Ports in early Indian literature

May 2013
1,600
The abode of the lord of the north
#1
We've unearthed a handful of ports in early India such as Dholavira, Lothal, Bet Dwaraka and probably even Khambat (who knows?!). So was there any ports mentioned in the Vedic literature? Which were earliest the port cities we find in Indian literature?
 

Aatreya

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
3,349
USA
#2
We've unearthed a handful of ports in early India such as Dholavira, Lothal, Bet Dwaraka and probably even Khambat (who knows?!). So was there any ports mentioned in the Vedic literature? Which were earliest the port cities we find in Indian literature?
Rig Veda does not name cities / ports by name although cites seas and seafarers. I can post the hymn if needed.
 
Oct 2015
778
India
#5
As you say, sea-borne trade had been going on from days of Harappan civilization with Iraq / Mesopotamia. It must have continued from then onwards. but having records - archaeological or text - is a different thing.

Indian & West Asian Trade:

Earliest mentions in Indian literature are in Sangam Literature. This literature can be dated from c. 350 BCE onwards but when exactly sea trade gets mentioned is somewhat unclear. Archaeological digs also support this as Roman coins have been found and in Kerala & TN. [1], [2]


Next we have Periplus dated to 1st century CE. [3] He had travelled the full coastline of India and noted the Trading activities. [3]

Next we have some archaeological finds from Socorota Island where Brahmi inscriptions have been found which are dated to 2nd to 4th century CE. [4]

Indian & SE Asia Trade:

This is less well documented. Hinduism spread to SE Asia between 1st & 5th century CE and this could have happened with trade relations alone, and earliest inscriptions in this side are dated to 1st century CE (Scripts based on Brahmi). [5]

References:

[1] Economy of ancient Tamil country - Wikipedia
[2] Sailing in search of history
[3] Periplus of the Erythraean Sea - Wikipedia
[4] Socotra: The Deep Indic Roots Of One Of The Remotest Places On Earth
[5] Hinduism in Southeast Asia - Wikipedia
 
Sep 2015
396
Sri Lanka
#6
TAMIL SANGAM LITERATURE AND SEA PORTS IN TAMILAKAM!
I Thought you are only interested in Vedic Literature :)-----Well .......Well --- I can straight away think about 3 Ancient major Sea-Ports in Ancient Tamilaham via International maritime trading took place have mentioned very vividly in Tamil Sangam Literature---which were now corroborated with Archaeological evidences locally and also in abroad !!
Puhar
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puha

Muziris
Muziris - Wikipedia

Arikamedu
Arikamedu - Wikipedia
 
Jul 2017
510
Sydney
#9
In Rig Veda, Mandala 1 hymn 25 mentions both the ocean (Samudra) and boats (Naav)

वेदा यो वीनां पदमन्तरिक्षेण पतताम |
वेद नावः समुद्रियः ||

Griffith's take -
He knows the path of birds that fly through heaven, and, Sovran of the sea,
He knows the ships that are thereon.

My take for line 2 would be a bit different -
Veda is like a ship that will take you through the ocean
 
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Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,052
India
#10
Perhaps a remembrance of Caspian Sea, Black Sea; otherwise they were nowhere near the sea.
Vedic verses are referring to Gujarat and Sindh coast, its the part of early Sapta Sindhu. Apart from that Saraswati was flowing to the sea from the mountain which we now known as Rann of Kutch, freshwater of dried Saraswati oozed out in Rann during Gujarat earthquakes.
 
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