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Silvassa History

History of Silvassa

Silvassa is the capital town of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Union Territory in India.

Before Independence
During British colonial rule in India many rulers opposed the British rule and lend their support to the Mughal Empire in India. The Marathas and the Peshwas were the powerful rulers in Western India at that time and they fought the British. To keep the British at bay, they signed a peace treaty with the Portuguese in 1779. According to this historic friendship treaty the Portuguese were given 72 villages then called parganas in bargain of military support to fight against the British. These parganas were annexed by the Marathas from the Koli chiefs and given to Portuguese.

The Portuguese were allowed to collect revenue in compensation for their loss of warship, which was captured by the Marathas and not surrendered even after their entreaties. The Portuguese ruled the territory until the people of the region liberated themselves on 2nd August, 1954.

After Independence
In the year 1961, the region merged in Indian Republic as Dadra and Nagar Haveli comprising of 72 villages along the foothills of the Western Ghats sandwiched between Gujrat and Maharashtra state of India. Since then, the region has been administered as one of the Union Territories of India with Silvassa as the capital town.

Initially, it was an agricultural region with the cultivation of paddy and fruits like mango and banana as the main crops. Almost 40 percent of the region was under forest cover providing livelihood to the tribal population. However, with the introduction to industrialization in the year 1967-1968 many modern industries have set up their base here.

Silvassa has tuned out to be a major industrial hub with big industries like Reliance, Hindalco, Gulf Oil, Hindustan Unilever setting their base here. The initial tax free status has contributed to the industrial growth in the region.

Today Silvassa has come a long way from being a tribal region to a cosmopolitan township with people from all over the country coming here to earn their livelihood. Tourism is well developed here with tribal culture and forest wildness as the major attraction.