History books teach that it was Vasco De Gama
who discovered the ocean route to India via African
Coast to Calicut. Very few recognize that the route was not discovered on his own, but on the coast of
Malindi, The king offered him the services of a pilot who went aboard De Gama's ship to direct him to
the coast of India (or so goes the story). De Gama had already found out that many arabs were already
using this route for trade with Indian states. So the route was pretty wellknown on both sides.
According to an arabian myth, It was Ahmad
Ibn Majid, a great sailor who contributed almost like a holy
book of the sailors, himself showed the way to Vasco De Gama. Ferrand first translated his Faidas but had
not find any reference to this. But later he came accross a reference that pointed to Ibn Majid for this
endeavour (although almost in a blaming or sarcastic manner). We will go in depth about this shortly.
There exists a myth in mythology of gujarati
seafaring about a person called "Kanji (Kano) Malam".
According to Gunavant Ray Acharya (the most wellknown gujarati historian and mythologist and Novelist
on gujarati sea faring and oceanic history), it was Kano Malam, who showed the way to Vasco De Gama.
His version can be found in his wellknown book "Jal-Samadhi". It is a also a myth but this time, it is
sympathy instead of sarcasm towards the responsible person that led to an unforgettable end
(and a beginning of another era).
The portuguese texts found after De Gama's
voyage point to a gujarati muslim "Malim Kana",
for pointing out the way to Vasco De Gama and taking him across the arabian ocean.
The most authentic analysis and research I
found so far, was by the person who compiled all works by
Ahmad Ibn Majid and published it as " Arab Navigation in Indian Ocean in 16th Century".
It is G. R. Tibbetts who seems to point out the most probable scenario that occurred in the 15th century.
The scenario that effectively led to one of the biggest empires of all time and an unforeseen power struggles
and wars and bloodshed those are unmatched in the human history, affecting more than a billion people
on earth today.
Please follow the following pages to read on
G. R. Tibetts:
An Arab Ship and the terminology used
A Map showing trade routes of the 16th century across the Arabian ocean.
A Brief Storyline of Jal-Samadhi By Gunavant Ray Acharya
There is a hell lot of stuff for a person interested
in learning more about Indian/Arab Sea Faring.
Talk to me if you are interested. I can point out some references.