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History of Daman

In the beginning of the millennium, the region in and around Daman was ruled by the Kushana Emperor. In the following centuries between the 2nd Century BC and 13th Century AD, Daman formed a part of the kingdom known as Lata, one of the small kingdoms of the Aparant or Konkan Vaishaya and was ruled by the Rashtrakutas of Malkhed in the Deccan directly till AD 808. By 973, the reins of power passed to Tailapa II of the Chalukyas of Kalyani after his conquest of the Rashtrakuta kings. Tailapa II placed Lata in the charge of his relative, General Devarappa Chalukya.

By the middle of the 13th century, a Rajput prince Ramasingh defeated the Koli chief Nathoart of the Thorat tribe and established himself in the hilly tract at Asheri or Asserseta near Daman. The district of Daman including the coastal tract from Surat to Mahim continued to be ruled by the chieftains of Ramnagar during the 14th century and the early years of the 15th century AD.

Daman was acquired by the Portuguese in the 16th century after its strategic importance on the maritime routes between East and West Asia struck them. They attacked Daman several times before it was ceded to them in a treaty with the Shah of Gujarat in 1559. It remained a major outpost of the Portuguese opium trade to China till such time as the Portuguese remained a valid naval power. With the end of British colonial rule in India, the Portuguese enclaves of Goa, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli became restive. The Portuguese finally conceded these enclaves independence in 1961.

Ever since then, Daman and Diu has been administered as special territories of the Indian Union by the central government in Delhi.


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