Tissuvaddy, Tissuary) is a triangular territory, the apex of which, called the cabo or cape, is a rocky headland separating the harbour of Goa into two anchorages—Agoada or Aguada at the mouth of the Mandavi, on the north, and Mormugão or Marmagão at the mouth of the Juari, on the south. The northern haven is exposed to the full force of the south-west monsoon, and is liable to silt up during the rains. The southern, sheltered by the promontory of Salsette, is always open, but is less used, owing to its greater distance from the city of Goa, which is built on the island. A railway connects Mormagão, south of the Juari estuary, with Castle Rock on the Western Ghats. Goa imports textiles and foodstuffs, and exports coco-nuts, areca-nuts, spices, fish, poultry and timber. Its trade is carried on almost entirely with Bombay, Madras, Kathiawar and Portugal. Manganese is mined in large quantities, some iron is obtained, and other products are salt, palm-spirit, betel and bananas.

Cities of Goa.—1. The ancient Hindu city of Goa, of which hardly a fragment survives, was built at the southernmost point of the island, and was famous in early Hindu legend and history for its learning, wealth and beauty. In the Puranas and certain inscriptions its name appears as Gove, Govāpurī, Gomant, &c.; the medieval Arabian geographers knew it as Sindābur or Sandābur, and the Portuguese as Goa Velha. It was ruled by the Kadamba dynasty from the 2nd century A.D. to 1312, and by Mahommedan invaders of the Deccan from 1312 until about 1370, during which period it was visited and described by Ibn Batuta. It was then annexed to the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar, of which, according to Ferishta, it still formed part in 1469, when it was conquered by the Bahmani sultan of the Deccan; but two of the best Portuguese chroniclers state that it became independent in 1440, when the second city (Old Goa) was founded.

2. Old Goa is, for the most part, a city of ruins without inhabitants other than ecclesiastics and their dependents. The chief surviving buildings are the cathedral, founded by Albuquerque in 1511 to commemorate his entry into Goa on St Catherine’s day 1510, and rebuilt in 1623, and still used for public worship; the convent of St Francis (1517), a converted mosque rebuilt in 1661, with a portal of carved black stone, which is the only relic of Portuguese architecture in India dating from the first quarter of the 16th century; the chapel of St Catherine (1551); the church of Bom Jesus (1594–1603), a superb example of Renaissance architecture as developed by the Jesuits, containing the magnificent shrine and tomb of St Francis Xavier (see Xavier, Francisco de); and the 17th-century convents of St Monica and St Cajetan. The college of St Paul (see below) is in ruins.

3. Panjim, Pangim or New Goa originally a suburb of Old Goa, is, like the parent city, built on the left bank of the Mandavi estuary, in 15° 30′ N. and 73° 33′ E. Pop. (1901) 9500. It is a modern port with few pretensions to architectural beauty. Ships of the largest size can anchor in the river, but only small vessels can load or discharge at the quay. Panjim became the residence of the viceroy in 1759 and the capital of Portuguese India in 1843. It possesses a lyceum, a school for teachers, a seminary, a technical school and an experimental agricultural station.

Political History.—With the subdivision of the Bahmani kingdom, after 1482, Goa passed into the power of Yusuf Adil Shah, king of Bijapur, who was its ruler when the Portuguese first reached India. At this time Goa was important as the starting-point of pilgrims from India to Mecca, as a mart with no rival except Calicut on the west coast, and especially as the centre of the import trade in horses (Gulf Arabs) from Hormuz, the control of which was a vital matter to the kingdoms warring in the Deccan. It was easily defensible by any power with command of the sea, as the encircling rivers could only be forded at one spot, and had been deliberately stocked with crocodiles. It was attacked on the 10th of February 1510 by the Portuguese under Albuquerque. As a Hindu ascetic had foretold its downfall and the garrison of Ottoman mercenaries was outnumbered, the city surrendered without a struggle, and Albuquerque entered it in triumph, while the Hindu townsfolk strewed filagree flowers of gold and silver before his feet. Three months later Yusuf Adil Shah returned with 60,000 troops, forced the passage of the ford, and blockaded the Portuguese in their ships from May to August, when the cessation of the monsoon enabled them to put to sea. In November Albuquerque returned with a larger force, and after overcoming a desperate resistance, recaptured the city, permitted his soldiers to plunder it for three days, and massacred the entire Mahommedan population.

