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History of Ponda

History-of-PondaPonda indeed has a very special place in the illustrious history of Goa. Since for many obvious reasons its history completely stands out amongst all other important towns and cities of Goa. The first and most obvious reason being that Ponda and many of its adjoining important towns were not conquered by Portuguese army until late 18th century. Even during 16th and 17th century when Portuguese’s reign in Goa was at its peak, Ponda managed to successfully defend itself from rampaging armies of Portuguese. This was all thanks to strong defense put by Adil Shah rulers of Bijapur who, after losing large part of Goa to resurgent Portuguese during medieval century, had made Ponda their strong citadel.

And since Ponda had managed to remain free from the clutches of Portuguese for full three centuries, it became the heartland of Hindu refugees; who began fleeing to Ponda to escape from Portuguese prosecution and forced conversion to Christianity. This explains why today Ponda is the only Hindu heartland of Goa and why it has the most maximum number of temples in entire Goa. Ponda’s Hindus witnessed a golden era when Ponda came under Maratha Empire for very brief time. Marathas made Hinduism as state religion and converted all the small make shift temples into big/grand temples.
Hindus renaissance, however, was very short lived. Since in 1791 Ponda finally came under the control of Portuguese. Portuguese though chose not to prosecute local Hindus and made peace with them. This was done mainly to crush any rebel/insurgent movements and to get better control over territory of Ponda.

Overall, Ponda’s brief history is notable for being elusive for centuries from Portuguese grab and for becoming refugee land of local Hindus of Goa.

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