Shipbuilding And Navigation in Ancient India
In Ancient India there existed a strange belief that if any Hindu crossed the seas, he would lose his religion. When and why this belief came into being is not known. But taking a close look at out nation's maritime history we find evidence of a very large number of Indians who should have had lost their religion as they had crossed the seas to trade and build empires in distant lands.
The depiction of a ship in the Ajanta murals Sea-faring was respected occupation in ancient times in India This is even reflected in theological folklore The Satya-narayana Puja, talks of a sea merchant who was caught in a storm and prayed to the lord that if he is saved he would offer a puja to lord Satya-narayana.
Not only did these enterprising Indians, not lose their religion but they made India into one of the foremost maritime nations of those days and spread Indian culture overseas.
In those days India had colonies, in Cambodia (Kambuja in Sanskrit) in Java, (Chavakam or Yava dwipa) in Sumatra, in Borneo, Socotra (Sukhadhara) and even in Japan. Indian traders had established settlements in Southern China, in the Malayan Peninsula, in Arabia, in Egypt, in Persia, etc., Through the Persians and Arabs, India had cultivated trade relations with the Roman Empire.
Author : Shri Sudheer Birodkar