The present volume is a sincere attempt to have a critical and exhaustive study of the maritime trade and overseas activities of early India, particularly that of Odisha. The main concern of the work has been to frame a detailed analytical study of the maritime history of early Odisha. It analyses and illustrates various sources, traditions, customs and socio-religious festivals that contain references to the maritime activities; traces out and identifies several ports, port towns and hinterland; determines overseas as well as riverine routes that were followed by the ancient mariners; explores the methods of navigation and shipbuilding technology; makes a scientific analysis of the role of monsoon wind, waves, tides and sea currents; delineates merchandise involved in export and import and above all highlights the political aspects including emigration, colonization and decline. A detailed study has been made on the Chilika Lake which deals with the origin, time of formation, nomenclature, extent, maritime activities, shipping and shipbuilding technology and the decline of the lake. Utmost care has been taken to make the work bias free and devoid of any type of prejudice, parochial and partial feelings; it also tries to present the theme in a very objective manner with new interpretations and analyses of data. In this work, the author has tried his best to encapsulate the findings of his research with an interdisciplinary and holistic approach.
The work comprehensive study and richly illustrated expected to provide new insights into the glorious maritime heritage of the early India in general and that of Odisha in particular. It will prove both stimulating as well as instructive to the students, scholars and researchers working on the maritime heritage of early India and its contacts with other parts of the world.