In the ancient period, Goa was called Gomanchala, Gomant, Goapuri, Gowapur and Gopakapattana. Goan's were originally the descendents from the native Dravidians who where gradually overrun by the Aryan advance from the north around 1500 BC. Aryans who settled in Western India named their state Konkan. Goa, a part of Konkan, became an important port of the ancient and medieval traders like the Phoenicians, the Persians, the Arabs, the Sumarians, the Greeks and the Romans. Until the11th century, there was a succession of empires rising and falling in Goa. Earlier, it was part of the territories of Ashoka, the great Buddhist emperor of the Mauryan Empire who reigned from 273-236 BC. In the 2nd century  BC Goa was under the Satavahanas. The Western Kshatrapus ruled next from 150 AD.

Then came the Bhojas who made their capital Chandrapur (now Chandor). From AD 540 the Chalukyas of Badami ruled for about 200 years. The Rashtrakutas exercised their influence from 753 AD to 973 AD. Then came the Kadambas who ruled from 1008 AD to 1300 AD. Under their rule Goa became India's maritime power and they built Gopakapattana (now Goa Velha) a few kilometres south west of old Goa which remained the capital until their fall. By1312 the political authority of Goa passed to the Muslims, who under Alaud-din Khilji's general, Malik Kafur defeated the Kadambas. The rise of the Vijayanagar empire had its effect on Goa. Vidyaranya Madhavthe ruler of the Vijayanagar defeated the Muslims in 1370 AD. The Bahamani Sultans dominated the political authority over Goa in about 1470, and in 1498 the Adil Shahi dynasty at Bijapur. It was in 1510, that Alfonso de Albequerque captured Goa from Yusuf Ali Adil Shah. 

 This brought in the Portuguese who from then onwards influenced every walks of Goan life. Christianity was absorbed by the inhabitants. The intermixture of the locals who settled with the Portuguese soldiers evolved a new culture that was unique. The Portuguese made the city of Panaji the capital of Goa in 1843. It was a Portuguese colony till 1961 after which it became a part of the Indian Union. Goa attained full statehood on 30th May1987 when Daman and Diu retained separate identity as a Union Territory.