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Anjediva Island (also Anjadip Island) is an island in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Canacona in the South Goa district, Goa, India. Legally and constitutionally, it remains a part of Goa, although there is a widespread misconception that it is a part of the Karnataka state off whose coast it lies.

Location of Anjediva.png
Location of Anjediva (red) in Canacona (pink)
Anjediva is located in India
Coordinates: 14°45′39″N 74°06′41″E / 14.760886°N 74.111258°E / 14.760886; 74.111258Coordinates: 14°45′39″N 74°06′41″E / 14.760886°N 74.111258°E / 14.760886; 74.111258
Country India
DistrictSouth Goa
Sub DistrictCanacona
Portuguese Establishmentbefore 1498
 • TypeIndian Navy
 • Total1.5 km2 (0.6 sq mi)
8 m (26 ft)
 • Total0
 • Density0.0/km2 (0.0/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Native name:
Ilha de Angediva
Angediva Mendes.jpg
A map of Anjediva in 1885
LocationArabian Sea
Area1.5 km2 (0.58 sq mi)
Length1.5 km (0.93 mi)
Width0.25 km (0.155 mi)
Coastline0.070 km (0.0435 mi)
Highest elevation8 m (26 ft)
DistrictSouth Goa
Sub DistrictCanacona
Population0 (2011)
Pop. density0 /km2 (0 /sq mi)
Ethnic groupsGoan Catholics (now resettled)

It has an area of 1.5 square kilometres (0.58 sq mi) and is currently[when?] without any resident population. It was part of the Portuguese Estado da India till 1961. The island is south of Goa, about 1.8 kilometres (1.1 mi) from the coast of the Indian state of Karnataka.

On the island are located Angediva Fortress, built by the Portuguese, and the shrines of Our Lady of Brotas and São Francisco de Assis. The island is now connected to the mainland by a breakwater and is part of a large naval INS Kadamba base, based on the outskirts of Karwar city, on the coast of the border state of Karnataka and is under the direct jurisdiction of the Indian Navy.


Anjediva, as Portuguese territory, was used by the Christians and Hindus of the mainland as a refuge during the invasion of the coastal kingdoms of Bednore and Soonda by Tipu Sultan, who had created the new state of Khodadad after usurping the throne from the Maharaja Wodeyars of the Kingdom of Mysore. The ruins of Shri Aryadurga temple which was destroyed by the Portuguese[citation needed] is still to be found here. The Saraswat Brahmins on the island who could not bear this horrendous inquisition and mass destruction of temples done of by the Portuguese had no other option, rather to shift the deity to a neighboring place, now called Karnataka. The temple of Shri Aryadurga is located in the North of Karnataka, in a place called Ankola.

Origin of nameEdit

Although there are other interpretations, the island's name seems to have been derived from the local goddess Ajadurga Devi, whose invocation is believed to have led to its Konkani language name of Anjadip. Another theory points as the source of its origin of its name to the words of Malay and Tamil languages, and anji div corresponding to the fifth island, which gains support from the fact that Anjediva belongs to an archipelago of five coastal islets, of which the others are Kurnagal, Mudlingud, Devgad and Devragad.

Location, populationEdit

The island is located at approximately 1800 m from the coast of the district of Uttar Kannada, Karnataka, 4 km south of Karwar (the old Baticala the kingdom of Garsopa, as it was known as in Portuguese times) and about 87 km south of what once was called the city of Goa. With only 1.5 square kilometers, the island is 1.3 km long and only 300 meters of average width. The island of Angediva is currently uninhabited, with only the regular presence of the Indian Navy military, which runs it as part of its Kadamba Naval Base, and some visitors and occasional fishermen. However, in the nineteenth century some 200 people lived on the island.

Historical backgroundEdit

Settlement of the island has a long history, and appears to have been described by Ptolemy. Recent archaeological research found pillars, worked stones and pottery dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the artistic style of Kadambas and Chalukyas, probably remnants of the Aryadurga goddess Devi temple.

Vasco da Gama declared the island of Angediva Portuguese crown territory on September 24, 1498, during his first trip to India.

The Portuguese presence on the island began with the landing of D. Francisco de Almeida, on September 13, 1505, who ordered the building of a fortress, which was destroyed seven months later. The Afonso de Albuquerque attack that culminated in the conquest of Goa in 1510 was launched from Angediva. The island was unoccupied until 1661, when the English settled there, waiting for the treaty of July 23 of the same year to be complied with, that yielded them Bombay, which got transferred among the colonial powers in 1665.

English presenceEdit

The English presence came about when Viceroy Antonio de Melo e Castro refused to hand over Bombay to the British following the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza, whereby the city formed part of her dowry. Ships that transported the English troops, commanded by the Earl of Marlborough and accompanied by future Governor general Sir Abraham Shipman, were forced to seek shelter on the island to defend themselves against the fury of the monsoons which where then at their height. Shipman along with many officers and soldiers eventually died due to the harsh climate and poor housing, such that of the initial force of over 500 men who arrived in 1565, when they left the island, there were only 191 men, and 391 British graves left behind.

