Why Europeans were in search of new routes?

When Vasco Da Gama started from Lisbon in 1497, rounded the Cape of Good Hope and landed at Calicut in 1498, the trade with India and the Far East was bound to be passed into the hands of the Portuguese. The old routes had been in the hands of the Arabs since long. From the Cape of Good Hope to China, the entire coastline was guarded with a chain of the Portuguese fortresses and no ship could sail without a passport from the Portuguese.

Why Europeans were in search of new routes?

Due to the availability of the pepper and various kinds of spices, the ports of Malabar coasts were the heavens for the merchants from all over the word in the ancient as well as medieval times.

  • In this region Cochin and Calicut had occupied the most important position in the international Trade.

Calicut was usually flocked by the Muslim and Arab merchants from Aden, Turkey, Persia, Ethiopia, Egypt etc. Even Chinese maintained a factory in Calicut which was called Chinakotta. Among the Indians the Gujarati merchants were prominent.

Similarly, the trading centers of the South East Asia were flooded with the merchants from all over the world. The ancient trade routes were in the hands of the Arab Muslim merchants and the used to ship their goods by the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea and so overland to Syria and Egyptian Ports.

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