INHS Asvini: The Cutting Edge of Medical Sciences

By Ms Bhavyashree GNS, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

The oldest Command Hospital of the Indian Navy, Indian Naval Hospital Ship  (INHS) Asvini derives its name from the Vedic deities Asvins or Asvin Kumaras, also known as the horse twins who were proficient in the knowledge of health, medicine, and science. In the Rig Veda, the Asvins are depicted as guardian deities who tend to the ailments of people by ensuring their safety, further coming to aid in the time of need. Located in Navy Nagar, Colaba, INHS Asvini was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 18 September 1951. Even though it has only been 71 years since its establishment, the facility has a remarkable history of over 250 years. Continue reading “INHS Asvini: The Cutting Edge of Medical Sciences”

Iconography of Maritime Machinery in Ancient India

By Bhavyashree GNS, Research Intern, Maritime History Society

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the term ‘iconography’ refers to the use of images and symbols to represent ideas or the particular images and symbols used by a religious or political group. In simple words, iconography is concerned with the visual aspect of the study in regard to ideas, cultures, and the study of these. Iconography is considered as an important aspect as it makes use of various symbols, themes, and subject matter to convey meaning of the work.[1] Continue reading “Iconography of Maritime Machinery in Ancient India”

Traversing the Oceans: Indian Seafaring through the Eons

By Mr Dennard H D’Souza, Senior Research Associate, Maritime History Society

Figure 1 A Harappan seal depicting a reed boat coupled with oars. The presence of avian figures alludes to the historic disa-kaka used by seafarers in long distance travel. Source: Harappa.com

India has a long tradition of indigenous seafaring which is well attested from the late chalcolithic period to the late medieval period. Seafaring in India was a continuing practice contrary to the edicts of the Manusmriti That prohibited the crossing of seas especially those by Brahmins. Seafarers became the conduit through which Indian culture and religious traditions seeped into territories beyond the frontiers. In this article, we shall broadly speak of seafaring traditions from the earliest period up until the late medieval Continue reading “Traversing the Oceans: Indian Seafaring through the Eons”