Portuguese in India - History, Significance, Advent, and Decline of Portuguese India

By K Balaji|Updated : November 9th, 2022

Portuguese in India or Portuguese state in India or Estado Português da Índia belonging to the Portuguese Empire was an Indian state within the Subcontinent that was colonized. The Portuguese were the earliest Europeans who came to India and the final ones to depart. In 1498, Vasco De Gama (Portuguese) became the first one to arrive in India. The colonization of the Portuguese prevailed and limited influence beyond their colonies, unlike its English partner. The rule of Portuguese in India is articulated to be within the years 1505 - 1961.

Portuguese in India featured several enclaves on India's western coast during the duration of British India's independence in 1947, including Goa, the coastal province of Daman and Diu, and the internal district of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Goa is used to refer to the Portuguese Indian territory. In this article, read all the information about Portuguese in India's history, settlements, invasion, significance, advent, and decline of Portuguese in India.

Table of Content

Portuguese in India History (1498 - 1961)

Below are the sequential events that contributed to Portuguese history in India from 1498 to 1961.

Year

Portuguese in India Timeline

1498

Zamorins accepted a seashore created by Vasco-da-Gama at Calicut

1503

Cochin (currently Kochi) had the First Portuguese fort.

1505

The construction of the Second Portuguese fort took place at Cannanore.

1509

Portuguese crushed the combined caravan of Zamorin, Arabs, and Egyptians during the Diu Battle.

1510

Goa got seized from the Sultanate of Bijapur by Alfonso Albuquerque.

1530

The capital of the Portuguese (in India) was Goa.

1535

Noticed the defeat of Diu.

1539

Portuguese Diu was under blocking by the Zamorin of Calicut, Ottomans, the Gujarat Sultanate, and Mamluks of Egypt. It finished with Portuguese decisive success.

1559

Portuguese held Daman.

1596

The Dutch established a spice trade monopoly after displacing the Portuguese in South-East Asia.

1612

English had the authority over Surat.

1661

English got the control over Bombay.

1663

All forts of Portuguese were lost to the Dutch on the Malabar Coast.

1779

Purchase of Nagar Haveli and Dadra.

1843

The new capital of Portuguese in India was Panjim.

1961

Portuguese lost their final colony, Goa when the Indian army founded a martial process on unleashing it.

Portuguese Settlements in India

Portuguese arrival in India and their colonialism started on May 20, 1498, when Vasco da Gama reached Calicut on the Malabar Coast. He encountered the ruler of Zamorin (Calicut) and got consent to trade from Zamorin even after many disapprovals from the Arab raiders.

  • Vasco da Gama could not pay the patronages' burdens and expenses for his goods.
  • His men were imprisoned by Zamorin's officials when the commitments were not disbursed.
  • It outraged Vasco da Gama and forced him to abduct some residents and fishermen.
  • The journey was booming till the Lisbon Portuguese government was involved.
  • The profit from the voyage was far more than the initial investment, and there was a discovery of sea passage avoiding the Ottoman Empire.

Portuguese Invasion in India

The tours of Vasco da Gama and other disputes with the Zamorin Kingdom set the ground for functions on the Malabar coast. Francisco de Almeida was the first ruler who founded his centers in modern-day Cochin.

Year

Important Events Related to Portugese Invasion in India

1509

The second Portuguese governor of the residences in the East was Alfonso de Albuquerque.

1510

Afonso de Albuquerque overthrew the Bijapur sultanate, setting up Goa's permanent colony with the Vijaynagar Empire's assistance.

1513



Albuquerque capitulated and joined into a compact with the Zamorin to guard Portuguese stakes in Malabar.

1661

Another colonial occupancy was modern-day Mumbai, which was later offered to the British.

1799 - 1813



The British shortly colonized Goa, during which the last traces of the investigation were eliminated.

1843.

The official executive seat and capital of the Portuguese in India was changed to Panjim (Named again as Nova Goa).

