The recreation of the ancient stitched ship is a multi-ministerial project with design and construction being overseen by the Indian Navy and funded by the Ministry of Culture.
PANAJI: Minister of State (MoS) for Culture and External Affairs, Meenakashi Lekhi, on Tuesday, laid the keel for the recreation of an ancient stitched ship in Goa. The keel was laid at M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa in the presence of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral R Hari Kumar, Member of the Economic Advisor Council to the PM Sanjeev Sanyal, and dignitaries from the Ministry of Culture and Indian Navy.
The recreation of the ancient stitched ship is a multi-ministerial project with design and construction being overseen by the Indian Navy and funded by the Ministry of Culture. The tripartite contract for construction and delivery of the vessel in 22 months was concluded between the Indian Navy, Ministry of Culture, and M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa on July 18, 2023, according to an official release.
The ceremony is aimed at designing and constructing a ‘stitched ship’, a type of wooden boat that is carvel built with the planks stitched together with cords/ ropes, a technique popular in ancient India for constructing ocean-going vessels prior advent of metallic fasteners. This project envisages reviving and preserving this traditional craft of shipbuilding and showcasing the rich maritime heritage of India to the world.
On completion of the vessel, a voyage to South East Asia / Persian Gulf along one of the traditional routes using ancient navigation techniques by the Indian Navy is slated in 2025, as per the release. The Ministry of Defence said the initiative represents a collaborative effort spanning multiple ministries.
The Indian Navy is overseeing the ship’s design and construction and would be sailing the ship along ancient maritime trade routes. The Ministry of Culture has fully funded this project, while the Ministry of Shipping and Ministry of External Affairs will be supporting the project to ensure seamless execution of the international voyage. The Project was approved by the National Implementation Committee, Chaired by the Home Minister as a Commemoration Project on December 14, 2022.
The Directorate of Naval Architecture of the Indian Navy engaged in several rounds of discussions with the Ministry of Culture, culminating in the signing of a tripartite agreement with M/s Hodi Innovations, Goa, on July 18, 2023, for the construction of the ancient stitched ship.