History of Portugal

Discovery of the sea route to India
Vasco da Gama on his arrival in India in May 1498, bearing the flag used during the first voyage by sea to this part of the world ©Ernesto Casanova
1495 Jan 1 - 1499

Discovery of the sea route to India


The Portuguese discovery of the sea route to India was the first recorded trip directly from Europe to the Indian subcontinent, via the Cape of Good Hope. Under the command of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, it was undertaken during the reign of King Manuel I in 1495–1499. Considered one of the most remarkable voyages of the Age of Discovery, it initiated the Portuguese maritime trade at Fort Cochin and other parts of the Indian Ocean, the military presence and settlements of the Portuguese in Goa and Bombay.