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India has a glorious maritime history since 2,300 BC from Lothal, believed to be oldest tidal dock in the world: Mr. M. Hamid Ansari

Dream to make Ahmedabad a ‘Maritime City’, linking it with a canal up to Cambay in the Arabian Sea: Mr. Narendra Modi

Ahmedabad, Saturday: Vice-President Mr. M. Hamid Ansari today recalled India’s glorious maritime trade history dating back to at lease 2,300 BC of the Harappan civilization period, as established by excavation of what is believed to be the world’s tidal dock at Lothal on the Gujarat coast.

Speaking at a function to mark the release of Prof. Makarand Mehta’s book titled ‘Gujarat and the Sea’ here, he said that India also prospered politically and socially because of own seafaring trade with West Asia, Southeast Asia and European. The details are mentioned in the scholarly book, he said.

Governor Dr. Shrimati Kamlaji said that Gujarat has benefited throughout history from the strategic location on the Arabian Sea, served by a rich hinterland, as documented in the maritime history dating back to 4,500 years.

Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi said the book should add to the existing knowledge. If Gujarat contributed to history, it can create history too. He expressed his sincere dream to make Ahmedabad a Maritime City. The grand plan was to dig a canal from the trading centre in Ahmedabad up to Cambay on the coast as envisioned by textile magnate Ranchodlal in 1894.

He said that human civilization settled along the seacoast since time immemorial. He recalled that Lord Krishna had also shifted from Mathura to Gujarat, which established the advantages of seacoast. The British made many attempts to spread its wings through Gujarat coast but their efforts were thwarted when they settled on the Bengal coast. Cambay was once an important seaport, so also Tharad in Banaskantha district the interiors of Gujarat. India had sea connection with Indonesia, Astrakhan and other countries.

Earlier, the Vice-President on his arrival here on a three-day visit to Gujarat was accorded a warm welcome at the airport. Later in the evening, he held detailed discussion on a wide range of topics with the Chief Minister for about 40 minutes at the Raj Bhawan.

Sources: Gujarat Information Bureau 

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