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Índia Portuguesa

Índia Portuguesa (Tour Code : IN/0025) – Portuguese India is an interesting subject, as Portuguese were supposedly the first of the Europeans to set foot in India with Vasco da Gama arriving in Calicut (now Kozhikode) on 20th May 1498, and surprisingly they were the last ones to go out of India (Goa) in 1961. Goa, Anjediva Island  along with Dadra & Nagar Haveli , Daman and Diu has a very strong Portuguese imprints till date, while many places specially in the Malabar region hold testimony to the Portuguese presence in India. Very few would know that the major city of Bombay (now Mumbai) too belonged to Portuguese and was gifted to British after Charles II of England married Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza. On this tour we explore Chennai, Trivendarum, Kollam, Cochin, Calicut, Kannur, Kasargod, Mangalore, Goa, Mumbai, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Surat.


Day 01  Arrival in Madras (now Chennai)

We arrive in Chennai and will be transferred to our hotel for 2 nights. Chennai though is known as the British Presidency of British regime, but very few would known that  the Portuguese were the first ones to arrive here in 1522 and build a port called São Tomé after the Christian apostle, St. Thomas, who is believed to have preached in the area between 52 and 70 CE.  Relax this day or discover the city that British built brick by brick. Overnight at the hotel in Chennai.

Day 02  Chennai

Breakfast will be served at our hotel and post breakfast we will explore Mylapore, the actual Portugues domain. Portuguese invaded and demolished the original Kapaleeshwarar Temple and built San Thome Basilica which houses the tomb of Thomas the Apostle. San Thome Basilica was built over his original tomb in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers and rebuilt with the status of a cathedral by the British in 1893 which still stands. San Thome Basilica is the principal church of the Madras-Mylapore Roman Catholic Archdiocese. In 1956, Pope Pius XII raised the church to the status of a Minor Basilica, and on February 11, 2006, it was declared a national shrine by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India. It is an important pilgrimage center for the Syrian Christians of Kerala. The church also has an attached museum. Another interesting place is Church of Our Lady of Light that is a Roman Catholic shrine in Chennai, India. It is commonly called as Luz Church by the locals, which derives from the Portuguese name Nossa Senhora da Luz. Built in 1516 by the Portuguese, it is one of the oldest Churches in the city and its foundation stone marks as one of the oldest European monuments in India. The history of the church dates back to the 16th-century legend of safe arrival to land by missionaries. The church is located very near to the Santhome Basilica, where Apostle Thomas is believed to be buried. This 16th century European architecture building consists of patterns of Gothic arches and Baroque ornamentation. The feast of Our Lady of Light is celebrated on 15 August every year. Also on this tour we will explore Chennai’s British Fort St George and a few other buildings of the British times. Back to hotel and overnight at our hotel in Chennai.

Day 03  Chennai / Trivandrum / Kollam

After breakfast we will fly to Trivandrum (now Tiruvaṉantapuram) and on arrival we will take a driving tour of the city, specially around Kowdiar Palace built in 1915 that was the official residence of the Travancore Royal Family. We continue our drive to Quilon (now Kollam; 70 km / 1.5 hrs). Upon arrival in Kollam we will check-in at our hotel for 2 nights. Overnight at our hotel in Kollam.

Day 04  Kollam

Enjoy your breakfast at the hotel and later we explore Kollam. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish a trading center in Tangasseri, Kollam in 1502, which became the centre of their trade in pepper. In the wars with the Arabs that followed, the ancient church of St Thomas Tradition at Thevalakara was destroyed. In 1517 the Portuguese built the St. Thomas Fort in Thangasseri, which was destroyed in the subsequent wars with the Dutch. In 1661 the Dutch took possession of the city. The remnants of the old Portuguese Fort, later renovated by the Dutch, can be found at Thangasseri. In the 18th century Travancore conquered Kollam, followed by the British in 1795. Thangasseri remains today as an Anglo-Indian settlement, though few Anglo-Indians remain. The Infant Jesus Church in Thangasseri, an old Portuguese-built church, remains as a memento of the Portuguese rule in the area. Tangasseri is a picturesque seaside village with a three kilometer long beach on which stands a 144 feet tall lighthouse—a silent sentinel warning seamen since 1902 of the treacherous reefs. There are also ruins of Portuguese and Dutch forts and Churches from the 18th century. Back to hotel and overnight at our hotel in Kollam

