Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus

Jan 2019
20
Tallahassee, Florida
Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus
Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.


Published: 19th September 2018 04:57 AM | Last Updated: 19th September 2018 04:58 AM | A+A A-


KENDRAPARA: Mariners of ancient Odisha were aware of monsoon winds and used them for timing their seafaring much before the discovery of the season and its behaviour by Greek navigator Hippalus between 45-47 AD.

Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.
“During my extensive research, I came to know that the traders of ancient Odisha were the first to use monsoon routes for their seafaring,” said Dr Sila Tripathi, a senior marine archaeologist with Marine Archaeology Center in National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

During the early historical period, Buddhism played a significant role in maritime trade. Ancient Chinese traveller Fa-Hein, who had visited India during 399-414 AD to gather information on Buddhism, wrote the book Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms where he made an indirect reference to the northeast monsoon in connection with his voyage along the east coast of India, Dr Tripathi elaborated.





The research based on recent archeological finds from ports and trade centres show the existence of a well organised overseas network connecting Southeast Asia, Red Sea and Roman world. The voyage to Southeast Asia was seasonal and coast hugging because ships were visiting different ports during their voyage and exchanging cargo.
“The maritime trade from India to Southeast Asia was a seasonal phenomenon. Our study shows that there have been no changes in seasons of monsoon over the past 2000 years except in their intensity and velocity,” he added.





Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery

The distribution of Buddhist settlements, discovery of varieties of pottery, beads and inscriptions along the ports and trade centres dating before the first recorded discovery of the monsoon point to active maritime trade between India and Southeast Asia. Mariners used to exchange their cargo at various ports and sail to their destination along with local sailors with the help of monsoon winds and currents.
Sunil Patnaik, secretary of Orissan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), said, “The coastal people and marine fishermen have traditional knowledge about the weather prediction. The vast knowledge has been passed down the generations through word of mouth. Buddhist monks also knew about the arrival of monsoon and wind for which they built many caves and monasteries to reside for four months from June to September in these places. Sadhus and religious people also observe “Chatrumasi” (four months) period in hilly areas to avoid flood in the rainy season.”

@Earl_of_Rochester @Bart Dale @Rajeev @Azad67 @kandal @Kapish Kapoor @tornada @civfanatic @Kevinmeath @Devdas @Aberc @Ealasaid @Aupmanyav @Dewal @ScientistAlexandrus @kandal @rvsakhadeo @Rajeev @Chlodio @Futurist @betgo @Linschoten @No Bias FTW @Dardic @Aatreya @janusdviveidis @malpusa
 
Oct 2015
1,138
India
Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus
Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.


Published: 19th September 2018 04:57 AM | Last Updated: 19th September 2018 04:58 AM | A+A A-


KENDRAPARA: Mariners of ancient Odisha were aware of monsoon winds and used them for timing their seafaring much before the discovery of the season and its behaviour by Greek navigator Hippalus between 45-47 AD.

Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.
“During my extensive research, I came to know that the traders of ancient Odisha were the first to use monsoon routes for their seafaring,” said Dr Sila Tripathi, a senior marine archaeologist with Marine Archaeology Center in National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

During the early historical period, Buddhism played a significant role in maritime trade. Ancient Chinese traveller Fa-Hein, who had visited India during 399-414 AD to gather information on Buddhism, wrote the book Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms where he made an indirect reference to the northeast monsoon in connection with his voyage along the east coast of India, Dr Tripathi elaborated.





The research based on recent archeological finds from ports and trade centres show the existence of a well organised overseas network connecting Southeast Asia, Red Sea and Roman world. The voyage to Southeast Asia was seasonal and coast hugging because ships were visiting different ports during their voyage and exchanging cargo.
“The maritime trade from India to Southeast Asia was a seasonal phenomenon. Our study shows that there have been no changes in seasons of monsoon over the past 2000 years except in their intensity and velocity,” he added.





Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery

The distribution of Buddhist settlements, discovery of varieties of pottery, beads and inscriptions along the ports and trade centres dating before the first recorded discovery of the monsoon point to active maritime trade between India and Southeast Asia. Mariners used to exchange their cargo at various ports and sail to their destination along with local sailors with the help of monsoon winds and currents.
Sunil Patnaik, secretary of Orissan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), said, “The coastal people and marine fishermen have traditional knowledge about the weather prediction. The vast knowledge has been passed down the generations through word of mouth. Buddhist monks also knew about the arrival of monsoon and wind for which they built many caves and monasteries to reside for four months from June to September in these places. Sadhus and religious people also observe “Chatrumasi” (four months) period in hilly areas to avoid flood in the rainy season.”

