Vasco da Gama – Route | Facts | Timeline | Biography

Vasco da Gama – Route | Facts | Timeline | Biography

(Last Updated On: April 16, 2021)

Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese conqueror who voyaged to India (1497–99, 1502–03, 1524) via the Cape of Good Hope, opened the sea route from western Europe to the east. 


Da Gama was the third son of the minor provincial fiancée Estevo da Gama, commander of the fort of Sinos, off the coast of Alentejo province in southwestern Portugal. Little is known about his early life.

In 1492, the King of Portugal II sent him to Sebtel, south of Lisbon, and to Algarve, the southernmost province of Portugal, to intercept French ships in retaliation for the peaceful decline of Portugal – a task which Da Gama quickly and effectively carried out. Performed.

In 1495 King Manuel ascended the throne. The balance of power between the parties in the Portuguese court moved for the friends and patrons of the Da Gama family. At the same time, a neglected project was restored: to open the seaside in Asia and send it to the Portuguese fleet, and to send Muslims who had suffered exclusive trade with India and other states in the East. For unknown reasons, Da Gama, who had little relevant experience, was appointed to lead the expedition.

First trip

The Gamma sailed from Lisbon on July 8, 1497, with a fleet of four ships – two medium-sized three masted vessels, each of about 120 tonnes named “Sao Gabriel” and “Sao Raphael”; A 50-ton caravel, called “Berriero”.

And a 200-ton storeship. There are three interpreters – two Arabic speakers and one who spoke a number of Bantu dialects – with the gamma fleet. The fleet carries padres (stone pillars) to be placed as a sign of discovery.

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Passing through the Canary Islands on July 7, the fleet arrived in Sao Tiago (Santiago) in the Cape Verde Islands on the 26th, where it will remain until August 1st. Then, to avoid the flow of the Gulf of Guinea, Da Gama went a long way.

The South Atlantic before trying to score a Good Hope Cape goal. The fleet arrived in Santa Helena Bay (modern South Africa) on November 1st. Adverse winds and hostile flow delayed the Cape of Good Hope until November 22.

Three days later Angord da Gama installed a clergyman in Mossel Bay. Ordered to dismantle the island and the storeship.

Vasco da Gama

On December 7, the voyage reached the coast of Natal on Christmas day. On January 7, it anchored five days near the mouth of a small river between Natal and Mozambique, which they call the Rio du Cobar (copper river).

On January 26, Mozambique, now Mozambique, reached the Klemen River, which they called the Rio dos Bonas Sinis (Good Woman’s River), and established another pastor. During this time most of the crew were sick with scurvy; The expedition took a month to rest while the vessels were repaired.

On March 2, the voyage reached Mozambique Island, where residents believed the Portuguese were Muslims. Da Gama learned that they were traded to Arab merchants and that the four Arab vessels, meant with gold, jewelry, silver, and spices, were in port.

He was also told that Prestor John, a long-time Christian ruler, lived in the interior but there were many coastal cities.

The Sultan of Mozambique provided two pilots to Da Gama, one of them deserted to learn that the Portuguese were Christians.

The expedition arrived in Mombasa (now in Kenya) in April and anchored in Malindi (now in Kenya) on April 7, where a Gujarati pilot who was on his way to Calicut, southwestern India, was boarded.

After crossing the Indian Ocean for 25 days, the Ghats of India were observed, and on May 20 when Calicut arrived, there was also a clergyman to prove that Da Gama had arrived in India.

The Hindu ruler Zamorin, welcomed by Calicut (the most important trading center of the then South), was driven by Da Gama’s trivial gifts and rude behavior.

Da Gama failed to execute a deal – partly because it was hostility to Muslim merchants and partly because the things he brought about by the trumpery gift and cheap trade, favorable to West African trade, were hardly in demand in India.

The Portuguese mistakenly believed that the Hindus were Christians.

As the tensions escalated, Da Gama took five or six Hindus with him in late August so that King Manuel could learn about their customs. Ignorance and indifference to local knowledge led Da Gama to choose the worst time of the year for his departure and he had to ride against the rain.

He traveled to Anjidibe Island (near Goa) before sailing for Malindi, which he arrived on January 8, 1499, after sailing for about three months.

Vasco da Gama

Many people died because of cravings. In Malindi, due to reduced numbers, Da Gama ordered “Sao Raphael” to be burned; There he established a pastor. He arrived in Mozambique, where he also established his last foothold.

