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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Travel along a path taken by a historical figure is always exciting and many books have been written about those trips. For example Walking the Bible is a journey from Egypt to Jerusalem along the path followed by Moses. Chasing Che is a motorcycle trip along the route that Che Guevera took.

Last year some researchers attempted a bronze age trade route from Sur in Oman to Mandvi in Gujarat in a bronze age boat.

Recently there was a new book, Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud by Shuyun Sun which follows the path taken by Huen Tsang, the Chinese pilgrim who toured India during in the 7th century.

Now four Buddhist selected from Chinese mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are planning to retrace the steps of Huen Tsang.

The group will carry valuable gifts for Nalanda, including a Liuzu altar sutra embroidered on silk, a Sakyamuni statue and a copy of an ancient Chinese book, “records of the western regions of the tang dynasty” by Xuanzang`s disciple Bian Ji.

“The embroidered Liuzu altar sutra is the most valuable gift as it is the only sutra originated in China,” said shi Zhongyao, secretary-general of the trip organizing committee. “Others were all translated from Sanskrit,” he added.

In the late autumn of 628, monk Xuan Zang started his journey to South Asia. He walked 25,000 kms and spent 19 years [Retracing Zang`s journey to India]

Unlike Huen Tsang, these folks don’t plan to walk all that 25,000 on foot since they don’t have time for it. Still it would be an interesting journey and I hope someone makes a documentary on it, similar to the Walking the Bible series on PBS.

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Just after the much advertised bronze age trade route boat sank, there have been stories about various archaeological discoveries related to boats in various periods of time. At this website, we will be looking at world events alongwith Indian events so that we can get a better perspective on our development.

The boat trip from Oman to India was based on a bronze age design dating to about 3500 B.C and gave us an idea of what materials were used in the construction and how navigation was done. Now a Neolithic age boat has been discovered in South Korea which dates to about 6000 B.C.

(…) It dates back to 8,000 years ago and measures 60 centimeters wide, 310 centimeters long and 20 centimeters deep.

“Although scientific studies determining the exact date of the boat have yet to be completed, the fact that it was discovered in the fifth shell layer, the lowest layer in the Pibong-ri, Changnyong County ruins dating to early Neolithic era, gives us reason to believe that the boat is approximately 8,000 years old,’’ Im said.

(…) The boat, made of pinewood and presumed to have been at least four meters long in its original state, was first sighted during a dig started in early December 2004. Excavation work continued through late August.

Im said the boat sheds new light on the lives of our prehistoric ancestors.

“From the boat’s size and thickness of the platform, which measures five centimeters, we are assuming that it was used for fishing and traveling across surrounding small bodies of waters,’’ he said.

Human habitation in South Kyongsang Province, especially Pusan has been dated to early Neolithic times, between 5000 B.C. and 4000 B.C. During the Neolithic era, major human achievements include weaving, farming, and using pottery.

Two years back, the remains of a boat about a 1000 years old was discovered in Kerala. This boat, similar to the one discovered in Korea was used for traveling along the coast and inland waters. Now from the same period in time comes the discovery of a Chinese ship that went down in the blue Java sea, while traveling along a trade route connecting Asia with Europe and Middle East.

(…) It appears the Sriwijaya ship was relatively small and locally made, with initial carbon testing showing the wood may have come from Indonesia’s Sumatra or Kalimantan islands, Agung said. That would indicate that Chinese and Arabian traders brought the goods to Sriwijaya, he said, for inter-island trade in the region.

(…) But Agung said he has experienced little problem with the Sriwijaya ship, in part because the Chinese — unlike Europeans — kept no data on maritime trade a thousand years ago.
[ Sunken treasure sheds new light]

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