Daman : History

The district of Daman is known to formed part of the country know as Lata which was one of the seven divisions of the Aparant or Konkan Vishaya between 2nd century BC and 13th century AD. The archeological evidences prove that this land formed part of the Mauryan empire at least at the time of Ashoka. After the Mauryan power was weakened, the district was subjected to Satavahana rulers, Satakarni I, in the end of the 2dn century BC. During the first century AD, Kshaharatas seemed to have reigned over Daman district, till 249 AD and then followed by Abhiras who held the sway over entire Daman which lasted till 416 AD.

After the rule of Abhir kings, Traikutakas, the feudatories of the Abhiras, seized control of the district during the 5th century AD and their empire extended from Lata country or southern Gujarat to Daman, Konkan and northern Maharashtra. The 500 AD saw the rise in prominence of Vakataka king Harishena, who destroyed the Traikutaka power. Next, the district came under suzerainty of Kalachuris of Mahishamati and Kalachuri reign lasted upto about 609 AD. From the coins found all over this territory, it is learn that the king Mangales of Chalukyas of Badami penetrated to seize control of the Lata country by about 609 AD. The Chalukyas of Badami ruled the district till 671 AD and their descendents known as Lata or Navasari Chalukyas ruled from Navasarika, modern Navasari on the bank of river Purna to the north of Daman. The district passed under the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed from 757-975 AD. They were conquered by Chalukyas of Kalyani in 973 AD. The Chalukya feudatory family named Nimbarka rule covered territory between rivern Tapti and Damanganga. The power of Chalukyas of Kalyani was weakened and the Lata country was annexed to the dominion of Gujarat Chalukyas of Anhilwad in 1160 AD who seem to have ruled over Lata country through their feudatory Simha. He transferred his alliance to Parmar ruler and continued to rule over the Lata Parmar feudatory unti 1217 AD. In about 1187 AD, Yadava sovereignty of Deccan at Devagiri rose in prominence who attacked the Parmar ruler and took control of Lata including Daman by 1223 AD. Yadava Singhana is recognised as the most illustrious ruler of Yadavas of Devagiri dynasty. By the middle of 13th century Rajput Prince, Ramasingh alias Ramasha from Udaipur during the Muslim conquest of Rajasthan came down to seek his fortune in the south seems to have defeated the Koli Chief Nathoart belonging to the Thorat tribe of Kolis and established himself in the hilly treat at Asheri or Asserseta near Daman about 1263 AD.

By 1295 AD, the Emporar of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji had conquered Gujarat from the Chalukyas of Anhilwad and also the Deccan from Devagiri Yadavas. The reign of Somashah, the son of Ramshingh and his successors continued till early part of the 15th century AD and they ruled from the newly founded State of Ramnagar. The border extended to river Auranga near Bulsar to the north of Daman. Towards the east its border extended to Peint and Surgana from the Nasik district. The ancient trade route joined Nasik with port Daman via Peint and Surgana. The district of Daman included the coastal tract from Surat to Mahim. Mahmud Shah Begada, had conquered fort Parnera on the river Par and the port of Daman and levied tribute from ruler Jagatshah (reign 1432-1470 AD), a descendent of Ramasingh, in 1465. Naranshan (reign 1470-1500 AD) and Dharamshah II (reign 1500-1531), the successor of Jagat Shah did not come in conflict with Muslim rulers of the Gujarat or the Deccan.

The Portuguese had landed at Calicut in 1498 AD and established at Goa in 1510 AD and carried on depredation in the coastal areas during early part of the 16th century. They noticed the port of Daman for the first time in 1523.