Arrival of Portuguese in India

Introduction to Arrival of Portuguese in India

Examining the historical tapestry of India’s trade development, this article reveals the deep influence of European companies with a focus on the pioneering role played by the Portuguese. From the transformative expeditions led by Vasco da Gama to the consolidation of power under figures like Francisco de Almeida and Alfonso de Albuquerque, we trace the diverse dimensions of Portuguese influence on India’s political, economic and social landscape. As we trace the Portuguese footprint, we reveal the strategic policies, cultural contributions and ultimately decline that characterized their 350-year presence in the Indian subcontinent.

European Companies’ Entry into India: Unveiling the Portuguese Influence

   In the history of India, trade traces its origins when to the Harappan period, embodying India’s rich cultural heritage, economic equality, and spiritual achievements. However, a significant shift occurred in the latter half of the 15th century when European companies ventured into India, leaving an rememberable impact on the political, economic, and social landscapes for well-nigh 350 years. The pioneering gravity among these companies was the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch, English, Danish, and French.

Portuguese Expedition and Trade in India: A New Era Unfolds

   The Portuguese Company, under the leadership of Vasco da Gama, discovered a new sea route to India in 1498, reaching the port of Calicut on the western coast. This marked the prelude of a transformative period in India’s trade history. Despite facing opposition from Arab traders executive Indian trade, Vasco da Gama’s journey proved lucrative, laying the foundation for subsequent Portuguese expeditions.

   Gradually, the Portuguese established trading posts in key Indian ports such as Calicut, Goa, Daman, Dip, and Hooghly. Notably, the Portuguese ‘East India Company’ predates its Dutch counterpart, plane though the Dutch arrived in India earlier.

Francisco de Almeida’s Vision: A Blue Water Policy

   In 1505, Francisco de Almeida became the first Viceroy from Portugal, tasked with towers forts in India for security and asserting Portuguese tenancy over the Indian Ocean trade. This strategic approach, termed the ‘blue or wifely water policy,’ aimed to secure Portugal’s position. Almeida faced challenges, including defeat in the Battle of Chola, but ultimately strengthened Portugal’s maritime policy in the Indian Ocean.

Albuquerque’s Impact: Portuguese Power Consolidated

   Alfonso de Albuquerque, the next Portuguese Viceroy, is regarded as the true technie of Portuguese power in India. Establishing Cochin as headquarters, Albuquerque captured Goa in 1510 and expanded Portuguese influence by seizing Malacca in 1511 and Hormuz in 1515. Albuquerque’s policies included encouraging Portuguese-Indian marriages to uplift the population and solidifying Goa as a vital part-way of Portuguese power.

   Under Nino de Cunha, the first Portuguese governor, Goa became the formal wanted in 1530. Portuguese settlements expanded to Hooghly, Senthoma, Bassein, and Dib. Francisco Xabier, the first priest, arrived in India during this period, marking the whence of Portuguese involvement in Indian politics.

Portuguese Trade and Control: Impact on Indian Ocean

   Nagapattinam port was crucial for Portuguese trade with Asian countries, and they controlled the import and export routes in the Indian Ocean. The Portuguese implemented a caravan-armada convoy system, levying fees on ships and restricting the entry of Indian and Arab ships into the Arabian Sea without permits. Plane the Mughal emperor Akbar had to unclose Portuguese patronage.

Cultural and Economic Contributions of the Portuguese

   The Portuguese left a lasting imprint on India, introducing tobacco cultivation, shipbuilding, and the printing press. The first printing printing in India was established in Goa in 1556, and Gothic tracery became a Portuguese contribution.

Decline of Portuguese Influence: Factors and Consequences

   By the 18th century, the Portuguese influence in Indian trade had waned. Religious intolerance, piracy, ineffective leadership, opposition from English and Dutch powers, the ripen of Vijayanagara empires, and Portugal’s loss of independence to Spain unsalaried to the downfall. Despite stuff the first European power to victorious in India, the Portuguese faced merchantry failures due to these multifaceted challenges.


European companies entered India in the 15th century, with the Portuguese leading the way.

Vasco da Gama’s 1498 journey established a lucrative sea route to India, paving the way for subsequent Portuguese expeditions.

The Portuguese set up trading posts in key ports, predating their Dutch counterparts.

Francisco de Almeida implemented a ‘blue water policy’ to secure Portugal’s dominance in the Indian Ocean trade.

Alfonso de Albuquerque, the next Viceroy, expanded Portuguese influence by capturing Goa, Malacca, and Hormuz.

Goa became the formal seat of Portuguese power in 1530, marking the whence of deeper involvement in Indian politics.

The Portuguese controlled Nagapattinam port and implemented trade restrictions, impacting Indian Ocean routes.

They introduced tobacco cultivation, shipbuilding, and the printing press, leaving a lasting cultural and economic impact.

However, by the 18th century, Portuguese influence in Indian trade waned due to factors such as religious intolerance, piracy, opposition from other European powers, and internal challenges.