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Maritime heritage project takes off

V. Raghavendra

A file photo of Kakinada port

old is gold: The maritime heritage locations to be surveyed by INTACH include ports and harbours. –

KAKINADA: As part of its diversified activities, the local chapter of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has commenced an arduous process of documenting the maritime heritage of East Godavari district under a joint venture with Mumbai–based Vasant J. Sheth Memorial Foundation.

The project that covers six peninsular States, is aimed at conducting an extensive survey of the port cities and their heritage in the form of surviving structures, monuments and artefacts over 100 years old. The maritime heritage locations to be surveyed include ports, harbours, light houses, coral reefs, ship/boat building and landing sites, sites of Naval battles, trading points, underwater structures, shipwrecks and other maritime / natural heritage sites 10-15 km in land and offshore. INTACH is currently working out the cost factor and looking out for resource persons who can lend their expertise in maritime studies, INTACH district convener L. Seshu Kumari told The Hindu.

On completion, the INTACH project will have a comprehensive database containing finer details of the ancient and also modern seaports and other structures which give an insight into the rich maritime heritage of Andhra Pradesh. The antiquity of oceanic trade along the coastline of Andhra Pradesh which had been vibrant through the ages, will be laid out in an exhaustive format for educational and research purposes.

The maritime links which Andhra Pradesh had with certain southeast Asian countries will be known through the project report. The project will also probably lend credence to theories like the one about a French shipwreck off Coringa in the late 1850s and bring to light evidences related to maritime activities of a bygone era.

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