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Sunday, August 9, 2020



 The Portuguese were the first ones to arrive on the Indian scene. The reason for the arrival of the Portuguese in India were both economic as well as religious.

They had to come to seek spices especially pepper as well as to destroy the monopoly of the Arabs & Italians over the trade of the East.

They also wished to spread Christianity in Asia & Africa and restrict the increasing influence of Arabs & Turks.

Prior to the Portuguese, trade-in the Indian Ocean was a monopoly of Arab merchants. But within 15 years of their arrival, the Portuguese completely destroyed Arab trade & established their control over Eastern trade which lasted nearly a century.

The Portuguese:


(1.) Prince Henry the Navigator:

  • He was a key figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire & in the 15th century European maritime discoveries & expansion.
  • He is remembered more like a great patron & sponsor of voyages than as a sailor.
(2.) Bartholomew Diaz (1487)
  • He reached the southernmost tip of Africa (which he named Cape of Storms) and became the first known European to reach the Indian Ocean from the Atlantic.
  • The Portuguese later renamed the cape as - 'Cape of Good Hope'.
(3.) Vasco da Gama (1498)
  • He headed the First Portuguese India Armada.
  • He sailed from the Cape of Good Hope & continued to India, reaching Calicut (Kozhikode).
  • He thus discovered a new sea route from Europe to India & became the first European to reach India by sea.
  • He was piloted by a Gujarati named Abdul Majid.
  • He led two Portuguese India Armadas, the first & the fourth.
  • He was sent under the patronage of King Manuel I of Portugal.
  • He returned with a cargo that sold for 60 times the cost of his voyage.
(4.) Pedro Alvarez Cabral (1500)
  • Cabral ran into a conflict with the local Arab Merchants.
(5.) Vasco da Gama (1502)
  • 1503: First Portuguese factory was set up at Cochin (Kochi).
  • 1505: The second factory was set up at Cannanore (or Kannur).
Portuguese State of India (1503 - 04)

(6.) Francisco De Almeida (1505 - 09)
  • First Portuguese Viceroy of India.
  • He adopted the 'Bluewater Policy' aimed at establishing naval supremacy of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean.
  • He is credited with the construction of Fort Anjediva.
  • 1508:Battle of Diu- Almeida defeated the joint Muslim naval force (Gujarat Sultanate & Mameluk Egyptian fleet).
(7.) Alfonzo-De-Albuquerque (1509 - 15)
  • Known as 'real founder of Portuguese power' in India.
  • he set up his headquarter at Cochin.
  • 1509: Conquered Cochin.
  • 1510: Conquered Diu.
  • 1510: Conquered Goa from the Sultan of Bijapur.
  • he encouraged his countrymen to marry Indian women & propagate Christianity.
  • He abolished Sati in the region under his control.
(8.) Nino de Cunha (1529 - 38)
  • 1530: He transferred the government head office from Cochin to Goa.



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