Goa was the first territorial possession of the Portuguese in Asia. Albuquerque intended it to be a colony and a naval base, as distinct from the fortified factories which had been established in certain Indian seaports. He encouraged his men to marry native 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. Albuquerque and his successors left almost untouched the customs and constitutions of the 30 village communities on the island, only abolishing the rite of suttee. A register of these customs (Foral de usos e costumes) was published in 1526, and is an historical document of much value; an abstract of it is given in R. S. Whiteway’s Rise of the Portuguese Empire in India (London, 1898).

Goa became the capital of the whole Portuguese empire in the East. It was granted the same civic privileges as Lisbon. Its senate or municipal chamber maintained direct communications with the king and paid a special representative to attend to its interests at court. In 1563 the governor even proposed to make Goa the seat of a parliament, in which all parts of the Portuguese east were to be represented; this was vetoed by the king.

In 1542 St Francis Xavier mentions the architectural splendour of the city; but it reached the climax of its prosperity between 1575 and 1625. Goa Dourada, or Golden Goa, was then the wonder of all travellers, and there was a Portuguese proverb, “He who has seen Goa need not see Lisbon.” Merchandise from all parts of the East was displayed in its bazaar, and separate streets were set aside for the sale of different classes of goods—Bahrein pearls and coral, Chinese porcelain and silk, Portuguese velvet and piece-goods, drugs and spices from the Malay Archipelago. In the main street slaves were sold by auction. The houses of the rich were surrounded by gardens and palm groves; they were built of stone and painted red or white. Instead of glass, their balconied windows had thin polished oyster-shells set in lattice-work.

The social life of Goa was brilliant, as befitted the headquarters of the viceregal court, the army and navy, and the church; but the luxury and ostentation of all classes had become a byword before the end of the 16th century. Almost all manual labour was done by slaves; common soldiers assumed high-sounding titles, and it was even customary for the poor noblemen who congregated together in boarding-houses to subscribe for a few silken cloaks, a silken umbrella and a common man-servant, so that each could take his turn to promenade the streets, fashionably attired and with a proper escort. There were huge gambling saloons, licensed by the municipality, where determined players lodged for weeks together; and every form of vice, except drunkenness, was practised by both sexes, although European women were forced to lead a kind of zenana life, and never ventured unveiled into the streets; they even attended at church in their palanquins, so as to avoid observation.

The appearance of the Dutch in Indian waters was followed by the gradual ruin 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. Its trade was gradually monopolized by the Jesuits. Thevenot in 1666, Baldaeus in 1672, Fryer in 1675 describe its ever-increasing poverty and decay. In 1683 only the timely appearance of a Mogul army saved it from capture by a horde of Mahratta raiders, and in 1739 the whole territory was attacked by the same enemies, and only saved by the unexpected arrival of a new viceroy with a fleet. This peril was always imminent until 1759, when a peace with the Mahrattas was concluded. In the same year the proposal to remove the seat of government to Panjim was carried out; it had been discussed as early as 1684. Between 1695 and 1775 the population dwindled from 20,000 to 1600, and in 1835 Goa was only inhabited by a few priests, monks and nuns.