@Earl_of_Rochester @Bart Dale @Rajeev @Azad67 @kandal @Kapish Kapoor @tornada @civfanatic @Kevinmeath @Devdas @Aberc @Ealasaid @Aupmanyav @Dewal @ScientistAlexandrus @kandal @rvsakhadeo @Rajeev @Chlodio @Futurist @betgo @Linschoten @No Bias FTW @Dardic @Aatreya @janusdviveidis @malpusa
Dear @Cobra Arbok

History in Social life & Folk tradition:

There is evidence in present social and oral life of Odisha to support the fact of close trade-cum-contact between Odisha (state in India) and Bali (state in Indonesia).

"Bali Yatra" (Journey to Bali) Festival

Even today "Bali Yatra" (Journey to Bali) is a very important festival celebrated in Odisha - though the trade petered out (may be due to colonization by Europeans centuries ago). Every year upto 1 million people gather to celebrate this festival in Cuttack (Odisha, India). [1] Women float small boats into the sea and pray for their husband's safe return because it marks the commencement of (Journey to Bali). The songs sung also say so. The voyage to Bali & back was often via Sri Lanka and took advantage of monsoon winds. And the tradition goes back to, maybe, around two millenium.


It is also reflected in oral folk tradition. Local folk-tale of a girl named Tapoi is story of a daughter who was left in care of her sister-in-laws. When the seven brothers returned after months of voyage, they found she had been ill-treated by their wives. You can read more of it in [2].

Red Lips to Mughal Emperors:

One import into India from South East Asia was habit of chewing betel leaf (with additives it is called "paan"). When Niccoloa Manucci, an Italian, landed in Surat (Gujarat, India) in 17th century he was intrigued to see all Hindu women had red lips as if they were bleeding (Muslim hid faces behind veil but they too ate). At first he did not understand but later came to know that it is the custom of eating "Paan" made from betel-leaf which leaves the colour. Paan has an additives named Catechu (Kattha) which leaves the red color. He recorded this in his memoirs. There are other additives which make the paan / lips sweet tasting (so you know the reason for its popularity, something like a sweet tasting lipstick).

Mughals Emperors also put habit of eating Paan / betel-leaf to good use. Emperor while in court offered Paan to some people. It was one of the highest honor to be chosen for this public display affection. But they also offered it to nobles whom they wanted to eliminate - it would be laced with poison in such case. The noble could not refuse the Paan offered in the court by the Emperor, ate it, and died after some time. Manucci records this device in his memoirs. See how polite was the Mughal way to kill someone - and contrast with executions done by Henry-VIII.

So habit of eating Paan spread across whole of Indian subcontinent. Indian influence on SE Asian culture is well known, so I skip it.

Regards

Rajeev


[1] This gives the elaborate arrangements made nowadays for the festival and also the expected number of people coming. Odisha's Bali yatra takes off

[2] Extracts from Sanyal's book. He is an economist by profession but has written good books on history as well: is A Short History Of Bali Yatra Festival
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,985
Portugal
Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus
Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.


Published: 19th September 2018 04:57 AM | Last Updated: 19th September 2018 04:58 AM | A+A A-


KENDRAPARA: Mariners of ancient Odisha were aware of monsoon winds and used them for timing their seafaring much before the discovery of the season and its behaviour by Greek navigator Hippalus between 45-47 AD.

Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.
“During my extensive research, I came to know that the traders of ancient Odisha were the first to use monsoon routes for their seafaring,” said Dr Sila Tripathi, a senior marine archaeologist with Marine Archaeology Center in National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

During the early historical period, Buddhism played a significant role in maritime trade. Ancient Chinese traveller Fa-Hein, who had visited India during 399-414 AD to gather information on Buddhism, wrote the book Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms where he made an indirect reference to the northeast monsoon in connection with his voyage along the east coast of India, Dr Tripathi elaborated.





