This volume is a collection of essays by eminent scholars on the Indian seafaring and maritime activity. It covers a wide range of subjects exploring both the pan- Indian and the regional dimensions of the theme. The contributions of different regions of India are analysed in the general framework of Indian History. The sea-trade and cultural links with the outside world, especially with Rome, Sri Lanka, and South-east Asia are discussed on the basis of textual sources and archaeological data. Some of the papers throw light on the indigenous boat types with reference to their technique of construction and navigation. The ordinary and reversed clinker-built boats, found in coastal Orissa, highlight the need for serious investigation into the changing tradition of boat building and navigation. The stimulating papers, based on previous and most recent research, collectively provide a clear and coherent picture of the great seafaring tradition of India from the ancient times to the 17th century. It is hoped that the volume will be useful to scholars, as well as anyone with interest in the seafaring.
The photographic documentation at the end is a marvellous tribute to the rich maritime history and heritage of India.
Dr. Karuna Sagar Behera, born on 5th December, 1939 at Angul, was educated in Angul High School, Angul and Revenshaw College, Cuttack. He earned M.A. in History in 1960 from Utkal University with first position. He obtained Post-Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from the School of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. He was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Literature by Utkal University for his study of Konarak.
He held various positions such as Professor and Head of the Post-Graduate Department of History, Utkal University; Head of the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology, Utkal University; Dean, Faculty of Arts, Chairman, Post- Graduate Council, Utkal University; President, Orissa History Congress; Member, Central Advisory Board in Archaeology, Govt. of India; Member, Governing Body of the National Council of Science Museums; Indira Gandhi Fellow of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi; Vice Chancellor, Fakir Mohan University, Balasoro. etc.
The volume is a collection of essays in Indian seafaring and maritime activities. The maritime tradition of India is as old as our civilization and as vast as the Indian Ocean. The papers included in part one of the book discuss important and fascinating facets of the theme from different perspectives. The subject matter ranges from archaeological roots to surviving boat- building traditions in Karnataka, Orissa and Andaman & Nicobar islands; from early maritime contacts with Rome to cultural links with Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia and China; and from literary evidence regarding seafaring and ship-building to rivalry in the Bay of Bengal, ports and landmarks in East India. Furthermore, the contributions of the West coast, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and Bengal to the overall Indian pattern have been highlighted on the basis of literary, ethnological, and the most recent archaeological data.
The vivid documentation in Part Two illustrates the chronological development of the seafaring activities in the Indian Ocean and their cultural impact. It is expected to provide a visual feeling of the glorious maritime heritage of India and promote an awareness of the richness of the Ocean.
This volume has grown out of the papers presented at the National level Seminars on Kalingas in the Indian Ocean and Maritime Heritage of india, held at Utkal University, Bhubaneswar in 1992-93. I am indebted to Shri K.P. Singhdeo, then Minister, Information and Broadcasting, Government of India for inaugurating the Seminar on Maritime Heritage of India. I am grateful to the distinguished scholars for their contributions and participation in both the Seminars. Later on at the request of the editor, Haryati Soebadio, I. Wayan Ardika, Eric Kentley, Hermann Kulke and eminent Indian scholars such as M.K. Dhavalikar, K.V. Raman and N.C. Ghosh sent their valuable papers for this volume. The paper of V. Vitarana was received through the courtesy of the Universe, Cuttack. Professor A.R. Kulkarni and Professor Lallanji Gopal kindly allowed their already published papers for inclusion in this volume. The editor is indebted to all the scholars whose contributions have enriched this volume.
The Editor is grateful to Dr. Ashok Jain, Director, National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies (NISTADS), New Delhi and Dr. (Mrs.) Lotika Varadarajan for help and keen interest in the subject and to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for financial support. The photographs published in this volume are drawn from various sources-published works of others, institutions and individuals who deserve our thanks. I would like to thank Mr. Vikas Arya, Aryan Books International for undertaking the publication of this important volume.
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