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6 Strange Facts About Vasco Da Gama You Should Know

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In the fifteenth century, a lot of Europeans had been trying to reach India through the sea. There were quite a few expeditions, but all of them had resulted in the ships being caught in wrecks and were failures. Vasco da Gama became the first to end these unsuccessful expeditions and reach India through the Indian Ocean. His expedition gave the Europeans access to India’s goods and spices and resulted in bringing a new period of globalization. However, there are many interesting facts about Vasco da Gama that most people don’t know.

Early & Later Life Of Vasco Da Gama

Vasco Da Gama was born to a noble family in 1460 in Portuguese. At the age of 37, he got appointed by the Portuguese government to try and find a shipping route between Europe and Asia. Da Gama’s expedition started from Lisbon in July 1497, sailed down to the west coast of Africa, and landed on the South African coast. Following this, the expedition rounded the Cape of Good Hope and continued up the east coast of Africa. It then landed on the Indian coast on 2nd March 1498. It was the first shipping route established that linked Europe to Asia, after which a trading post was established in Calicut in India. Read this article to the end to find out about six interesting facts about Vasco Da Gama.

Vasco da Gama life facts -

On his return to the Portuguese, Da Gama discovered that the Calicut outpost had been under attack and went sailing for India immediately. He forced the ruler of Calicut to make peace with the Portuguese. On his journey home, he established a new trading post known as Mozambique in the present day. Da Gama continued to be the king of Portugal on Indian policies for the next 20 years and was then made Portuguese viceroy to India. He went back to India to deal with growing corruption in Portuguese authorities there. He died shortly after arriving, but his legacy as a pioneer of modern colonialism and his expansion of the Portuguese trade empire endures even to this day.

Vasco da Gama's Historic Voyage | Trending Reader

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Some Interesting Facts About Vasco da Gama

1. There Is A City Named After Vasco Da Gama

Vasco Da Gama, also known as Vasco, is a city located in Goa, India. This city was founded in 1543 and was under Portuguese control till 1961. Vasco is still one of the major independent ports in India. 

2. Vasco Da Gama Was A Hero Among The Portuguese

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there were no trading routes to India. Vasco da Gama’s expedition to India helped the Portuguese discover trade routes and a lot of spices, fabric, and jewels from India. This led to a significant rise in the economy of the Portuguese and bought them significant wealth. Vasco Da Gama was, hence, celebrated among the Portuguese as a hero. Vasco da Gama was born in the town of Sines, located close to the sea. There is a bronze statue dedicated to him in his birthplace, Sines.

3. Vasco Da Gama Was Arrogant

Another interesting fact about Vasco Da Gama is that he was very arrogant. His brutal nature and aggressiveness lead to complicated relationships of the Portuguese with the Indian traders. It is believed by some historians that Vasco da Gama and his crew were disrespectful towards the Hindu temples. They even kidnapped some local fishermen and treated the traders with humiliation. 

4. Vasco Da Gama Died From Malaria In India

One might believe that Vasco Da Gama, being an explorer, must have died at the sea in some mighty explorations, in the sea. However, he died on 24th December 1524 from malaria, which was a serious illness, at that time. He was buried in St. Francis Church in Kochi, India, however, his remains were carried back to the Portuguese. His remains are now kept in a carved tomb kept near the tombs of King Manuel I and John III. 

5. There Were A Lot Of Deaths In Da Gama’s Expedition

Vasco da Gama had sailed from portages with four ships and 170 crew members but returned with only 2 ships returned to Portuguese and 55 crew members. However, he bought a cargo that was 60 times the cost of the expedition.

6. Vasco da Gama Was Helped By An Indian, Kanji Malam

It is believed that Vasco da Gama, was helped by a Kutchi sailor, Kanji Malam to reach Calicut. His knowledge of the local monsoon winds was extremely helpful to Vasco da Gama. However, the exact identity of Kanji Malam is still disputed.


Vasco da Gama had made a major contribution to the Portuguese economy by giving Europe direct access to Indian spices and goods and he is remembered to this day for his discovery of the route. 

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