Vasco Da Gama discovered India in May 1498. He was the first European to reach India via the Atlantic Ocean. He rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and anchored at Malindi on the east coast of Africa.
Sea route to India by Vasco Da Gama
Vasco Da Gama discovered the sea route to India during the year 1497 – 1499. On 20th May, 1498, two years after he set his sail from Lisbon, Portugal, Vasco da Gama arrived on the Western sea coast of India at Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala. This was the first time when a European had arrived in India via the sea. Hence, Vasco da Gama is credited with the discovery of the sea route to India. Sailing down the western coast of Africa and rounding the Cape of Good Hope, his expedition had a numerous halts in Africa before reaching the trading post of Calicut.
Arrival of Vasco da Gama
- Huge number of sailors and merchants from the west tried to discover a sea route to India. India was widely popular for spices and other riches in that period.
- Christopher Columbus, in 1492, had inadvertently discovered when the Americas really wanted to reach the coast of India.
- Then, Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer succeeded in discovering the sea route. I
- The goods from India and the Orient were in massive demand in Europe. Spices were the huge export element.
- It is known that an Indian from Kenya helped da Gama with the directions to the subcontinent and also informed him about the monsoons.
- On May 20th, 1498, da Gama reached Kappad, near Kozhikode, which was then part of the Kingdom of the Zamorin (Samuthiri Raja) of Calicut.
- Vasco Da Gama was given a hero’s welcome and was also given the title ‘Dom’ by the king. The expedition had brought in cargo which was valued at more than 60 times the expedition’s cost.
- There would be more number of Portuguese armadas to India which changed the face of the subcontinent in more ways than one.
- Started as a trading partner, Portugal went on to colonise parts of India.