Ecclesiastical History.—Some Dominican friars came out to Goa in 1510, but no large missionary enterprise was undertaken before the arrival of the Franciscans in 1517. From their headquarters in Goa the Franciscan preachers visited many parts of western India, and even journeyed to Ceylon, Pegu and the Malay Archipelago. For nearly twenty-five years they carried on the work of evangelization almost alone, with such success that in 1534 Pope Paul III. made Goa a bishopric, with spiritual jurisdiction over all Portuguese possessions between China and the Cape of Good Hope, though itself suffragan to the archbishopric of Funchal in Madeira. A Franciscan friar, João de Albuquerque, came to Goa as its first bishop in 1538. In 1542 St Francis Xavier came to Goa, and took over the Franciscan college of Santa Fé, for the training of native missionaries; this was renamed the College of St Paul, and became the headquarters of all Jesuit missions in the East, where the Jesuits were commonly styled Paulistas. By a Bull dated the 4th of February 1557 Goa was made an archbishopric, with jurisdiction over the sees of Malacca and Cochin, to which were added Macao (1575), Japan (1588), Angamale or Cranganore (1600), Meliapur (Mylapur) (1606), Peking and Nanking (1610), together with the bishopric of Mozambique, which included the entire coast of East Africa. In 1606 the archbishop received the title of Primate of the East, and the king of Portugal was named Patron of the Catholic Missions in the East; his right of patronage was limited by the Concordat of 1857 to Goa, Malacca, Macao and certain parts of British India. The Inquisition was introduced into Goa in 1560: a vivid account of its proceedings is given by C. Dellon, Relation de l’inquisition de Goa (1688). Five ecclesiastical councils, which dealt with matters of discipline, were held at Goa—in 1567, 1575, 1585, 1592 and 1606; the archbishop of Goa also presided over the more important synod of Diamper (Udayamperur, about 12 m. S.E. of Cochin), which in 1599 condemned as heretical the tenets and liturgy of the Indian Nestorians, or Christians of St Thomas (q.v.). In 1675 Fryer described Goa as “a Rome in India, both for absoluteness and fabrics,” and Hamilton states that early in the 18th century the number of ecclesiastics in the settlement had reached the extraordinary total of 30,000. But the Jesuits were expelled in 1759, and by 1800 Goa had lost much even of its ecclesiastical importance. The Inquisition was abolished in 1814 and the religious orders were secularized in 1835.

Bibliography.—J. N. da Fonseca, An Historical and Archaeological Sketch of Goa (Bombay, 1878) is a minute study of the city from the earliest times, illustrated. For the early history of Portuguese rule the chief authorities are The Commentaries . . . of Dalboquerque (Hakluyt Society’s translation, London, 1877), the Cartas of Albuquerque (Lisbon, 1884), the Historia . . . da India of F. L. de Castanheda (Lisbon, 1833, written before 1552), the Lendas da India of G. Correa (Lisbon, 1860, written 1514–1566), and the Decadas da India of João de Barros and D. do Couto (Lisbon, 1778–1788, written about 1530–1616). Couto’s Soldado pratico (Lisbon, 1790) and S. Botelho’s Cartas and Tombo, written 1547–1554, published in “Subsidios” of the Lisbon Academy (1868), are valuable studies of military life and administration. The Archivo Portuguez oriental (6 parts, New Goa, 1857–1877) is a most useful collection of documents dating from 1515; part 2 contains the privileges, &c. of the city of Goa, and part 4 contains the minutes of the ecclesiastical councils and of the synod of Diamper. The social life of Goa has been graphically described by many writers; see especially the travels of Varthema (c. 1505), Linschoten (c. 1580), Pyrard (1608) in the Hakluyt Society’s translations; J. Mocquet, Voyages (Paris, 1830, written 1608–1610); P. Baldaeus, in Churchill’s Voyages, vol. 3 (London, 1732); J. Fryer, A New Account of East India and Persia (London, 1698); A. de Mandelslo, Voyages (London, 1669); Les Voyages de M. de Thevenot aux Indes Orientales (Amsterdam, 1779), and A. Hamilton, A New Account of the East Indies (London, 1774). For Goa in the 20th century see The Imperial Gazetteer of India.  (K. G. J.)