Vasco da Gama

Vasco da Gama

Vasco Da Gama was a Portuguese adventurer-traveler of the 15th century and he was the first European to discover a direct sea route to India in 1498. 

He was born in a small coastal town called Sines in Portugal in the year 1460.  His father, Estêvão da Gama,  was an explorer and soon followed his father's footsteps and became an explorer.  

Although he was one of the best sailors of the Age of Exploration, he was immortalized in history for his brutality towards the natives of India and Africa.

Maiden Voyage

  • First European Navigator to reach Kerala (India as well).
  • Set sail from – Lisbon (July 8, 1497).
  • No. of Crew Members – 170.
  • Reached India on – May 20, 1498 (Kappad, Calicut).
    • Panthalayani beach, Chemancheri Panchayath.
  • Name of the Ship which Vasco da Gama used to reach India – São Gabriel.
  • Other ships in the fleet of Vasco da Gama – São Rafael & São Miguel (nickname: Berrio).
    Vasco Da Gama Route Map
    • Started out with 4 ships.
  • King of Portugal at the time of Vasco da Gama's maiden voyage to India – Dom Manuel I.
  • Zamorin at the time of Vasco da Gama's arrival – Manavikraman Raja.
  • The Naval headquarters of Zamorin at the time of arrival of Vasco da Gama – Ponnani.
  • Gifts presented by Vasco de Gama before the Zamorin – 4 cloaks of scarlet cloth, 6 hats, 4 branches of corals, a box with seven brass vessels, a chest of sugar, 2 barrels of oil & a cask of honey.
  • Left Calicut on – August 29, 1498.
  • The year in which Vasco da Gama returned to Lisbon – 1499.
  • During the voyage back to Lisbon in 1499, Vasco da Gama lost 116 of his crew of 170 due to which disease – Scurvy.

Other Voyages to India

  • Vasco da Gama arrived in Kerala for the second time in the year – 1502.
  • Vasco da Gama's third & final Voyage to India was on – September 1524.
    • Name of the Ship – Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai.
    • Reached – Goa.
    • As Portuguese viceroy in India by King John III.
  • Vasco da Gama died on – December 24, 1524 (Kochi; 60 years old; died of Malaria).
  • Name of the church where Vasco da Gama was buried – St. Francis Church, Kochi.
    • The first church built in India by the Portuguese – St. Francis Church, Kochi.
  • His remains were transported back to Portugal in – 1539.
  • Name of the church in Portugal where the body of Vasco da Gama was buried – Jerónimos Monastery/Hieronymites Monastery (Lisbon, Portugal).


  • First European forces to reach India via sea route for trading – Portuguese.
  • First Portuguese seafarer to set sail to India under King Joao II in 1487 but failed to reach his destination – Bartholomew de Diaz (sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in Africa).
  • The Portuguese King who was known as the Fortunate (O Venturoso) – Manuel I.
  • The First Europeans to build a fort in India – Portuguese.
    • Name of the First fort built by Europeans in India – Fort Manuel / Fort Emmanuel / Pallipuram Fort / Aya Fort / Vypin Fort (Kochi, 1507).
    • Built by – Afonso de Albuquerque.
    • Named after – Manuel I.
    • First Portuguese fort in Asia as well.
    • The oldest existing European structure in India.
  • First Portuguese viceroy to visit India – Francisco de Almeida (1505).
  • Second Portuguese viceroy of India – Afonso de Albuquerque.
  • Vasco da Gama Bridge spans over which river in Lisbon – Tagus River.
  • An Indian City is named after Vasco da Gama., in which state, it is located – Goa ( Vasco da Gama City / Vasco; founded in 1543).
    • Also known as Sambhaji Nagar.
  • An important seaport of the Western Coast of India is located in Vasco City. Name the seaport – Mormugao Port.
  • The Vasco Da Gama Pillar is located at – Malindi (Kenya).
  • Age of Exploration – The extensive overseas explorations done by the European nations during the 15th century to the 18th century.
  • Scurvy occurs due to the lack of – Vitamin C.
  • വാസ്‌കോഡ ഗാമ കോ​ഴി​ക്കോ​ട് ആദ്യമായി ചേർ​ന്ന​ത്1498. (Previous Year PSC Questions: LGS 2017)
  • 'The Career and legend of Vasco da Gama' is a book written by – Sanjay Subramaniyam. (Previous Year PSC Questions: Electician (Water Transport), 2016)
  • The travelogue of Vasco da Gama was the content of 'Os Luciyases' - Who wrote the great literary work? Camoens. (Previous Year PSC Questions: High School Assistant Physical Science, 2016)