The research based on recent archeological finds from ports and trade centres show the existence of a well organised overseas network connecting Southeast Asia, Red Sea and Roman world. The voyage to Southeast Asia was seasonal and coast hugging because ships were visiting different ports during their voyage and exchanging cargo.
“The maritime trade from India to Southeast Asia was a seasonal phenomenon. Our study shows that there have been no changes in seasons of monsoon over the past 2000 years except in their intensity and velocity,” he added.





Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery

The distribution of Buddhist settlements, discovery of varieties of pottery, beads and inscriptions along the ports and trade centres dating before the first recorded discovery of the monsoon point to active maritime trade between India and Southeast Asia. Mariners used to exchange their cargo at various ports and sail to their destination along with local sailors with the help of monsoon winds and currents.
Sunil Patnaik, secretary of Orissan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), said, “The coastal people and marine fishermen have traditional knowledge about the weather prediction. The vast knowledge has been passed down the generations through word of mouth. Buddhist monks also knew about the arrival of monsoon and wind for which they built many caves and monasteries to reside for four months from June to September in these places. Sadhus and religious people also observe “Chatrumasi” (four months) period in hilly areas to avoid flood in the rainy season.”

@Earl_of_Rochester @Bart Dale @Rajeev @Azad67 @kandal @Kapish Kapoor @tornada @civfanatic @Kevinmeath @Devdas @Aberc @Ealasaid @Aupmanyav @Dewal @ScientistAlexandrus @kandal @rvsakhadeo @Rajeev @Chlodio @Futurist @betgo @Linschoten @No Bias FTW @Dardic @Aatreya @janusdviveidis @malpusa
The post seemed confusing for me (too many icons and loose signals and characters), but there are some interesting information here about Odisha. Interesting enough to raise curiosity for those, like me are unaware, and it would be interesting to see you posting more information, albeit the image you posted seems a contemporary popular depiction of a ship, so not much history related, and the mention that in India they were aware of the Monsoon much before a Greek isn’t exactly surprising.

By the way, I saw “A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms” by Faxian (Fa-Hein, Fa-Hsien) at the Gutenberg project, in English: A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms by Faxian, as far as I understood is the book that you mentioned.
 

Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,786
New Delhi, India

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,985
Portugal
Well, I am not that active in the Indian history threads. Especially in the ones previous to the end of the 15th century.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery by Greek navigator Hippalus
Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.


Published: 19th September 2018 04:57 AM | Last Updated: 19th September 2018 04:58 AM | A+A A-


KENDRAPARA: Mariners of ancient Odisha were aware of monsoon winds and used them for timing their seafaring much before the discovery of the season and its behaviour by Greek navigator Hippalus between 45-47 AD.

Since more than 2000 years ago, traders of Odisha used to set sail to the Southeast Asian countries during the northeast monsoon and returned during the southwest monsoon, a new research has claimed.
“During my extensive research, I came to know that the traders of ancient Odisha were the first to use monsoon routes for their seafaring,” said Dr Sila Tripathi, a senior marine archaeologist with Marine Archaeology Center in National Institute of Oceanography, Goa.

During the early historical period, Buddhism played a significant role in maritime trade. Ancient Chinese traveller Fa-Hein, who had visited India during 399-414 AD to gather information on Buddhism, wrote the book Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms where he made an indirect reference to the northeast monsoon in connection with his voyage along the east coast of India, Dr Tripathi elaborated.





The research based on recent archeological finds from ports and trade centres show the existence of a well organised overseas network connecting Southeast Asia, Red Sea and Roman world. The voyage to Southeast Asia was seasonal and coast hugging because ships were visiting different ports during their voyage and exchanging cargo.
“The maritime trade from India to Southeast Asia was a seasonal phenomenon. Our study shows that there have been no changes in seasons of monsoon over the past 2000 years except in their intensity and velocity,” he added.





Odisha mariners were aware of monsoon before its discovery

The distribution of Buddhist settlements, discovery of varieties of pottery, beads and inscriptions along the ports and trade centres dating before the first recorded discovery of the monsoon point to active maritime trade between India and Southeast Asia. Mariners used to exchange their cargo at various ports and sail to their destination along with local sailors with the help of monsoon winds and currents.
Sunil Patnaik, secretary of Orissan Institute of Maritime and South East Asian Studies (OIMSEAS), said, “The coastal people and marine fishermen have traditional knowledge about the weather prediction. The vast knowledge has been passed down the generations through word of mouth. Buddhist monks also knew about the arrival of monsoon and wind for which they built many caves and monasteries to reside for four months from June to September in these places. Sadhus and religious people also observe “Chatrumasi” (four months) period in hilly areas to avoid flood in the rainy season.”

