Vasco da Gama, or Vasco, was first established by the Portuguese in 1543, and remained a Portuguese colony till 1961, when Goa became a part of independent India. It is named after the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama. The first European to discover a sea route to India, Vasco da Gama was also appointed the Governor of India and Portuguese Viceroy. The town is also sometimes referred to as Sambhaji Nagar, in honour of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar of the Maratha Empire.
Located at the mouth of the Zuari River, Vasco’s Mormugao remains one of India’s most important ports over the last one hundred years. Vasco is also home to the Goa Shipyard Limited that still builds modern India’s navy and coast guard vessels.