Today in History Vasco da Gama Arrived in India



It has been more than 500 years since Vasco da Gama started his journey to India and on its anniversary today, we have collected some facts on the Portuguese navigator and his journey.

On May 20, 1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed in what is now Kozhikode, India. Da Gama was the first European to reach the lucrative trade centers of India by sea.

Vasco de Gama

Da Gama sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, in July 1497, rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and anchored at Malindi on the east coast of Africa. With the aid of an Indian merchant he met there, he then set off across the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese explorer was not greeted warmly by the Muslim merchants of Calicut, and in 1499 he had to fight his way out of the harbor on his return trip home. In 1502, he led a squadron of ships to Calicut to avenge the massacre of Portuguese explorers there and succeeded in subduing the inhabitants. In 1524, he was sent as viceroy to India, but he fell ill and died in Cochin.


Da Gama’s sea route to India allowed Portugal to establish a rich trade with India and southeast Asia. Portugal was also able to expand its empire to include provinces from India (centered around the state of Goa, whose largest city is Vasco da Gama) to China (the island of Macau).

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