Nagara, Dravida & Vesara designs
The temples at Sanchi, Tigawa (near Jabbalpur in Madhya Pradesh), Bhumara (in Madhya Pradesh), Nachna (Rajasthan) and Deogarh (near Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh) have withstood the vagaries of time and are the earliest temples belonging to Gupta period (320-650 A.D.)
In the 16th century, there is a record to show that the Portugese destroyed over 500 temples and shrines and used the building material for the construction of churches and other buildings. There are some fragments of these temples, like the Adil Shah’s Palace Gate to be found in the premises of St. Cajetan’s church at Old Goa today. The temple records give very little, for the oldest temples located in the New Conquests by flight at the end of the 16th century, were built in the 17th century or later to their present dimensions – and built in direct, if not very well understood copy of the Baroque Christian churches of the city of Old Goa (though the general style of Goa churches is that of Borromini’s Jesuit construction). This is understandable, as the Old Goa churches were the most imposing buildings, with Hindu workmen trained in that type of construction. When the emigre temples acquired funds enough for their rebuildings these same workmen built the new temples. What is surprising is that the replication seems to have been acceptable to the local Brahmins.
There are no Hindu temples in the Old conquests older than the 19th century. Even in the New conquests, few of the structures themselves were built before the 17th century. So most of the ‘old’ temples we see in Goa date from the 17th century at the earliest and majority from the 18th century.
In its Hindu adaptation, the dome of the uniquely Goan temple assumed a more conspicuous profile, with a much smaller finial. The tower, or drum, was made octagonal rather than round and given a raised elevation in some temples, with each stage having lamp niches, columns and an elaborate, multi-moulded entablature.
- Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
Local pre-Brahminic priest of Gauddes still continue in places like Kholgar. Most of their deities were absorbed by the Brahminic synthesis. Unabsorbed deities were converted to cacodemons, known generally as devchar but still worshipped by the Gauddes and the lower castes These subordinated semi-devine beings called ‘jagevile’ whose aniconic shrines are situated at various liminal sites, such as way crosses, dams, river banks, sea shores and above all the boundaries of the village territories.
The name ‘Goa’ or ‘Gomantak’ is an ancient term applied to this region. Mahabharata as well as Skandhapurana refers to it as‘Gomant’. Harivansha Purana makes a reference to it as ‘Gomanchal’ and Sutasamhita mentions ‘Govapuri’. During the time of the Buddha it was termed as ‘Sunaparant’ (Golden Land Beyond).Ptolemy, the Greek geographer (Second century AD) refers to Goa as ‘Kauba’. Arabs and the Persians called it Kuwa or Kawe and later as ‘Sindabur’ ( a corruption of the word ‘Chandrapur’). Goa is believed to have been well-known since the earlyhistory throughout the littoral countries of the Indian Ocean due to its importance as an entrepot.
Abhiras, Nagas, Traikotakas, Kshatrapas from Gujarat, Chutus from Karnataka and the Konkan Mauryas held sway over some parts of North and South Goa between the 3rd and the 6th century AD. The Chlukyas of Badami drove the Konkan Mauryas out and ruled Konkan region from 578 – 750 AD.
Kadamba Gold & Copper Coins
Peace and prosperity prevailed in Goa during the Vijayanagar reign for the next 100 years during which its harbours were important landing places for Arabian horses imported from Hormuz as well as a flourishing export trade in spices.
In 1472 AD Mohamad Gawan of the Bahamani Sultanate attacked Goa by land and sea and the Vijayanagar governor fled without a fight. Govapuri was completely destroyed with its palaces and temples. Vijayanagar made two attempts to recapture Goa but could not succeed. Bahamani Sultanate disintegrated soon after the take over of Goa and Yusuf Adil Shah of Bijapur brought Goa under his direct control in 1498 AD.