Cultural Links Between India, Central Asia and Arab


From prehistoric days, India had trade and cultural relations with West Asia, Rome, China and Southeast Asia. India sent its traders and missionaries to these regions and in some places these persons also settled. During the reign of Darius the Great of Persia, Greece and India had their earliest contact in about 510 BCE. After the discovery of the monsoon by Hippalus in first century CE, Roman vessels played directly across the Indian Ocean. The port of Palura on the eastern coast of India had an important role. The ships came here from Arikamedu, crossed the Bay of Bengal and went to the delta of the Irrawaddy, whence they proceeded to the Malay Peninsula. Demand for Eastern goods had the effect of stimulating Indian trading along the Malay Peninsula. It is not surprising that Roman coins, pottery, amphora and other trade goods have been found in the Malay Peninsula originating from coastal regions of eastern India. Indo-Roman contact declined during the third and fourth centuries CE, but India’s relationship with Southeast Asia continued. In the spread of Indian culture, the sea played an important role. There was intensification of sea-borne commerce in the early centuries of Common Era.

Dr. Rita H. Parekh

Assistant Professorof Sanskrit
Shri & Smt. P. K. Kotawala Arts College, Patan
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