The Legacy of the Angre’s on the Western Coast of India

By Ms Tanvi Karkare, Research Intern

Indian piracy- a chapter of the Indian Maritime History that is often disregarded due to various misunderstandings and lack of information. The taboo and stigma associated with the term “piracy” negate the possibility of actual reasoning behind the activities carried out and create misconceptions swindled by sources. Continue reading “The Legacy of the Angre’s on the Western Coast of India”

Battle of Diu: Onset of Portuguese Dominance in the Indian Ocean

By Amruta Talawadekar, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society


India has a vast coastline, geographically gifted harbours and strategically located islands. Its prime position within the Indian Ocean Region made the subcontinent a crucial link between the east and west trade routes. As a result, it often invited intruders whose intentions changed from explorations to annexations leading to several battles. These battles lie in an inconspicuous corner of our history books. One of the battles that changed the course of India’s maritime history was the Battle of Diu that marked the beginning of European dominance in Indian waters.

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A Tale of Pepper along the Sea Routes

By Leora Pezarkar, Senior Research Associate (Programs), Maritime History Society

An understated facet of colonial history of the Indian Sub-continent is the role played by food in inviting the Europeans to this huge landmass. If one is to study the voyage of Vasco da Gama and his passion for discovering the sea route to India, it all comes down to his one ambition – “For Christian and Spices.” The Portuguese, the Dutch, French and much later the English took on navigating the harsh seas in discovery of the land on the East in search of the priceless spices that weighed in gold, literally. The king of these spices, and the much sought after ingredient was the ‘piper nigrum’ or more commonly known as the Black Pepper. Native to the Indian Sub-continent, this Black Pepper built a reputation in Europe as the most eluded spice. Royal families, rich merchants and traders were willing to pay in gold and silver for a handful of Pepper to adorn their dining tables.

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