The presentation highlights maritime trade and linkages of ancient Kalinga (modern Odisha in eastern India) with Indo-China through South East Asia, particularly Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Java, Bali, Malay Peninsula, Cambodia and China since 350 BC. It is a well-known fact that Kalinga traders used to sail out from the eastern coast of Kalinga/Odisha in country-made boats for trade.
The maritime trade had led to interactions of Kalinga and its traders with the communities, societies, and countries in South East Asia. Such interactions had left its imprints in religion, language, culture, customs, festivals, architecture etc. Further, it would be interesting to get a brief account of ancient sea ports, ship building, sea routes, trade, and overseas contacts and enrichment during the course of the presentation.
After the bloody Kalinga War between Magadha Emperor Ashoka and the Kalinga rulers in 261 BC, Emperor Ashoka renounced the war and became a Buddhist. He was called Ashoka the Great for his social, religious and philanthropic work post-Kalinga War. He had sent emissaries including his son Mahendra and Sanghamitra to South East Asia and Far East to spread the message and teachings of Lord Buddha. The Buddhist messengers had further strengthened the ties between India (particularly eastern India) with these regions.