Goa. 13 September 2023. The Keel for recreation of Ancient Stitched Ship was laid by Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, GoI on 12 Sep 23 at M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa in the presence of Adm R Hari Kumar, CNS and Mr Sanjeev Sanyal, Member of the Economic Advisor Council to the PM and dignitaries from the Ministry of Culture and Indian Navy. Recreation of Ancient Stitched Ship is a multi-ministerial project with design and construction being overseen by the Indian Navy and funded by Ministry of Culture. The tripartite contract for construction and delivery of the vessel in 22 months was concluded between Indian Navy, Ministry of Culture and M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa on 18 Jul 23
It is aimed to design and construct a ‘Stitched Ship’, a type of wooden boat which is carvel built with the planks stitched together with cords/ ropes, a technique popular in ancient India for constructing ocean going vessels prior advent of metallic fasteners. This project envisages to revive and preserve this traditional craft of ship building and showcase the rich maritime heritage of India to the world.
On completion of the vessel, a voyage to South East Asia / Persian Gulf along one of the traditional routes using ancient navigation techniques by Indian Navy is slated in 2025.
Extract of Speeches
Highlighting the event as one reviving India’s Ancient Maritime Legacy, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for Culture and External Affairs, GoI said that she is “Extremely delighted to be part of the momentous keel laying ceremony of the Stitched Ship, which shall revive the 2000 year old Indian technology of stitching ships together through wooden planks. This unique initiative under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji will glorify Bharat’s rich shipbuilding legacy and reminisce the ships that once sailed the oceans on our ancient maritime trade routes connecting Bharat to the world. A collaborative effort between Min of Culture, Indian Navy, Min of Ports Shipping & Waterways and MEA, will culminate with Indian Navy undertaking a unique voyage on the stitched ship along the traditional maritime trade routes using ancient navigation techniques. This remarkable project of rediscovery and revival will commemorate Bharat’s cultural and civilizational heritage, of which seafaring and shipbuilding was a significant aspect”
Speaking about India’s rich maritime heritage Mr Sanjeev Sanyal, Member of the Economic Advisor Council to the PM also said ‘This momentous occasion is an opportunity for all Indians to relive and celebrate our Nation’s Glorious Maritime Past“.
Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff said “The pride in our roots, belief in our values and ethos, and holistic awareness of our past, have now become the force behind our country’s rise. Importantly, this catalysis is increasingly a ‘whole of society’ effort, or that of the voices from within. The very fact that we have the Government, the Armed Forces, the Academia, the Industry, the Artisans – all converging here today, is testimony to our shared dream of propelling India to its rightful place.”
Emphasising on the importance of making our citizens aware of India’s rich Maritime History he said that “For the Navy, this Ship is a step to free our Nation from sea-blindness, kindling maritime consciousness, wherein, following the footsteps of the Government, our citizens take to the seas to reach out to the world – be it commerce, culture, connect, and co-prosperity… this is exactly what the Indian seafarers, that embarked the stitched ships, did for centuries”.