Biography of Vasco da Gama – World Explorer

Monday, May 6th, 2019 - Biography

Biography of Vasco da Gama. He is known as a famous explorer from Portugal. One of the best-known stories there is Vasco Da Gama finding a direct route from Europe to India circling Africa.

Biography of Vasco da Gama Name: Vasco da Gama

Born: Sines, Portugal, 1460

Death: Kochi, India, December 24, 1524

Parents: Estêvão da Gama (father), Isabel Sodré (mother)

Wife: Catarina de Ataíde

Children: Cristóvão da Gama, Estêvão da Gama, Francisco da Gama, vlvaro d’Ataide da Gama, Isabel d’Ataide da Gama, Pedro de Silva da Gama, Paulo da Gama


Biography of Vasco Da Gama

Vasco Da Gama was born in 1460. He is the son of Estêvão da Gama and Isabel Sodré. He has five brothers. Vasco Da Gama is a low-class nobleman.


In 1488, a Portuguese expedition under the leadership of Bartolomeus Dias arrived and circled the Cape of Good Hope on the southern tip of Africa and returned to Portugal. this made the hopes of the King of Portugal at that time increasingly close to the fact that there was a short route to India.


Early Expedition

Then Vasco Da Gama’s fleet was sent on July 8, 1497. The fleet consisted of four ships under his command with a total crew of around 170 people including Arabic translators.

The first expedition sailed towards the Cape Verde islands. Then, he traced the coast of Africa as did Bartholomeus Dias.

Da Gama then sailed south, far outside the Atlantic Ocean. He sailed further south, and then turned east to reach the Cape of Good Hope.

Da Gama circled the Cape of Good Hope on November 22. He then sailed north on the east coast of Africa. In the voyage to the north he arrived at various cities controlled by Muslims, including Mambasa and Malindi, now known as Kenya.

In Malindi, Vasco Da Gama recruited a guide who was also an Indian who then guided him for 23 days across the Arabian Sea to India.

Get to India

In Biography Vasco da Gama was known to arrive in India on May 20, 1498. About 10 months after his departure from Portugal, Vasco Da Gama arrived in Calicut, the most important trading center city in southern India.

The ruler in Calicut named Zamorin initially welcomed the arrival of da Gama. However, then Zamorin was disappointed that the tribute gift presented by Da Gama was very little.

Return to Portugal

Vasco Da Gama left Calicut in August, he then filled his ship with spices to deliver it to his government in Portugal.

But the trip home seems to be more difficult than going. The trip took about 3 months across the Arabian Sea and many of the crew were killed by blood diseases due to eating mostly meat but lacking fruit and plants.

Finally, only two ships survived arriving in Portugal. The first ship docked in Portugal on July 10, 1499 and the ship Vasco Da Gama itself arrived just two months later.

Out of a total of 170 crew members, only 55 crew members survived, meaning less than a third when they left for the expedition.

However, when da Gama returned to Lisbon on September 9, 1499, both he and the King understood very well that the two-year trip was a great success.

Vasco da Gama Cruise Route (

Six months later, the Portuguese King sent an expedition under the leadership of Pedro Alvares Cabral. Cabral arrived at the right time in India. On his way, he found a route to Brazil and returned to Portugal carrying a pile of spices.

Return to India

But some children for Cabral were killed in Calicut which angered the Portuguese king. In 1502 Vasco Da Gama was sent back to Calicut to take revenge. He carried a fleet of 20 ships.

Outside of Indian coastal waters, Vasco Da Gama seized an Arab ship that was passing by, moved its cargo, then burned the ship along with its passengers.


When he arrived in Calicut, Vasco Da Gama requested that Zamorin tell all Muslim merchants and sailors from the port. The vacillating Zamorin was then captured and killed by Vasco Da Gama. On the way home, Da Gama founded several Portuguese colonies in East Africa.


For his work, Vasco da Gama was given the title of nobility by the Portuguese king. he was also given a plantation as well as a pension guarantee and prize money. Vasco Da Gama did not return to India until 1524 when the new Portuguese King appointed him the viceroy of India.


Vasco Da Gama died

In Vasco da Gama’s Biography it is also known that several months after arriving in India, Vasco Da Gama fell ill and died there in December 1524. His body was then taken to Lisbon and buried there.


Securities for other trading lines

The opening of a new trade route to India by Vasco da Gama resulted in a tremendous setback for Muslim traders who had mastered the trade routes in the Indonesian Ocean.


These Muslim traders were immediately completely defeated and the place was replaced by the Portuguese. Furthermore, the trade route by land between India and Europe became useless because the sea route through Africa pioneered by Portugal was much cheaper.


This was a bitter blow both for the Ottoman Turks of the time and Italian trading cities (such as Venice) which had previously dominated trade to the East. However, for other Europe this means goods from the Far East are cheaper than they were.


Finally, the biggest influence of Vasco da Gama’s trip was not on Europe or the Middle East, but more on India and Southeast Asia

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