Giovanni Battista Ramusio was an Italian publisher and linguist keenly interested in geography. As the secretary of the powerful Consiglio dei Dieci (Council of Ten) of the Republic of Venice he had privileged knowledge of the latest discoveries and explorations from around Europe. His Delle Navigationi et Viaggi is a firsthand account of the record of these travels. The maps in this volume are credited to the cartographer Giacomo Gastaldi with whom he worked closely. Unusually for this period the map has a south orientation meaning south is at the top.
On the left edge of the map is the Ganges Fiume (Ganges River) flowing southwards and in its lower reaches is Bengala R. (Regno di Bengala or Kingdom of Bengal). North of Bengal is the Koch Kingdom (Chaus R.) and further north is the Kingdom of Tripura (Tipura R.). Tripura is actually east of Bengal and here is placed in a wrong position.
Close to the coast is the port of Satigan (Satgaon, West Bengal, India). Note that this port is shown on the banks of a river running west to east called the Ganga F. This river does not exist. It enters the cartographic record from the writings of Portuguese historian Joao de Barros and kept cropping up in European maps for well over a century.
In 1537 the Sultan of Bengal, Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah, gave permission to the Portuguese to establish a trading post in Satgaon. Porto Pequeno, as the Portuguese called it, was on the banks of the Saraswati River which was a branch of the Bhagirathi-Hooghly channel of the Ganges. Due to a change in flow of the Ganges the Saraswati started drying up in the middle of the 16th century and the settlement was later abandoned.
Characteristic of maps of the period, this map is embellished with decorative elements. Spear wielding horsemen are on the attack, elephants and lions roam the land and fantastic sea monsters lurk in the ocean. Two Portuguese carracks are headed towards Calicut following the route of Vasco da Gama. A solitary ship in the Bay of Bengal is sailing towards the Moluccas also known as the Spice islands of Indonesia where great fortunes are to be made.