On March 27, “Sao Gabriel” and “Berrio” surrounded the Cape, but separated after a month after the storm; “Berriero” arrived on the Tagus River in Portugal on July 7, continuing on the island of the Gama Azores on the “Sao Gabriel”, where he sent his flag to Lisbon.

He himself arrived in Lisbon on September 9 and entered his conquest nine days later, mourning his brother Paolo, who had died in Teresita. (Only 4 of Da Gama’s original crew survived 1 of 4.) Manuel I gave Da Gama the title of Dom, annually paying a thousand cruzado pensions and estates.
On the way

Principal Voyage

On 8 July 1497 Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon with a fleet of four 1701, carrying four ships. Da Gama ordered So Gabriel. Paolo da Gama – Vasco’s brother – commanded three masterships, Sao Raphael.

There was Carvel Barrio and Storrship So Maria. Bartolomeu Dias also traveled with Da Gama and provided helpful suggestions for navigating the coast of Africa. They crossed the Canary Islands and reached the Cape Verde Islands by July 2.

They stayed for about a week, then continued on August 7, to avoid storms and strong currents near the Gulf of Guinea, Da Gama and his fleet sailed across the South Atlantic to the Cape of Good Hope.

Storms still delay them for some time. They took the Cape on 22 November and anchored three days later in Mosel Bay, South Africa.

They anchored a little near the Rio do Cobre (Copper River) near Mozambique in January and continued to do so. They reach the Rio dos Bonas Sinaiis (River of Good Womans). Here they made a statue called Portugal.

They stayed here for a month because the majority of the crew was sick from the scurvy – vitamin C.6. In the absence of the fleet of Da Gama, the journey finally resumed on March 2 when they reached Mozambique.

After trading with local Muslim merchants, Da Gama once more briefly made his way to Malindi (now Kenya). He hired a pilot to help sail through the Indian Ocean. They sailed for 25 days and arrived in India on May 27, 8th.

At Calicut da Gama meets the king. But King Gamma of Calicut was not impressed with the gift he had brought as a gift. They did business in India for several months and studied their customs. They left India at the end of August.

He visited Anjidibe Island, near Goa, and then stopped in Malindi once more on January 5 to burn So Raphael to help prevent his illness. Lastly, Da Gama returned to Portugal on September 9. Manuel I admired Da Gamma’s success and gave him a new title of money and admiral.

Next trip

Later trips to Vasco da Gama were less friendly with the people he met. He sailed again in February 1502 with a fleet of 150 ships. They stop at the Cape Verdes Islands in Mozambique and later sail to Kilwa (modern-day Tanzania). Da Gama threatened their leader and forced him and his men to swear allegiance to the King of Portugal.

In Calicut, he bombed the port and killed a number of Muslim businessmen. Again, in Cochin, they fought with Arab ships and sent them to airplanes. The Gamma was paving the way for the expanding Portuguese Empire.

It was cruelly treated by East Africans and South Asians. Finally, on February 20, 1503, Da Gama embarked on his return home on October 11, 1503. King Manuel, I died in 1521, and the third became the ruler.

He made Da Gama the Portuguese Viceroy of India. King III sent Da Gama to India to stop the fortifications and solve the administrative problems of the Portuguese officers. The third voyage of The Gamma will be his last.

Vasco da Gama

Next year and death

He married Vasco da Gama Katrina de Ataid in 1500, after returning from his first trip. They had six sons and they lived in that town. Until he was sent overseas in 122, da Gama continued to advise on Indian affairs.

Vasco da Gama left Portugal for India and arrived in Goa on September 7. The Gamma reinstated the order among the Portuguese leaders.

He became ill at the end of the year. Vasco da Gama died on 24 December 1524 in Cochin, India. He was buried in the local church. In 1539, his remains were returned to Portugal.


Vasco de Gama is the first European to find a way to trade in India. He did what many explorers could not do before him. His discovery of this seafront helped the Portuguese establish a long-standing colonial empire in Asia and Africa.

The route to the new oceans around Africa allows Portuguese sailors to abandon Arab trade in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Better access to the Indian spice route boosts Portugal’s economy.

Vasco da Gama opens a new world of riches, opening the Indian Ocean route. His travels and explorations helped change the world for Europeans.

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