Indian History


  • Commercial contacts between Indian and European countries existed for a long time. In 1453 A.D Turks captured constantinople. So the land route was closed. There was a need for Europeans to search for new sea routes. The Portuguese succeeded in discovering a new sea route to India. The ruler of Portugal encouraged navigators to explore a new sea route. In this effort Barthalo Mew Diaz successfully reached the southern most tip of South Africa. It is called cape of Good Hope. Vascodagama sailing through the cape of Good Hope, reached Calicut on the west coast of India on May 17, 1498. At that time the ruler of Calicut was Zamorin. He welcomed Vascodagama. Vascodagama got permission to trade and also got trade concessions from Zamorin and returned to Portugal.Vascodagama revisited India in 1502. The officers who came after Vascodagama were called Governors. The first Governor of Portuguese in India was Francis de Almaida. He followed Blue water policy and defeated Arabs in the naval battle at Diu in 1509. Albukark was the founder of Portuguese power in India. He came to India in 1503 as a commander. He was appointed as the Governor in 1509. He captured Goa from Bijapur Sultan with the help of Vijayanagara ruler Sri Krishna Devaraya. Goa became the headquarter of Portuguese in India. He occupied Malacca in 1511. He encouraged matrimonial relationships with Indians. Portuguese also established trade centres at Diu, Daman, Salsette, Bassein, Bombay Santhom, Hugli, and Chaul. But the Portuguse lost their trade centres to Dutch and English except Goa, Diu and Daman, which were dominions of Portuguese till 1961. In 1961 they were annexed to Indian Union by a military action.
  • There were many causes for the downfall of Portuguese in India. Some of them are: they did not establish their settlements in the inner part of the country. They established settlements only in the coastal region. They failed in the competition among the European Powers in India. With the decline of Vijayanagara empire they lost their alley. Corrupt officials of Portuguese, converting Hindus and Muslims to Christian, disinterest of Portuguese on Indian trade etc., are some of the reasons for their downfall.