World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0012687538
Reproduction Date:

Title: Boita  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sadhaba, Bali Jatra, History of Odisha, List of historical ship types, Bawley
Collection: History of Odisha, Maritime History of India, Ship Types
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Boitas (or Voitas) were ships that were built in ancient Odisha in India during the heyday of the Kalinga empire. The word Voita is probably derived from Sanskrit Vahitra, meaning a ship or vessel.[1] Kalinga included coastal Odisha and the adjoining tracts of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Ancient Oriya navigators sailed from Kalinga to distant lands such as Bali, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Sri Lanka, Malaya, Vietnam and China for trade and cultural expansion.[2]


  • Construction 1
  • Depictions 2
  • Bali Jatra 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5


Terracotta seal from West Bengal, 400 BCE to 100 BCE

Rules and regulations regarding construction of ships were recorded in the Sanskrit Juktikalpataru. The Madalapanji records that king Bhoja built many ships with local wood.[3] The recovery of many woodworking adzes and other artifacts from Chilika Lake shows that Golabai was a boat-building center.[1]


Terracotta seals from Bangarh and Chandraketugarh (400 BCE to 100 BCE) depict sea going vessels carrying containing corn. The ships have a single mast with a square sail.[4] The earliest depiction of ships in Odisha is in a sculptured frieze showing two ships, found near the Brahmeswar temple, Bhubaneswar, and now preserved in the Odisha State Museum. The first ship has standing elephants in the front part, two people seated in the center and two sailor with oars at the rear steering the ship.[1]

A temple in Bhubaneswar is called Vaital Deula after the shape of its roof, which resembles an overturned boat. According to an expert "the Mastaka is technically called Voita and hence the name of the dewl". The Lingaraj Temple of Bhubaneswar has a representation of a boat being steered with an oar by a woman, dated to the 11th century CE. A sculpture from Konark in the 13th century CE shows a boat rowed by four people, with a cabin in the center in which a man is seated, armed with a bow and arrow. A boat depicted in the Sun Temple of Konarak contains a giraffe, indicating trade with Africa.[1]

Bali Jatra

Miniature Boitas are used today as children's toys during the Oriya festival of Bali Jatra.[5] Baliyatra literally means a 'Voyage to Bali', and celebrates the ancient maritime tradition and the connection with Bali. During the ceremony, men, women and children dressed up in traditional costumes launch tiny boats made from banana peels, paper or solapitha with lighted lamps inside, and Oriya women perform the rite of 'Boita Bandana'. The festival is similar to the 'Masakapan Ke Tukad' festival of Bali, and to the 'Loi Krathong' festival of Thailand, both of which involve ritualistic floating of model boats around the same time of year.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Sushanta Ku. Patra & Dr. Benudhar Patra. "ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE MARITIME HISTORY OF ANCIENT ORISSA". OHRJ, Vol. XLVII, No. 2. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
  2. ^ Kandarpa Patel. "MARITIME RELATION OF KALINGA WITH SRILANKA". OHRJ, Vol. XLVII, No. 2. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  3. ^ Nirakar Mahalik (September 2004). "Maritime Trade of Ancient Orissa". Orissa Review. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  4. ^ Sila Tripati. "Early Maritime Activities of Orissa on the East Coast of India: Linkages in Trade and Cultural Developments". Marine Archaeology Centre, National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula. Retrieved 2010-11-17. 
  5. ^ "Bali Yatra". Odisha Tourism. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.