Vasco Da Gama kaun tha? Vasco da Gama grew up in Portugal, and during his childhood he became fascinated with maps. He would spend hours tracing out the patterns they made on paper and creating new ones of his own. When Vasco was 14 years old, he left home to find a sea route to India. Vasco da Gama traveled by ship across the Atlantic Ocean until he reached Africa’s coastline. From there the explorer sailed west in search of India. After months of searching, he finally reached the shores of East Africa.
Vasco da Gama explored East Africa, though he was not able to find a suitable place to set up a trading station or settlement. He left East Africa and traveled to the Persian Gulf, an area dominated by Arab traders. After this, Vasco da Gama set out for India again and succeeded in establishing a settlement on India’s west coast in 1498. For the next several years Vasco explored India while his brother Paulo traveled overland to find a way around Africa into the Indian Ocean. Vasco eventually became so famous that King Manuel I of Portugal appointed him as the viceroy (ruler) of Portuguese colonies.
1. Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail from Europe to India :
When he was fourteen years old, Vasco da Gama left his family home in Portugal and set out for the sea. In Portugal at that time few people were allowed to go to sea. Even boys who wanted a life at sea could not become sailors because if they became a sailor and died on a voyage, their families would lose any money they paid toward their insurance. Only if they had more than 500,000 reis could they become sailors without paying insurance.
It was forbidden for Vasco da Gama to go to sea. His mother, who was quite old, began to worry and begged him not to go to sea. But his father said “You must not stop this boy. He is determined, and we cannot stop him.” The day of Vasco da Gama’s departure came, and he left his home on a boat that belonged to a traveling trader named Martim Affonso de Souza. He traveled down the coast of Portugal until he reached the Atlantic Ocean. Then Martim Affonso dropped da Gama off at a point where he could sail across the ocean in seven days’ time.
2 . The first person to reach India:
On May 14, 1497, Vasco da Gama set sail for India. He planned to travel the long way around Africa and then trade along the East African coast until he reached India. He was not the first person to travel from Portugal to India. A year before Vasco da Gama, King Manuel I of Portugal gave a charter to one Bartolomeu Dias, who sailed through the Indian Ocean and found a place on India’s east coast where he could set up a trading station.
Vasco da Gama spent months in Africa trying to find a way around the continent so that he could reach the Indian Ocean. He sailed northwest along the coast of East Africa until he reached a point where the land was curved like a horseshoe. He knew that if he went around Africa using this same curve, it would take him to India. But Vasco da Gama could not go all the way around Africa because his ship was too large to pass through the narrow straits between Madagascar and the mainland of Africa.
When he finally found a way around the continent, Vasco da Gama traveled south until he reached Mozambique. He sailed along this narrow strip of land until he came across a large bay called Mozambique (Sea of Spice). He sailed into the bay, and anchored his ship. Then he sent men ashore to look for fresh water. His men searched the forest near the shore but could find no water. They tried digging holes in the ground to find water, but still their search was in vain.
3 . Vasco da Gama goes on two exploring trips:
The next day Vasco da Gama set sail again. He sailed around Mozambique and continued south along Africa’s east coast until he reached a small island called Mombasa (the Home of War). There were some houses on this island; they were built of sticks and thatched with leaves. In one cottage on the island, Vasco da Gama found a Portuguese sailor named Emanuele. When he learned that Emanuele spoke English, he invited the sailor to join him on his ship.
Emanuele said that he had lost ten men on previous voyages to India. He also told Vasco da Gama that there was another large island called Malindi (Seal Island), about two hundred miles away from Mombasa. Malindi is home to many people who speak a different language than Portuguese—they are called the people of Malindi (Sea People). This island is very rich in spices and its people trade with ships from all over the world.