Portuguese were first Europeans to settle and colonize in India. They came to India mainly to trade spices but gradually made colonies here. In their expansion, artillery gave them great advantage in sea warfare.

In 1503, Francisco de Almeida was sent as Governor and Viceroy of Estado da India. He was able to erect some fortresses at Cochin, Cannanore, Kilwa and Anjadiva. He had to engage in a fierce fight with a Muslim confederacy of Muslims of Egypt, Turkey and Gujarat. He was able to defeat them but died soon in 1510.

Afonso de Albuquerque invaded Goa in 1510 and fought the Battle of Goa (1510) with the forces of Sultan of Bijapur Adil Shah. In this battle, he was able to take possession of some territories of Goa and made them Portuguese colonies. He started first Portuguese mint and issued coins in Gold, Silver and Bronze with badge of Portuguese Kings. In 1511, he was also able to win Malacca {Malaysia} by defeating the Arab merchants. Albuquerque is known as real founder of Portuguese colonial empire and a Portuguese Cultural Ambassador also. In view of the paucity of manpower in Portugal, Albuquerque had encouraged the lower classes of the Portuguese settlers to marry Indian women. From that time onwards, the Portuguese started settling in Goa and marrying the local ladies. Albuquerque was the first to abolish the practice of Sati, which was vogue in that time, in his territories.

By 1529, Nuno was able to capture Daman and Diu from Gujarat’s ruler Bahadur Shah and compelled the Indian ruler to sign a Treaty of Bassein. Via this treaty, Bahadur Shah gave Bassein {Vasai and Nalla Sopara area of Mumbai’s Thane district} to Portuguese. By 1534, Portuguese had acquired Mumbai, Vasai, Virar, Daman and Diu, Surat and entire Goa. In 1579, they had established the town of Hooghly-Chuchura. Later in 1661, Portuguese government gave Bombay in dowry to Prince Charles-II of England. They retained it till 19th Dec. 1961, when the armies of Independent India forced them out by “Operation Vijay”.