Day 05  Kollam / Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel and post breakfast we will check-out and drive to Cochin (now Kochi; 140 km / 3 hrs). Arrive Kochi, check-in at the hotel and explore this coastal city. Kochi was a fishing village in the Kingdom of Kochi in the pre-colonial Kerala. The territory that would be later known as Fort Kochi was granted to the Portuguese in 1503 by the Rajah of Kochi, after the forces of Afonso de Albuquerque helped him fighting the forces of Saamoothiri of Kozhikode. The Rajah also gave them permission to build Fort Emmanuel near the waterfront to protect their commercial interests. The first part of the name Fort Kochi comes from this fort, which the Dutch later destroyed. The Portuguese built their settlement behind the fort, including a wooden church, which was rebuilt in 1516 as a permanent structure, today known as the St Francis Church. Fort Kochi remained in Portuguese possession for 160 years. In 1683 the Dutch captured the territory from the Portuguese, destroyed many Portuguese institutions, particularly Catholic including convents. The Dutch held Fort Kochi in their possession for 112 years until 1795, when the British took control by defeating the Dutch. St Francis Church is here, where Vasco da Gama was once buried before his remains were taken to Portugal. A mix of old houses built by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in these colonial periods line the streets of Fort Kochi. Santa Cruz Basilica, also built by the Portuguese in the 16th century, was later destroyed by the British and rebuilt near the end of 19th century. The landmark that causes more public and visitor interest is a series of pre-colonial Chinese fishing nets on the waterfront, believed to have been introduced by the Chinese traders in the early 14th century. Overnight at our hotel in Cochin.

Day 06  Cochin

Breakfast at the hotel and today too we spend yet another day exploring the City of Cochin and how it changed hands from one European regime to another and how each one left a mark of its on it, yet the overall Indianness survived and reigns supreme with its own superimposed culture. Overnight at the hotel in Cochin.

Day 07  Cochin / Calicut

Spend a better part of morning here after breakfast at the hotel and later drive to Calicut (now Kozhikode; 190 km / 4 hrs). this drive is through the road along the coast, so we rather suggest you make this a long unwinding drive through the beach route with as many stoppages as you wish. En route we visit the remains of Cranganore Fort (now called Fort in Kodungallur). It was built by the Portuguese in 1523 A.D. and was called Fortaleza da Sao Tome. Upon arrival check-in at the hotel and overnight at the hotel in Calicut.

Day 08  Calicut

Breakfast at the hotel and post breakfast we understand and visit Calicut. During classical antiquity and the Middle Ages, Kozhikode was dubbed the “City of Spices” for its role as the major trading point of eastern spices. It was the capital of an independent kingdom ruled by the Samoothiris (Zamorins) in the Middle Ages. This city is indeed a gateway of the Portuguese, as a matter of fact it is here that the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama landed on 20 May 1498, thus opening a trade route between Europe and Malabar. A Portuguese factory and fort was built here and remained intact in Kozhikode for short period of about 14 years till 1525, until the Fall of Calicut. Vasco da Gama arrived obtained permission to carry out trade. He landed at a place known as Kappad, near Thiruvangoor. The Arabs sensing the threat posed by Portuguese to their commercial supremacy opposed the Europeans. Bitter fights started between Portuguese and Arabs. The Portuguese went to Kochi for trade and the Raja of Kochi had an alliance with the Portuguese with aim of attaining sovereignty from Samoothiri Maharaja. The hostilities between the Samoothiri Maharaja and the Portuguese continued for many decades and the role played by the Kunjali Marakkar in these battles can not been forgotten. Kunjali Marakkars were the hereditary admirals of the Samoothiris and organised a powerful navy to fight the Portuguese.Kunhali II, was one of the greatest of Samoothiri Maharaja’s Admirals. Kunjali III built a fort at Kottakkal and enjoyed all the privileges enjoyed by the Nair chiefs. His actions against the Portuguese fleets caused heavy damages to Portuguese shipping and trade from Kozhikode. The Portuguese built a fort at Chaliyam at the mouth of the Beypore River in the middle of the Samoothiri’s territory. Due to the prolonged struggle, Samoothiri’s military strength deteriorated and he entered into a treaty with them in 1540, which allowed the Portuguese to have monopoly over trade at Kozhikode port. The peace was temporary and war broke out again resulting in the demolition of Chaliyom Fort in 1571 by the Samoothiri forces. The battles between the Portuguese and the Samoothiri continued till 1588 when the Portuguese were allowed to settle down at Kozhikode. However Kunjali opposed the move. At around this time, Kunjali IV declared himself as the ‘King of the Moors’ and moved away from the Samoothiri. The Samoothiri now took the help of the Portuguese to destroy the powerful Kunjalis. In 1600, Kunjali surrendered. Overnight at our hotel in Calicut.

