Hindu Dynasties

For about 700 years after the Satavahana period, Goa was controlled by Hindu dynasties of the region. Among these were the Scytho-parthians (2nd - 4th century AD), the Abhiras, the Batpuras, the Bhojas (4th - 6th century AD), the Chalukyas of Badami (6th - 8th century AD), the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed and then the Shilaharas (8th - 10th century AD).

The Bhojas took over in the 4th century and ruled from Chandrapur (present day Chandor) for almost 300 years. Then the mighty Chalukyas of Badami brought the region under their control, leaving some isolated regions where the Kadambas ruled supreme. The Shilaharas overcame the Chalukyas in the 8th century and ruled for another two centuries.

In 973 AD, the Chalukyas laid siege to the Shilaharas. Taking advantage of the situation, the King Shastadeva of the Kadambas conquered Goa. The Chalukyas also were content to let the Kadambas be in power, leading to one of the most stable periods in Goa's history.

This first Golden Age of Goa under the rule of the the Kadambas lasted from 1006 - 1356 AD. A local dynasty which soon became fairly powerful in the area, the Kadambas were feudatories of the Hoysala kingdom.

They set up their capital at Chandrapur (modern day Chandor) and it remained so from 937 - 1310 AD at which time it was moved to Govepuri or Gopakapatana on the banks of the Zuari river, the site of today's Goa Velha. The first settlement at Old Goa, then called Thorlem Goem, was constructed by the Kadambas in the 11th century.

Goa became an important trading centre during this period, with merchants from the Malabar coast, Bengal and as far away as Sumatra and Arabia vying for business. At one time, an Arab merchant was even made governor of Gopakapatana.

Religious tolerance was a very important part of the Kadamba rule; a mosque was built on the west coast under the patronage of the Kadambas. With a number of temples being built, Goa became an important place of pilgrimage for Hindus from around India. Hindu centres of education also sprang up in Goa.

In 1198, the last Chalukya King to hold power, passed away and the Kadambas were left without their formidable ally. The Yadavas of Devagiri (modern Daulatabad) took control of Goa from the 12th to 13th century AD, and the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar held sway between the 14-15th century AD.

Soon after that, Goa became the prime target of numerous Muslim invasions and changed hands quite frequently among the southern Kingdoms.

The Greek merchant Kosmas Indikopleustes, in his work Topographia Christiana (530 - 550 AD) describes the city of Sibo identified with Goa, the Sindabur of the Arabs, as one of the best ports in Western India. Old Arab geographers, referred to Goa as Sindabur.

The Turkish book Mohit, a treatise on the seas of the Industan, written in 554 AD by Sidi Ali Kodupon, refers to Guvah-Sindabut, joining the names Guvah (Goa) and Sindabur (Chandrapur). Al-Masudi (943 AD) an Arab voyager, considered Sindabur as the foremost of the coastal cities of Malabar.

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