The roadway between Europe and India was blocked by the Turks who conquered Constantinople in 1453 AD. They also raided the Balkan Peninsula and North Africa, thus the European were forced to find other possible routes to India including sea transportation.
Portuguese was the pioneer one who searched the sea route to India among other European counterparts. “Henry” Prince of Portugal famously known as the “Navigator” encouraged his fellow citizens to explore the unknown regions of the world including India. 
Bartholomew Diaz
A Portugal sailor, funded by King John II, reached the southern tip of the African continent in 1487.
Vasco da Gama
In continuation of Bartholomew Diaz, Vasco da Gama also reached the southern tip of Africa, and  then  Mozambique from there with the guidance of an Indian Sailor he reached  Calicut (A.D (CE) 1498) in India.  The king of Calicut “Zamorin” welcomed him.
After that he came once again to Calicut in 1501 with 20 vessels, and established a trade centre in Cannanore. One after the other they set up manufacturing plants at Calicut and Cochin. After conquering the king of Calicut, Eventually Cochin was their first capital in India.
Soon after reaching India during his third voyage, he fell ill and died in December 1542 Cochin.
Pedro Álvares Cabral
Pedro Álvares Cabral was another Portuguese navigator who sailed to India after the first voyage of Vasco da Gama. During 1500 he came to India with 13 ships and a few hundred troops.
Francisco de Almeida (1505-1509)
In 1505, he was designated as the first Governor of Portuguese for India. His strategy  towards India was also termed as the “Blue Water Policy”. He had focused on evolving the naval supremacy of the Portuguese in the Indian subcontinent. 
Trade over the Indian Ocean was completely controlled by the Arabs during that period, when the Portuguese wanted to break the monopoly; it indirectly spoiled the interest of Egypt and Turkey. Sultans of Bijapur and Gujarat were worried about the aggression of Portuguese on Ports located on the West Coast of India. So they made a coalition with Turkey and Egypt to fight against the Portuguese. Their combined naval force won a battle against Portuguese near Chaul.  Almeida’s son lost his life in the battle. During 1509 there was a battle in Diu between the coalition fleet and Portuguese fleet headed by Francisco de Almeida. Portuguese won the battle and claimed naval superpower in Asia.
Alfonso de Albuquerque (1509-1515)
The actual power of Portuguese was established in India by Alfonso de Albuquerque. In November 1510, he captured Goa by conquering the sultan of Bijapur.  He also established the Portuguese power over Ormuz in the Persian Gulf.  To improve the relationship with India, Alfonso motivates Portuguese to get married with Indian women. Good relationships were maintained between Vijayanagar Empire and Portuguese during his leadership.
Nino de Cunha (1529-1538)
Nino de Cunha was a Governor of Portuguese possession in India.
In 1530, he shifted the capital from Cochin to Goa. In 1534, he captured Bassein from the monarch of Gujarat Bahadur Shah. Thereafter, he captured Diu in 1537, Daman and Salsette in 1548.
Thus, Portuguese vigorously expanded their territories during the 16th century. The Indian territories that falls under the Portuguese reign were as follows:
  • West Coast: Goa, Daman, Diu, Salsette, Bassein, Chaul and Bombay
  • East Coast: Hooghly on the Bengal coast, and San Thome on the Madras coast.
In 1556 Portuguese established a printing press in Goa in which a research work on an Indian herb by a European scholar was printed in 1563. They are the one who introduced tobacco farming in India. Catholic religion started to spread in India because of Portuguese.
The 17th century witnessed the downfall of Portuguese due to the Dutch aggression on Portuguese assets.  In 1739 Portuguese territories were limited to Goa, Diu and Daman.
After the Portuguese, the Dutch landed in India. Dutch created “United East India Company '' in 1602 to do business with India and the East Indies. In 1605, Dutch constructed their initial manufacturing plant in Masulipatnam (Andhra Pradesh). They showcased their dominance over India by capturing “Amboyna'' from the Portuguese. They also captured Nagapatnam and Pulicat near Chennai. Earlier Pulicat was their headquarters, and later it was moved to Nagapatnam in 1690. 
Silk, cotton, indigo, rice, and opium were the prime Indian goods dealt by the Dutch. The entire spice trade came under the control of Dutch.
They constructed important manufacturing plant at the following cities: Pulicat, Surat, Chinsura, Kasim bazaar, Patna, Nagapatnam, Balasore and Cochin.
During the 17th century there were unresolved disputes among British East India Company, the Portuguese and the Dutch.
The dispute between the British and the Dutch further accelerated when they killed British merchants and some Javanese in Amboyna in 1623. The angry British troops  conquered the Dutch in the Battle of Bedera in 1759, that was the termination of the Dutch penetration in India after that they lost their territories and assets one after the other to British and by 1795 they were entirely wiped out from India.  
Dutch in Tamil Nadu
The Portuguese lost their control over Pulicat port in 1502 to the Dutch. The Dutch built their settlements  and a fort named Geldria in 1610 and 1613 respectively at Pulicat. They used the port to export Diamonds to their fellow European Nations.
Geldria Fort (Pulicat)
The other architectural remnants of Dutch era in Tamil Nadu are as follows: Nagapattinam, Punnakayal, Porto Novo, Cuddalore and Devanampatinam.
Tranquebar Danish Fort