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Modern History / Arrival of Europeans

Portuguese in India

Portuguese started arriving in India when Vasco Da Gama came to India and reached Calicut in Kerala on 20th May, 1498. For the second time, Vasco Da Gama came to India in 1502 AD. Estado Da India (State of India) was established in Portugal in 1505 AD to look after administration and trade network in India. Portuguese in India dominated for 100 years until the British took over the control from them.

Portuguese Settlements in India

The following sites were the Portuguese settlements in India.

  • Calicut (Portuguese first factory in India, 1500), Cochin and Cannanare (Kannur) all in Kerala.

  • Bombay, Salsette and Bassein all in Maharashtra.

  • Surat, Bhavnagar, Diu and Daman all in Gujarat coast.

  • Chittagong, Satgaon and Hooghly all in Bengal.

  • Goa, Diu and Daman.

Portuguese History in India

  • The first Portuguese Governor in India was Francisco de Almeida. He followed a policy called Blue Water Policy. He gave much importance to sea trade.

  • The second Governor was Afonso de Albuquerque. Under his leadership, Goa was captured by Portuguese from Bijapur Sultans in 1510. Thus, Goa became a Portuguese colony. Albuquerque also concluded a friendly treaty in 1511 with Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagara empire.

  • In 1530, Governor Nino da Cunha shifted the headquarters from Cochin to Goa. In 1556, first printing press was set up in Goa.

  • Portuguese introduced new crops, namely Tobacco, Chillies and Maize.

  • Shah Jahan defeated Portuguese and expelled them from Bengal. Peshwa Baji Rao I captured Bassein and Salsette from Portuguese.

  • Portuguese were repeatedly defeated by the British. Portuguese East India Company was established in 1628 by the king of Portugal to protect the interests of the Portuguese in India as the British started dominating. But the company did not last long.

    Portuguese were marginalized by the British and they were allowed to stay only in Goa, Diu and Daman. They continued there until 1961.

  • They were the last Europeans to go from India. India liberated Goa from the Portuguese in 1961 by Operation Vijay (Military Action).