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In a moment of pride for Goa, one of the Indian Navy's prominent air stations situated in the coastal state, INS Hansa marked its diamond jubilee last week. Located near Dabolim, it is India's biggest naval airbase which was set up with Sea Hawk, Alize, and Vampire aircraft at Coimbatore in 1958. Later, it was commissioned as INS Hansa on September 5, 1961. Post the liberation of Goa, the Navy took over Dabolim airfield in April 1962 and the INS Hansa was moved to Dabolim in June 1964.

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Among the historical harbours of India, the ports of Goa have played an important role in maritime trade since time immemorial. These ports, including the one at Chandrapura (modern-day Chandor), have helped in turning Goa into an important trade centre. Seated on the bank of Paroda or Kushavati River, a tidal tributary of the River Zuari, approximately 30 km from the sea, the port at Chandor is claimed to be the oldest port of Goa. Read on to step into the history of one of the oldest ports in India and unearth its hidden gems.

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Famous for its picturesque beaches, nightlife and Portugal-inspired architectural gems, Goa, is also home to some underrated places of historic importance as well. One of such least known places in the coastal state is the British Cemetery, probably the only reminder of their brief occupation in Goa. Ruins of this protected site can be spotted on the road heading to Raj Bhavan, in Dona Paula.

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To commemorate the accomplishments of Vasco Da Gama, his grandson, Francisco Da Gama, built the Arch of Viceroy, after he took over Goa as a governor. Located on the Divar Ferry road, towards the Mandovi River, the arch served as the main entrance to Old Goa, initially.

Said to be established in 1597, a place of crucial ceremonial importance during the Portuguese rule, this arch is now a major attractions for tourists in Goa. The Viceroy's Arch is also said to be one of the gates of the Adil Shah's Palace and if you have an eye for history, then read on to know more about this structure.

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With a diameter of one kilometre, Sao Jacinto Island in Goa, is home to around 200 people. Close to the southern banks of the estuary, this rocky island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. The island houses a defunct lighthouse, built during the Portuguese rule in Goa and contains no agricultural land besides coconut groves. A peaceful locale for people looking forward to relax, this island is a must-visit when in the coastal state, for a generous dose of the sun, sand and sea!

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Built in the early 16th century by the ruler of Bijapur Sultanate, Yusuf Adil Shah, the Old Secretariat Building is a testament to the rich Goan history. Located right across the Mandovi River, the erstwhile secretariat is home to the Goa State Museum at present. Initially built to serve as a summer retreat for the ruler, the building was later converted into a rest house for the Portuguese and then into the State Legislature building for the Government of Goa.

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While bibliophiles today have the privilege to explore oceans of finest texts with just a simple click on their computers or mobile phones, the beauty of tracing books remains unparalleled even today. And while some people call it cumbersome and outdated in the digital era, there was once a time when the printing press revolutionised the landscape of texts and communication.

To put things in perspective, let's outline the history of the first printing in India and its epicentre at Goa. A story that pivots through circumstantial events, colonial rule and the intention to propagate missionary work, the country chanced upon this invention - and the rest has been 'written' as history!

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Breathing life into countless cartoons and creative depictions, Mario Miranda is one of the very few artists, whose legendary works cannot be summarised within the scope of the English alphabet. Born in 1920 in the coastal state of Goa, this artistic polymath took the culture and life of Goans to a global platform, with the charm of his colours and captivating ingenuity. Today, a gallery cum store celebrating his life and legacy, stands next to the Houses Of Goa Museum, in North Goa!

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Touted as Goa's first and only vintage car museum, Ashvek Vintage World (AVW) was set up in July 2004. Over a dozen vintage cars are a part of its collection, which has been sourced from Goa or neighbouring areas, such as Sawantwadi and Belgaum. The brainchild of Pradeep V. Naik, AVW also organised India's first Volkswagen Carnival Rally in 2006 and has been a pioneer in conducting similar events. Keep reading to know about more such interesting facts that dot the 17-year-long journey of AVW.

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Victor Hugo Gomes paid homage to the cultural aspects of Goan history by immortalising it in the annals of the Chitra Museum. Situated approximately 37 km from the capital city, this museum is home to more than 4000 vestiges that help visitors in tracing the evolution of traditional practices and modes of transportation. A detailed exploration of the archaic corridors of this place is a must for every tourist and townie alike, for the knowledge so gained will be more than re-visiting old history books!

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A small town situated near the Maharashtra-Goa border, Sawantwadi was the kingdom of the erstwhile Khem Sawant royal family. A major attraction for tourists who visit this place is the local Ganjifa art, woodwork painting and lacer work, which traces its origin to the 18th-century. If you are looking to step away from the city bustle, then Sawantwadi makes for the perfect getaway, given that you observe COVID-appropriate behaviour.

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