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Who were the Portuguese?

by Harshit
Who were the Portuguese?

Do you know who were the Portuguese, today we are going to tell you about the Portuguese, who were they, where did they come from, what was their history? Today we are going to give you the answers to all your questions related to Portuguese. At the same time, I will tell you about the propagation of Christianity in India.

Who were the Portuguese?

The Portuguese came to India first among the Europeans. On May 17, 1498, a Portuguese traveler named Vasco da Gama after a journey of 90 days while circling the Uttamasha headland, reached the port of Calicut (modern Kozhikode, Kerala) by sea with the help of a Gujarati pioneer named Abdul Majeed. The Hindu king of Calicut, whose paternal title was Zamorin, gave Vasco da Gama a grand welcome. This behavior of Zamorin was not liked by the Arab traders who had taken control of Indian trade at that time. On his return home, Vasco da Gama got 60 times more than his entire travel expenses from the trade of spices and herbs taken from India. It was from here that the order of the Portuguese coming to India started.


The two main purposes of the Portuguese coming to India were • To end the influence of Arabs and Venetian traders from India.

Propagation of Christianity in India

The second Portuguese traveler to visit India was Pedro lvarez Caval, who arrived in India in 1500, leading a fleet of 13 ships. Vasco da Gama came to India for the second time in 1502. The Portuguese established their first factory in Cochin in 1503 with the aim of gaining a monopoly on the pepper and spices trade of the Eastern world. That is, established a trading center. In 1505, Francisco Dr. Almeida came to India as the first Portuguese Viceroy. It gave more importance to maritime policy and tried to strengthen the position of the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean. He captured Diu in 1509 by defeating the combined forces of Egypt, Turkey and Gujarat. After this success, the Indian Ocean was transformed into the Portuguese Sea.


Almeida remained in India till 1509. Almeida’s policy to establish Portuguese control over Indian Ocean trade is called the Blue Water Policy or the Policy of Calm Water. The real founder of Portuguese power in India is considered to be Alphonso de Albuquerque. This started the recruitment of Indians in the Portuguese army.

Portugal map

It encouraged the Portuguese to marry Indian women with the idea of ​​settling a permanent Portuguese population in India. Under this policy, he also banned the practice of Sati in his area. It conquered Goa from the Adil Shahi Sultan of Bijapur in 1510. Albuquerque succeeded in establishing control over Malacca, an important market in Southeast Asia. It died in Goa itself in 1515. He was buried in Goa itself.


Nino de Cunha came to India in 1530 as the Portuguese governor. This made Goa the official capital of the Portuguese kingdom. It also expanded Portuguese commerce towards the eastern seaboard of India by establishing Portuguese settlements at Santhomi (Madras) and Hooghly (Bengal). Later on, it also took control of Basin and Diu. Kunha reached an agreement with Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat, in the matter of basin, but again on the question of erecting a wall there, a fight broke out between them. During this battle Bahadur Shah fell into the sea and died due to drowning. By this time the Portuguese had established settlements in Diu, Daman, Sashti, Basai, Chaul, Bombay, Santhomi and Hooghly. Hooghly was used by the Portuguese as a base for piracy in the Bay of Bengal. In course of time, most of the trading settlements of the Portuguese fell out of their hands. The rest survived only Diu, Daman and Goa, which the Portuguese held until 1961.


The Portuguese considered themselves to be the lords of the ocean. The Portuguese maritime empire was named Estadon de India. He started the Cartridge Ameda convoy system to control the maritime trade. Under this, no Indian or Arabic ship could go into the Arabian Sea without taking cartridges or permits from the Portuguese. Carrying pepper and ammunition in Indian or Arabic ships was prohibited. Under the Portuguese convoy system, a Portuguese flotilla used to accompany the local merchants to protect their convoys. The Mughal emperor Akbar also accepted the control of the Portuguese in a way.

Received a free cartoon or permit from them annually. The famous Jew Saint Xavier came to India in 1542 with the Portuguese governor Martin D’Souza. Three Jesuit missions came to the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.



The credit of starting India’s trade with Japan goes to the Portuguese. The Portuguese brought tobacco, potatoes and maize to India from Central America. He started shipbuilding and printing press in India. The credit of bringing papaya, orange, litchi, pineapple, cashew, almond, sweet potato, and groundnut from different countries to India goes to the Portuguese. Gothic architecture arrived in India with the Portuguese. With the arrival of Dutch and British companies in the Indian Ocean, the decline of Portuguese started and those monopolies ended. Another reason for the decline of the Portuguese was their religious intolerance.


With the help of this post I have told you who were the Portuguese? And along with this, I have also told you about Propagation of Christianity in India. Click on the given link.


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