Day 09  Calicut / Kannur

This morning after our breakfast we will check-out and drive to Kannur (earlier Cannanore; 100 km / 2 hrs). On arrival we will check-in at our hotel for just a night. Today we will explore St. Angelo Fort that was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. It is situated by the Laccadive Sea about 3 km from Kannur town. In 1507, the fort was besieged by the local ruler; the Portuguese ruled over Cananor (as they spelt it) and this lasted for 158 years and then was replaced by the Dutch. The ownership of the fort has changed hands several times. In 1663, the Dutch captured it. They subsequently gave the fort its present appearance. The Dutch sold the fort to the Arakkal royal family in 1772.  The British  then conquered it in 1790 and used it as one of their major military stations on the Malabar Coast. It is fairly well preserved as a protected monument now. Overnight at the hotel in Kannur.

Day 10  Kanuur / Kasargod / Mangalore

After an early breakfast we will check-out and drive to Mangalore via Kasargod (105 km / 3.5 hrs, further 50 km / 1 hr to Mangalore). In 1526, under the viceroyship of Lopo Vaz de Sampaio, the Portuguese took possession of Mangalore. The territory included parts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi in Karnataka state, and Kasaragod in Kerala state (South Canara). Continue our drive to Mangalore  and upon arrival in Mangalore, check-in at the hotel and overnight at hotel in Mangalore.

Day 11  Mangalore – Udipi (El Padron de Santa Maria) – Mangalore

Breakfast will be served at the hotel and post breakfast we explore Mangalore and Udipi today. European influence in Mangalore can be traced back to 1498, when Vasco da Gama landed at St Mary’s Island near Mangalore. In the 16th century, the Portuguese came to acquire substantial commercial interests in Canara. Krishnadevaraya, the then ruler of the Vijaynagara empire maintained friendly relations with the Portuguese. The Portuguese trade was gradually gathering momentum and they were striving to destroy the Arab and Moplah trade along the coast. In 1524, when Vasco da Gama heard that the Muslim merchants of Calicut had agents at Mangalore and Basrur, he ordered the rivers to be blockaded. In 1526, the Portuguese under the Viceroy Lopo Vaz de Sampaio took possession of Mangalore. The coastal trade passed out of Muslim hands into Portuguese hands. On this tour we will visit the Milagres Church (Portuguese: Igreja Nossa Senhora do Milagres) that is a historic Roman Catholic Church situated in Mangalore. The church was built in 1680 by Bishop Thomas de Castro, a Theatine from Divar in Goa. The original structure was constructed at the site of the present-day cemetery. It is one of the oldest churches in region. We will also visit St Mary’s Island that is a group of smaller islands located on the Arabian sea off the Malpe coast about 6 kms from Udupi. According to local history, Vasco Da Gama landed on one of these islands in 1498 during his visit from Portugal to India and named the island ‘El Padron de Santa Maria’ and that is how it later became St. Mary’s Island. Most of these islands are just protrusions rising out of the sea and cannot be called proper islands as such though most others can be visited. The island beach is famous for the basalt rock formations that have crystallized into columns and then split into vertical blocks of hexagonal shapes. There are numerous shellfish littered along the island coast as well. Visitors can travel to the islands by boat from the Malpe harbor. back to hotel and overnight at the hotel in Mangalore.

