Apart from their pristine natural beauty, India’s island and beach destinations boast centuries old history and myriad influences. From Portuguese colonial heritage in Goa to Megalithic Era ruins in Mamallapuram and untouched, indigenous tribal communities in the Andamans, there is much to be discovered.
Goa’s history dates back almost 30,000 years and some rock carvings suggest that some the earliest humans of India lived in Goa! Early Goan culture is a mix of Indo-Aryans and Dravidians and the region has seen the rise and fall of many dynasties, including the Mauryans in 3rd century BC and the Vijayanagar Empire in 14th century CE.
From the 16th century onwards, Goa was firmly under Portuguese rule for almost 500 years! After a successful military operation in 1961, Goa came under Indian control. On one of our tailor-made India beach vacations, the healthy mix of Portuguese heritage and Indian culture in Goa is sure to enchant you!
Legend has it that King Solomon sent his ships to the port city of Trivandrum, which has been a flourishing center for trade and commerce ever since! Trivandrum’s early history is nothing like the rest of India. Until the 18th century, the city was ruled by the feudal kingdoms, following which it became a center of art and architecture under the rulers of Travancore. Two years after Indian independence in 1947, the city became the capital of Kerala.
On our private India beach vacations, you can see several units of the Indian Space Research Organization and India’s first IT park, in Trivandrum.
Once a center for global trade, the town of Mamallapuram is famous for its many burial urns and jars from the Megalithic Age. It was the center of the Pallava kingdom as early as the 3rd century CE and found mention as a wealthy settlement in 8th century Tamil texts.
The temples in this town depict many major scenes from the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. The famous Shore Temples, one of seven from Marco Polo’s time, stand even today. See various shrines dedicated to several different deities to this two thousand year old historic town – now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The quiet Andaman and Nicobar Islands are home to several indigenous tribes and served as a strategic naval base. The British set up a penal colony in Port Blair in 1858, remains of which can still be seen although the jails were abandoned after the Indian independence.
In 2004, the Islands suffered through a devastating tsunami but have recovered remarkably well.
You will not be disappointed with the unique history and culture that the islands have preserved for centuries during one of our private India beach vacations to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Top India Beach Vacation Tips – History:
- The Basilica of Bom Jesus in Goa is home to the remains of the revered St. Francis Xavier – the patron saint of the region. Once every ten years, his body is revealed to the public.
- The famous Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple of Trivandrum reportedly has more than USD 20 million of gold and jewels in its vaults, which explains why custodianship of the temple has been hotly contested in court.
- The Five Rathas of Mamallapuram, five detailed temple structures, are believed to have been carved from a single rock!
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands once a penal colony still has abandoned gaol houses in Port Blair.