By: Er. Bijaya Ketan Sahu
Once the “Bay of Bengal” was named as “Kalinga Sagar” (The ocean of Kalinga), but by the influence of British later, it was known as “Bay of Bengal” or “Bangopasagar”.
In history the Kalinga Sagar was famous due to Marine Navigators of Odisha who used to travel south-East Asian cities like Java, Bali, Borneo, Sumatra etc. to carry out their trades. It was a golden period in Odishan history due to which our motherland Odisha was richest throughout it’s length and breadth. These ancient Marine traders of Odisha was known as “Sadhab”.
Today also many ancient Hindu temples are found in Indonesia with Kalinga architecture built by rich Sadhaba traders of Odisha. A geographical region is still known as “Kalinga” in Philippines due to influence of these ancient traders of Kalinga (Odisha). Not only this, the Sadhab traders of Odisha had preached the holy Jagannath culture in south-East Asia (mainly in Indonesia). Just by distributing the holy Maha-Prashad (Known as Nirmalya) of Mahaprabhu Jagannath, they could able to bind the people of Indonesia in bondage of love and brotherhood.
The Influence of Odishan culture still also found in rituals and traditions of Indonesian people. With Budhhism, Hinduism also much famous in Indonesia due to these Sadhab traders of Odisha. Needless to say that, Lord Jagannath is the symbol wisdom in Budhhism and symbol of devotion in Hinduism.
Major portion this great ocean belonged Kalinga as the Kalinga empire was spread over river Ganga to river Godavari and also during ruling period of Odishan King Kapilendradev and his glorious son King Purusottamdev it was spread over beyond river Kaveri also, so there was no wrong in addressing this ocean as “Kalinga Sagar”. Odisha was also famous for merchant business on Marine ways of this ocean. In flow of time the famous Maritime trades of Odisha and it’s cultural imoprtance is lost now. In odisha, we observe “Kartik purnima” on memory our famous traders who were known as Sadhab. The original name of “Bay of Bengal” was “Kalinga Sagar”. We have our rich glorious history on background of this name.
Images: odishamaritimemuseum.org and Social Media