Goa and the mesmerizng arabian sea
Category : Articles
Location  : Goa

The reclamation process from the sea that marked Goa's entry in the world as a land was dramatic. As described in the Skanda Purana, Parshurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu (one of the Hindu trinity), shot seven arrows to mark the limit where Samudra, the Indian Neptune, should withdraw. Wherever the arrows Fell into the sea, the waters receded forming a strip of land where the Lord ensconced Brahmins from Gouda (Bengal). No wonder, a bond between a Goan and the sea is like the bond of mother and child.

You can visit the village, which    exists even today, where one of the   arrows fell, known as Banauli or Banaulim (the village of the arrow), and the land around it as Shurparaka Desh, or the land of the winnowing fan. One may not believe in legends, but India is full of them and included in our history. In fact many historians believe that behind every legend there is an element of truth.

Modern day geological evidence also lends credence to this unique tale of the genesis of Goa. The presence of marine fossils and burned sea shells in the soil provides the experimental backup to scientific theories of the event that happened over 12,000 years ago, of land elevation from the sea along the coast.

The most long lasting influence on Goa came via the Arabian Sea. The Portuguese, pursuing their dream of controlling the spice trade, were looking for a strong base on the west coast of India.

Goa, with the wonderful natural harbor, the fertile land and the plentiful water supply was at the time under Muslim rule. The Portuguese established themselves after deposing the sultan. They used the numerous resources to their best advantage. The new colony became so prosperous that it earned the title 'Golden Goa. The markets overflowed with exquisite commodities like pearls and corral from Bahrain, porcelain and silk from China, velvet from Portugal and spices from Malaya. The Portuguese later set up smaller colonies in Daman, Diuand Basse in (Vasai)

Goa, Goans, (not Goanese please) and the sparkling sea are inseparable. Our history, our lifestyle, the food habits have a strong influence of sea. A Goan is contented when he has had his two meals of fish curry and rice. Wide variety of sea food like many different types of fish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, clams, pomfrets, ladyfish, oysters dominate the every day meals. Fish is dried and salted and preserved for rainy season, when the fish is scarce. Many delicacies made from salted and dried fish are much in demand and relished by the die hard fish-eaters.

Goa has an impressive coastline that extends to 105 kilometers and one third of Goa's area is covered by forests. But the Goans depend on seafood rather than fruits and vegetables. Though recently there is trend to include fruits and vegetables in the daily meals.

I feel the festive spirit, the contented sosegad (Take it easy) attitude, the friendly, welcome to visitors to Goa from diverse cuItures and nationalities is to some extent the result of proximity to the ever present, generous, dancing, sparkling waves of Arabian sea. Can you even imagine Goa without its sea and exotic beaches??

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