Trade by river and sea

The two great South Asian rivers, with their fertile plains and vital transportation opportunities, were created almost entirely by the Himalayas: *a geographical look*
The mouths of these two great rivers, the Indus and the Ganges, provided a series of conveniently sheltered ports, with inland shipping possibilities as well
In addition, both the *Malabar* (southwest) and *Coromandel* (southeast) coasts offered a network of small trading ports where merchant communities of various nationalities had long been established
Knowledge of the seasonal winds and currents was vital to the dhow traffic between the Middle East, North Africa, and the Malabar Coast: the trading world of *"The Periplus,"*, 1st c. CE
Long before British times, India was, as has been said, "on the way to absolutely everywhere" by sea. The *Northern sea route* was not a viable choice.
Large hoards of Roman and other early coins have been found in India; these coins were also imitated locally, apparently sometimes as decorative pendants
A tribute to the trim, versatile, and indispensable dhow, with its maneuverable "lateen" (triangular) sails
Piracy in the Indian Ocean has been a perpetual problem, and still is; and right up to the present (2006), pirates apparently still sometimes use "traditional dhows"
"Vessels used on the Coast of Malabar": a wide variety of local boats, as seen by early European traders
As the Portuguese and other European powers built trading ships and moved eastward, Indian harbors increasingly held ships of all kinds and sizes

HARDWAR, where the Ganges enters the plains, has always been a pilgrimage place
Along the Ganges...
The Yamuna too was an important channel for travel and trade

Some views along the Indus
Riverbanks were full of activity, despite flooding and other hazards
All those rivers-- how do you cross them?
A modern attempt at a tourist attraction: "Jute Boats Along the Brahmaputra"

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