Columbus Fascination Towards India

Christopher Columbus

Everyone knows that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Here are some facts that remain unknown to most. It was August 3rd 1492; The Italian navigator Columbus started his voyage from Spain to reveal the unknown westward passage to the east. Though his reason for the voyage was to find a westward passage to reach Asia as he said, but actually his motive was to reach India and steal its wealth as he was aware of it. The enormous wealth of gold, pearls and spices in India fascinated Christopher Columbus towards it.

Christopher Columbus carried out his voyage for three more times to America after its discovery which still remains unknown to the most. His first voyage started on 3rd August 1492 from Spain. He sailed along the coast and reached the Canary Islands, near the northern coast of Africa. Columbus actually thought that the westward distance would be hardly about 3,000 miles but the actual distance was about 12,000 miles. Columbus took three ships, namely the Santa Maria (On which he was sailing), the Nina (Columbus’s favorite) and the Pinta and a crew of 90 members along with him. All the crew members and sailors knew that they were sailing literally into the unknown.

The Santa Maria

It was more than 60 days since they started sailing and at this time they should have reached the land if Columbus’s prediction was right because they were sailing at an amazing speed of about 60 to 100 miles a day. Before Columbus no voyager took a travel of more than 7 to 10 days and Columbus’s voyage was really a brave idea. By October 01st 1492 Columbus and his crew have sailed more than 3000 miles away from their home. The sailors started losing hope, they lost their food, they became so restless due to the severe exposure to the hot sun and the worst weather conditions of the Atlantic. The storms in the Atlantic increased their fear and this caused a mutiny in the ship. Finally the crew members demanded Columbus for the return but Columbus convinced them by asking them to wait for three more days. Though the crew agreed Columbus himself was not sure of finding a land.

The First Land Spotted by Columbus

On the third day they spotted vegetation in the ocean which gave them hope that they have reached a land. On October 11 1492, Columbus landed at the Caribbean Islands but Columbus still believes that he is in the east and he calls it as ‘The Indies’. He named the Island as San Salvador.

Landing of Christopher Columbus at the Caribbean Islands


World map of 1492 fails to show the Americas

This voyage of Columbus has now changed the world map. But this was not enough for Columbus; he wants the new world to give him wealth. He again started sailing to explore more places where he could get, what he wanted.  He then finds another large island and names it as Hispaniola (now divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Columbus hopes that the discovery of Hispaniola proves his talents in exploration to the world. Though the island seemed a new world to Columbus it was inhabited by the native people previously. They were called as Tino. But Columbus calls them as Indians as he still believes he has stepped in India. This is the reason why the Native American’s are called as Tino Indians or the American Indians even today.

The Tino, who believe that their god arrive from sea’s considered Columbus to be a divine but they were not aware that these god’s were here to exploit them and their home land. Within a day he found plenty of gold resources in the tino villages and left Hispaniola as a wealthy man leaving 39 of his men in Hispaniola on January 1493.

La Isabela Today

On his second voyage he was accompanied by 17 ships and a crew of 1200 men. He now sails towards Hispaniola to establish the Spanish colonies. Columbus expected a great welcome from his men at the shores of Hispaniola (whom he left during the last voyage). But unfortunaltely no one was there to receive him. Columbus was shocked to find that the tino Indians understood the intention of the sailors. Columbus found all his 39 men slotted at Hispaniola. Columbus is now afraid and he searches for a new safe place. He then sails 70 miles south and finds a new location. He names it as La Isabella but unfortunately it was a ghost town even today.


La Isabella has no fresh water; it has worst weather conditions and a perfect breeding place for swarms and the killer diseases. He then travels deeper into the heart of Hispaniola. He heads to the region, Cibao, the largest source of gold. But this turned the native people against him. Now Columbus has a great force and enormous weapons with him and this made the tino people to do nothing. Columbus made his stamp at Cibao. Concepcion de la vega became the biggest gold mine in the Caribbean. The Spanish took away everything that fell on their hand, the nuggets or even the gold dusts. Columbus again returns to Spain.


Columbus Expanding his Colonies

 The third voyage was to extend his colonies. Now he takes 6 ships along with him. He now found a new capital called the Santo Domingo. From here Columbus became the emperor of Holland. As a leader his approach was very brittle. The Tino or the Spanish, the Columbus approach was terror. His usual punishments were cutting the ears and noses. This made the Spanish itself against him and this lead to his downfall. Now large group of colonies started to rebel and started their own colonies at Hispaniola. Many of them started writing a letter to Spain complaining about the treatment of Columbus and at last Columbus was imprisoned at his own colony. Later he was taken back to Spain.

Columbus Imprisoned by the Governor Bobadilla


Columbus now begs the Spanish government to permit his fourth voyage and this time he promises that his voyage would be an exploration of new route towards the east and not to the new world. At last he got permission with several conditions of which he should not land on Hispaniola was the most important. He started his fourth voyage started in May 1502.

Unfortunately when he was sailing this time, he had bad ships, unskilled sailors and wanted to face a very bad weather condition. He had no other go other than landing on Hispaniola. On the ocean he writes a letter to the Spanish governor seeking permission to land on Hispaniola, which the Spanish government refuses.

Dreadful storms affecting his voyage

Then Columbus decided to land on Jamaica and then continues his voyage towards the east through Cuba once the weather becomes fine. He again meets a worst storm in the ocean and one of his ships is now wrecked. One more ship turns away from the Columbus plan and makes its own voyage. There were many sailors in the shore and there was only one ship which could not carry the whole crew.

As a greatest navigator Columbus was able to predict the eclipses. Columbus called the native tino people and says that he was a divine from heaven and he also said that the moon disappears for a while on a specified date. The same thing happened and this made the native people to believe that Columbus was divine and they started helping him by giving food.

Columbus sent one of his crew men to Hispaniola through a small tino boat and asked them to permit them to land on Hispaniola. But the details of the person who was sent remained unknown. In the mean while there arouse a mutiny between the voyagers and they turned against Columbus. Some voyagers who thought Columbus was responsible for all things that happened left the camp and proceeded into the forests to settle. At last the person who was sent to Hispaniola returned with a message. He brought a good ship to sail to Spain and not to Hispaniola. Columbus was too old now and he left his last breath during this voyage towards Spain. His son who accompanied his fourth voyage started writing his Biography on the same ship and same voyage.

This shows Columbus’s boundless attraction towards the wealth of India. How rich we were.

First Voyage (Click to Enlarge)

Second Voyage (Click to Enlarge)

Third Voyage (Click to Enlarge)

Final Voyage (Click to Enlarge)
















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6 Responses “Columbus Fascination Towards India” →
  1. You raise lots of questions i believe; you wrote a superb post, but this post can be thought provoking, i need to contemplate it some more; I’ll be back soon.

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  4. Excuse, but La Isabela that it puts as photo, it is in Spain, in Buendia’s Marsh and it was a Royal Site (The Royal Country House of The Isabela like The St Lawrence of El Escorial) was ordered to do for Fernando VII for his wife Isabel de Braganza. The people was overwhelmed by the waters of Buendía’s marsh in 1957, remaining plunged under the waters. In the last years of drought, the people it re-arose of between the waters, which it is the image that has you.


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