@Earl_of_Rochester @Bart Dale @Rajeev @Azad67 @kandal @Kapish Kapoor @tornada @civfanatic @Kevinmeath @Devdas @Aberc @Ealasaid @Aupmanyav @Dewal @ScientistAlexandrus @kandal @rvsakhadeo @Rajeev @Chlodio @Futurist @betgo @Linschoten @No Bias FTW @Dardic @Aatreya @janusdviveidis @malpusa
The Greeks were using the Monsoons to sail from India to Africa/Red Sea, which the Odisha sailors we're not doing. The Odisha sailors we're sailing from Southeast Asia to India, a different area and route.

And Hippalus is said to have lived in the first century BC in the sources I have read. Where did you get your specific first century AD date? It seems a.far more specific date than what the source material justifies. And it seems to late, already by the time of Augustus that the Roman India trade was well established, which was several decades before you 45 AD date.

Hippalus 1st century BC date would make his discovery also over 2000 years old too. And while he was often given credit, it was likely know before this. Other ancient sources credit him not for discovering the Monsoons, but just pioneering the route to India.

But we are really talking about completely different sailing routes in different areas. You haven't provided any evidence of the Odisha sIlors using Monsoons to sail further west of India.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2015
451
Sri Lanka
Ah, I suppose all coastal people since the dawn of humanity were aware of winds and waves. That is how people traveled from Africa to India and then to Australia (50 or 60 thousand years ago). :)
Aup ji -- I guess , Harnessing the knowledge of seasonal changes of "Monsoon winds" for navigation especially in Indian Ocean only began around the end of first millennium BC ---Prior to that Sailors must have used Astronomical Knowledge of relative positions of stars Eg Polar Star etc for navigation all over the world !
 
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Aupmanyav

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,786
New Delhi, India
Maritime timeline (Maritime timeline - Wikipedia):
5th millennium BC: earliest known depiction of a sailing boat.
About 2,000 BC: Hannu dispatches a fleet to the Land of Punt.
Austronesian people migrate from Taiwan to Indonesia, preceding the colonization of Polynesia.
1575-1520 BC Dover Bronze Age Boat, oldest known plank vessel, was built
About 1175 BC: Battle of the Delta, one of the first recorded naval battles

Polynesian navigation - Wikipedia
Canoes and navigation.
Navigational devices: Charts, spatial representations of islands and the conditions around them, and navigational instruments, such as those for measuring the elevation of celestial objects. They also include non-physical devices such as songs and stories for memorizing the properties of stars, islands, and navigational routes.
Navigational techniques: Bird observation, Navigation by the stars, Swell.

The presence in the Cook Islands of sweet potatoes, a plant native to the Americas (called kūmara in Māori), which have been radiocarbon-dated to 1000 CE, has been cited as evidence that Native Americans could have traveled to Oceania. Polynesian contact with the prehispanic Mapuche culture in central-south Chile has been suggested because of apparently similar cultural traits, including words like toki (stone axes and adzes), hand clubs similar to the Māori wahaika, the sewn-plank canoe as used on Chiloe island, the curanto earth oven (Polynesian umu) common in southern Chile, fishing techniques such as stone wall enclosures, a hockey-like game, and other potential parallels. Some strong westerlies and El Niño wind blow directly from central-east Polynesia to the Mapuche region, between Concepcion and Chiloe. A direct connection from New Zealand is possible, sailing with the Roaring Forties. In 1834, some escapees from Tasmania arrived at Chiloe Island after sailing for 43 days.

In 1980, a Hawaiian named Nainoa Thompson invented a new method of non-instrument navigation (called the "modern Hawaiian wayfinding system"), enabling him to complete the voyage from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti and back. In 1987, a Māori named Matahi Whakataka (Greg Brightwell) and his mentor Francis Cowan sailed from Tahiti to Aotearoa without instruments.
Just making claims in not history.
 

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