World Famous Explorers - Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama was born in the year 1460 in Sines, Kingdom of Portugal.

Vasco da Gama was an Portuguese sea explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India and he was the first European to reach India through sea. Vasco da Gama landed in Calicut (India) on the 20 May 1498 Vasco da Gama
Map showing the various outward and return legs of the Portuguese 'Carreira da India' ('India Run') in the 16th C.

Voyage from Europe to India
: Vasco da Gama' sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, on July 8, 1497. Vasco da Gamaled a fleet of four ships the São Gabriel commanded by Vasco da Gama, the São Rafael commanded by his brother Paulo da Gama, the caravel Berrio commanded by Nicolau Coelho and storage ship of unknown name, commanded by Gonçalo Nunes with a crew of 170 men.

The distance traveled in the journey around Africa to India and back was greater than around the equator.

The expedition set sail from Lisbon on 8 July 1497. Vasco da Gama took the route along the coast of Africa via Tenerife and the Cape Verde Islands.By December 16, the fleet had passed the Great Fish River. Then they reached Mombasa they became the first known Europeans to visit the port of Mombasa.

In February 1498, Vasco da Gama continued north, landing at the friendlier port of Malindi and then the fleet arrived in Kappadu near Calicut, India on 20 May 1498. Vasco da Gama left Calicut on 29 August 1498. On the outgoing journey, sailing with the summer monsoon wind, it had taken Gama's fleet only 23 days to cross the Indian Ocean; now, on the return trip, sailing against the wind, it took 132 days.

Vasco da Gama's fleet finally arrived in Malindi on 7 January 1499, by early March, they had arrived in Mossel Bay, and crossed the Cape of Good Hope in the opposite direction on March 20. They reached the west African coast by April 25.

Vasco da Gama eventually took passage on an Azorean caravel and finally arrived in Lisbon on August 29, 1499. The spices brought back on the remaining two ships were sold at an enormous profit to the crown.

On the morning of 27 April 1521, Magellan sailed to Mactan with a small attack force. During the resulting battle against Lapu-Lapu's troops, Magellan was hit by a bamboo spear and later surrounded and finished off with other weapons.

Vasco da Gama died in the city of Cochin on 23 December 1524.





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