Portugal's Da Gama Opens Sea Route to India1497-1499
Prince Henry the Navigator in the early 1400s initiated Portugal's expeditions by sea southward along the coast of Africa. In 1497 Vasco da Gama, who had already gained distinction in Portugal's wars against Castile, was appointed by the Portuguese king to lead a royal fleet of four vessels beyond the farthest point previously explored. Departing Portugal in July 1497, DaGama's fleet reached the Cape of Good Hope by November. At the beginning of the following year, he left the African Coast, sailing across the Indian Ocean and making port at Calicut on the west coast of India in May 1498.
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