Day 12  Mangalore / Madgaon (Goa)

Breakfast at the hotel and post breakfast we check-out and transfer to train station in time to board our day train to Goa. Enjoy this only train journey on this tour and arrive in Goa by evening. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel for 3 nights. Overnight at our hotel in Goa.

Day 13  Goa

Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961. After our breakfast we will explore all of this Portuguese city. In 1510, the Portuguese defeated the ruling Bijapur sultan Yousuf Adil Shah with the help of a local ally, Timayya. They set up a permanent settlement in Velha Goa (or Old Goa). This was the beginning of Portuguese rule in Goa that would last for four and a half centuries, until 1961. In 1843 the Portuguese moved the capital to Panjim from Velha Goa. By the mid-18th century, Portuguese Goa had expanded to most of the present-day state limits. Simultaneously the Portuguese lost other possessions in India until their borders stabilised and formed the Estado da Índia Portuguesa or State of Portuguese India, of which Goa was the largest territory.

Day 14  Goa

Post breakfast today too we further explore Goa that has the most strong Portugues history of over 450 years. The influence of the Portuguese culture presents to visitors to Goa a different environment than what is to be found elsewhere in India. The state of Goa is famous for its excellent beaches, churches, and temples. The Bom Jesus Cathedral, Fort Aguada and a new wax museum on Indian history, culture and heritage in Old Goa are other tourism destinations. (You have an option to increase a day or two is you so wish here). Overnight at the hotel in Goa.

Day 15  Goa / Mumbai

Breakfast at the hotel and post breakfast we fly to Bombay (now Mumbai). Upon arrival in Mumbai, transfer to hotel and check-in for 3 nights. Overnight at the hotel in Bombay.

Day 16  Mumbai – Salsette & Bacaim – Mumbai

Bombay, Bombaim in Portuguese, is the financial and commercial capital of India and one of the most populous cities in the world. At the time of arrival of the Portuguese, current Bombay was an archipelago of seven islands. After our breakfast we explore ‘Bombaim’. Gujarat Sultanate was obliged to sign the Treaty of Bassein with the Portuguese Empire on 23 December 1534. According to the treaty, the seven islands of Bombay, the nearby strategic town of Bassein and its dependencies were offered to the Portuguese. The Portuguese were actively involved in the foundation and growth of their Roman Catholic religious orders in Bombay. They called the islands by various names, which finally took the written form Bombaim. The islands were leased to several Portuguese officers during their regime. The Portuguese Franciscans and Jesuits built several churches in the city, prominent being the St. Michael’s Church at Mahim, St. John the Baptist Church at Andheri, St. Andrew’s Church at Bandra, and Gloria Church at Byculla. The Portuguese also built several fortifications around the city like the Bombay Castle, Castella de Aguada (Castelo da Aguada or Bandra Fort), and Madh Fort. The British were in constant struggle with the Portuguese vying for hegemony over Bombay, as they recognized its strategic natural harbour and its natural isolation from land-attacks. Portuguese explorer Francisco de Almeida’s ship sailed into the deep natural harbour of Bombay in December 1508 on his expedition from Cannanore to Diu. The Portuguese paid their first visit to the islands on 21 January 1509, when they landed at Mahim after capturing a barge of the Gujarat Sultanate in the Mahim creek. Between 1513-14, they requested Sultan Bahadur Shah to allow them build a fortress at Mahim. In 1517, during the viceroyalty of Lopo Soares de Albergaria (1515–18), João de Monroyo entered the Bandora creek (Bandra creek) and defeated the Gujarat commandant of Mahim. Between 1522 and 1524, when Duarte de Menezes was viceroy of Goa, the Portuguese were constantly prowling about Bombay for the ships of the Gujarat Sultante. In 1526, the Portuguese established their factory at Bassein. During 1528-29, Lopo Vaz de Sampaio seized the fort of Mahim from the Gujarat Sultanate, when Sultan Bahadur Shah was at war with Nizam-ul-mulk, the emperor of Chaul. Bombay came into prominence in connection with the attempt of the Portuguese to capture Diu in 1530-31. Nuno da Cunha, the viceroy of Goa, commanded the largest fleet seen in India, which passed through Bombay Harbour. In March–April 1531, the Portuguese torched the towns of Thana and Mahim. In consequence of this success, and later of Nuno da Cunha’s capture of Bassein in January 1533, the islands of Bombay and Mahim, together with Bandra, became tributary to the Portuguese. Overnight at the hotel in Mumbai.

