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Early Maritime Contacts of Odisha with Indonesia and Sri Lanka

Early Maritime Contacts of Odisha with Indonesia and Sri Lanka
$76.00$95.00  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: NAY688
Author: Benudhar Patra
Publisher: Pratibha Prakashan, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2017
ISBN: 9788177023350
Pages: 148 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details: 11.00 X 9.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.8 kg
About the Book
The present monograph "Early Maritime Contacts of Odisha with Indonesia and Sri Lanka" is a sincere Endeavour to trace out and critically analyze the maritime trade and overseas contacts of ancient Odisha with the islands of Indonesia and Sri Lanka in historical perspective. The work throws light on various aspects of maritime history of ancient Odisha such as its maritime favorable geography and adventurous mariners; its brisk and multifaceted contacts with Sri Lanka and the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali, Sumatra and Borneo; question of colonization by the early Odishan merchants in the South-East Asian countries; flourishing ports, port towns and trade emporiums of ancient Odisha; and overseas trade and maritime activities as reflected in the art, architecture, sculptures, paintings, fairs, festivals, customs, traditions and contemporary foreign accounts and itineraries. It also analyses some other aspects like the types of ships, ship-building technology and navigation, nature and types of merchandise, direction of winds, waves, sea currents etc. Utmost care has been taken to make the work bias free and devoid of any type of prejudices and partiality. It is written with an interdisciplinary holistic approach and tries to present the theme of chapters in a very objective and scientific manner. The work will prove both stimulating as well as instructive to the students, scholars , researchers and teachers working and teaching on the maritime heritage of early Odisha, particularly its contact with Sri Lanka and the islands of Indonesia.

About the Author
Dr. Benudhar Patra is presently teaching in the P.G. Department of History, Post Graduate Government College, Sector-l l, Chandigarh (UT). His field of specialization is Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. He has been teaching history for the last 25 years. He has to his credit more than 11 0 research papers which were published in various journals of national and international repute and in some edited books. He is a member of more than a dozen Academic Societies and Professional Organizations. He has completed two Research Projects sponsored by UGu. His publications include Studies in the Heritage, History and Archaeology of Orissa (Kolkata, 2008), Dalits in Historical Perspective in North-Western India (ed.) (Delhi, 2010), Maritime Trade and Overseas Activities of Early India: Odishan Perspective (New Delhi, 2013) and New Horizons in History and Culture (ed.) (Delhi, 2015). His other fields of research are urban history, agrarian history, gender history, state formation, art history, historiography and the Cult of Jagannath.

Overseas trade and maritime activities have become an inseparable part of the history of those countries bordering the seas. A country like India, with a big peninsula surrounded by an expanse of seas- on the south-west by the Arabian Sea Rainmaker), on the east and south-east by the Bay of Bengal (mahadadhi or purbambudhi) and on the south by the Indian Ocean, a hub of seafaring activities for centuries, was bound to consider the sea as vital as its land mass. India has a rich maritime heritage. It, in fact, possessed all the potentialities to be a great maritime power and as such, since time immemorial played a very vital role in its material prosperity. Along with a conducive geographical location, the early growth of her shipping and ship-building techniques, the genius and energy of her merchants, the skill and adventurism of her seamen, the enthusiasm and enterprise of her colonists, and the zeal and perseverance of her missionaries secured to India the command of the sea for ages. Her long coastline bordering the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea was studded with many flourishing ports and port towns.

Maritime activity of India is as old as its civilization, and as such, on the basis of archaeological data, can be traced back to the Harappan civilization (i.e. c. 3rd millennium BCE), though prior existence is not ruled out. Maritime study comprises many aspects, such as, the study of ancient ports and port towns, trade emporiums, trade routes, articles of import and export, navigation, boats and ships, ship-building technology, direction of monsoon winds, sea currents etc. India, in the past, had close contacts - commercial, cultural and political- with the far off countries, such as Mesopotamia, Rome, Africa, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), Burma (Myanmar), Siam (Thailand), Champa (Vietnam), Fun an (Cambodia), Java, Sumatra, Bali, Borneo, China, Japan etc. which has been referred to in various indigenous texts, contemporary foreign accounts and archaeological evidences.

The geography of Ptolemy, the Perilous of the Eritrean Sea, the accounts of Fa-Hien, Hiuen Tsang, I- Tsing etc., have widely referred to the maritime activities of early India. However, the overseas contacts of India with South-East Asia are noteworthy, and it is recorded that ancient India had established colonies in different regions of South-East Asia.

Odisha (known in ancient times as Kalinga), being situated on the vast coast of the Bay of Bengal, extending from the river Ganga in the north to the Godavari in the south, during the ancient period, contributed tremendously towards the transoceanic commerce and maritime prosperity of India. It was a great maritime power; since the days of yore it had its reputation for seafaring and overseas trade. The seamanship and navigation developed in the coastal regions of Odisha probably earlier than anywhere else in India. Ancient Odisha or Kalinga proved to be an advanced centre of trade and maritime activities. It were the sailors and merchants of Kalinga, who by venturing into the unknown blue sea, carried out not only trade and commerce but also their polity, social aspects, culture, art and civilization too far off countries like Rome and Africa in the west and Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Java, Bali, Sumatra, Borneo, even to China and Japan in the east and South-East Asia. The Kalingan ports and port towns from where the brave and adventurous Kalingan mariners (Kalingah sahasikah) made their voyages to different countries were Tamralipti, Khalkattapatna, Che-li-ta-lo or Manikpatna, Palur I Dantapura, Sonapur, Barua, Kalingapatnam, Pithunda etc. It is said that Odisha, in ancient times, was great in power and resources, primarily on account of its maritime trade and overseas contacts with distant lands. Besides archaeological and literary evidences, some traditions, festivals and rituals, which are celebrated in Odisha like the khudurukuni osha, kartika biota bandana utsava, the akashadipa ritual etc. contain the reminiscences of its past maritime glory.

Odisha had close overseas contacts with the islands of Indonesia - Java, Bali, Sumatra and Borneo. The Indonesian islands formed the most attractive destination for the merchants of Kalinga; they were so popular and familiar and the trade with them was so lucrative and flourishing that, the islands often have been collectively referred to by the Kalingan merchants as suvarnadvipa or the island of gold. At a particular stage of Kalingan history, overseas trade meant trade with Indonesia. Commercial relationship that initially developed between Kalinga and these islands, subsequently led to the growth of political and cultural relations. Ancient Odisha had no less contact with Sri Lanka too. It, in fact, influenced the society, culture, polity and economic structure of ancient Sri Lanka to a remarkable extent.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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