** Sagar Sandesh print version ceases to be published from December 31, 2017. New look E-paper would be available from Jan. 1, 2018 onwards. free of cost.**

The rich maritime heritage of the Tamils recalled

The rich maritime heritage of the Tamils dating back to sangam age two thousand years ago was recalled at a meeting to commemorate the 54th National Maritime Day Celebrations held at the sea farers club on April fifth.

Recalling the ancient history and the maritime heritage of people from the southern part of the country Chairman of the Chennai port P Raveendran said the Musiri port patronised by the Chera kings situated near the present day Kodungalur functioned as a Gateway port to the Arab world where gold from the west was exchanged for Indian spices. The primitive barter trade brought about prosperity in the area.

Ancient Tamil literature spoke of flourishing trade between these two destinations when he quoted a verse from Agananuru to prove his point. The port was destroyed in the floods in the Periyar river way back in the fourteenth century. From the remains of Musiri port emerged the modern day Cochin port, he said.

History is replete with instances how ports like Musiri, Thondi and Korkai patronised by the Pandya kings indulged in modern day shipping activities like transhipment business. He also spoke about the ancient port that had come up at Poompuhar in the east coast developed by the Chola king Karikalan.

Mr Raveendran went on to explain the exploits the great chola king Rajendra chola who expanded his empire to Sri lanka and then on to South East Asian countries.

The latter day desi shipping magnate to emerge in southern Tamil Nadu was V O Chidambaram who floated the first domestic shipping company and plied ships in Tuticorin colombo sector way back in 1906.

The Port Chairman went on to explain the deeds of his own port having lost both coal and iron ore bread and butter cargo for the port till 2011.Still the port managed to handle over fifty million tons of cargo in the just concluded last financial year, he said.

He also spoke of how valiantly the port personnel handled the dastardly cyclone varda when the port was eye of the storm. The damages were minimised thanks to the efforts put up by the port staff late last year.

Referring to the latest oil spill near the Chennai coast following the collision of two oil tankers Mr Raveendran said a quick response team has been constituted recently  comprising officials of Chennai port, Indian Coast Guards and Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to take charge of the situation in the event of recurrence of oil spill in the area.

Rear admiral Alok Bhatnagar Flag officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval area who was the chief guest spoke of the strategic location of the country's coastline in the Indian Ocean area and need to safeguard its interests. We have a long coastline and one thousand two hundred islands to look after he said. The 12 major ports and 164 minor ports in the country and most of them have world class infrastructure to handle cargo.

Earlier Mr Raveendran inspected a guard of honour presented by the cadets of the Maritime Institutions based in Chennai and its Suburbs. He garlanded the statue of V O Chidambaram while the Naval officer Bhatnagar laid wreath on unknown seamen's memorial.

Mr Barik Chairman of National maritime day celebrations committee and Principal officer of Merchantile Marine department said the day commemorates the first voyage of the Indian ship S S Loyalty of Scindia steamship company from Mumbai to London two centuries ago.

Copyright © 2017 PORT TO PORT - Shipping Services Portal ( Sagar Sandesh ). All rights reserved.

Follow Us