Portuguese generally don’t get as much attention as the British when we talk about India’s history. Perhaps that is because of the expanse of their rule.

But Portuguese were one of the earliest Europeans to come and among the last to leave. Vasco da Gama, the first and the most famous of them, landed in India in 1498 at Calicut, more than 25 years before Babur arrived in the North to establish the Mughal empire. The Portuguese continued to occupy parts of India including Goa till as late as 1961 (more than 100 years after Mughals ended their reign).

Vasco da Gama on returning to Lisbon told the rulers about a significant christian population in India  He somehow confused the largely Hindu population with Christians. He was followed by more Portuguese who over a period of time occupied and controlled many parts, often with extreme cruelty. They destroyed Hindu temples and harassed Muslims. In 1510, they conquered Goa.
DSC_2496 Se Cathedral, Goa
To commemorate their victory over Goa, the Se Cathedral was commissioned. The construction, however started in 1562 and completed in 1619. It is said to have a golden bell which used to be heard all over Goa. Of course, it must be different from the bustling tourist place it is now. But it is a welcome change from the ‘bustle’ of Delhi. The cruelty for which the Portuguese
were known for is now long lost. Tourism is the backbone of the state and you find most people humble and helpful, specially to the tourists.

Inside the Church