From 1527 the Paravars were being threatened by Arab fleets offshore, headed by the Muslim supporting Zamorin of Calicut,  and also by an onshore campaign of the Rajah of Madura to wrest control of Tirunelveli and the Fishery Coast from the hands of the Rajah of Travancore .   This continuing situation, and the desire to be relieved of the rivalry from Lebbai divers, caused the Paravars to seek the protection of Portuguese explorers who had moved into the area. A delegation led by Vikirama Aditha Pandya visited Goa to seek talks to this end in 1532. [Notes 1] The protection was granted on the condition that the leaders were immediately baptised as Catholics and that they would encourage their people also to convert to Catholicism; the Portuguese would also gain a strategic foothold and control of the pearl fisheries. The deal was agreed and some months later 20,000 Paravars were baptised en masse, and became subjects of Portugal, during the visit of Pedro Gonsalves, Vicar of Cochin . By the end of 1537 the entire community had declared itself to be Catholics, according to Hastings, and the Portuguese proceeded to destroy the Arab fleet when they met fortuitously at Vedalai on 27 June 1538.    From that point the Paravar people as a whole enjoyed renewed prosperity. Their declaration of acceptance of the Catholic faith did not prevent them from continuing to worship in the manner which they had done previously because there were no translators to spread the Catholic message and also because the conversion was seen by the Paravar people as being merely a convenient arrangement to obtain protection, not a statement of belief.   Bayly describes the situation as being "... really a declaration of tactical alliance rather than religious conversions as the term is usually understood."