Goa is a special state with a history it doesn’t share with the rest of India. British rule did not extend to Goa, which had uninterrupted Portuguese rule for nearly 450 years since 1510, when the Portuguese established their presence by defeating the ruler of the Bijapur Sultanate. India’s freedom movement against British colonial rule is not part of the state’s collective memory.
Goa became an integral part of India in 1961, after the latter sent its army to ‘liberate’ the former. But 450 years of Portuguese occupation have left an indelible impact on the culture, cuisine and architecture of the tiny state, and gives this tourist paradise a distinct, hard-to-quantify flavour.