Sagara Sangamam: India and the Sea: Day 1, 5th June 2023

Dr Himanshu Prabha Ray delivers the Keynote Address on "Commemorating India's Maritime Heritage" in which she will focus on India's coastal monuments and their interconnections across the seas, as also on the conceptualization of the waters in Indian literature.


Sri K R A Narasiah's talk on "World Maritime History With Special Reference To India" explores India's role in world maritime hsitory going all the way back to Greco Roman times.


Dr Himanshu Prabha Ray is Honorary Professor, Distant Worlds, Munich Graduate School of Ancient Studies, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich and Member, Board of Governors, Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford.

She is also the former Chairperson of the National Monuments Authority, Ministry of Culture, and former Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. As a recipient of the Anneliese Maier research award of the Humboldt Foundation in 2013, she is affiliated to Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich. She is also editor of Archaeology and Religion in South Asia in the Routledge Series and the Series Editor on the Archaeology and Religion in South Asia book series. 


Dr Ray's books on maritime history include Beyond Trade: Cultural Roots of India’s Ocean and The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia. She has also edited volumes, The Sea, Identity and History: From the Bay of Bengal to the South China Sea, Cross Currents and Community Networks: Encapsulating the History of the Indian Ocean World, Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean.


Sri K R A Narasiah completed the Indian Navy's Marine Engineering course in INS Shivaji Lonavla and sailed in naval vessels for 10 years before joining the merchant navy.  He was the first Indian flight deck chief of INS Vikrant. He joined the Visakhapatnam Port in 1965 as a marine engineer and rose to the position of the Chief Mechanical Engineer and retired in 1991. After his retirement he was appointed consultant to the Indian Ports Association. Later he was invited by the World Bank to join a mission for the emergency rehabilitation of Cambodia.

Sri Narasiah has written a treatise on the Indian Sea Trade which won him an award from the Tamil Nadu Government. His book on history of Madras has also won the state award. He has also written on the history of Madurai on his Cambodian reminiscences. In addition, he has written over a 100 short stories in Tamil. Sri Narasiah’s autobiography ‘Through The Rear View Mirror’ was published in 2022.