A Portuguese caravan arrived off the shore of Calicut under Marshal Fernão Coutinho with instructions of the Zamorin devastation. The palace of Zamorins was seized, and the metropolis was diminished to leftovers.

  • The native forces rallied and caused the occupied Portuguese to withdraw after injuring Albuquerque.
  • The state became the centre of the Portuguese colonial tenancies in India and the seat of the ruler.
  • Portuguese authority was confined to Goa and the territory of Diu and Daman and Goa for the next century.

Advent of Portuguese in India

With its inquiry request, the Renaissance movement enchanted Europe in the fifteenth century. Europe made notable progress in shipbuilding and navigation during this period.

  • Resulting, there was a tremendous urge across Europe for adventurous naval journeys into the unknown countries of the East.
  • The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach India and the last to leave the country.
  • The Portuguese State of India was a Portuguese colonial state in India.
  • Vasco De Gama was the first Portuguese to arrive in India in 1498.
  • The rule of the Portuguese in India was between 1505 and 1961.
  • Portuguese colonization had less influence beyond its borderlands though it outlived its English enemy.
  • Under the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the rulers of Spain and Portugal split the non-Christian world in 1497 by a mythical line in the Atlantic, extending some 1,300 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.
  • As per the contract, Portugal could inhabit the East of the line, whereas Spain could settle and colonize everything on the west.
  • As an outcome, the stage was designed for Portuguese attacks into the Indian Ocean.

Significance of Portuguese in India

According to many historians, the Portuguese arrival signalled the commencement of the European age and led to the growth of marine administration.

  • For example, the Cholas stood as a maritime force, but a foreign power arrived in India by water for the first time.
  • The initial approach towards assuring a monopoly over the business included arming the Portuguese yachts with guns for threats.
  • The Portuguese accustomed to weapons, matchlock troopers, and body armor, landed from ships in Malabar (16th century), illustrating the military invention.
  • They were masters of progressive sea tactics.
  • The Portuguese onshore contributed to the military by creating a system of drilling infantry groups implemented in the 1630s to react to the Dutch force.
  • Goa became a headquarter of intricate latticework, stewed greenery work, and metalwork containing diamonds as the goldsmith and silversmith crafts prospered.
  • The interiors of churches constructed under the Portuguese comprised a lot of woodwork, art, and painted ceilings.
  • Their multi-decked ships were powerfully created to resist Atlantic hurricanes and qualify to bear more weapons.

Decline of Portuguese in India

Even after India's independence from British rule, the Portuguese controlled their colonial base in India.

  • An organization designated "United Front of Goans' captured the innocent Dara on July 24, 1954, while Azad Gomantak Dal took Nagar Haveli in August 1954.
  • The International Court of Justice's judgment at The Hague, which gave access to Portuguese territories in India, was rendered useless.
  • Regional rallies started in opposition to Portuguese rule in Goa but ultimately stopped with insensitive force.
  • The Indian Government repeatedly requested the Portuguese Government, under António de Oliveira Salaza's dictatorship, to hand over its colonial holding. Still, they denied and assured that they played a crucial role in the territory of the Portuguese.
  • The Government of India adopted wait-and-watch tactics from 1951 to 1961. Also, it emphasized the issue of decolonization in front of the global communities, along with implementing economic prohibition.
  • The Indian military attacked Goa in December 1961. Against overwhelming probabilities, the Portuguese risked fighting but were defeated by the Army of India.
  • Portuguese in India Governor freed Goa after 450 years by signing the Instrument of Surrender on December 19, 1961.
  • Salazar's Government did not recognize India's dominance until its decline (1970), after which the connection between Portugal and India became friendly.

Portuguese in India UPSC

Aspirants should be well-versed in the Portuguese in India UPSC topic as it is an integral part of the UPSC Syllabus. Candidates should cover the entire portion of Portuguese in India, including their history, significance, invasion, settlements, and other important aspects in detail, which can be asked in both Prelims and Mains sections.

