Navy to reconstruct, sail ancient ‘stitched ship’ along maritime trade routes

by The Technical Blogs


India’s rich maritime tradition, dating back several millennia, is set to come alive once again with the revival of an ancient maritime marvel, the ‘ancient stitched ship’.

The Indian Navy, Ministry of Culture, and Hodi Innovations, Goa, are all set to collaborate to reconstruct the ‘ancient stitched ship’ as a reminiscent of the ships that once sailed the oceans on India’s ancient maritime trade routes.

According to the Indian Navy, extensive research and consultation with a wide spectrum of subject matter experts will be carried out during the reconstruction of this ship.

The Indian Navy, which is overseeing the ship’s design and construction, would also be sailing her along ancient maritime trade routes.

The Ministry of Culture has fully sponsored the project, while the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs has extended support to the project to ensure its seamless execution of the international voyage.

On December 14, 2022, the project was approved by the National Implementation Committee (NIC), headed by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Following the green signal for the project, the Directorate of Naval Architecture of the Indian Navy engaged in several rounds of discussions with the Ministry of Culture which resulted in the signing of a tripartite agreement with Hodi Innovations, Goa, on July 18, 2023, for the construction of the ship.

According to the Indian Navy, the stitching work in the construction of this ship will be undertaken by a team of traditional shipwrights, led by one Babu Sankaran, who is an expert in stitched ship construction.

An age-old technology will also be deployed, under which the wooden planks will be shaped using the conform to the shape of the hull.

Each plank will then be stitched to another using cords/ ropes, sealed with a combination of coconut fiber, resin, and fish oil – akin to the ancient Indian shipbuilding practice.

Once the ship gets her final ship, a unique voyage will be undertaken by the Indian Navy along the traditional maritime trade routes using ancient navigation techniques.

The journey of rediscovery and revival will begin with the keel laying ceremony on September 12, Goa’s Hodi Innovations, in the presence of Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and External Affairs, Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Member of the Economic Advisor Council (EOC) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Edited By:

Sudeep Lavania

Published On:

Sep 11, 2023


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