Past Symposia and Publications

Darshak Itihas Nidhi organizes series of international Symposia on maritime history of Gujarat. The events facilitate discussions between scholars from India and from abroad. DIN also targets to encourage young researchers and to facilitate a dialogue with local specialists and experts.

Each Symposium is a multi facets experience combining academic discussions, exhibitions, demonstrations and sites visits. Therefore each event is organized in an ancient port town of Gujarat. It is accompanied by an exhibition and followed by sites visits and excursions.

Gujarat and the Sea (October 1-3, 2010, Mandvi)

Title page without editor

Post conference volume:
Varadarajan, L. (ed.). Gujarat and The Sea. DIN. Baroda: 2011. 653 p. Table of contents

The symposium witnessed multi-disciplinary panels on Gujarat maritime history and the role played by Gujarat in the history of the Indian Ocean World (IOW). Papers presented in Mandvi and discussion that followed showed that the flourishing trade and dynamic cultural milieu of Gujarat developed in the frame of a fluctuating but durable and ever active set up of urban settlements, spread on a long coast line running from Sindh to the Konkan coast.
The Symposium also opened up new areas of research. The sessions of ‘Gujarat and the Sea’ symposium drew a broad canvas on Gujarat maritime history, highlighting gaps in our understanding and knowledge of the region’s relationship to the sea and overseas. It also became apparent that further interdisciplinary research was needed on seafarers, traders, port towns, language of coastal areas, folklore, boat-building and navigation techniques, products, their sources and the supply chain, customs barriers, maintenance and administration of ports, composition of populations, architecture, entertainment, piracy and security on the high seas, etc.


Port Towns of Gujarat (14-16 December, 2012, Daman)

Port towns of Gujarat finale 15.09

Post conference volume:
Keller, S. & Pearson M. (ed.). Port Towns of Gujarat. Primus. Greater Noida: 2014. 328 p. Table of contents

Published by Primus

Gujarat has served as a gateway between east and west ever since the Harappan era, bridging land and sea. Some of the main active ports of India have been in Gujarat, namely Lothal, Bharuch, Cambay, Surat (and then Bombay) assisted by a series of minor sea towns, ports and sea coast settlements. These towns were once abuzz as trade and cultural hubs. They operated within dynamic environments and have developed unique urban typologies, following their economic life and their complex demographic and social characteristics.
“Port Towns of Gujarat” examined these hubs closely, and etch out their importance in the development of Gujarat’s economy, society and polity.
The conference was lead by Prof. Michael N. Pearson.

Conference Programme


Trans-regional Trade and Traders (11-13 December, 2015, Surat)

Post conference volume:
In publication process.
For centuries the Indian Ocean rim encompassing Arabia, Africa, South Asia and South East Asia has been a significant space of movement and interaction, and facilitated a porous flow of people and commodities. These interactions made populace of these regions receptive to the transformation and change. By integrating regional economies to that of the Indian Ocean, the sea bridged the distances between the regions and sculpted a vibrant economic and cultural system. This, in turn, helped in narrowing the cultural, racial, lingual and sociopolitical divides.
In understanding the various aspects that concern trans-regional affairs across the Indian Ocean, the conference examined how the maritime regions of Gujarat responded to the opportunities at sea as well as political changes in the distant coastal societies that they had trade connections with. With a rich ship building and seafaring culture and craft manufacturing tradition, coastal Gujarat was prepared to face global challenge and competition. Sea going communities were engaged in deep-sea sailing and commerce. The commercial energy of the region depended on the enterprise of various maritime players such as traders, artisans and the sailing class. These diverse groups of maritime actors from Gujarat contributed in shaping and reshaping trans-regional Indian Ocean economic networks.

Conference Programme

Other publications

  • Zala, Prafulla. Itihas no Marma. Translation of Meaning of History, Cambridge lectures of EH Carr. DIN: 2001.
  • Mehta, Makrand. Poorva Africaman. DIN: 2002.
  • Jani, S.V. Saurashtrano Itihas. Part I. DIN: 2003.
  • Desai, Chittranjan Dadubhai. Bharat no Swatantrya Sangram- Punarmulyankan. DIN: 2007
  • Mehta, Makrand; Shelat, Bharati and Savaliya, R.T (ed), Bhakti Sufi Andolan. DIN: 2008
  • Mehta, Shirin. Gujaratman Narichetanano Itihas. DIN: 2008.
  • (engl.) Mehta, Makrand. Foreign Trade and Customs Duty in Gujarat. DIN: 2009.
  • Dharamsey, Virchand. Bhagwanlaal Indraji. DIN: 2011 (reed. 2012).
  • Jani, S.V. Saurashtrano Itihas. Part II. DIN: 2012.
  • Chitalwala, Y.M. Vijli, Haji Kasamni. DIN: 2010.
  • Merai, Shantilal. Pashchim Bharatman Dheerdharane Shoshan, Feeding the Bania by David Hardiman. DIN: 2012.
  • (engl.) Jani, S.V. History of Saurashtra (1948-1960). DIN.
  • Mehta, Ushakant. Barton Library. DIN: 2013.
  • Mehta, Makrand. Gujarat ane Dariyo. DIN: 2013
  • (engl.) National Museum. Malam ni Pothi. DIN. 2014.
  • (engl.) Rajeshirke, Ashok B. (transcription and edition). Goswami, Chhaya (commentary). Pre-Modern Kutchi Navigation Techniques and Voyages. Rangdwar Prakashan DIN: 2015.
  • (engl.) Mehta, Makrand. Merchants and Ports of Gujarat. DIN: 2015.
  • Pocock. Kanbiane Patidar. DIN (under print, scheduled 2017).