Management of Maritime Trade Activities of the Merchants of Prachi Valley of Odisha in India


  • Dr. Ratnakar Mohapatra


The maritime trade of the merchants of the Prachi Valley of Odisha is an important aspect of the economic system of Eastern India in the past. The colonizing spirit of the people of ancient Kalinga was certainly promoted by their maritime trade contacts. The region of the Prachi Valley was one of the main centers for maritime trade of ancient Kalinga as well as of medieval Utkal. The merchants or Sadhavas of Odisha had great proficiency in sea voyage during the ancient as well as medieval periods. The main contribution of this study is that it undertakes the economic activities of merchants of the Prachi valley region of Odisha in Eastern India. During the ancient and medieval periods, the Prachi was a large navigable river of that region. In the past, the Prachi and other rivers of Odisha had played a major role in the maritime activities with inland and overseas countries. The merchants of the Prachi Valley were regularly using both the rivers Prachi and Chitroptala as their principal river routes for their maritime activities. It can be presumed by observing the geographical location of the present Konarka town that long years ago the place of Konarka was possibly a flourishing port-town, which located near the mouth of river Chitroptala..The people of Prachi Valley as well as Kalinga were colonizing the far off lands of Java, Sumatra, Indonesia, Burma, Rome, Greece, Siam, China, Ceylon (Srilanka), Malaya-Peninsula and other countries. Due to the domination of foreign merchants in the coast of Odisha, the traditional maritime trade of the Prachi Valley was disappeared in the subsequent period. The aim of this article is to give emphasis on the maritime trade of the Prachi Valley of the state of Odisha in India. The primary as well as secondary source material have been critically analyzed and used in the writing of this article.