> Portuguese in India UPSC PDF

The Portuguese in India form an essential topic for the UPSC exam. Candidates must obtain a rigorous understanding of Portuguese in India UPSC, which will be helpful in Modern History notes preparation for the Civil service exam.

Portuguese in India UPSC Questions

Candidates preparing for UPSC must understand and revise the below Portuguese in India UPSC questions that were asked in the last few years question papers. These crucial questions ought to be studied comprehensively after understanding the topic.

Question: Hooghly was used as a ground for pirating in the Bay of Bengal by:

(a) the Portuguese

(b) the Danish

(c) the British

(d) the French

Answer: (a) - During Shah Jahan's rule, Qasim Khan, the Governor of Bengal, peacefully jailed thousands of Portuguese. Hence, the Portuguese utilized Hooghly as a piracy ground in the Bay of Bengal.

Question: When the Portuguese came to India, the foreigners whom they met as trade opponents were the:

(a) English

(b) Arabs

(c) Persians

(d) Dutch

Answer: (b) - The Arabs were the foreigners the Portuguese confronted as trading competitors when they arrived in India.

  • The Portuguese tried to overturn the Arab monopoly on the Indian spice trade.
  • They flourished after repeated conflicts with the Arabs within twenty years of their existence in India.
Important Notes for UPSC
Census 2011National Highways in India
Commonwealth GamesChild Labour
UN Security CouncilTirthankara of Jainism
Medieval History of India UPSC NotesAdvent of European in India
IRS vs IASArticle 12 of Indian Constitution

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FAQs on Portuguese in India

  • Portuguese in India or Portuguese states in India were predominant during the 18th century. Kanpur was an essential Portuguese trade centre with a large Portuguese population reduced after colonization by British forces. In North India, Luso-Indians are only present in Kanpur.

  • King Manuel I passed major economic reforms in 1516 and named three Vedor da Fazenda (overseers of the treasury). Their commitments were to take care of overseas finances and the detailed maintenance of overseas trade.

  • The first Portuguese who came to India in 1498 was Vasco De Gama. Yet, the duration of Portuguese dominion in India started in 1505 and ended in 1961. The colonization of the Portuguese survived its English companion but had a restricted effect beyond their territories' section.

  • Fort Emmanuel in Kochi, Kerala, was the first Portuguese fort in India. Their supporter, the local maharaja of Kochi, authorized them to make it in 1503 AD. The Portuguese factory in India was launched at Calicut in 1500 AD.

  • In 1509, De Almeida was heeded by Albuquerque as the second ruler and had the authority until 1515. Albuquerque spread the foundation for Portuguese management in India by defeating Goa in 1510, which evolved as the centre of the Portuguese in India.

  • Portuguese arrival in India and their colonization began after Vasco da Gama reached the Malabar Coast in Calicut (May 20, 1498). Vasco da Gama met the Zamorin monarch of Calicut and got consent to deal in Calicut from the Zamorin even after multiple disapproval from the Arab attackers.

  • The Portuguese State of India was a Portuguese colonial state in India. They were the first Europeans to reach India and the last to leave the country. Vasco De Gama was the first Portuguese to arrive in India in 1498.

    • Portuguese colonization had less influence beyond its borderlands though it outlived its English enemy.
    • Under the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), the rulers of Spain and Portugal split the non-Christian world in 1497 by a mythical line in the Atlantic, extending some 1,300 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands.
  • A Portuguese caravan arrived off the shore of Calicut under Marshal Fernão Coutinho with instructions of the Zamorin devastation. The palace of Zamorins was seized, and the city was diminished to leftovers. The native forces reassembled and caused the conquered Portuguese to withdraw after injuring Albuquerque.

  • An organization named the "United Front of Goans' captured the innocent Dara on July 24, 1954, while Azad Gomantak Dal took Nagar Haveli in August 1954. 

    • The Regional rallies against Portuguese rule in Goa were stopped with insensitive force.
    • The Indian military attacked Goa in December 1961. Against overwhelming probabilities, the Portuguese risked fighting and defeated the Indian army.

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