With the departure of the British in 1665 the island was again vacant until the Marathas raids led by Sambhaji in 1682 forced the Portuguese to rebuild the fort. The work was undertaken at the orders of the viceroy Francisco de Távora, Count of Alvor, which was witnessed to by a plaque placed on the fortress.

In addition to the Angediva Fort, the island was defended by several forts, and a military barracks was built. A church dedicated to Our Lady of Brotas was built, and a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows (Nossa Senhora das Dores) and St. Francis of Assisi. For water supply to the barracks and ships touching the island, a large tank for drinking water was built.

The present church of Our Lady of Brotas was built in 1729 in the place where were the remains of an ancient chapel built before 1510 at the site where on August 22, 1500, Pedro Alvares Cabral landed. He was then in command of the second Portuguese expedition India, and attended a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by Friar Henrique de Coimbra, in the presence of another 8 Franciscan friars. It was the first mass celebrated by the Portuguese in India.

Place for refugeEdit

During the Portuguese presence on the island in the eighteenth century its served as a refuge for Christians and Hindus of the mainland coastal border during the invasion of the realms of Bednore and Soonda by the Muslim forces of Tipu Sultan, who had created the new potentate of Khodadad by seizing the throne of the Maharajas of Mysore, Wodeyar. It was in this period that the island reached its highest development, and in 1768 had a governor with his staff and 350 soldiers.

In 1856 the island was hit by a major epidemic whose causes were attributed to the location of the cemetery near the source that supplied the population with water. Once the cemetery was transferred from the top of the mountain to the north side of the island, the living conditions improved significantly, but the population that had meanwhile settled in the neighborhood of Boca de Vaca in Panjim, no longer wanted to return.

In 1954, when relations between Portugal and the newly independent Indian Union has started to deteriorate, only some retired military personnel lived in Anjediva. Following allegations of incursions by the Indian forces, the Portuguese placed on the island a military detachment. Links with Goa were maintained, but in the monsoon season the island was isolated.

In 1960, at the initiative of the governor-general General Vassallo e Silva, the Church of Our Lady of Brotas and the Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi were given important restoration jobs. The same happened with the existing barracks on the island.

Scene of serious incidentEdit

Coat of arms of Portuguese India (1935-1951)

On November 24, 1961, just before the invasion of Portuguese India by forces of the Indian Union, the island of Anjediva was the scene of a serious incident when an Indian passenger ship, the Sabarmati, was attacked with shots fired from the island by the Portuguese military garrison, causing injury to a crew member and the death of a passenger. At the time the Portuguese government had argued that the naval area on the island had been invaded in what it considered to be an Indian provocation against the State of Portuguese India. Although this was already in preparation, the incident contributed to the outbreak of Operation Vijay, which culminated in the end of Portuguese rule in Goa and incorporating Goa into the Indian Union.

Recognizing the strategic importance of Anjediva, the island taken over on December 22, 1961, in a military action that cost the lives of seven Indian military who are today remembered in a monument installed there. At the time the civilian population was reduced to four persons: two elderly women, a man and a child. Then, kept on the island were 30 Goan and Portuguese soldiers. After 1961, the population of about 200 fishermen who frequented Angediva was transferred to the mainland and the island remained abandoned until 1982, when, at the initiative of a local priest, the church was restored and pilgrimages resumed.

Handed over to NavyEdit

Martyr's Memorial

Following an agreement in 1987 between the government of the state of Goa and the Indian Navy, in 1991 the island was ceded to be integrated at the naval Base of Karwar, today INS Kadamba, which is expected to become among the largest naval military base in Asia, "Seabird". This action, taken by Ravi S. Naik, at the time the chief minister of the state government of Goa, was strongly challenged in Goa, as the island of Anjediva was considered property and historical heritage of the old Goa. Construction of the base included the installation of a 1,800 meters long breakwater connecting the northeast tip of the island to the tip of Binaga on the mainland, now allows for road access.

The island is known for the annual feast of Our Lady of Brotas, held on February 2, and the feast of the hermitage St. Francis of Assisi, held on 4 October, although they have recently arisen problems over the access to the island which is now under military jurisdiction.

Anjediva also has a fort built by the Portuguese.[1]

In 2016, it was informed in the Indian parliament that Project Sea Bird at Karwar was a strategically located project of sensitive nature, wherein access of people cannot be allowed freely irrespective of any caste or religion, as apart from creating local law and order problem, it involves serious security implications. And it has not been found possible to grant permission to celebrate feasts at Anjediva Island in Goa.[2]


The island is located west of Karwar, Karnataka and is surrounded by the Arabian Sea.


The island is known for its annual feast of Our Lady of Springs (Nossa Senhora das Brotas) on 2 February and feast of the Chapel of St. Francis D’Assisi on 4 October.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Not only politicians break promises". O Heraldo. Retrieved 2009-02-05.
  2. ^ Standard, Business. "Handing Over of Anjadiv Island to the Defence Ministry". Retrieved 2016-06-13.

External linksEdit