Sultan Mahmud Begadi, one of the most powerful rulers of Gujarat, came to power on this day in 1458. He is known for leading the war against the Portuguese (1509).
Sultan Mahmud Begadi ruled Gujarat, a state in the western part of India, along the coast of the Indian Ocean. At the time, Gujarat was a rich country. The Sultan and the ruling class were Muslims. The Portuguese and Vasco da Gama set sail to India for the first time in 1498. They established their colonies there in 1505, led by Dom Francisco de Almeida, who held the title of Viceroy of India (Portuguese: Vice-Rei da India).
Viceroy Almeida and the Portuguese wanted to expand their colonial empire to Gujarat, which was very important for the trade between East and West. They wanted to conquer the port of Diu, which was under the rule of Sultan Mahmud Begadi. The Sultan invited Muslim allies from Asia, Africa and Europe to help him. He contacted the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and the Sultan of Egypt. The Portuguese really did send their ships, and their allies from Venice and Dubrovnik also came (Venice competed with Portugal in trade).
The Sultan had about 250 ships. There were less Portuguese ships, commanded by Viceroy Almeida, but they were much more advanced. In fact, these were some of the most modern vessels in the world. Their guns were much more powerful than their opponents’ guns. At the time, the Portuguese were probably the most experienced sailors in the world. Viceroy Almeida was victorious, and conquered Diu.