EMERGENCE AND DECLINE OF A HISTORICAL PORT: A GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS
Tamralipta port was a major port of ancient India, connecting Srilanka, Java, Sumatra, and Mayanmar through different trade routes. Tamralipta port emerged as an important centre of trade and commerce. It is well known that different geographical characteristics are prerequisites for the rise of any natural port. Undoubtedly Tamralipta Port emerged as a major port due to some favourable geographical reasons. These favourable characteristics declined over time which ultimately declined the port and left it to virtual oblivion. This paper wants to study the natural geographical reasons behind the rise and fall of Tamralipta Port in historical circumstances.
This study is based on existing studies about the major riverine ports in India and the contemporary geographical conditions. Regional histories have been studied to come to the conclusion.
It is observed that the main reasons behind the decline of Tamralipta port are loss of navigability of Rupnarayan River, siltation in the periphery and core, shifting of river channel and non existence of any drazing operations. All these factors changed in such a manner over time that the port could not maintain its very existence. The experience about the rise and fall of a riverine port like Tamralipta can be a precursor on the discussion about the existence of other major port in contemporary world. This study will help the planners in this respect to properly formulate plans for the sustainability of the major riverine port.
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