Day 17  Mumbai

We have yet another day in Mumbai to explore the Protuguese footprints or may be the British marks as Catherine de Braganza, whose marriage treaty with Charles II of England placed Bombay in the possession of the British Empire. Overnight at our hotel in Mumbai.

Day 18  Mumbai / Daman

After our breakfast we drive to Daman (200 km / 5 hrs).

Day 19  Daman

Daman was occupied by the Portuguese in 1531, and was formally ceded to Portugal in 1539 by the Sultan of Gujarat. Mirroring the system of administrative division in European Portugal, Daman district (Distrito de Damão) was established as an administrative division of the Portuguese State of India (Estado da Índia) in the first half of the 19th century. The District was made up of the Portuguese territories of Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli. It was headed by a district governor, subordinate to the governor-general of Portuguese India in Goa. Explore this Portuguese settlement all day today. Overnight at the hotel in Daman.

Day 20  Daman – Dadra & Nagar Haveli – Daman

Today after our breakfast we will set out to explore Dadra & Nagar Haveli (65 km / 1 hr). The Portuguese occupied Nagar Haveli on 10 June 1783 on the basis of Friendship Treaty executed on 17th December 1779 as compensation towards damage to the Portuguese frigate by Maratha Navy. Then, in 1785 the Portuguese purchased Dadra. Under the Portuguese rule, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were part of the Distrito de Damão (Daman district) of the Estado da Índia (Portuguese State of India). The two territories formed a single concelho (municipality), named “Nagar Haveli”, with its head in Darará until 1885 and, after that, with its head in the town of Silvassa. The local affairs were administrated by an elected câmara municipal (municipal council), with the higher level affairs administrated by the district governor of Daman, who was represented in Nagar Haveli by an administrator. The Nagar Haveli concelho was itself divided in the following freguesias (civil parishes): Silvassa, Noroli, Dadra, Quelalunim, Randá, Darará, Cadoli, Canoel, Carchonde and Sindonim. The Portuguese rule lasted until 1954, when Dadra and Nagar Haveli was annexed by India from Portugal on 2nd August 1954. After spending our day here we will return to Daman for an overnight stay in Daman.

Day 21  Daman / Surat

After an early breakfast we will check-out and drive to Surat (125 km / 3 hrs). In 1512 and again in 1530 Surat was ravaged by the Portuguese Empire. In 1513, the Portuguese traveller Duarte Barbosa described Surat as an important seaport, frequented by many ships from Malabar and various parts of the world. Diamond City of the World , Diamond Hub of the World, Textile City Of India, Silk City now Economical Capital of Gujarat state of India. When the harbour in Cambay began to silt up toward the end of fifteenth century, Surat eclipsed Cambay as the major port of western India. At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese were undisputed masters of the Surat sea trade. On the banks of the Tapti River, there is still a picturesque fortress that was built in 1540. The prosperity of Surat received a blow when Bombay was ceded to the English as part of the dowry for Catherine of Braganza’s wedding to Charles II in 1662. Shortly afterwards, in 1668, the East India Company established a factory in Bombay (Mumbai) and Surat began its decline. Overnight at our hotel in Surat.

Day 22  Surat / (Vadodra) / Delhi / Home

Today we will check-out after our breakfast and fly to Delhi via Vadodra for our international flight back home or choose from one of our short programmes to explore more on India.